Going abroad to volunteer is a great way to both see the world and help those less fortunate at the same time. For a fee, which usually includes a significant donation to the host NGO, travelers will have accommodation, food, transportation and be able to spend their time volunteering on causes that are dear to their heart. Though opportunities are available around the world, some destinations are more popular than others.
The most important thing when it comes to choosing a destination for gap year volunteering is to choose a program in a field that is of interest. Romania offers volunteers the opportunity to work with animals and children, and a lot of its volunteering opportunities are offered in the picturesque region of Transylvania.
4. South Africa
South Africa is a dreamlike destination for travelers with a passion for wildlife. The number of volunteering opportunities in the country is immense, with NGOs working with lions, monkeys and even sharks! The shark conservation work takes place in Cape Town, while the rest of the work is usually near but outside of Johannesburg.
[Also see our travel article “Kathmandu Travel Guide“]
Nepal is an excellent choice for volunteers who are passionate about helping underprivileged children. Remote orphanages across this Himalayan country welcome volunteers from around the world to teach English to the children and help with the general upkeep of their small facilities.
The most common volunteering activity in China is teaching English. Volunteers will usually work with children in small schools in rural communities over a several-week period to help them improve their language abilities. At the same time, a volunteering trip to China can be a great way to improve one’s own Mandarin-language skills.
1. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a very popular destination for volunteers wishing to work for a wildlife conservation charity. Sea turtle conservation is the chief volunteering draw, and it can be a very rewarding experience, as volunteers patrol the Pacific-coast beaches at night to make sure that the hatching baby turtles make it to the sea safely.