5 Budget Friendly Organizations for Volunteering Abroad

5 Budget Friendly Organizations for Volunteering Abroad

By: Emily Co
  12697 reads

Note: The following list is strictly the opinion of the author and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement from SFU Volunteer Services. We strongly recommend that students do a significant amount of research into an international organization before travelling abroad. 

If you have clicked onto this page, chances are you have some interest in volunteering abroad but perhaps don’t know where to start. While you may have considered the idea of venturing overseas to make a positive difference, things like costs, accommodation, and safety can often raise some doubts. To counter your fears, this article will outline various volunteer organizations that have made it easier and more affordable for volunteers to participate in projects around the globe. Although some organizations offer programs that include housing and food, other costs such as airfare, medical insurance, and visas are typically not included. Application and registration fees may also apply.

Who:  English Opens Doors

What: An initiative supported by the Chilean Ministry of Education to improve English proficiency among students and teachers. This is an excellent opportunity for those interested in education as a teaching degree is not required to participate. After being placed in a host family for the duration of the program, you will be able to build a strong connection with your host family while learning more about Chilean culture and traditions.

Where: Chile

Duration:  About 6 months

Price Range: No program fee; food/accommodations are provided through your host family and in addition, a monthly allowance is given (65,000 CLP) to reimburse any teaching costs.

More info: http://www.centrodevoluntarios.cl/



What: A global network of organizations that allows you to gain sustainable agricultural experience by matching you to a small farm around the world. It’s a great way to not only contribute to a sustainable food system, but to also soak up a new culture while building life-long connections with a farming community. What’s more, you receive free food and accommodation from your host farm in exchange for helping out.

Where: Worldwide

Duration:  Varies; can be short or long term depending on your needs and the host family

Price Range: Food/accommodation is provided in exchange for labor; every WWOOF trip will vary for each person and thus, costs will also depend on country, host farm, insurance, etc

More info: http://www.wwoof.net/

Who:  International Volunteer HQ

What: Based in New Zealand, their goal is to provide you with short term, flexible, and affordable placements in local communities around the world. In addition, they seek to raise awareness and increase education in developing countries through skills offered by individuals like you! You can choose to participate in projects such as education, HIV/AIDS awareness, animal rights, conservation, and more.

Where:  Worldwide

Duration:  1 week to 6 months

Price Range: Programs start from $180 USD for the 1st week; most programs include airport pick up, program supervision, orientation, food/accommodation, and 24/7 support from IVHQ staff.

More info: http://www.volunteerhq.org/


What: A social venture that offers two unique programs aimed at making a positive difference in disadvantaged communities around the world.  Through their “Immersion” program, you will live with a host family or in a volunteer house while contributing to development projects in the community. For their second program, “Expedition,” you will join a team of 8-10 people for a 2 week journey across countries in Latin America or Asia to explore various social, economic, and environmental issues. You will be guided by recognized experts who provide mentorship, educational insight and 24/7 supervision throughout the trip. As well, you will travel extensively throughout the country as opposed to just volunteering. This is a good alternative for those seeking adventure and physical challenge.

Where: Latin America, Asia, and Africa

Duration:  1 week to 6 months

Price Range: Immersion Program: ~$250-$400 USD for the 1st week to ~$2000-3000 USD for 2 months; includes meals, housing, project supervision, and 24/7 support.

Expedition Program:  ~$1800-$2000 USD for 2 weeks

More info: http://www.ubelong.org/home.htm

Who: Involvement Volunteers International

What: A non-profit organization that partners with host families and local organizations worldwide to provide safe, budget-friendly programs varying from child care to community development. Through their mix & match placement, you can switch between different programs in the same country every week. Or, you can pick a standard placement and be placed in the same facility for a longer period.

Where: Worldwide

Duration: 1 week to 4 months

Price Range: ~$300-$500 USD for the 1st /2nd weeks to ~$1000-$3000 USD for 4 months. Typically includes food/accommodation, orientation, and 24/7 volunteer support.

More info: http://www.volunteering.org.au/

Posted on March 04, 2014