For many students or young professionals just starting out, the cost of travel can seem like a hefty burden. Luckily, volunteering to work abroad can help keep costs low and get you cheap opportunities to travel the world. By taking on volunteer jobs, you make the world a better place, feel pride in the work you’ve done, and see the world from a new perspective. Here are ten incredible work exchange programs that can help offset travel costs by covering room and board, as well as the occasional plane ticket!
Image via: PeaceCorpsBased in the United States and open to American citizens, the PeaceCorps is famous for working at the grassroots level to achieve sustainable change throughout the world. Whether you want to work with nature or among people as you work abroad or explore your home country, the PeaceCorps is an ideal way to travel the world and gain a global outlook with a small living stipend.
Image via: WWOOF InternationalWWOOF in an international network of organizations that are dedicated to encouraging the global spread of organic lifestyles. This agricultural work exchange offers full room and board on organic farms, as well as an introduction to organic lifestyles, in return for a few hours of work a day. A great, affordable way to travel the world!
Volunthai stands for volunteers for Thailand – it exists to give travelers and global volunteers a chance to educate rural children in English as well as interact with traditional Thai culture. Although there is a monthly fee for the six-month homestay, it covers room, board, and medical. Volunthai is dramatically low-cost compared to other international volunteer programs and a good way to travel the world.
Located in rural India, this Indian orphanage relies on a community of volunteers to fill the roles teachers, child care helpers, nurses, and accountants in order to provide a healthy environment for orphaned children. There is no cost to stay on site, but you can make a small donation if you chose to travel and work abroad.
Image via: One World 365If you’re unsure of what you can do to volunteer and work abroad, you can visitOne World 365. This site offers unique trips and volunteer opportunities to over 100 destinations. They also hosts frequent giveaways for free trips and volunteer tourism on their blog. You could travel the world for free and make a difference!
Image via: BunacFor those who wish to take a professional or academic gap year, Bunac is an ideal site. This international volunteer program offers chances to find work opportunities, internships, and volunteer jobs across the globe. You’ll be paid to travel the world and earn some valuable work experience.
Image via: GoVoluntouringWhether you want to work with Giant Pandas or crawl through an archaeological dig, GoVoluntouring is the ideal volunteer tourism platform to see the world for free. You can enter your budget and find options that fit your travel needs.
Image via: National Park ServiceVolunteer to guide people through America’s national parks for a chance at free lodging and an annual pass to all 58 national parks in the United States. The NPS has a full list of opportunities that range from working at the Visitor Centers to leading nature hikes to working with children.
Image via: HelpStayHelpStay is a young start-up looking to create a travel community that helps people work abroad. Members of the work exchange program are offered a comfortable homestay and a new global experience.
This London-based program actively seeks recent or soon-to-be graduates to volunteer in Africa and teach English. In exchange for a few months of work at the cross section of African and Middle Eastern culture, volunteer don’t pay administration fees, are given full room and board, and are paid a local wage. An enriching opportunity to travel the world!
Have you had an amazing volunteering experience while abroad? Tell us about it in the comments below or find us on social media!
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This article was written by Gabriela Barcenas.