Things to do

6 great volunteering opportunities to travel for free

One of the easiest thing to do if you want to travel around the world and you’ve got plenty of time (say you want to take a couple of years off from what you’re doing) is trying to volunteer in another country. There are lots of such opportunities and, it’s true, most of them require skills and some knowledge in specific domains of interest, but nothing you couldn’t cover in two or three months for the most part. Also, since you most probably won’t be doing very strictly qualified work, it’s not necessary to have a university degree. The possibilities are pretty numerous, over on thousand charity nonprofit organizations that provide volunteering services around the world worth taking into consideration. Because the list is so ample, we’re only going to talk about the best options for you – those that don’t imply fees for your traveling time because it’s being covered from fundraising activities and donations.

Peace Corps, Worldwide. The program requires a 27 months commitment on the place you decide to volunteer to, but it’s completely worth it, given the range of activities and the consistency of the projects, from healthcare projects and social responsibility actions to business development ones. The experience is not only extremely valuable in terms of social help, but as working experience as well. Besides, the people you get to work with are true, dedicated professionals. The program’s only main condition is being a U.S. resident.

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms offers board and lodging for a work day on one of the farms, and an exchange can be available from a  week to as many years as you wish, in any of the 53 countries where it operates, and thousands of locations are ready to welcome you as a guest for no limit. Wwoof-ing is not only a very popular thing to do in terms of volunteering, but a great opportunity to learn how to do different things, as well as a great place to meet new, open, warm people. Extra tip: One of the things you should ask for before enrolling yourself to such an activity is if you’re allowed to use the internet during your stay and if there’s any internet connection available at the farm in the first place. On this answer depends the way you’ll organize your entire coming back journey.

European Voluntary Service. If you’re European, it’s very easy to apply. The programs vary from one week to a year long and even more. The volunteer is provided on-arrival training and mid-term evaluation for the projects that are longer than 6 months, as well as they give days off for such programs (mostly on holidays, but it’s not always a rule). The usual program consists of full time activities on the project that the volunteer’s applied for.

United Nations Volunteers. Working worldwide and nondiscriminatory, the UN programs are very different from assisting areas which were affected by different types of disasters to healthcare and economic development projects for underdeveloped societies. Most of the positions here are only available for professionals in different fields, because the implementing policy is based on increased quality standards, but unqualified volunteers don’t have to worry because the organization can always provide links to other partner organizations.

Trip Leaders for HF Holidays in Europe is one of the most amazing volunteering programs there is. Not only does it give the volunteer the opportunity to meet people, but the main task you’ll have is guiding the treks of other European tourists. Food, accommodation and time to experience the most amazing things while seeing places of monumental cultural value, in return for your services of explaining and guiding other tourists around, sharing knowledge and impressions, making them take as much from the entire trip as you do.

Help Exchange is a community that works worldwide, providing very different types of services, from work in the garden to implementing different religious or cultural programs in school for disadvantaged children. There is a registration fee for when you want to access the projects’ details, but the lodging and board are provided from the organization. The platform is great because it fits anyone’s capacities and possible wishes or expectation, since the program range varies so much, from taking kids to/from school to building houses or volunteering in community centers.

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