100 Free or Cheap Volunteer Work Opportunities Abroad

(Archived Article)

Volunteer work has become big business. Hundreds of gap year companies are there to guide timid gappers into a voluntary project, but if you are willing to be brave and do it all yourself it can be much, much cheaper.

11. Passport in Time, USA
As part of this archaeology programme of the US Forest Service, volunteers have, over the years, helped stabilise ancient cliff dwellings in New Mexico and excavated a 10,000 year old village site in Minnesota. Depending on the project, volunteers either pay for their own food and accommodation or contribute a small fee to the camp cook.

12. Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary, Italy
If you don't mind being surrounded by up to 300 cats this cat sanctuary in Rome would welcome a hand. English speakers are in demand as guides to show around tourists or there are cleaning and administrative duties to fulfil. Volunteers pay their own costs and housing is available in the form of an apartment room for around $450.

13. Cape Tribulation Tropical Research Station, Australia
Located in the rainforest three hours drive from Cairns, the station seeks, among others, resting writers, cooks, plumbers, gardeners and bat lovers. During their down time volunteers can enjoy some of the finest coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. A small fee, the amount depending on ability to pay, is required to cover food and lodging.

14. American Bear Association, USA
Do bears shit in the woods? Volunteers at this Minnesota black bear sanctuary will find out as part of the duties include bear poop scooping. Most tasks involve manual labour so volunteers should be physically fit and available for a week or longer between May and September.

15. Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi, Bolivia
A very popular animal sanctuary. Who wouldn't want to take a wild cat for a walk and work with monkeys? Minimum stay 15 days. Volunteers pay all their own costs, typically $300 per month. Parents can take their children too - the kids can help with the birds and turtles. If you wear glasses, take a spare pair as some of the monkeys like to play with them.

16. Active Training and Education, UK
ATE require monitors, over the age of 17, to work at summer camps located in castles or mansions. Applicants must complete a seven day residential training course to learn children's songs, games and crafts. Though there are some fees to be paid during the application and training period, ATE will refund your travel expenses after the summer camp and provide a financial 'thank you'.

17. Instituto de Intercambios e Cultura Americana, Brazil
Open to graduate or undergraduate natives from any English speaking countries, participants undertake a 12 month internship in Brazil teaching English and learning Portuguese and Brazilian culture. Durint internship participants get a monthly allowance of R$660 for their personal stipend plus full board.

18. Amnesty International, UK
Amnesty run a minimum three month volunteer programme in their offices in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff. Volunteers are involved in campaigning, marketing, media and general support and can claim travel expenses and luncheon vouchers for the days they work.

19. A Pas de Loup, Worldwide
Free to join environmental projects that include studying reintroduced species and watching nesting and laying places. Volunteers pay for their own expenses and travel costs.

20. Winant and Clayton Volunteers, UK
A UK US friendship programme, volunteers do community work in the east end of London and receive free room and board during a seven week volunteer placement. A similar programme is offered for UK volunteers in America.


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This is an archived article. Please visit our site on free volunteer work for up to date information
Please note prices may no longer be current