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Teen & High School Volunteer Abroad Programs | Under 18 Mission Trips

  • Sarah Vandenberg
  • Volunteer Travel Researcher
  • Posted On Aug 16, 2018
  • |  Read 365,175 Times

Maximo Nivel Teen Volunteer Program volunteering abroad under 18

Updated for 2018-2019

Volunteering abroad and high school exchanges are an excellent way for teens and high school students under age 18 to learn about other cultures, build new interests, and of course—do some good. I first learned about volunteer travel programs for teens in college, when my friend’s 15-year-old sister, Hailey, traveled to Costa Rica to study sea turtles. We’ll use Hailey’s experience volunteering abroad to learn about the process of finding a teen travel program, the importance of safety for teens volunteering overseas, and recommendations for specific under age 18 volunteer programs, including service trips to Cuba, which are becoming extremely popular now.

Teen & High School Volunteer Abroad Programs and Under Age 18 Mission Trips

Hailey’s parents agonized over whether to allow their daughter to travel without them, and must have asked hundreds of questions to teachers, other parents, and the tour group before they signed her permission form.

Safety is naturally a big concern for parents who are thinking about letting their teens volunteer abroad and finding a program that caters to teens and has robust volunteer safety practices in place is critical in researching programs. A perfect example of such a program is International Volunteer HQ , which focuses on safety before and during your volunteer abroad program, with online safety training, onsite Risk Management Policy , emergency response, and lots of other resources to ensure a safe and fun trip abroad.

Another organization with a fantastic track record in safety is Global Leadership Adventures , whose Five-Point Safety System ™ focuses on secure housing, caring supervision, healthy meals and pure water, expert local knowledge, and safe and comfortable transportation; think of them almost as a “Peace Corps for Teens”.

After two weeks abroad with her classmates, Hailey came back thrilled with the work she accomplished, the new friends she made, and the opportunity to put her Spanish lessons to practical use. Given Hailey’s interest in expanding her Spanish language skills, an alternative option that her parents may have considered is Maximo Nivel’s Summer Spanish Camp in Costa Rica, which is a highly structured program to learn Spanish, participate in sports, explore Costa Rica, and engage in community service in a safe and guided environment (i.e. 24/7 chaperones).  

Parents: whether you have a teen who is looking for a Peace Corps alternative and wants to volunteer abroad with a school or youth group, or if you’re looking for a new twist on family vacations, this article is for you.

IS UNDER 18 TOO YOUNG TO VOLUNTEER ABROAD?

Volunteer programs have different requirements as to how young a volunteer participant can be. For example, the Peace Corps requires that participants be at least 18 years old and most of their projects require a college degree. Some programs may also require an adult guardian to be present if the volunteer is under 18. 

Plan My Gap Year is an excellent option for younger travelers. While the minimum age for most of their programs is 18, there are many  opportunities for students aged 17 and up , including trips to Bali , Ghana , India , and more.

Global Vision International (GVI) , a highly respected volunteer organization that has been sending volunteers overseas since 1997, is an alternative to the Peace Corps and offers volunteer programs for participants as young as 15. GVI offers 20 different types of projects for under 18 volunteers , ranging from marine conservation in Greece to learning Spanish in Costa Rica.

Maximo Nivel is another highly respected volunteer organization that accepts participants as young as 15 through its ” Spanish Camp ” program. Teens can participate in a Spanish immersion program and have the option to spend 3 to 4 hours each volunteering in the host community as well.

Projects Abroad offers high school specials for teens (ages 15 to 18 years) interested in joining students from around the world on programs in China , Mexico , South Africa and beyond.

BENEFITS OF TEEN & UNDER 18 VOLUNTEER ABROAD PROGRAMS AND HIGH SCHOOL EXCHANGES

Let’s take a look at a few benefits of under 18 volunteering abroad or participating in an exchange program as a teenager/high school student:

Community Service Experience

Volunteering overseas lends a new perspective to community service, and for high school juniors and seniors, may help boost college applications. With increasingly competitive university acceptance rates, volunteering abroad—coupled with projects in your own community—has the potential to set one student apart from another .

For students who aren’t very interested in volunteering near home, coupling a service project with a vacation is just one way to inspire them to help those in need. I have friends who never volunteered (unless their parents dragged them along) until taking a service trip with their church or class. After that first project volunteering abroad under 18 years old, they were hooked: many of them changed the colleges they applied to or the majors they declared after volunteering in another country.

Cultural Immersion 

The other day I overheard an interview between a campus recruiter and a second-semester freshman. The recruiter needed testimonials for the university website, and the conversation kept coming back to, “I’m so glad to be in such diverse community.”

She’d never traveled outside of the Midwest, and when she made new friends from other countries, or who took vacations abroad on the regular, she felt the need to “catch up.” She valued their experiences, and wished she’d been able to build her own earlier. I would suspect a great number of students feel this way—and being able to do good even for a short time in a different community can make a lifelong impact.

Skill-Building

How many of us have taken foreign language lessons in high school? And how many of us have applied those skills outside of trivia night?

Hailey, who I mentioned earlier, took three years of Spanish classes before ever needing to use the language outside of school. Traveling to Costa Rica gave her the opportunity to challenge herself, and she made a conscious effort to speak Spanish as much as possible. When she came back, she was obviously much more comfortable in her phrasing and I wouldn’t be surprised if her Spanish grades improved that year.

That’s just one example. Teenage volunteering abroad experiences also help with:

Time management: How do you make sure you get to the 8:15 bus in a place you’ve never been? Budgeting for getting lost, making it to your project on time, and being aware of how long you have to complete it help build valuable time management skills that will be needed later.

Navigation: Same question as above! If you’re in a community very different from your own—maybe one that’s in a rural area while you’ve always lived in a city—can challenge and grow navigation skills.

Communication: Even if your host family or the country you’re in predominantly speaks English, there may be cultural barriers to overcome. Learning to speak with people from different backgrounds is an excellent way to build and refine communication skills.

Teamwork: How do you complete a project with people you may not have met before? And how will you know what to do if it’s a new project, one without lots of clear instructions, or one in which you have zero experience? It can be a daunting prospect even for adults, and you can be sure teamwork goes a long way toward finishing the project (and doing it well!).

SERVICE LEARNING AS A COMPONENT OF YOUTH VOLUNTEER ABROAD PROGRAMS

Teen and high school volunteer abroad

Service learning is a growing movement to couple educational activities with volunteering. Teenage volunteer abroad participants and high school students gain a better understanding a subject while making an impact on their community and developing a sense of personal responsibility in their work.

Through service learning, students follow a lesson plan created by their school or other educational program, while having flexibility and creative input into a service project spearheaded by a community-based group. This hands-on approach to learning also engages teens in reflection and discussion about what they’d like to accomplish through their project, how they can change or improve along the way, and what impact their project had in the end.

At the end of this article is a list of volunteer abroad programs that include service learning. You also can learn more about service learning from the National Youth Leadership Council .

HOW TO CHOOSE A TEEN VOLUNTEER ABROAD PROGRAM

Find organizations that specialize in teen volunteer programs: There are literally thousands of volunteering abroad organizations in the world yet few specifically cater to under 18 volunteers. Be sure to stick with organizations that offer special programs for teen volunteers.

Global Vision International hosts thousands of under 18 volunteers each year and have an impeccable track records in keeping their young participants healthy and safe. So how do you go about choosing the right teen and high school volunteer abroad program? In most ways, you’ll want to use the same checklist for any other volunteer project:

Set realistic expectations: This is tricky for teens and adults alike—what you want to do might not gel with what a volunteer organization needs. And because of age and experience, teens have far fewer options available. Service learning programs are built specifically to be age-appropriate and effective, while general volunteer programs that don’t require much experience—think painting murals or gardening—are perfect for families and groups. It’s also important to keep in mind that programs geared towards volunteering abroad for teenagers are short-term, learning experiences rather than intensive international development projects. 

Set a schedule: There are far fewer teen volunteer abroad opportunities than are available for adults, and many of them have set start and end dates—often occurring over winter, spring, or summer break. As you look at different programs, know any schedule constraints you may need to work with, and be sure to plan far enough in advance to coordinate school, work, or other activities.

Research your options: Don’t settle for the first program you’ll find in an online search. Large marketing budgets don’t always equate to the most valuable experiences or responsible programs. Look at a variety of volunteer organizations and find the one that makes the most sense for your family or group.

Read reviews: Volunteer Forever is the perfect place to start! Reading brochures and websites will only get you so far. Learning what other volunteers have to say can mean the difference between choosing an amazing trip and a letdown. Check out the end of this article for a list of teen volunteer programs and reviews right here on Volunteer Forever.

Ask questions: For an excellent list of questions you should ask any volunteer organization, click here .

A FEW NOTES ABOUT SAFETY FOR UNDER 18 TRAVELERS

My mom still gets a little on edge whenever I travel. I’m not sure it’s something that ever goes away, but after years of solo trips to countries she knows as “The murder capital of the world,” or “Your dad and I had a friend who was killed there in the 80s” I’ve learned how to approach her most common travel fears (and hopefully yours as well). Below are some especially important considerations for participants in under 18 volunteer abroad programs:

“What if you get sick or hurt?” It doesn’t matter if your child is in perfect health and has never had a broken bone in his life—it’s still a legitimate concern and one you won’t shake until he gets back home. Three things to do:

  • Check with the tour group to see how they address students’ health while abroad. They should have readily-available information about travel health insurance, local clinics or hospitals, and steps to take in case of emergency. As an example, check out Global Leadership Adventures’  Security and Safety page for answers to common questions about safety, security, and health. Be sure they have the most up-to-date information about your teen as well, including emergency contacts, health insurance provider, and any allergies or other information that could be helpful.

  • If you have health insurance, don’t assume your provider will cover trips outside of the country—if it doesn’t, compare other providers and purchase the option that’s right for you. Be sure your teen, the tour group, and any emergency contacts have the most up-to-date information and can get in touch in case something should go wrong.

  • Visit a travel clinic to learn about common ailments or injuries that might happen in the country your teen is traveling to, and how to prevent them. You can find a list of travel clinics here .

“What if you get attacked?” This one is tough, but the best way to allay those fears may be to talk it over with the tour group, with other parents who’ve sent their teens abroad, and if you can, with your teen’s host family or other contacts in-country. The chances of anyone on the tour being attacked might be the very same (or even lower) as in your home community, but be sure to do your research, and be certain your child knows how to avoid potential danger by staying with his group, by protecting his belongings, and by behaving appropriately for the community he’s in.

“What if you lose your money/bags/passport/other important items?” This piggybacks on the last point: be sure your teen knows basic safety practices while abroad. Things like not leaving his bag sitting on a table, or resting his cell phone on top of his belongings where it can easily be snatched. Make sure he knows who to talk to as soon as he knows something has gone missing—as with health info, the tour provider should have a plan already in place should someone’s items get lost or stolen.

“How will I know you’re ok?” This has always been the biggest sticking point for my parents. If they don’t hear from me at least once a day on my travels, they worry. And that’s been tough when I’m in the jungle or trying to scale the Great Firewall of China. I’ve gotten in massive fights with them over calling and emailing because here’s the thing: who the heck calls or writes email updates every day? Do you really need to use those minutes or text charges, and do you really want them to hunt down an Internet cafe for an email? Here’s a middle ground—just ask them to update their status on Twitter or Facebook, or text you on WhatsApp. Chances are they’re probably going to do that anyway, and by seeing Facebook photos and “Ziplining #thisisawesome” fly by on Twitter, you’ll know they’re doing fine.

Here are a few more resources to check out:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : The CDC has lots of information about traveler health, country-specific vaccinations and common illnesses, and ways to stay safe while abroad.

U.S. Department of State – Travel : Here you’ll find information about passports, safety guides, emergency contact info, and more.

Travisa : This is my one-stop-shop for visas, if I ever need them.

Travelex : A good place to exchange money before travel.

RECOMMENDED TEEN VOLUNTEER ABROAD PROGRAMS

International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ)

IVHQ Teen Volunteer Abroad

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is an excellent opportunity for teens to volunteer overseas. Since 2007, IVHQ has placed over 80,000 volunteers on impactful and affordable projects in dozens of countries worldwide. With an emphasis on sustainability and safety, IVHQ partners with local NGOs to host volunteers of a wide variety of programs, ranging from wildlife and animal care, to teaching, to sports coaching, and much more. IVHQ welcomes travelers under 18 as long as they’re part of a group, or with a parent or guardian over 18 years old.

Bali Volunteer Program

IVHQ’s volunteer program in Bali offers several different opportunities for teen travelers to make a difference: you can choose from sea turtle conservation, teaching, construction and renovation, environmental education, healthcare education, and kindergarten teaching.

You’ll start with a five-day orientation in Ubud, covering culture and customs, safety and security, project needs, travel opportunities, and of course, you’ll get to know some of your fellow volunteers. After that, you’ll travel to your volunteer project, where you’ll spend weekdays volunteering onsite with a coordinator. On weekends, you can relax or explore beaches, go cycling and take hiking tours, or visit temples, rice terraces, and lots more. IVHQ’s Bali program starts from $295 for the first week, and includes a registration fee, airport pickup, orientation, supervision, accommodation and meals, 24/7 in-country support, and administrative costs.

Click here to learn more about IVHQ’s Bali volunteer program: https://www.volunteerhq.org/volunteer-in-bali

New Zealand Volunteer Program

For teen travelers who would like to visit New Zealand , IVHQ has several placements.

On the Coastline Conservation and Education program, you’ll help with coastal cleanup, organizing and conducting educational presentations, and working with local recycling programs.

On IVHQ’s Freshwater Restoration and Education project, you’ll work in traditional Maori community spaces to gain cultural insight into land and water restoration, and work with other small projects locally, such as upcycling, water sample collection, and native invertebrate and fish population monitoring.

IVHQ New Zealand also offers an NGO Support program, where you can help organize volunteer activities, community events, tree plantings, education campaigns, and lots more. This program starts with a one-day orientation conducted by IVHQ’s New Zealand staff, and then your work day may be split into morning, afternoon, or evening shifts depending on your placement. This volunteer project starts from two weeks at $885.

Click here to learn more: https://www.volunteerhq.org/volunteer-in-new-zealand

Zambia Volunteer Program

IVHQ’s Zambia volunteer program has a host of opportunities for younger volunteers, including childcare, elderly care, and community development.

As a childcare volunteer, you’ll work in a facility for underprivileged children, a nursery school, or other locations where you’ll be a mentor, help with homework, and play with the children.

In the elderly care program, you’ll assist with meals, maintenance, cleaning, gardening, and more at an elderly facility. And in IVHQ’s community development program in Zambia, you may help with a number of initiatives, including HIV/AIDS support groups and income-generating programs.

This placement starts from $270 for one week, and your weekends are free for exploration – you can travel to Victoria Falls (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s largest waterfalls), national parks, and even neighboring countries where you can go zip lining, water rafting, and lots more.

Click here to learn more and to sign up: https://www.volunteerhq.org/volunteer-in-zambia

Volunteer in Greece

As a teen volunteer on the island of Chios in Greece , you can choose from four IVHQ projects with impact: Food Outreach, Kindergarten, School Support and Special Needs Care.

With IVHQ’s Food Outreach program, your role is to assist to a local kitchen that supports more than 700 people per day, distributing food to churches and community centers. Tasks include food prep, cooking, cleaning, packing, and distribution. School Support, Special Needs and Kindergarten volunteers through IVHQ work in local schools under the supervision of teachers, assist with administrative tasks, and play with the children during breaktime.

You’ll stay in an apartment in Katarraktis, and you’ll share a room with up to six other IVHQ volunteers (same gender). Western-style bathrooms, bedding, and wifi are provided. Private rooms are available with an upgrade.

IVHQ’s Greece program starts from $340 for the first week, and covers airport pickup, program orientation, supervision, accommodation and meals, 24/7 in-country support, discounts on language lessons, and administrative costs.

Click here to learn more: https://www.volunteerhq.org/volunteer-in-greece

What Volunteers Say – Review from Erica

February 2015 I had the chance of a lifetime to volunteer in Costa Rica at a daycare. IVHQ is a great company to go through and I would definitely do it again. I was only volunteering for a week, but wow, that week flew by so fast and its crazy how many relationships I developed.

I was my first time staying at a “home stay” and it was a different, yet interesting experience, which I enjoyed! I love volunteering and helping others, therefore I knew this trip was for me. Costa Rica is a beautiful country and when we weren’t volunteering we were travelling. While volunteering in the daycare we played, worked and taught the children English.

On our last day we had to say goodbye to the children, which was a very hard thing to do. I didn’t know I would get so attached to some of the kids in just five short days. Obviously I cried a little when I had to say goodbye. After our last day volunteering, I found out that most of the kids fathers are either not in the child’s life or they are in jail. These kids were so happy and playful that you wouldn’t even know what they’ve been through or what their living situation was. Volunteering in Costa Rica was an amazing eye opening experience, that I would recommended to anyone.

Plan My Gap Year

Teen and High School Volunteer Programs with Plan My Gap Year

Another organization to check out that’s wonderful for high school students is Plan My Gap Year . PMGY offers affordable and impactful volunteer travel opportunities for people of all ages to help with childcare, community projects, wildlife conservation, and much more throughout Africa and Asia. And with awards such as the Shell LiveWire Grand Idea Award, Thailand Green Excellence Award, and Special Recognition from the United Nations in Sri Lanka, Plan My Gap Year prides itself on transparency, safety (all volunteer programs are personally vetted by PMGY staff), and quality placements abroad.

Volunteer in Sri Lanka

If you’re ready for a tropical adventure, check out PMGY’s Sri Lanka volunteer program . Along with many other volunteer opportunities, PMGY is offering a Sri Lanka Volunteer and Adventure Experience for travelers aged 16 and 17. For two weeks, you’ll explore and volunteer, with highlights including visiting an elephant orphanage, watching leopards at Yala National Park, relaxing on the beach, and volunteering on four different projects focusing on construction, English teaching, elephants, and sea turtles. This program costs $750, plus a $249 registration fee, and includes housing and meals, in-country transport, volunteer handbook, 24-hour UK-based support, and much more. Learn more here!

School Trip Abroad

If you’re looking for a customized experience, Plan My Gap Year offers school trips where you can volunteer, explore, and immerse yourself in a new culture. These all-inclusive, tailored trips are customized to your group’s needs, with a UK expedition leader ensuring that your trip is safe, stress-free, and fun. With trips organized throughout Africa and Asia, there’s so much variety to the types of volunteer projects you can take on, or adventure opportunities you can try out. Learn more about PMGY’s school trips here!

Volunteer in Bali with Wildlife

Join other young volunteers with Plan My Gap Year at the Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre , and help care for animals that were victims of poachers and traffickers. Each day, you’ll provide upkeep for the center and care for endangered animals, enriching their lives—and your own—in the process. Tasks include feeding, enclosure cleaning, general maintenance, and spending time interacting with the animals, helping them to socialize to ward off depression and poor behavior. There are nearly 40 types of animals at the center, so there’s no shortage of meaningful ways that you can help out as a volunteer. Fees for this program begin at $270 for one week. Learn more here!

Teach English in Fiji

With more than 750 primary schools in the island nation of Fiji , there’s a great need for assistance from volunteers – especially those who speak English. Volunteer in Suva with Plan My Gap Year and help to teach and care for children! They will be excited to learn about your culture and life experiences – as a volunteer, you will assist a local teacher with their day-to-day classes, and may even have the opportunity to take the lead in lessons. Younger students enjoy a relaxed and informal teaching experience, so this is a wonderful chance for volunteers who want to be creative and incorporate singing, storytelling, and dance in the classroom. Stay for two weeks or longer, with an affordable starting fee of $390. Learn more about volunteering in Fiji here!

Maldives Island Experience

The crystal-clear waters of the Maldives are calling : spend a spring or summer break with Plan My Gap Year’s Island Experience in the Maldives. Rising sea levels are taking a toll on the Maldivian nation, with islands being slowly washed away. You can help prevent this by volunteering for projects such as conducting sea life and coral surveys, re-creation of outer lying reefs, and mangrove formation. Or, stay on the beach and work in waste management or housing renovation. Your efforts to improve the wellbeing of the islands is critical, as tourism creates mountains of rubbish, and fishing impacts the reefs. Program fees begin at $645 with durations starting at two weeks.

Maximo Nivel

Teen volunteer abroad with Maximo Nivel

Maximo Nivel is the top-rated volunteer abroad organization on Volunteer Forever, and for good reason: it offers affordable, safe, and impactful programs perfect for high school students. Maximo Nivel has a variety of volunteer abroad programs and Spanish language courses in Latin America and has hosted over 25,000 participants since it was founded in 2003.

Spanish Camp

Through its Spanish Camp program , high school students aged 15 and up are invited for a full Spanish language immersion program at COSI, the Costa Rica Spanish Institute.

Maximo Nivel offers a service learning component to language learners, who can spend three to four hours per day volunteering with local communities to support children’s programs, assist with construction projects, or learn about sea turtle conservation. Monday through Friday each week, you’ll take Spanish classes and take part in your volunteering track – on weeknights, you’ll have the wonderful opportunity to take part in salsa lessons, movie nights, and much more.

Included with the program is airport pickup and drop-off, 24/7 in-country support, 8:1 student-chaperone ratio, housing with a host family, private transport for all activities, and program and safety orientation. To learn more about Maximo Nivel’s Spanish Camp, visit: http://maximonivel.com/spanish/spanishcamp

High School Abroad

Through Maximo Nivel’s high school abroad program, you’ll spend a full semester or full year at an accredited, private high school in Costa Rica. All of your classes are taught in English, while Spanish is taught as a second language.

You also may be able to earn credit toward the International Baccalaureate Diploma, and take AP courses. During your stay, you’ll live with a host family and have assistance from a cultural advisor to help navigate you through cultural and language differences – plus, you can take part in optional tours, social events, and much more to gain the most from your adventure in Costa Rica.

This study abroad program includes airport transfer, housing, meals, school tuition and textbooks, orientation, private Spanish classes, and much more. Click here to learn more: http://maximonivel.com/study-abroad/high-school/

High School Group Volunteering

Maximo Nivel offers several different travel options for high school groups , including volunteering abroad , a volunteer adventure , and a native Spanish program . Your itinerary can be designed to focus on Spanish language, service learning, cultural travel, or any combination of those programs, and all trips are carefully supervised by Maximo Nivel staff who are here to focus on your educational goals. Trips are available for summer, winter, and spring breaks, or year-round. Click here to learn more: http://maximonivel.com/groups/high-school/

Volunteer Adventure

For two weeks, you’re invited on Maximo Nivel’s volunteer adventure, which includes five days of community service and six days of travel through Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Peru. Volunteer activities you can take part in include working with kids, teaching English, construction, conservation, animal care, or medical / healthcare.

In Costa Rica, you’ll go on a cultural night or city tour; 3-in-1 tour of Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall, and coffee tour; a catamaran Tortuga Island tour, and a trip to Manuel Antonio National Park.

In Guatemala, you’ll go on a hike to Volcano Pacaya, take surf lessons in El Salvador, embark on a zip line tour, and spend the night in Tikal.

And in Peru, you’ll take a Cusco city tour, Sacred Valley tour, a two-day tour of Machu Picchu, and a two-day tour of Lake Titicaca and Puno. Learn more about Maximo Nivel’s volunteer adventure trips here: http://maximonivel.com/adventure/full/

Abroadly

Teen and High School Volunteer Abroad Projects from Abroadly

If you’re looking for a variety of student-friendly volunteer programs around the world, check out Abroadly , a new booking platform by Volunteer Forever that helps you find and directly apply for meaningful programs abroad!

Choose from more than 150 programs in the areas of child and youth development, construction and community development, education, health and medicine, human rights, sports and recreation, or wildlife and environmental conservation.

When you apply for a trip through Abroadly , you’ll have free access to Volunteer Forever’s crowdfunding platform, and have the chance to win a $500 scholarship that can be used for any of your travel expenses – your program fee, transportation, visa, clothing and gear, and anything else related to your trip. Plan your adventure abroad and start your search today !

Volunteer with Children in Mzuzu, Malawi

Khaya Volunteer Projects offers a low-cost, high-impact opportunity for teens 16 and older, caring for children and supporting children’s rights in Mzuzu , Malawi. Work with Chideso, the Child Development and Support Organization, to assist teachers with preschool students, ages two to five years old. You’ll also help in a nursery and a primary school. Share your knowledge of computer literacy, and offer life skills education to secondary school students. Sharing your knowledge is a great way to positively support and encourage the people of the Masasa community.

There are cafes and restaurants, as well as shops, in the town of Mzuzu. The landmark clock tower stands in the town center, and nearby is the Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve Karonga, and the Makuzi Beach. Fees for this program start at $252 for one week, with stays up to six weeks. Read more here !

Volunteer at a Community Project in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Travel to Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape, South Africa, and volunteer with a nonprofit organization that builds hope in a community that’s been living with HIV/AIDS. Missionvale Care Centre is supported by Khaya Volunteer Projects, and there are several activities you can get involved in, including volunteering at a clinic, teaching women sewing skills at a crafter’s unit, helping at a community garden, distributing clothing at a warehouse, providing child care at a primary school, and assisting with food preparation and distribution at the center. You must be at least 15 years old to volunteer with this project.

On days off, take a coastal boat tour to spot whales and rare seabirds, hike the Donkin Heritage Trail, or go on safari to a wildlife refuge, home to elephants, rhinos, and other big game. Visit the local beaches, and tour the Victorian neighborhoods of Old Hill. Program costs start at $390. Durations are one to six weeks. Click here to apply.

Volunteer to Teach Children in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Thinking of majoring in education? Find out if teaching is right for you with a teaching placement in Tanzania with Khaya Volunteer Projects. If you’re 16 years or older, you can provide assistance in under-resourced primary schools, helping students practice their English-speaking skills, and tutoring students with math. You’ll also provide support to remedial classrooms for persons with disabilities, and mark tests, check homework, and prepare learning material for the next day. Get the children active by playing sports – particularly football and netball – while supervising and coordinating activities.

While in Zanzibar, visit the Zanzibar Butterfly Center or Cheetah’s Rock, a fantastic wildlife sanctuary that lets you get hands-on with rehabilitating animals. Take a trip to see the monkeys at the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, or relax on one of many beautiful beaches. The fee for this project begins at $410, and you can stay from one to eight weeks. Learn more and register today !

Volunteer with Sea Turtles in Costa Rica

If you’re passionate about wildlife and want to help protect Costa Rica’s sea turtle population from further endangerment, join Volunteering Solutions on a conservation project with sea turtles in Punta Arenas. Help by patrolling the beaches to protect turtle nests from human poachers, and help manage the sustainable egg-harvesting program. You’ll also assist with beach cleaning, counting turtles, and collecting eggs. This project requires you to be at least 17 years years old and physically fit, as the project requires a good deal of manual labor.

Spend your free time exploring the local shops and markets, relaxing at the beach, or trekking through the rainforests in national parks. Go on an ecotour and marvel at the majestic beauty of the active volcanoes here. Program fees are $966 for one week, with stays up to 16 weeks. Read more about this impactful project here !

Volunteer for Medical Care in Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka

If you’re considering a career in healthcare, get a leg up with a volunteer placement on a medical care project in Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka with Plan My Gap Year. If you’re 17 years or older, you’ll love this project that places you at a private hospital, either observing and shadowing medical professionals, or assisting, depending upon your level of education and training. Volunteer in the following departments: physiotherapy, dental surgery, radiology, laboratory, phlebotomy, inpatient ward, or the outpatient ward. You also may observe at a government hospital in the following areas: obstetrics, postnatal, pediatrics, emergency treatment, and general medicine.

When you’re not studying or volunteering, tour the coastal town of Ambalangoda, famous for its ancient devil masks and devil dancers. See the museum dedicated to the art form, or visit the temples there. Support the local sea turtle hatchery, and relax at Ahungalla Beach. Program fees start at $669, with stays from two to 12 weeks. Click here to read more !

Global Works

Student and teen volunteer programs with Global Works

Founded in 1989, Global Works combines community service, cultural exchange, language immersion, and adventure for students and groups who want to travel abroad. So far, more than 10,000 people have traveled worldwide with Global Works, which offers summer service adventures for high school students as well as custom group tours for educators, schools, and private groups.

Trips run 8 to 21 days, and can include community development projects, conservation programs, language immersion, and pre-med or public health opportunities. Right now, Global Works offers trips to Costa Rica, Cuba, Fiji, France, Galapagos, Guatemala, Martinique, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Spain.

Guatemala: Mayan Explorer

If you’re ready for a Central American adventure, check out Global Works’ Mayan Explorer opportunity in Guatemala .

You’ll begin with an orientation in Quiché, home to the largest indigenous Maya population in the highlands region of Guatemala. From there, you’ll visit the Mayan ruins of Iximche while traveling to Chajul, a town where you’ll learn about Maya culture and language, experience local traditions, and work alongside community members to construct classrooms, volunteer in a library, teach English and photography, and volunteer with other community projects. After that, you’ll travel to the gorgeous Lake Atitlán region, where you’ll go kayaking, shopping, zip lining, and so much more – and you’ll finish your trip with a visit to Antigua, where you can take a salsa dancing lesson and reflect on your amazing Guatemalan adventure.

Nicaragua: Intro to Pre-Med and Public Health

If you’re a student interested in pursuing a medical or healthcare field, definitely check out Global Works’ pre-med and public health program in Nicaragua . For 17 days, you’ll have the chance to gain practical experience and shadow local medical professionals while learning about Central American culture.

Your volunteer work will take you to the community of Los Muñoz, where you’ll stay in an eco-lodge while assisting with sanitation and hygiene projects, health center construction, and health visitations with local professionals. After that, you will visit Matagalpa and learn about healthcare challenges within the city, as well as how local physicians and other professionals are working to bring medical attention and care to communities in need. Later, you’ll visit the mountains of Las Peñas Blancas en el Norte for a homestay, a volunteer activity in permaculture, water, and sustainable agriculture, and you’ll finish your trip with a visit to Granada and Laguna de Apoyo for a zip-line tour, shopping, kayaking, and much more.

Galapagos Islands: Marine Service and Adventure

For a truly unique experience, take a look at Global Works’ Marine Service Adventure in the Galapagos . On this 11-day program, you’ll have the chance to learn about the ecology and environment of the Galapagos Islands, while enjoying their natural beauty and adventure.

You’ll begin your trip with arrival and orientation in Quito, and then venture to the Papallacta area for a nature walk in the Andes, as well as a dip in hot springs. On days 3 and 4 of your trip, you’ll visit the islands of Baltra and Isabela, where you’ll visit the Flamingo Lagoon and Concha Perla Lagoon to go snorkeling. After that, you will have the chance to see the world’s second-largest volcanic crater, and then visit the private reserve of Campo Duro. On day 6, you will tour the Isabela Giant Tortoise Breeding Center and learn about their work to protect these amazing creatures. Later, you’ll go snorkeling among penguins, turtles, manta rays, and sea lions at Los Tuneles, one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos – and to finish up your trip, you’ll learn all about conservation and the unique natural environments of the Galapagos at the Charles Darwin Research Center in Puerto Ayora.

Martinique: French Caribbean Adventure

On this 10-day adventure, you’ll visit the tropical paradise of Martinique , where you’ll be able to practice French while immersing yourself in Caribbean culture.

You’ll start with a drive to Trois-Ilets, where you’ll stay for the first three nights of your trip. You’ll tour Fort de France, visit the Sugar Cane Museum, and go kayaking through a submerged mangrove forest. After that, you’ll spend the next four nights with a host family, learning about their lifestyle and even taking part in service projects such as teaching children about ocean conservation – you’ll also take on exchange activities and cultural visits. To finish your trip, you’ll explore the Mt. Pelée volcano, take a guided hike and swim through a stunning river gorge, and even take surf lessons.

Love Volunteers

Love Volunteers - volunteer programs for teens and students

With more than 20,000 travelers placed on impactful trips abroad since 2009 (and 4,000 in the past year!), Love Volunteers is one of the fastest growing volunteer organizations that you can be a part of right now. All of Love Volunteers’ trips are affordably-priced, starting from $259 for your first week abroad, depending on where you travel. Love Volunteers has placements in 34 countries worldwide, with more than 120 different projects. Some popular destinations include:

  • Asia:  Nepal ,  Thailand ,  Bali

  • Latin America:  Peru ,  Costa Rica ,  Ecuador

  • Africa:  South Africa ,  Kenya ,  Zambia ,  Tanzania

While most of Love Volunteers’ programs ask that you be 18 or older to sign up, volunteers aged 17 can travel with consent from a parent, while those under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Education Support in Nepal

Located in Kathmandu , this wonderful program aims to provide quality education to some of Nepal’s poorest children. As a volunteer, you will work alongside local teachers to help with subjects such as English, math, science, history, and geography – you also will play games and read to the children in English to help them develop their language abilities for future education and career prospects. You are invited to stay for one week or longer on this volunteer program, and outside of your work, you will have time to explore Nepal’s colorful capital city as well as its beautiful and historic monuments and temples. Learn more and sign up here!

Elephant Village Program in Thailand

Based in Surin , this volunteer trip gives you the opportunity to care for elephants that have been abused and neglected – first used for logging work, which was outlawed in the 1980s, and later used as tourist attractions to help pay for their care. Through Love Volunteers, you can work with an initiative that takes the elephants out of the cities and cares for them in their natural habitats, while also providing livelihood support for their mahouts. This program starts from one week – click here to learn more!

Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica

If you want to visit the beach and do good, check out Love Volunteers’ turtle conservation program in Costa Rica ! Through your efforts, you can help save sea turtles from extinction by assisting in hatcheries, helping with conservation projects at the beach, releasing hatchlings into the sea, and patrolling hatching grounds to protect eggs from poachers and predators. This project starts from one week – learn more and apply here!

Education Support in Kenya

On this program, you will travel to Mombasa, Kenya to provide classroom support in a primary school or high school, special needs residential school, or a language school for adults. While volunteers with experience and qualifications in education and special needs support generally are placed in the language school and special needs school, those volunteers who are younger or do not have a background in education can find lots of opportunity to work with the younger children through sports, games, and other interactive activities. This program starts from one week – learn more and apply here!

Projects Abroad

Teen volunteer projects offered by Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad is a leading international volunteering organization, operating in more than 50 countries around the world. Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has connected more than 100,000 people with meaningful programs overseas. Volunteers range in age from 16 to 75, and each one contributes to the global economy when they travel. Volunteers and the people they help learn more about each other through cultural exchange, fostering respect and a sustainable future.

Building in South Africa for Teens

Get your hands dirty and see immediate, physical results of your volunteering efforts with Projects Abroad in South Africa. This building program for teens 15 to 18 years old takes you to Cape Town, where you’ll help construct buildings for homes and care centers. Daily activities include digging foundations, mixing and pouring cement, roofing, and painting the completed building. Live with a host family during your stay in Cape Town for a full, immersive experience. Duration is two weeks and program fees begin at $3,570. Read more and apply here .

Care & Panda Protection Project in China for Teens

Join Projects Abroad on a unique program in China, that has you caring for children and working with pandas ! Volunteers spend a week at Dujiangyan Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, helping to prepare food for pandas, cleaning enclosures and observing panda behavior. Then, spend a week at a child care center in Chengdu, playing games with children and assisting staff with basic education. Stay at a guest house during your stay in China, and on the weekend you can visit the Du Jiang Yan water project, and the Leshan Giant Buddha. This program fee is $3,870 for two weeks. Click here to learn more and to register.

Sea Turtle & Coastal Conservation with Spanish in Mexico for Teens

Get involved in preserving endangered marine species and environments in Mexico, and work at a turtle conservation center with Projects Abroad! Based in Colima on the Pacific Coast, you’ll learn about coastal and marine life conservation as you help at the turtle center, and you’ll also assist with a crocodile conservation project in the nearby town of Cofradia de Morelos. Duties include counting, collecting and burying turtle eggs in a corral to keep them safe from predators and poachers. You’ll also help to release the hatchlings! Program fees start at $3,070 for two weeks. Read more here and sign up.

Medicine in Kenya for Teens

Learn about public health and healthcare in a developing country when you join Projects Abroad in Kenya on a medical volunteer program . This rewarding experience places you alongside doctors and other medical providers in hospitals and clinics, and even visiting families in rural communities. You’ll attend medical workshops and learn about current issues such as HIV and tropical diseases. The goal is to reach, and teach, the younger generations of Kenyans about the importance of staying healthy. Stay with a host family to learn even more about the culture of this exciting country, and on weekends go on tours of nearby forests and wildlife conservancies. This placement lasts two weeks with a fee of $2,970. Learn more here!

GoEco

Volunteering Projects for Teens from GoEco

For more than 10 years, GoEco has offered volunteer programs and internships across 44 countries worldwide, with projects including humanitarian aid, TEFL, conservation, wildlife, and much more. With more than 10,000 volunteers placed since 2006, and another 2,500 travelers expected to sign up this year, GoEco is a great organization to check out if you’re looking for a variety of adventurous trips to choose from. Some of GoEco’s recognition includes being named the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization in 2015 from GoAbroad, Top Eco-Enthusiast in 2017 by Greenmatch, and has been recommended by the USA Today, Today Show, Huffington Post, and many more. During your travels, you’ll have 24-hour support from GoEco, plus insurance is provided for most projects that you’ll sign up with (this is a special perk that very few volunteer programs offer).

Greece – Under 18 Sea Turtle Conservation

As one of the longest-running conservation projects in the Mediterranean, GoEco’s sea turtle conservation program for younger travelers lets you truly make a difference. As a volunteer, you will travel for two weeks to the small resort town of Giannitsochori, Greece, to help with activities such as patrolling beaches for sea turtle tracks and nests, installing grids to protect nests from predators, assisting with educational activities for locals and tourists, and much more. Learn more and sign up here!

Cambodia – Sustainable Community Development

Based in the northern Cambodian countryside, this program brings you to a local school for one week to two months, where you can volunteer in teaching and renovation work. A few of your tasks can include providing workshops about cultural exchange, helping with arts and crafts, organizing games and sports activities after class, painting, working with children in the vegetable garden, building tables and chairs, renovating the playground, and much more. In addition to volunteering, you can take part in a Culture Week, where you will receive basic language classes, take traditional cooking lessons, and even meet Buddhist monks and learn about their customs. Learn more here!

Peru – Kindergarten Assistance

Another wonderful volunteer opportunity with GoEco invites you to Peru, where you will provide support and assistance to kindergarten teachers, and teach English to young children. As a volunteer, you can care for children, help with organizing classes, play games and guide activities, help with hygiene programs such as teeth brushing in the mornings, and create and organize activities to stimulate English language practice. In addition to volunteering, you can take a Spanish class or take part in a Culture Week, where you’ll learn about customs in Northern Peru, learn basic Spanish, try local dishes, and immerse yourself in the culture. Click here to learn more and to register!

A Broader View Volunteers Corp (ABV)

Student and teen volunteer programs with A Broader View Volunteers

Founded in 2007, A Broader View has placed >24,000 volunteers on meaningful adventures worldwide. This US-based nonprofit organization currently hosts 245 different projects for individuals, groups, and students ( high school and college ) in 25 countries throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

With more than $3 million donated to impactful programs since A Broader View’s founding, this organization truly aims to make a positive impact through its partnerships and volunteer placements. Depending on where you’d like to travel and for how long you’d like to stay, volunteer placements start from $820 for your first week – with flexible start dates – and may be tax-deductible for travelers from the United States.

Student Trip

A Broader View offers 10- to 28-day trips for students to visit one of 15 different countries throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa. These trips combine service learning and leadership, allowing you to learn about global development issues, such as poverty or public health, as well as solutions being put forth within the communities you’ll visit.

Through these programs, students and faculty will have the opportunity to develop a curriculum that fits your educational needs, with hands-on volunteering and adventures such as rafting, tours, and hiking incorporated into the trip. 10-day experiences start from $1,400 per student, and include a custom-designed itinerary and curriculum, housing and meals, in-country transport, adventure activities, presentations, in-country support, academic credit opportunities, and more. Learn more and sign up for a student trip at: http://student-trip.abroaderview.org

Costa Rica: Sea Turtle Conservation

Through this program, you’re invited to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica to volunteer for sea turtle protection. As a volunteer, you will be patrolling the beaches at night to look for nesting sea turtles, collecting eggs as they’re laid and moving them to a nearby hatchery, counting and monitoring eggs in the hatchery, releasing baby turtles to the ocean, and much more to help preserve these endangered animals.

Through your work, you’ll help with ongoing projects being undertaken by researchers and marine biologists in Central America, and you’ll even learn a bit about marine biology and conservation along the way. This project starts from two weeks at $1,300, and is open to individual travelers and to groups. Click here to learn more and to sign up: www.abroaderview.org/programs/sea-turtle-conservation/costa-rica-pacific-volunteer

Tanzania: Dance Program

On this project, you are invited to Arusha, Tanzania to develop dance workshops for local schools and orphanages. Dance is just one of the many amazing aspects of the primary education system and culture that you’ll learn about in Tanzania, and you’ll have the wonderful opportunity to volunteer with children, learn about their culture and dances, and teach them about your culture and background as well. You’re invited to stay for one week or longer, starting at $850. This is a truly unforgettable experience, and if you want to have fun, immerse yourself in an African culture, and volunteer with kids, click here: https://www.abroaderview.org/programs/dance/tanzania-dance-projects

Global Vision International (GVI)

Global Vision International (GVI) : GVI is one of our most popular and top-rated programs. GVI offers volunteer opportunities around the world specifically for teenagers aged 15-17. And unlike many other volunteer abroad programs, under 18 participants are not required to travel with a parent / guardian as GVI offers program designed for teens.

Since 1997, GVI has sent nearly 25,000 volunteers around the world and boasts a 95% approval rating from past volunteers. Best of all, GVI offers teens and parents real-time updates from on the ground through its GVI Live system, enabling peace of mind for family and friends when you depart for your trip. Their under 18 volunteer programs include Wildlife Awareness projects in South Africa, Marine Conservation in Mexico, and Volunteer and Adventure Experiences in India , Nepal , Costa Rica , and Thailand .  

Under 18’s Volunteer and Adventure Experience in Costa Rica

One program that’s perfect for teens who want to embark on a service adventure abroad is GVI’s Under 18’s Volunteer and Adventure Experience in Costa Rica .

Designed for travelers 15 to 17 years old, this program offers the opportunity to assist with construction work (renovations, painting, and other light projects) for local schools, plus take part in a guided tour including surfing lessons, hiking, white water rafting, zip lining and rappelling, and much more. Travelers on this program are provided a great level of dedicated support from GVI’s experienced in-country staff, all of whom have a background in mentoring and leading students. Click here to learn more about this adventure!

Under 18’s Volunteer and Adventure Experience in Thailand

Another excellent program for students who want to travel abroad is GVI’s Under 18’s Volunteer and Adventure Experience in Thailand .

Through this program, you’ll have the wonderful opportunity to travel to Phang Nga province, where you will explore tropical jungles and gorgeous beaches, and volunteer on a construction and renovation project to improve a local, non-formal education center. You’ll start the trip with the volunteer project for the first one or two weeks, and from there you’ll take trips to Khao Sok National Park, the beaches of Khao Lak, and then go island-hopping through the southern islands of Thailand. Click here to learn more and to sign up!

Under 18’s Volunteer and Adventure Experience in Fiji

Travel to the Fijian island of Viti Levu and immerse yourself in traditional island life while volunteering on local projects! During your stay, you can help out with lots of different activities, including implementing a clean village project, constructing a recycling drop-off point, carrying out workshops to address waste management and recycling, and much more. During your weekends and free time, you will be able to explore local sites, or even go snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, and much more. Click here to learn more and to sign up!

Under 18s Volunteer and Adventure Experience in South Africa

If you’ve always wanted to visit Africa, GVI’s under-18s experience in South Africa may be the perfect opportunity. On this trip, you’ll visit Cape Town and make a positive impact on local children by constructing and renovating care centers and schools, including basic maintenance, painting, brightening up classrooms with murals, and other tasks. During your trip, you’ll have the wonderful opportunity to visit Boulders Beach and the Silvermine Nature Reserve, try South African braai (BBQ), go shopping, and much more. Sign up here!

What Parents Say – Review from Neil

I would just like to say a very big thank you to you and your team. Steph had a great 2 weeks and has arrived home safe and sound. The professional nature of your team has been exceptional and as parents we really appreciate the care you have taken. It is a big thing to travel so far on your own. However, with GVI’s help and support it has been a trip of a life time that is full of good memories, despite the difficulties in the area the other weekend. I hope she will get the chance to travel with GVI again.

What Volunteers Say – Review from Abi

I just wanted to say thank you for the last two weeks, they have been the most amazing and happiest two weeks of my life, words can’t describe it. I loved everything we did, from all the surveys to listening to the presentations. All of the staff were so supportive, passionate and loving about everything they did with us, they made the simplest tasks enjoyable. Lastly, I can’t thank you and the entire team enough for such a life changing, amazing and unforgettable trip. It has really changed my life. I hope to do another GVI program in the future so hopefully see you soon! But bye for now!

Cross-Cultural Solutions

Teen and high school volunteer opportunities with Cross-Cultural Solutions

Since 1995, Cross-Cultural Solutions has provided high school volunteering programs , international internships, gap year experiences, and volunteer trips in Costa Rica, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, India, Morocco, Peru, Tanzania, and Thailand. Volunteer programs can range from child development, to girls’ and women’s empowerment, to global health. So far, nearly 35,000 travelers have trusted Cross-Cultural Solutions (with a 99% approval rating from past participants), which has some of the highest standards of safety and well-being in the volunteer abroad industry. As an organization dedicated to quality programming, CCS received Special Consultative Status with the United Nations in 2003, has received GreatNonprofits’ top award for the third year in a row, and is accredited by the American Gap Year Association.

Volunteer in Ghana

Cross-Cultural Solutions offers a wonderful opportunity for high school students to volunteer in Ghana . Through this program, you can choose to focus on education, technology, health, sports leadership, or even embark on a global health internship. Placements last one week, two weeks, or one month, and you’ll volunteer alongside other travelers all aged 14 to 18. Click here to learn more about summer volunteering opportunities in Ghana!

Volunteer in India

Based in the Himalayas , this program is a great way to immerse yourself in Indian culture while volunteering on an educational or sports leadership project. If you’re interested in the education program, you will have the chance to provide hands-on tutoring and instruction to local students, or make improvements to libraries and classrooms. If Cross-Cultural Solutions’ sports volunteering program catches your interest, you’ll be able to coordinate sports activities for youth while also building and making improvements to recreational equipment and infrastructure. Learn more here!

Volunteer in Morocco

Another volunteer opportunity perfect for teens and high school students through Cross-Cultural Solutions is their Morocco program , where you will be able to travel for one, two, or four weeks to this beautiful country and help with education, health, technology, or sports leadership activities. CCS also offers a four-week global health internship this summer, where you will have the chance to learn from local health care professionals, visit medical facilities, and much more. Learn more and sign up here!

Raleigh International

Teen and high school volunteer abroad programs with Raleigh International

For more than 30 years, Raleigh International has offered trips for high school students to visit and volunteer in Nepal, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Tanzania. Projects focus on clean water and hygiene, sustainable use of natural resources, and community building, and each of Raleigh’s programs incorporates a youth leadership and development component as a way to engage young volunteers and their counterparts in the countries that they serve. With a commitment to quality and support, Raleigh International helped design and currently holds the BS8848 Safety Standard for organizing and managing visits, fieldwork, expeditions, and adventurous activities outside of the UK – and so far, 400,000 young volunteers have traveled with Raleigh International, with another 800 expected to sign up this year. If you’re looking for a great volunteer experience for your summer or spring break, or a gap year before enrolling in college, Raleigh International offers a wide variety of volunteer experiences with a real impact led by multicultural and multinational teams.

Tanzania Expedition

If you’re looking for a summer break adventure, check out Raleigh International’s Tanzania expedition . On this trip, you will be able to combine volunteering and adventure by helping out with community development and environmental projects, plus picking up wilderness survival skills on a trek to the Southern Highlands. Volunteer work can include planting trees, improving access to clean water, and helping with hygiene awareness events. You also will be able to see animals up close on a trip to Ruaha National Park on this expedition, which lasts five, seven, or 10 weeks. Learn more and sign up here!

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

Global Leadership Adventures teen & high school volunteer abroad programs

One excellent organization that’s perfect for teen and high school travelers is Global Leadership Adventures , which is the top-ranked teen-focused volunteer program on Volunteer Forever. Founded in 2004, Global Leadership Adventures combines community service, hands-on learning, and adventure travel.

As a youth-centered organization, GLA places a great emphasis on safety and support, which you can see outlined in its five-point safety system . And as a forerunner in international service learning, Global Leadership Adventures has a database of nearly 2,000 references willing to vouch for the impact of their programs – in fact, the organization’s co-founder was recognized by President Obama for making a positive impact in Africa. Click here to learn more about under-18s projects with Global Leadership Adventures!

Dominican Republic: Spring Break Service Adventure

If you want to do more with your spring break, check out Global Leadership Adventures’ Spring Break Adventure in the Dominican Republic. Through this program, you’ll volunteer to build schools and community centers, and help with reforestation or water filtration projects, plus have the chance to visit beaches, explore freshwater lagoons and underwater caverns, and much more. This eight-day program costs $1,899, and 2017 dates are now open for registration – click here to learn more .

India: Service in the Himalayas

On this amazing adventure, you’ll immerse yourself in Himalayan culture while volunteering to assist teachers in a daycare center and organizing a summer camp for children and teens.

You’ll also learn about Indian culture, social issues, and much more by speaking with political figures, activists, and local grassroots leaders – and by spending time in a Tibetan refugee town, you’ll have the chance to learn about Tibetan Buddhism, art, and music. During the weekends, you’ll hike to a semi-rural village to learn about their way of life, visit significant places in Tibetan Buddhist history, and even visit the Taj Mahal and the temple of the Dalai Lama. This 21-day program is now open for registration for summer 2017 – click here to learn more !

What Volunteers Say: Review from Elizabeth

Last summer, in between my Sophomore and Junior year of high school, I had the pleasure of traveling to the Dominican Republic. I would strongly recommend this trip to anyone looking to do global community service.

The schools that we made (using bottles for insulation) truly made an impact on me because I felt like I was doing something for a new community! Additionally, we did fun activities like zip lining and snorkeling. This trip did an awesome job combining fun with service.

Additionally, there was not one time during the trip where I felt unsafe. We were always provided with clean water, knowledgeable mentors, and safe transportation. Finally, this program established people who were culturally-aware. My eyes were opened to a new culture and I was enriched with new experiences. Again, I would recommend this to anyone who is thinking about doing on a service trip!

African Impact

Teen and high school volunteer programs with African Impact

Since 2004, African Impact has provided volunteer placements, teach abroad programs, and internships in 12 different countries throughout Africa. To date, more than 12,500 travelers have signed up with African Impact, and another 2,000 are expected to travel this year. A few ways you can help as a volunteer include wildlife conservation, sports coaching, girls’ empowerment, and much more. African Impact has also won multiple awards and garnered recognition from GoAbroad, Imvelo, and the World Travel Awards – and with 24-hour onsite support, you will have the guidance and support needed to make a difference and have fun on your volunteer trip.

High School Group Volunteering

Designed for student groups aged 14 to 18, African Impact’s high school volunteering program lets you take on a service adventure in a safe environment, led by dedicated and knowledgeable staff. Destinations include St. Lucia, South Africa; Livingstone, Zimbabwe; Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa; Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; and Zanzibar, Tanzania. Projects can focus on either wildlife conservation or community support, and are customized to your group. Outside of volunteering, you can go on a safari, watch whales, swim in hot springs, go bungee jumping and much more, depending on where you travel. Learn more and register here!

Volunteering Solutions (VolSol)

Teen and high school volunteer abroad programs with Volunteering Solutions

Volunteering Solutions (VolSol) offers lots of amazing travel opportunities for high schoolers who want to explore the world and make a positive impact through community service. Founded in 2007, VolSol has placed nearly 12,000 volunteers on 122 meaningful projects in 21 countries worldwide. And with a starting fee of just $200, Volunteering Solutions is one of the most affordably-priced volunteer organizations in the world – even offering travel insurance for just $12 per week.

You can find lots of teen, high school, and family volunteering opportunities through VolSol – and the three programs listed below are just a few of the amazing projects you can sign up for that are monitored by VolSol staff, who make sure these trips are safe and provide the very best experience possible for first-time travelers.

Wildlife Conservation in South Africa

If you love animals, VolSol’s wildlife conservation opportunity in South Africa may be the perfect choice for you! For two weeks to two months, you’ll have the chance to work at a wildlife reserve that’s home to Africa’s Big 5 species and many more. While your tasks will depend on what’s needed by the project when you sign up, you may be able to help with lion tracking and monitoring, tree planting and landscaping, elephant sanctuary support, wilderness trail walks and patrols, game counts, and much more.

This program starts from $1,100 for your first two weeks, and is an amazing way to learn about wildlife conservation, enjoy safaris and game drives, and so much more.

Summer Volunteer Program in Thailand

Volunteering Solutions’ Thai volunteer and adventure tour is an incredible way to explore Thailand and experience its culture while helping a local community through volunteer work. You’ll start your trip with a weekend in Bangkok, and after that you’ll travel to Surin, where you’ll learn about Thai history, daily life, and so much more while volunteering at a local child care center. You’ll play games with children, and help with renovating and improving the facility so the children can learn and play in a safe, fun environment – and later during your tour of Surin, you’ll have the chance to volunteer with elephants, visit Khao Yai National Park, and embark on a jungle trek. If you decide to stay for a full month on your Thailand adventure, you’ll spend your final week at the gorgeous beaches of Koh Phangan. Learn more here !

Volunteer Vacation in Nepal

VolSol has several different volunteer vacation options in Nepal , including a language and orientation week, a summer volunteer adventure, an orphanage program, and a teaching placement. VolSol’s summer adventure in Nepal is perfect for high school travelers who want to visit this amazing country in the Himalayas while volunteering with a local community.

This 22-day program starts with an orientation in Kathmandu, where you’ll start your volunteer experience at an orphanage, school, or center for mentally or physically disabled children. As a volunteer, you can provide care and affection, help with basic English lessons, guide the children with basic hygiene practices, and take them out on small excursions. You’ll also take city tours, visit gorgeous and historic temples, embark on a safari, go sightseeing, and so much more. Click here to learn more about volunteering in Nepal!

Reach Out Volunteers

Teen and high school volunteer abroad opportunities with Reach Out Volunteers

Since 2010, Reach Out Volunteers has provided culturally rich and high-impact volunteer programs for travelers who want to make a difference in impoverished communities, help endangered wildlife, and much more. To date, about 3,500 travelers have signed up with Reach Out Volunteers, with an additional 1,000 expected to embark on trips in 2017.

Reach Out Volunteers also prides itself on the sustainability of its programs, with all projects initiated by the communities in which they work, and all programs employing local, skilled laborers to work alongside their volunteers. For teens and high school students 17 years old and younger, Reach Out Volunteers invites you to sign up if you have written permission from a parent or guardian or if you’re traveling with a legal guardian.

Depending on the program you sign up for, Reach Out Volunteers’ program fees start from $1,599 for a two-week trip, and includes airport pick-up and drop-off, ground transport, food, housing, excursions and activities, project materials, educational materials, and much more.

South Africa Volunteering Adventure

If you’re looking for a unique summer vacation, Reach Out Volunteers is offering a month-long South Africa Volunteering Adventure where you’ll be able to volunteer at a local daycare center and at wildlife sanctuaries and parks. Through this program, you’ll help teachers with their lessons and help renovate classrooms at a day care center, and later have the chance to learn about animal conservation, tracking, and much more at sanctuaries and preserves for cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, and other game. In addition to your volunteer work, you’ll be able to go surfing, explore the St. Lucia UNESCO World Heritage Site, go shopping in local markets, visit a Zulu village, and much more. Click here to learn more and to sign up: https://www.rovolunteers.com/Volunteer-Africa-Adventure.htm

Volunteer Machu Picchu Inca Trail

If you’re looking for a shorter placement, check out Reach Out Volunteers’ volunteer program in Peru , where you’ll have the wonderful opportunity to visit Cusco, Machu Picchu, and much more. As a volunteer, you’ll work with a village to build greenhouses, which help to extend the short growing season to add to the community’s food supply – a vital service for families whose children are at risk of malnutrition. During your stay in Peru, you’ll take cooking lessons, go zip lining, hike Machu Picchu, and lots more. To apply, please visit: https://www.rovolunteers.com/Volunteer-Machu-Picchu-Inca-Trail.htm

Volunteering Journeys

Teen and high school volunteer abroad with Volunteering Journeys

Volunteering Journeys got its start in 2014, and is growing quickly, offering volunteer abroad placements in India, Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Bali.

Volunteering Journeys’ founding story informs and inspires the work carried out by its team and travelers every day: after quitting her job as an investment banker, founder Ridhi Patel took time off in 2009 to volunteer for three months in South Africa. This life-changing experience encouraged her to build a volunteer organization in her home country of India, where she could bring together travelers who wanted to explore the world, give back to their host communities, and learn more about themselves along the way.

Volunteering Journeys prides itself on personal attention and tailored experiences for all participants, as well as high-quality service and placements that actively engage scientists, doctors, teachers, and community leaders. Right now, Volunteering Journeys is offering many different opportunities for teen and high school travelers, including family volunteer holidays, summer volunteer programs, and teen-friendly placements on many different projects in Africa and Asia.

Construction Projects for Group Volunteering

One excellent volunteer opportunity for high school groups is Volunteering Journeys’ construction program in India, Nepal, or Thailand. The purpose of these programs is to build better homes and lives for communities in need, whether it’s through rebuilding houses, churches, schools, day care centers, or other structures. From two-week house building programs in Thailand, to earthquake reconstruction in Nepal, to school construction and renovation in India, there’s lots of opportunity for you to make a positive impact no matter your age. Learn more and sign up here !

Sea Turtle Conservation in Sri Lanka

Another volunteer opportunity you should definitely check out is Volunteering Journeys’ sea turtle program in Sri Lanka . This program focuses on rehabilitating endangered sea turtles, including green turtles, hawksbills, loggerheads, leatherbacks, and the olive ridley turtle. Perfect for volunteers of all ages, this program invites you to work alongside marine biologists and conservationists to collect data and help with vital research through marine life monitoring, safeguarding eggs, beach cleanup, and releasing hatchlings into the wild. Learn more and sign up here!

Winter, Spring, and Summer Volunteering in India

If you’re planning a winter, spring, or summer break abroad, Volunteering Journeys’ winter and summer volunteering program in India should be on your radar. For three weeks, you will have the chance to pursue an incredible adventure where you’ll visit amazing sites in India, volunteer with a community in need, and learn about the cultures of this country. You’ll spend your first two weeks in Kerala, where you’ll volunteer in one of three different programs: English teaching, working with disabled children, or supporting a women’s empowerment initiative, all of which contribute to life skills development and self-confidence for the people you’ll work with. During your third week, you’ll go on a Golden Triangle tour of North India, where you will visit Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, including a stop at the Taj Mahal, and much more. Click here to learn more and to sign up!

Global Volunteers

Teen and high school volunteer projects with Global Volunteers

Founded in 1984, Global Volunteers invites travelers – including high school and college groups – to embark on volunteer vacations and teach abroad placements in 17 countries around the world. Global Volunteers truly makes a difference in the 200 communities in which they work: in 1999, they were granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations, and in 2008 formalized a relationship with UNICEF.

Global Volunteers also emphasizes safety on all of their projects, with CPR and first aid certification provided to team leaders, emergency medical evacuation insurance provided for volunteers serving outside of the US, and emergency contact available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Depending on where you’d like to go, Global Volunteers’ placements start from $1,045 for your first week abroad.

Costa Rica Volunteer Program

On this program, Global Volunteers invites school groups to take on service-learning and volunteer projects in Costa Rica . Through a partnership with the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, your group can help with maintenance and development of the reserve while learning about organic farming, rural tourism, conservation, and gastronomy. During your weekends and free time, you’ll be able to take Spanish lessons, learn Costa Rican history and culture, go horseback riding, and much more. Learn more and sign up at: https://globalvolunteers.org/costa-rica

Greece Volunteer Program

If you want to visit Europe, check out Global Volunteers’ Greece volunteer program , where your high school or college group can teach conversational English to local students, encourage young adults with special needs, or support children who have been displaced from their homes.

Along with your volunteer experience, you’ll be able to participate in local Cretan dance and music, learn raki making, and truly immerse yourself in the culture while learning some basic Greek language, learning about customs, and much more. Volunteer placements in Greece are customizable to your group’s schedule and goals so you can gain the most from your experience. Learn more and sign up at: https://globalvolunteers.org/greece

Cuba Volunteer Program

Global Volunteers also is offering an amazing opportunity to volunteer in Cuba , where you’ll travel to Havana, Ciego de Ávila, or Sancti Spíritus to work alongside community partners to practice conversational English, tend community gardens, improve local buildings, help women with sewing and other crafts, and much more. You’re invited to sign up for one week or longer (starting at $2,595), and in between project work, you’ll have the chance to engage in people-to-people cultural and educational exchange activities.

St. Lucia Volunteer Program

On Global Volunteers’ St. Lucia volunteer program , you’ll support children who are facing challenges in nutrition, healthcare, and education. In partnership with local schools and community organizations, you’ll provide maternal and infant support, present childcare workshops to parents, help with early childhood education, teach health and hygiene lessons, assist with building repair and maintenance projects, tend school gardens, and much more. This project starts from one week at $2,695, with family and group opportunities available as well.

Rustic Pathways

Teen and high school volunteer abroad programs with Rustic Pathways

Since 1983, Rustic Pathways has provided adventurous and meaningful student trips that combine education, travel, and philanthropy. With programs available in Australia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Nepal, and beyond, Rustic Pathways brings decades of experience from on-the-ground staff, unparalleled commitment to safety, and a dedication to making travel affordable – offering more than 100 scholarships each year. With 8,000 travelers expected to embark on trips this year, and with recognition as WYSTC’s 2015 Best Youth Tour Operator, Rustic Pathways is an excellent organization to check out if you’re still in high school, but still want to explore the world.

Key Club Trips Abroad

Rustic Pathways has partnered with Key Club to provide one-of-a-kind adventures for students who want to become leaders in their schools and communities. These trips can be customized to your individual club, and you’re invited to choose from any of Rustic Pathways’ many different programs spanning 19 countries around the world. Whatever trip you choose, you’ll build stronger friendships, gain new skills, explore vibrant cultures, and so much more. Click here to get started!

Language Enthusiast Trips Abroad

Want to learn a new language outside of the classroom? Check out Rustic Pathways language immersion programs in China and Costa Rica ! Designed for students aged 14 to 18, these trips each last two weeks and let you learn about the country’s culture by living with a host family and taking language lessons from a native speaker. You also will be able to embark on adventure tours, like zip lining in the Costa Rican jungle or learning kung fu in Shanghai. Learn more about Rustic Pathways’ language immersion trips here!

OTHER PROGRAMS TO CONSIDER

International Student Volunteers (ISV): ISV also has a five-star rating at Volunteer Forever, with sustainable development and conservation programs offered worldwide. University students may be eligible for academic credit for participating as well. Learn more and read reviews here .

Beyond Student Travel : With programs in China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Fiji, Panama, and Zambia, Beyond Student Travel offers a wide variety of youth volunteer abroad projects for high school students wanting to volunteer and see the world. Most projects last two to three weeks, and incorporate service learning, career building, language learning, and leadership. Click here to learn more.

Walking Tree Travel : Walking Tree offers internships, alternative breaks, and other volunteer projects in English teaching, environment, community development , and lots more in a dozen countries. With a mission to inspire individuals to become global citizens and take an interest in the world around them, Walking Tree Travel provides trips geared towards volunteering abroad for high school students that actively engage travelers within their host communities. Click here to read more.

Envoys : With volunteer and study opportunities for middle- and high-schoolers, Envoys blends education, research, and international travel for a one-of-a-kind learning experience. Projects range from environment, to ecotourism, to community development , and beyond. Learn more about Envoys here .

Amizade: Amizade offers service learning, volunteer, and skills-based programs worldwide for teens and young adults. While Amizade’s service learning projects are available only at the university level, alternative spring breaks and high school service trips, and other volunteer opportunities are available to teens. Learn more here .

As you can see, there are tons of great volunteer abroad opportunities outside of the Peace Corps (which requires participants to be 18 and older) that are  available fto younger volunteers—they’re an excellent way for your teen to learn more about the world, build incredibly useful skills, and work with a community program that’s tackling local issues, all while providing an adventure of a lifetime. And as with any volunteer abroad project (perhaps even more so in this case), it’s very important to take your time and do your homework to find an organization that has appropriate placements for students who can contribute the very best they can to a great cause.

Big heart, but little wallet? Check out our list of  affordable volunteer organizations . 

P.S. If you’re still looking for a volunteer opportunity, check out our list of best volunteer abroad programs and recommended volunteer projects in Africa , Central America , and Thailand . You can also read about 7  Great Medical and Veterinary Volunteer Abroad Projects , 10 Dental Volunteer Abroad Program and Medical Mission Tips for Pre Dental Students , and nursing volunteer abroad projects for students and nurse professionals . Or, if medical volunteer projects aren’t for you, be sure to read about our sports and coaching volunteer abroad , wildlife conservation and veterinary abroad, teach abroad , and intern abroad programs. Lastly, if you’re under 18, you may be interested in a teen volunteer abroad  program from one of our many great partners. 

Volunteer Abroad Projects for TeenagersSarah Vandenberg has been a volunteer travel researcher and consultant since 2005, and has volunteered throughout Central America and the Caribbean. She’s currently based in Florida, where she runs a communications firm as well as her travel blog, Frayed Passport.

Have you found your perfect teen volunteer abroad program? Click the button below to launch your fundraising campaign!

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Sol Garcia

January 17, 2018

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Isla Urbana provides volunteer opportunities in Mexico City that teaches High School students about their work with rainwater harvesting and issues related to water scarcity. Students help install rainwater harvesting systems, interviews with the community, attend a workshop by employees and participate in cultural activities and visit tourist locations. More information at [email protected]

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51 Best High School Volunteer Abroad Programs and Opportunities for 2018-2019

Views: 31470

51 best highschool volunteering

Are you a high school student looking for the best volunteer abroad experiences ?

In this article, we have examined hundreds of high school programs and selected the top performers based on their history, online reviews, and programs opportunities. We recommend you volunteer abroad at one of these 51 amazing high school volunteer abroad programs . With opportunities all over the world , students as young as 16 years old can unravel their international persona and explore a world unlike their own.

No matter your motivation, volunteering abroad in high school uniquely sets students apart from their peers. Whether you decide to study near the Louvre or tend to elephants in Africa, these programs will not only provide you a leg up when applying to jobs, schools and colleges, but will undoubtedly enrich your life.

Read through the programs below to decide which program is for you. Life abroad is just a click away!

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Rustic Pathways

Rustic Pathways provides some of the world’s best volunteer abroad programs for high school students. With core values such as empathy, humility and independence, Rustic Pathways focuses on combining travel and philanthropy to foster sustainable development in the local communities their volunteer programs visit. In just under 5 years of business, Rustic Pathways already offers opportunities in over 18 destinations.

Rustic Pathway High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Island Survival

Complete mental and physical challenges while marooned on a deserted island. You will learn essential survival skills as well as enjoy a beautiful island paradise.  

African Wildlife Conservation

Raise awareness volunteering abroad and protect the Gombe National park in Tanzania. Sample vegetation, learn Swahili and plant trees with fellow biologists.

The Cambodia Children’s Project:

For 18 days, join forces with the BSDA in Phnom Penh to empower local youth community members. Help with infrastructure projects and at schools care centers.

Rustic Pathways Student Volunteer  Reviews:

Past participants can’t compliment Rustic Pathways enough! Their high school volunteer programs abroad offer top quality experiences around the world. Participants love their attentive staff and rare cultural opportunities. Here’s what one had to say:

This was without a doubt the most amazing thing I have ever done. An incredible adventure despite failing to make the summit. I would highly recommend this program to anyone with an adventurous spirit who is willing to put in the effort to train and go without a shower for a week. This trip changed my life and I continue to reflect on it each and every day.

By – Sarah Petrides

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IFRE Volunteers:

51 best highschool volunteering- IFRE volunteers

More than 20,000 volunteers and counting have journeyed to 18 different countries to assist with over 200 volunteer abroad programs for high school students. IFRE values affordability and more importantly value. They ensure life changing experiences with unique local community projects and cultural immersion opportunities.

IFRE High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Volunteer Abroad:

High school students volunteer abroad in one of 20 countries for anytime between 1-12 weeks. All programs include language learning programs.

Internship with IFRE:

Work as an intern across 18 countries in the world to boost your academic and experiential resume. Receive comfortable accommodations, tasty food and professional support.

Wildlife Volunteering :

Work with animals such as lions, hippos and elephants to promote wildlife conservation efforts across the globe.

IFRE Student Volunteer Reviews:

With a 98% satisfaction rate, volunteers love IRFE abroad’s high school programs: Each international opportunity boasts an extremely affordable price, a safe environment, and an enriching experience. Go online to check out why so many before you have chosen to volunteer with IFRE Volunteers.

I volunteered in the Himilayas and it was AAAAMMMMMAAAZZZZZIIINNNGGGG. Staff gave me excellent support in preparation for my trip and the coordinator was great. I spent time in the monastery teaching English to Buddhists. However, they were more interested in science and mathematics. The scenery was amazing and seeing Mt. Everest from base camp was inspiring.

Thanks again for the great experience IFRE.

By – Daniel

Global Crossroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- Global Crossroad

Created in 2003, Global Crossroad has already helped over 18,000 high school volunteers experience the time of their lives in one of 18 countries around the world. Global Crossroads places volunteers in local communities where they live with host families, re-establish community norms and promote the well-being and success of orphaned, underprivileged and struggling orphans, children and families.

Global Crossroad High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Summer Escape:

For 4 exciting weeks, travel to Costa Rica, Kenya, Tanzania, Nepal, India or Peru for a unique cultural language and communal immersion project.

Volunteer in Himalayan Trekking:

Enjoy the rare opportunity abroad to explore the angelic land known as the “Himalayan Kingdom.” Choose from a host of opportunities in and around the Himalayan Mountain Range.

Internship Abroad :

With 11 possible destinations and programs ranging from 2-12 weeks long, high school students volunteering abroad can intern in practically any field they desire.

Global Crossroad Student Volunteer Reviews:

With student internship programs across the world, past participants rate Global Crossroad with a 93% satisfaction rate. Their programs adopt a philosophy centralized on providing each participant with an individualized, travel heavy and culturally rich experience. Check out what one participant had to say about Global Crossroad volunteer program:

When I signed up for my 12-year old son, 16-year old daughter, and I to volunteer in Costa Rica for February school vacation week, I hoped that we would have fun, meet new people, study Spanish, enjoy warm weather, and give back. We got all that and so much more. The orphanage was wonderful. The nuns and workers were fabulous caretakers. We loved how the older girls helped take care of the younger children and how each of the houses were organized like families. We all really enjoyed studying Spanish every night and then putting it into practice with the kids, our volunteer home host, and the orphanage workers every day. The food at our volunteer home was yummy and it was nice to be in a "real" neighborhood and not a touristy location.

By – Julie

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Global Vision International:

51 best highschool volunteering- gvi

With over 15 years of experience, Global Vision International provides high school volunteers abroad over 450 opportunities across 25 different countries. To date, more than 25,000 volunteers have joined Global Vision International because their programs focus on teaching participants the skills they need to know in order to change the world for the better.

Global Vision High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Volunteer Projects:

Volunteer abroad for one week or up to a year in one of 12 different countries. Each program offers hands-on experience, practical skill acquisition and university credit.

Under 18 Volunteering:

GVI offers some of the only programs in the world for 18 and under high school students hoping to volunteer abroad and set themselves apart from the rest when applying to jobs and universities.

Teach Abroad:

With their homebase in Thailand, GVI has provided students paid teaching placements since 2007. Receive 24 hour support and international partnerships.

GVI Student Volunteer Reviews:

Global Vision International teaches thousands of volunteers and interns every year the skills they need to succeed and change the world. Past participants praise the company’s constant support, noble values and lasting project impacts. Hop online to explore their 72% satisfaction rate.

I came on this trip worried that would have trouble making friends or feeling left out of the group. This was not so. The staff and the others on the trip were amazing, inclusive and extremely friendly and kind. The people on this trip now feel like family. Meeting the kids and playing with them while volunteering was a great experience. When my group started on painting the room we were told it was going to be difficult, so seeing the finished product was very fulfilling. Overall, this trip really has been one of the highlights of my life so far. From the people, to the culture, religion, staff , views, environment, just everything was amazing. Sorry if my thought are jumbled. This trip was amazing.

By – Gisele Chu

CIS Abroad:

CIS Abroad offers some of the best programs abroad for high school students primarily because of their loyalty to their seven core values: passion, fun, cultural awareness, being helpful, change, teamwork and good ideas. Since its inception in 2010, these values have propelled CIS Abroad above its competition and certified the company as an internationally award winning agency with programs in 21 countries.

CIS Abroad High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Summer Abroad:

From photography in Australia to healthcare professions in Costa Rica, enjoy an extensive list of affordable, volunteer abroad opportunities around the world.

January Abroad:

With programs across every continent, learn a language, pursue your major or enjoy an elective anywhere you want. January Abroad offers the perfect cultural vacation for you.

CIS Abroad Student Volunteer Reviews:

Around the clock support, phenomenal accommodations and amazing study abroad groups ensure an amazing experience with CIS Abroad. Participants love the personal development and individualized programs that CIS Abroad offers. Check online to read through over 1000 reviews which carry an 84% satisfaction rate.

My experience with the program empowered me to go out into the world and live bravely. Through this journey, I was pushed out of my comfort zone and discovered I was capable of so much more than I dared to believe. This program is the perfect blend of adventure, cultural learning, and fun. I am so extremely lucky to have been a part of it.

By – erindegeer

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SPI Study Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- SPI

Founded in France, SPI Study Abroad has over 30 years of experience organizing influential, impactful and life changing study abroad programs for high-school students. SPI primarily focuses on granting students the ability to return home with a heightened sense for international sustainability and acceptance. International programs are offered in 5 different countries.

SPI High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

High School Language Immersion and Global Leadership Programs:

Choose from Spanish, French, Mandarin and Italian immersion programs in countries across the world. Programs range from a month long to all summer.

SPI Student Volunteer Reviews:

All SPI high school volunteer programs around the world include five elements:  total language immersion, quality on-site leadership and staff, college credit, homestay experience and cultural excursion opportunities. It is for these values that participants always praise the organized structure and interesting travel opportunities. Go online to read through 52 reviews with a 94% satisfaction rate. One has been featured for you here:

The trip was interesting and fun right off the bat. Once I got off the plain staff was welcoming and accommodating in every way. I loved volunteering where we got to help make houses look new again my adding concrete, painting, and sanding. Out activities were places around Flamingo Beach where I got to learn how to surf, paddleboard, and snorkel since those opportunities aren’t present here in Michigan so it created a way to do things I’d never thought I’d have the chance to do. I also liked the amount of freedom when we got to walk around town shopping and exploring. It gave a since of adventure that was guided by the curiosity of my new friends and I.

By – James

Art History Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- Art History

One of the oldest companies in the business, Art History Abroad was founded in the year 1983 in the heart of Italy. The volunteer abroad company organizes summer courses, family trips, gap year courses, adult tailored projects, school visits and London walks. With only 300 participants each year, Art History Abroad ensures a personalized experience guaranteed to change your life.

Art History Abroad High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Summer Holiday Courses:

Art History Abroad offers one northern Italy course in Florence, Venice and Rome, one southern Italy course in Sicily, Naples and Rome, and one month long, combined course.

90 Semester Course:

This 90 day Semester course weaves from London through Paris and to Italy. Learn an unparalleled amount about European history, customs and classical traditions.

Art History Abroad Student Volunteer Reviews:

With opportunities to study art, architecture and European culture from anywhere between 2-12 weeks, Art History Abroad offers some of the most educating and invigorating experiences for high school students abroad. Go online to explore why past participants praise Art History Abroad’s expert tutors, friendly atmosphere and profound discussions.

My four weeks in Italy this summer were among the best weeks of my life, and by far the best summer I’ve spent abroad. As an international student living in Tokyo, my summers typically consist of quite lengthy trips, and wanting to get the most out of a very long (12 hour) trip to Italy, I took part in the combined Northern and Southern Italy courses, spending two weeks in each respectively, and a grand total of just under four weeks. As a senior in high school, the trips I’ve participated in in the past have clearly catered to a more ‘high school’ group of students. AHA, on the other hand, is another story completely. If I was back at Christmas time last year, deciding what to do for the upcoming summer, I wouldn’t only not change my choice, I would be insisting that I go on this course. And I would do it again in a heartbeat.

By – Lauren

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SOL Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- SOL

Established in Costa Rica in 2005, SOL Abroad aims to personalize every volunteer experience they offer. Pick from a host of Spanish language classes, rare travel excursions and cultural activities in one of 5 different countries. Each study abroad program for high school students stresses cross-cultural understanding and international education with foreign affairs.

SOL Abroad High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Study Abroad in Costa Rica:

The Costa Rica adventure takes participants through the vibrant cloud forests and coastlines of Costa Rica and into local communities. Study in the prestigious Atenas institute.

Study Abroad in Spain:

Study in Grenada’s internationally accredited university and enjoy the tight streets of the Albaycin, the labyrinth of the Alhambra and the caves of the Gypsies.

Study Abroad in Mexico:

Immerse yourself in the indigenous city of Oaxaca, Mexico: a beautiful area surrounded by singing mountains and colonial villages.

Sol Abroad Student Volunteer Reviews:

Sol Abroad strives to provide its participants with highly affordable and accessible international opportunities. Unlike many other companies, they keep their sights focused on only five countries ensuring that your experience is well thought out, educational and enjoyable. Go online to read through hundreds of reviews with a 97% satisfaction rate.

My study abroad experience has been by far one of the best things that has happen to me. I have learned so much about the culture, history and social life of Spain. In my stay I felt like I was part of the community. This program allowed me to see the world with a different perspective and mind set. The different activities the program offered allowed me to explore the country in a fun and creative way.

By – Mariana

API Study Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- API

Nearly half a decade old, API Study Abroad offers programs in 9 different destinations across the world. By placing high school volunteers abroad in a uniquely tailored course, API Study Abroad challenges its volunteers in a variety of academic, professional and personal ways. On site assistance ensures a safe and exciting experience no matter which country you find yourself located in.

API High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Intern Abroad :

Learn a new language, gain self-confidence, garner invaluable skills and, most importantly, enjoy the rare opportunity to work in countless different foreign countries.

Volunteer Abroad:

Choose the perfect time to travel and volunteer abroad as a means to both save money and immerse yourself in a whole new world.

Teach Abroad:

API believes that teaching abroad should first serve as a cultural exchange. For this reason, participants not only teach but learn from local community members and teachers.

API Student Volunteer Reviews:

API stays true to their mission goal of offering volunteers and interns enriching academic and cultural experiences that will not only foster self-confidence and growth but also global understanding and openness. Go online to read over two hundred reviews and a 94% satisfaction rate. Here’s what one past participant had to say about API High School Volunteer Abroad Program:

It was the best experience of my life! You grow up and learn so many things about yourself and the world. Navigating a new country and others that you visit is not only fun and challenging but also prepares you for life as a professional. The housing was amazing with a wonderful view, also having Croatian students just down the street was great benefit! The college was in a beautiful monastery rich with history. A unique dynamic that I don’t get at my college at home is that you can walk around this ancient walled city and find a unknown locals cafe for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I think the most fun part was learning the culture and some of the language, there also comes benefits with learning the language as many restaurants and bars give discounts if you order in Croatian.

By – Isaac

CIEE Study Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- CIEE

CIEE is a very reputed company offering various study abroad programs to people globally. Not only is it recognized for its A-one study abroad programs, but also internship abroad, gap year and volunteer abroad, and intensive learning programs. The company came into existence in 1947, but started sending students overseas only after 1960.

CIEE High School Volunteer and Study Abroad Programs:

Internship Abroad: Internship abroad is one of the best ways to enhance your intellectual development. It is the best way for students to experience in a practical format what they have learned theoretically. CIEE offers its students with the summer internships through various global institutes. The time duration is 8 weeks and full time. This way, students get a sense of what it is like to have professional career in their chosen field. The students are placed for internships in different cities and countries.

High School Abroad: High school abroad is another fabulous program offered by CIEE. Get a placement in CIEE high school abroad program and engage in new programs and learn about new cultures while you get the best life lessons all by your own.

Gap Year Abroad: A Gap Year away is the most needed vacation for students to break free from college and hectic assignments. CIEE offers you the opportunity to escape college for a brief period of time through gap year abroad program and get a new perspective on life at your own pace.

CIEE Study Abroad Reviews:

Being a leading internship opportunity and study abroad provider in 45 countries across the world, CIEE Study Abroad strives to offer its volunteers and interns once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage in something that they are passionate about while getting much-needed expertise on it to enhance their future career.  Visit its website to go through scores of fabulous reviews written by past volunteers for this very reputed company which boasts of a high customer satisfaction rate.

The program was very rigorous while still worthwhile. It allowed us to experience and learn about things that are incredibly rare in the United States. The staff were incredibly supportive while still giving us room to learn and develop on our own in a country that in without equal in terms of environmental beauty and sustainability. The program allowed us learn about the connection between humans and the environment so that we could add that to our educations back home.
By- Chris

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Projects Abroad:

With over 20 years of experience, Projects Abroad holds offices all around the world and utilizes more than 600 expert staff members to organize volunteering abroad programs for high school students across the nation. Choose to volunteer with a school, orphanage or hospital in one of 32 countries.

Projects Abroad High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Volunteer Abroad:

Projects Abroad sends more than 10,000 high school volunteers each year to engage in memorable service opportunities on five different continents. Participate for as little or as long as you want.

Intern Abroad:

Acquire individualized, real world experience while interning in one of 25 countries around the world. Each program places interns in a local community with the purpose of creating lasting impact.

Global Gap Year:

The Global Gap Year program is an intense 27-week program in which volunteers span three continents and five different countries while participating in twelve different study abroad programs.  

Projects Abroad Student Volunteer Reviews:

Considered a globally accredited organization, Projects abroad sculpts its programs for students hoping to take a break from studying. Most participants note their enjoyable and energetic programs that stress cultural excursions and interaction. Go online to read through 300+ reviews which boast a 93% satisfaction rate.

I was assigned to work in a clinical orphanage in Mongolia while I was staying there for four weeks. The projects abroad staff were amazingly supportive, and they really helped me adjust to both my home and work life. They also organized many activities with the other volunteers, and I was able to become close with people from many different cultures, not just Mongolian culture. I absolutely fell in love with Mongolia and it’s people. I wish I could go back and do it all over again!

By – Isobel

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Youth for Understanding:

51 best highschool volunteering- youth for understanding

Youth for Understanding, or yfu, has served over 260,000 thousand students, host families and zealous travelers, offering them the opportunity to volunteer abroad. Considered one of the oldest companies with 60 years of experience, each program YFU offers maintains a clear structure which is filled with multicultural exchanges, excursions and travel opportunities.

Youth for Understanding High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Study Abroad:

YFU realizes that studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity so they tailor each experience to each participant. Join 55 partner organizations around the world to study what you want, when you want.

Volunteer:

YUF’s Volunteer abroad programs for high school students assimilate participants into local cultures and teach invaluable career, leadership, planning and communication skills.

Youth for Understanding Student Volunteer Reviews:

Past volunteers constantly complement YUF’s ability to place participants in key roles in foreign companies and businesses. With opportunities in over 40 countries, every high school volunteer can find the perfect program that suits their interests. Look online to discover why YUF volunteers give them a 98% satisfaction rate.

When I was 14, I received a full scholarship (the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship) to study abroad in Germany my sophomore year of high school.

Wow, was that an amazing year.

My exchange year made me stand out from my classmates and presented me with myriad opportunities and ideas (that still keep coming!) that would not have been possible without my exchange experience.I’ll end with this cheesy, but important note: Do yourself, your resume, and your future and big favor and study abroad today. 😉

By – Miranda

Atlas Workshops:

51 best highschool volunteering-Atlas Workshops

Atlas Workshops and Design trips adopt an avant-garde approach to volunteering abroad. They are the first company to base their trips on problem solving and modern design, and thus ensure that each trip they offer educates, includes field research, and prepares students to become global innovators in the years to come.

Atlas Workshops High School Volunteer Abroad Programs:

Global Innovators – High School Trips:

The Global Innovator program embraces elements of design, research, entrepreneurship and engineering. Choose from programs ranging from the Taj Mahal to Mayors in Croatia.

Atlas Workshops Student Volunteer Reviews:

Atlas Workshops focuses only on providing workshops, trips and excursions for high school students abroad every summer. Over the years they have perfectly sculpted their trips to provide meaningful yet enjoyable experiences. Go online to see why so many participants note just how helpful Atlas Workshops is in teaching life skills such as business relations, engineering and international affairs.

I traveled with Atlas Workshops last summer on their Global Innovators Scandinavia trip. We, in the truest sense, explored Sweden and Denmark, learning about Swede and Dane culture and their approach to public transportation.

I came in expecting a strictly academic endeavor, but got much more. I experienced something personal, wild, adventurous, radically different, and the greatest fun with the best of companions.

The Atlas guides are brilliant. Excellent (hands off) instruction and stellar company. You’ll want to be friends long after the summer’s end!

This experience was incredibly valuable and helped me grow as an individual. See you next summer!

By – Richard

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ISA High School Abroad:

For nearly twenty years, ISA High School Abroad has specialized in providing top-echelon volunteer abroad opportunities for high school students. They offer programs in seven different countries and believe that international travel and language learning are fundamental to not only bettering this world but improving self-confidence and personal growth. ISA works with foreign university to provide students an exceptional education and cultural experience.

ISA High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Volunteer Programs:

ISA offers volunteer opportunities for high school students in Costa Rica and Peru. Students may reconstruct schools, build playgrounds, partake in social work and community outreach or educate.

Study Abroad Programs:

These programs are primarily designed for high school graduates yearning to take a gap year or study abroad before their freshman year of college. Students can study for as long as one year.

ISA Student Volunteer Reviews:

With programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Europe and the Pacific, ISA brings volunteer abroad opportunities for all high school students. Past participants praise the company’s steadfast customer support, comprehensive structure and amazing travel opportunities. Check online and explore their 95% customer satisfaction rate.

My semester in Prague was easily the best 4 months of my life. Words can’t even explain the experiences I had while traveling the world. I made so many memories and friendships that are sure to last me a lifetime. Prague was the perfect place to study abroad. With its cheap prices, beautiful architecture, amazing food, endless beer gardens, and hidden gems found throughout the city, it became a home to me. I will without a doubt be back someday, and I am so thankful that I had this opportunity of a lifetime.

By – Devin

National Outdoor Leadership School:

51 best highschool volunteering- National Outdoor Leadership

The National Outdoor Leadership School, or NOLS for short, admits students of all ages to participate in the world’s most remote wilderness adventures. Founded in 1965, NOLS knows exactly how to transfer the information volunteers need. Learn valuable technical outdoor, survival, leadership and environmental skills. If you are looking for a more rugged program, NOLS is your best bet.

NOLS High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Fall Semester in Baja:

Travel over 300 miles in 80 days to explore the seas of Baja California’s stunning backcountry terrain. Snorkel, climb, kayak and sail as you learn about the history and culture of the remote area.

Wilderness Horse packing:

Begin at the NOLS Three Peaks Ranch in Wyoming and, with a small team, journey out into the flourishing backcountry. Traverse through the Red Desert, the Absaroka and the Wind River Ranges.

Semester in East Africa:

Backpack, do some mountaineering and journey from Kilmanjaro to Lake Natron and the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Enjoy safaris and cultural excursions along the adventure.

NOLS Student Volunteer Reviews :

NOLS is particularly unique in the range and focus of the high school volunteers abroad programs they offer. Reviewers often note how NOLS places volunteers in authentic situations where they must implore outdoor, leadership and environmental skills in order to survive and succeed in their mission. In 32 reviews, NOLS sports a stunning 99% satisfaction rate.

My NOLS  experience just ended a few days ago. To explain what I learned, how I evolved as a person, and how I was impacted by my NOLS course would end up being a drastic understatement. It is something you have to experience to fully understand. My confidence, my leadership abilities, my relations with others, my knowledge about the culture and environment, my greater appreciation for life, my connection with nature, my deeper perspective of life, and numerous more changed or evolved insights have over a span of three months have helped grow me as a person.

I took this course during the first semester of my freshman year of college. I would 100 percent recommend this course for graduated high school students. I definitely was not ready for college yet and now I feel well beyond ready.

By – Sarah

The Experiment in National Living:

51 best highschool volunteering- The Experiment in National Living

The Experiment in International Living bases its foundation around college prep skills, language acquisition, cultural knowledge and improving sensitivity towards diverse communities and regions. With over 80 years of exceptional performance, The Experiment offers volunteers homestays, thematic programs, incredible staff, small groups and safe communities.

The Experiment High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Volunteer or Intern Abroad:

Explore artistic, cultural, political and many more opportunities across the globe. Possible programs include photojournalism in Argentina and contemporary culture research in China.

The Experiment Student Volunteer Reviews:

The Experiment grants high school students countless abroad opportunities ranging from 3-5 weeks in duration. Recent volunteers compliment the rich program content, local hands-on experience and exposure to a new culture and set of ideologies. Follow the link to see why The Experiment holds a 94% satisfaction rate.

As a student who has never ventured outside of the United States, I can say that without a doubt Experiment in International Living’s overseas programs have provided me with one of the most inspirational and educational experiences of my life. Each of the different programs focuses on a theme that is well integrated throughout the program alongside exciting activities, informational tours, and life changing home stays. From the moment I arrived at the airport, the group leaders and members all worked to create a safe community among themselves and allowed the other high school students and me to connect not only with each other but with people of different languages and cultures. The trips are detailed so that in everything you do you are enlightened about the world you are in and the ways of living of other people. Whether you are doing a home stay or simply participating in a tour, you are constantly learning something new while also having fun experiencing the adventure with other students around your age. I strongly recommend Experiment in International Living’s programs to any high school student looking to widen their knowledge of the world outside of the United States and truly come to understand just how similar they are to young adults their age in other countries.

By – Omar Hargrove

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Maximo Nivel:

Maximo Nivel offers high school students yearning to volunteer abroad opportunities in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru. Opportunities range anywhere from semesters abroad to intense Spanish Immersion programs and include unmatched staff support, first-rate facilities, and amazing travel excursions.

Maximo Nivel High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Volunteer Abroad:

Through the California State University of Monterey Bay, earn college credit while volunteering with local organizations in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru. Programs are affordable and hands-on.

Spanish Immersion:

Spanish Immersion programs through Maximo Nivel include university credit, friendly facilities, free cultural excursions and tours, private classes and more.

International Internships:

For four or eight weeks, earn practical work experience, sculpt your own final project, complete weekly journals and gain access to another world of business, negotiations and commerce.

Maximo Nivel Student Volunteer Reviews:

Maximo Nivel ensures quality high school volunteer abroad material as their programs are all internationally accredited and recognized. A supportive staff, exceptional facilities and a commitment to customer service promise a complete and fulfilling experience. Read the review below and discover why Maximo Nivel boasts a near perfect customer satisfaction rate of 99%.

Through Maximo Nivel, I was able to work on my Spanish language skills with awesome lessons from instructors. They personalized their lessons on areas that I wanted to improve on and I feel that I am much better at Spanish because of it. I also had the opportunity to teach English to adults, which I really enjoyed doing. All of the staff supported me throughout the whole process, where I felt comfortable asking anyone for questions or help My homestay was also a very memorable and positive experience and am so thankful for everything.

By – Lucas

Cross Cultural Solutions:

More than 35,000 volunteers have teamed up with Cross Cultural Solutions to enjoy one of their amazing programs abroad. CS sculpts their international volunteer opportunities around the needs of local communities, thus ensuring a perfect focus and lasting impact. Interns carry out their stay in a ‘home base’ and must join cultural immersion activities every day.

Cross Cultural High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Volunteer Abroad:

Engage in meaningful projects aimed to address certain community needs. Work alongside locals and enjoy a rare look into a new culture, lifestyle and value system.

Culture and Adventure:

Instead of joining a trip that includes cultural excursions, these programs focus on nothing but cultural and adventure excursions. Plow through rice field and discuss current events with locals.

International Internships:

Develop personal and global skills in a service-focused international internship. Follow leading experts and knowledgeable community members in order to make a true, lasting impact.

Cross Cultural Solutions Student Volunteer Reviews:

Since 1995, Cross Cultural Solutions has provided some of the most prolific and enjoyable high school study and volunteer abroad opportunities in healthcare, education and social work. Read the review below or go online yourself to experience CCS’s 93% customer satisfaction rate.

I took part in the High-school volunteer abroad program with Cross-Cultural Solutions in August 2014. I spent two amazing weeks volunteering in the beautiful village of San Carlos, in Costa Rica. The staff was incredibly welcoming and helpful in making us feel at home. My volunteer experience was truly eye-opening and extremely rewarding. I spent the first week helping in an elderly home and the second week in an underprivileged primary school. We also got to try so many different activities in the evenings and on the week-end! We went zip-lining, hiking on a volcano, went on a coffee-tour and much more! Not to mention that the home-cooked meals were always delicious and the fresh fruit were the best I ever had! I would choose to do it again in the blink of an eye.

By – Elo

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Spanish Studies Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- Spanish Study Abroad

Since its establishment in 1969,, Spanish Studies Abroad has transformed into a leading entity in providing international volunteer opportunities for high school students. Programs focus on a strong academic rigor, language acquisition, cultural integration and leaving a positive impact.

SSA High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Intensive Program in Seville:

Available during January, June and July, travel to Seville, Spain for a 24 night adventure of local trips, cultural excursions, bilingual interactions, coursework and more.

Semester Program in Alicante:

In the Spring or Fall Semester, settle down in Alicante, Spain for an 84-day high school study abroad program.

Study Abroad in Argentina:

Enjoy the amazing opportunity to study abroad in the thriving city of Cordoba, Argentina. The city is known for its exceptional academic institutions and social atmosphere.

SSA Student Volunteer Reviews:

With almost 60 years of experience under its belt, SSA has learned exactly how to create fun and engaging programs for high school students volunteering abroad. Each program contains both rigorous coursework as well as cultural event. Follow the link to see why Spanish Studies Abroad has a 94% satisfaction rate.

Seville is an amazing city, and Spanish Studies Abroad has a lot of experience with helping students deal with homesickness, culture shock, and pretty much any other issue that might present itself. Seville is a great city to immerse yourself in both the language and culture and SSA does a great job of making the transition a smooth one. The variety of program options make it easy to find one that will fit well with nearly any major, from business to pre-med and just about anything in between.

By – Danielle

China Internship Placements:

51 best highschool volunteering- China Internship Placements

China Internship Placements, or CIP, pairs with over 1500 host companies across 10+ universities to bring high school students meaningful volunteer opportunities abroad. CIP realizes how vital traveling and cross-cultural assimilation is so they structure their programs around connecting you as tightly as possible to local communities.

CIP High School Volunteer Programs Abroad

Internship in China:

Internship programs in both Beijing and Shanghai present young graduates and high school students the unique opportunity to experience foreign corporate, mentoring and entrepreneurial platforms.

Intensive Chinese Language Immersion:

Combine your love for language study and internship in one of CIP’s intensive Chinese Language immersion programs. Experience private tutoring and small group courses.

Summer Programs in China:

CIP’s summer programs in china instill activities to promote intellectual discovery, personal growth and cross-cultural awareness. Work together with participants all over the world.

CIP Student Volunteer Reviews:

Reviewers confirm CIP’s mission statement that they are an organization dedicated to transforming their participant’s perspectives through culturally immersive and engaging executive programs. Go online to scan through several reviews which boast a phenomenal customer satisfaction score of 96%.  

I decided to join the Study & Tour Program organized by China Internship Placements (CIP) for a duration of one month. From the beginning I was quite impressed by the combined structure of their program – within that proposed four weeks I would get to learn Mandarin language and participate in all sorts of new activities for a full month.Our group was comprised of a lot of people, mostly in our teenage years. Our schedule included Chinese language classes which were really fun. I really like learning Chinese and prior to visiting China, had had some foundation with the language.

by – Stephane Scule

American Institute for Foreign Study

51 best highschool volunteering- American Institute for Foreign Study

The American Institute for Foreign Study was founded in 1964 and is now one of the most well-respected organizations for high school students hoping to volunteer abroad. Over 50,000 participants enroll in their programs each year, and to date. over 1.5 million people have joined AIFS worldwide. Study, work and educate abroad with AIFS.

AIFS High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Internships Abroad:

Opportunities to intern abroad range from work services to course studies and place students in London, Florence, Rome, Granada and San Jose.

Volunteer Abroad:

Community focused volunteering programs allow participants to either teach english to elementary school children, work in hospitals or act as tour guides in India and South Africa.

High School Programs Abroad:

High School senior students can study abroad with AIFS and enroll in Spanish, French and Italian courses. Students can even earn college credit before their freshman year.

AIFS Student Volunteer Reviews:

There is a reason over 1.5 million people have joined up with AIFS to travel the world: their programs are comprehensive, fees are affordable and the experiences are life changing. Go online to explore hundreds of reviews and their 96% customer satisfaction rate.

I studied abroad through the AIFS London internship. I took a couple of classes through the university and interned full time at E!Entertainment. It was the best semester of my college experience! Through my internship and classes I learn a lot about international business and it ultimately helped me find a great job out of college

By – Parissa

IES Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- IES Abroad

IES Abroad currently manages over 120 high school volunteer programs abroad in more than 30 locations around the world. Join more than 6,000 students every year and enroll in one of IES’s safe, affordable, and unforgettable experiences. Even earn one of 2.5 million scholarships if you’re short on cash.

IES High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Internship Programs:

Real world experience combines with cultural immersion and skill building opportunities to bring high school students eight week long, part-time and full-time programs all across the world.

Study Abroad:

Study abroad all across the globe with IES Abroad, and even more importantly, do it on a budget. IES Abroad offers more than $3 million each year in study abroad scholarships.

IES Abroad Student Volunteer Reviews:

IES melts their passions for travel, exploration and studying abroad together in order to give high school students the best possible experience volunteering abroad. Reviewers often note the exceptional facilities, support team and activities. Read through hundreds of reviews and a 96% customer satisfaction rate.

Studying Abroad in Madrid through IES provided me with a multi-dimensional understanding of the city and country. The staff was so supportive in making sure that students had a plethora of options to do whatever interested them. The field trips through the program were incredibly informative and gave us a deeper understanding of the history in Spain.

I really would recommend IES Madrid because the strong staff really are the backbone of the program. The program allowed me to feel a sense of security and provided me with the confidence to travel through Europe independently.

by – DS

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CEA Study Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- CEA Study Abroad

CEA Study Abroad bases their foundation on one simple philosophy: “To provide high-quality international academic programs and services.” To date, CEA currently offers programs in 21 different cities and 12 different countries across the globe. Volunteers will earn credit towards graduation as well as garner valuable and employable skills.

CEA High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Internships and Service Volunteering:

Through countless international contacts, and 10 global locations, CEA internships allow ambitious students the opportunity to distinguish themselves from their competition.

Study Abroad Programs:

CEA study abroad programs stress discipline-based learning and global cultivation. Volunteers receive official college credit, attentive instructors and international business practice.

Student Services:

Choose the perfect volunteer program abroad for you and experience an incredibly culturally immersive and challenging experience abroad.

CEA Student Volunteer Reviews:

CEA reviewers all reaffirm CEA’s unquestionable ability to transfer lifelong lessons, broaden horizons and strengthen cross-cultural communication. Join 3,500 students each year and discover why CEA Study Abroad sports a 94% customer satisfaction rate.

I know people always say this, but please study abroad. It was easily the best thing I have done in my life. CEA made that incredibly possible without Friday classes and a certain amount of sick days. CEA classes got me directly involved with learning about the amazing art and history of the city. I was getting GE units for my university back home that were actually interesting and applicable for the life that I was living. CEA and Florence allowed me to travel cheap an conveniently to see everything. My only regret is that I didn’t go for a year.

By – Casey

CAPA Study Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- CAPA Study Abroad

With academic excellence, integrity and innovation at the core of their programs, CAPA offers high school students top flight volunteering opportunities abroad. Course work challenges students in political, cultural and social ways and ensure that by the end of your experience, you will learn the skills necessary to flourish in a global market.

CAPA High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Intern Abroad:

For over 20 years, CAPA has offered high school students internship abroad opportunities in Buenos Aires, Dublin, Florence, London, Shanghai and Sydney.

Study Abroad Scholarships:

Follow the online step-by-step plan to apply and earn a CAPA study abroad scholarship. Receive personalized support and tips as you learn to budget your future trip.

CAPA Student Volunteer Reviews:

For over 40 years, CAPA has been known as a leader in supplying volunteer programs for high school students. Each opportunity applies foreign concepts and useful techniques to enhance participant’s knowledge and personal growth. Read hundreds of reviews online which combine for a 93% customer satisfaction rate.

Although there are no words that could perfectly describe my time with CAPA in Florence, I’ll give it a shot. I had always planned on studying abroad in Rome, but somehow I stumbled across CAPA’s program in Florence and decided to go for it. These classes and teachers allowed me to truly dive into the full Italian experience, while teaching me how to not only recognize the works of Botticelli, but also the proper time of day to order a cappuccino. Aside from giving me more knowledge than I could’ve imagined, the CAPA staff truly cared about each one of us. Whether it be gathering all the information of our weekend trips, or asking other teachers if we’re doing okay after a poor quiz grade (sorry Professoressa), I always felt at home. Leaving Florence and CAPA was one of the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but thankfully they just provided me with so many more reasons to go back.

By – Carly

DIS Study Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- DIS Study Abroad

Founded in Denmark in 1959, DIS maintains locations in both Copenhagen and Stockholm, Germany. High school volunteer programs vary from a semester to summer to academic year. Battle through a challenging curriculum while forming meaningful bonds with locals through host family engagements and more.

DIS High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Study Abroad in Copenhagen:

An academically loaded rigor in Copenhagen offers high school students abroad 200 different elective courses. Housing options and cultural excursions are always available.

Study Abroad in Stockholm:

Study abroad in Stockholm Germany through courses taught in Engish. With your free time enjoy DIScovery Trips as well as course-integrated travel opportunities.

DIS Student Volunteer Reviews:

Past participants with DIS rave about how each program offers incredible field studies, hands-on learning experiences, study tours and teaching advice and knowledge. A host of reviews online combine for a customer satisfaction rate of 94%.

The Danish Institute for Study Abroad is a very well program. The staff are helpful, organized, the faculty kind and intelligent. Copenhagen is a wonderful city with beautiful people and an amazing infrastructure and fantastic style. I would do the program again in a heartbeat.

By – John

TEAN The Education Abroad Network:

51 best highschool volunteering- TEAN

The Education Abroad Network, Tean for short, provides comprehensive international education opportunities for high school students hoping to volunteer abroad. They paired with 30 top level universities throughout the Asia Pacific region for over 20 years to create extremely structured and adventurous programs.

TEAN High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Internship, Full-Degree and Study Abroad Opportunities:

With locations in Australia, Cambodia, China, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, TEAN ensures affordable and adventurous programs for students looking to intern, study or earn their entire degree.

TEAN Student Volunteer Reviews:

 Unlike other companies that over expand their horizon, TEAN focuses on only two locations thus promising structured, efficient and engaging programs. Past participants always note Tean’s luxurious accommodations, on-site directors, cultural journeys and in-country consultations. 230 Reviews carry a 98% satisfaction rate.

My experience with TEAN in Shanghai is beyond word. It was the best decision I have made and it was the best summer I have had. I left Shanghai richer in knowledge and wiser. I have learned so much about myself, the culture, and most importantly, I have developed strong communication and survival skills. This was my first time in China and not knowing the language was terrifying at first for me; however, TEAN made everything so much smoother and I blended right in. I could go all day about how amazing this trip was but it’s always better to feel it yourself. I highly recommend this program to everyone, it truly changed my life and I know for sure it will change yours too.

By – Chan

SAI Study Abroad:

Since its inception in 1995, SAI has strived to instill global inspiration to travel, explore and learn in all of its participants. They continue to hone their geopolitical economy, humanities and arts courses. If you join SAI, you’re sure to experience a unique volunteer abroad experience in which you will tackle real issues with local community members.

SAI High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

SAI Internships:

SAI Internships allow high school students abroad to observe and participate in local business and organization interactions. Full-time, part-time and credit, non-credit options are available.

SAI Student Volunteer Reviews:

Previous volunteers commend SAI’s ability to match each volunteer with the perfect international partner company. Programs provide excellent Fine Art and Design education as well as authentic cultural access, volunteer opportunities and language exchanges.

My study abroad experience was one of my favorite semesters throughout college. There is not one thing I would’ve changed about my semester. SAI is an incredible program. They are so helpful and kind. Our Barcelona Program Coordinator, Mireia, was truly incredible. Mireia is so helpful and caring, she made the experience even better. I am so thankful that I ended up studying through SAI programs and had Mireia as my coordinator.

By – Collin

EF International:

51 best highschool volunteering- EF International

Closing in on 60 years of serving volunteer abroad opportunities to high school students, EF International extends far across the world with 165 locations in 112 countries around the world. With cultural exchanges, language learning classes, educational excursions and more, EF International offers the complete package.

EF International High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

International Private High Schools:

With a global curriculum, multicultural living experience, recommendations, constant support and an expert staff, EF International schools are highly sought after programs.

University Preparation Abroad:

Pre Grads and postgrads can enroll in one of EF International’s Preparation Abroad programs. Choose one of 150 universities in England, Canada, Singapore, Australia and the US.

Bachelors, Masters and MBA:

Seven leading businesses around the world host students from over 120 countries in multiple locations around the world. Gain access to an incredible alumni network as well.

EF International Student Volunteer Reviews:

EF International’s classes help students learn history, culture and languages faster by forcing direct interactions with locals across the world. Reviewers love how they offer college credit, exceptional internships and dream destinations abroad. EF International supports a 94% customer satisfaction rate on almost 100 reviews.

Studying at EF Paris was a fast decision for me. Having only bought the program a week before classes started, I was not sure what to expect. From the moment I arrived, I realized I could not have made a better decision. Both students and staff are the friendliest people you will find. Activities are offered daily, giving you the opportunity to interact with other students, learn about different cultures, and practice your french, all whilst discovering the best Paris has to offer. Meeting students that stay for a few weeks or some that will stay for a few months, it is sure that you will make friendships that will last for a lifetime.

By – Luis

Abbey Road High School:

51 best highschool volunteering- Abbey Road High School

Abbey Road focuses on supplying students quality academic summer programs that foster cross-cultural understanding, academic excellence and personal growth. Staff hail from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Duke, Cambridge, the United Nations and countless other leading programs and institutions around the world. You are sure to receive an amazing education with Abbey Road.

Abbey Road High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

College and Test Preparation:

Abbey Road brings College and Test Preparation courses all across the globe, making it easy for non-US citizens to apply to US colleges and vice-versa.

Community Service and Environment:

Help preserve heritage sites, historical landmarks and local monuments while working with a group of like minded students in various cities around the world.

Language Immersion Program:

Live with a friendly host family as you stroll through the streets of a foreign country experiencing a novel world and mastering a foreign language.

Abbey Road Student Volunteer Reviews:

High School students traveling abroad can pick from study abroad, to language an environmental immersion programs in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, USA and the Czech Republic. In 16 reviews, Abbey Road maintains a nearly perfect customer satisfaction rate of 98%.

Abbey Road was an amazing experience that far exceeded my expectations! Abby Road’s staff was enthusiastic, encouraging and always available to show me a new aspect of the city. I have always loved studying languages, and there was no better way to learn French and experience the culture than with Abbey Road.

Humbled and inspired by polyglots, Abbey Road gave me the opportunity to practice my French with fellow students and residents.

Abbey Road went above and beyond in making my summer unforgettable. Thank you Abbey Road! I would love to have another summer with Abbey Road.

By – Lenard

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Edu Cultural Immersion:

51 best highschool volunteering- Edu Cultural Immersion

Edu Cultural Immersion, also known as ECI, was established in 1998 and still stays loyal to its initial mission to connect young students with foreigners across the world. With unique programs such as the Language Partner Program and Individual Immersion Week, ECI sets itself apart from the competition as an innovator for study abroad opportunities.

ECI High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Spain Programs:

With two different group programs and one individual program, ECI brings students to Madrid, Salamanca, San Sebastian and Southern Spain for a full immersion trip.

France Programs:

A month long group program includes classes in Nice, a family immersion opportunity in Cote d’azur and four days sightseeing in Paris. The individual program brings students to the French Alps.

Costa Rica Programs:

Two weeks of classes and excursions in Greece and Costa Rica grant students first hand experiences with local communities and environmental marvels.

ECI Student Volunteer Reviews:

If you are looking for complete cultural immersion, ECI is your best option. With large host families and mandatory trips through famous sights, you will receive a top quality education, accommodation and experience. Reviewers give ECI a 100% customer satisfaction rating.

My name is Sarah Behm and I’ve been a chaperone with ECI for the past three summers for the Salamanca program. ECI is unique in that they provide students with a full immersion into the Spanish culture through content-based language learning. Students are also exposed to the variety of Spanish subcultures by traveling from North to South. And we end with a tour of our favorite southern Spain cities – Seville, Granada, and Nerja. I’ve seen very few study abroad programs that travel from each end of the country!

By – Sarah

Minds Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- Minds Abroad

Founded as a US-based organization with locations in China and India, Minds Abroad offers both individual students and specified faculty-led groups from institutions around the US and Europe opportunities to explore historical, cultural, academic and adventure interests. Minds Abroad operates affordable programs so that everyone can have a chance to travel.

Minds Abroad High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Volunteering:

Minds Abroad partners with Impact Abroad to create a free volunteer abroad program for high school students hoping to expand their personal horizons and explore the world.

Interning:

Internship programs cater to high school students, college students and recent graduates hoping to travel and experience Chinese culture and customs.

Language Exchange:

Join Minds Abroad’s free language exchange and partake in classes abroad while immersing yourself in a Mandarin speaking city like Kunming.

Minds Abroad Student Volunteer Reviews:

Minds Abroad brings forth Asian students and United States students together in an effort to connect both sides of the Pacific. With a specific focus on Asian languages and customs, reviewers place Minds Abroad’s cultural immersion programs far above all others. With 19 reviews and a 91% customer satisfaction rate, Minds Abroad is a perfect fit for students looking to study in Asia.

Minds Abroad was an absolutely amazing program. Most weekdays started with a Mandarin class in the morning, taught by a teacher who produced a great environment for learning Mandarin. This class would be followed a meaningful internship, in my case it was teaching English in an impoverished area. The best part of the program though, would have to be the weekend excursions, the best excursion being our two day hike through Tiger Leaping Gorge (breathtakingly beautiful). Also, the staff needs to be mentioned- the Minds Abroad staff were all super charismatic and intelligent allowing for an extremely enjoyable experience for the full duration of the program.

By – Michael

Forum-Nexus Study Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- Forum-Nexus Study Abroad

Founded in 1990, Forum-Nexus has helped over 3,300 students enjoy undergraduate and graduate courses in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria, Holland and the Czech Republic. Uniquely, Forum-Nexus grants each student a host family, access to private seminars, an official diploma and more.

Forum-Nexus High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Undergraduate Programs:

Much like any undergraduate study, Forum-Nexus offers students volunteering and interning abroad access to a full course catalogue with hundreds of listings.

Graduate Programs:

Graduate courses offered range between regular courses and independent studies thus enabling students the freedom to study when and how they want.

Forum-Nexus Student Volunteer Reviews:

Volunteers believe Forum-Nexus is unique for several reasons. Their programs visit eight of the most thriving cities on earth. Their classes are lead by highly esteemed teachers. And best of all, international partnered companies and organizations far surpass other travel abroad business. ECI has a 93% customer satisfaction rate.

 It was a life changing experience. Forum Nexus was my very first time traveling outside the UK and travelling with them actually really help. I learned a lot, made a lot of friends and get connected to so many people. It was a very cool to learn about culture, business and team work skill while travelling. The staff was very helpful and friendly, they will help you with all your concern. Enjoy your best summer if you sign up I highly recommend the program

By – Sugar

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Broad Reach Study Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- Broad Reach Study Abroad

Since its inception in 1998, Broadreach has grown to provide over 14,000 middle school, high school and college students opportunities volunteering and interning abroad. They currently manage more than 70 summer programs in more than 40 countries that all aim to unlock the world of travel and adventure for young minds.

Broadreach High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Middle School Programs:

Go online to scroll through a list of possible abroad opportunities for middle school students. Programs range from 12-24 days and bring kids to all corners of the globe.

High School Programs:

Sail, scuba dive, study, speak and explore every corner of the world and all of the cultures that inhabit when you enroll in one of Broadreach’s high school programs abroad.

College Programs:

From sailing in the Caribbean to advanced photography in Iceland, Broadreach college programs unite eager travelers and students with the perfect locations to strengthen their resumes.

Broad Student Volunteer Reviews:

Over the years, Broadreach has dealt out more than 25,000 certifications and over 8000 college credits making them one of the most reputable agencies available in the market. If you join one of their programs, you will quickly realize why Broadreach maintains an extremely high 96% customer satisfaction rate.

The experiences I had while on my Broadreach program with amazing. I made amazing friends while being able to dive with the coolest fish I have ever seen. One of my favorite memories was when we dove at Saba and saw a Reef Shark and turtles in the same dive! Although this trip mainly focusing around diving, we got to do so many other fun activities while traveling. We went to beaches, played water sports, and played countless games. I honestly couldn’t have spent my summer anywhere better than in the Caribbean with Broadreach.

By – Will

Pacific Discovery:

51 best highschool volunteering- Pacific Discovery

In just over 10 years, Pacific Discovery has lead more than 2,000 students, faculty and adventures around the world on experiential journeys. The American Gap Association, Year out Group and Outdoors Mark have all certified Pacific Discovery as a safe and prestigious option for high school students volunteering and interning abroad.

Pacific Discovery High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Gap Year and Semester Programs:

Ideal Gap Year candidates range between 18-24 years old. Programs combined rough and realistic experiences with intense cultural, language and travel immersion.

Summer Programs:

These jam packed 4 week summer programs mold experiential learning with expert mentorship to develop leadership, communication and communal skills in participants.

Custom Programs:

Pacific Discovery works with individuals to create custom projects that suit their interests. Participants and mentors work together to establish a focus, theme, project and more.

Pacific Discovery Student Volunteer Reviews:

Volunteers admire Pacific’s programs for their dedication to people, culture, environments, religion, history and current events. Through daily activities, students not only learn about their host countries, but also about themselves and how to encounter and overcome new and frightening situations. See for yourself why Pacific holds a 97% customer satisfaction rate.

Pacific Discovery changed my life for the better. Through countless activities such as skydiving, camping in untouched wilderness, and spelunking through dark caves, I learned so much about myself and the people around me. I would have been less impactful if not experienced alongside the cultural learning facilitated by Pacific Discovery and our wonderful group leaders. We learned a great amount about the places we traveled to and we got to do so many activities in a short amount of time. It’s difficult to say in words how transformative this trip was for me, but it is an experience I would recommend to anyone and everyone. The people are wonderful and the places you get to go will leave you speechless.

By – Lauren Hoak

Greenheart Travel:

51 best highschool volunteering- Greenheart Travel

According to Greenheart Travel’s moto, they intend to “change lives, advance careers and create leaders,” through a dedication to culturally immersive and relevant programs. Greenheart Travel places an overwhelming focus on the environment so if garden work, animal rehabilitation and forest restoration interest you, Greenheart Travel is your perfect solution.

Greenheart High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Teach Abroad:

Teach English or another language abroad in one of 31 countries. Stay with a host family during your time and experience true cultural immersion.

Work Abroad:

Apply for an unpaid or paid internship and earn valuable international experience abroad dealing with foreign companies and unfamiliar market strategies.

Travel Abroad:

Choose to volunteer abroad if you wish to make a positive, lasting impact on a local community who will greatly appreciate your efforts.

Greenheart Student Volunteer Reviews:

Greenheart is a humble company with deep roots in their values of connecting the world and creating a more safe and sustainable global community. Reviewers all note the organizations profound commitment to improving local community problems and achieving personal growth. The reviews combine for a 96% customer satisfaction rate.

I had an absolutely great time! The host family was very nice and I enjoyed getting to know them and learning about their culture. I made a lot of good friends from around the world, and learned a lot of Japanese at the language school.This trip is definitely something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Thank you so much to Greenheart Travel for coordinating with my family and helping me plan the trip, it was so great.

by Arian

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Global Leadership Adventures:

51 best highschool volunteering- Global Leadership Adventures

GLA, or Global Leadership Adventures, creates specified Service Learning Adventures on order to provide the perfect program for each high school student volunteering abroad. Join a team and get to work on community service, hands-on learning and miraculous adventures. By the end, they guarantee a transformation of sorts.

GLA High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Language Immersion:

Enroll in either a Spanish or Mandarin language immersion class. Improve your language of choice by volunteering, working and taking classes during your stay.

Animal and Wildlife Conservation:

Work alongside animal and wildlife experts to help conserve nearly extinct species, restrict animal suffering and protect neglected wildlife.

Environmental Conservation:

Learn about climate change, sustainable living, human security and more while repurposing scraps and litter to benefit local communities.

GLA Student Volunteer Reviews:

Gain access into distant communities and interact with children, wildlife, healthcare systems, government organizations and political issues in order to foster more sustainable communities. In over 50 reviews, GLA scores a nearly perfect customer satisfaction rate of 98.6%.

Choosing to go to Thailand with Global Leadership Adventures was the best decision I have ever made. Everyday was a new adventure; we would do anything from teach at a high school, to bathe elephants in the river. I expanded my knowledge and views on elephant conservation, and made life long friends. I have a new outlook on my life, and I couldn’t have done it without GLA!

by erin

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Global Routes:

51 best highschool volunteering- Global Routes

Global Routes is a non-governmental agency that collaborates with Windsor Mountain to create the best volunteer programs for high school students abroad. Now with over 25 years of experience, Global Routes has become a pioneer in the field of studying abroad through their host community partnerships and commitment to local sustainability.

Global Routes High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Gap Year:

Work with rural communities abroad to create meaning and lasting impacts. Open yourself up to different perspectives as you challenge yourself in an unfamiliar setting.

Custom Programs:

Manifest your own custom program by designing your own project, picking your favorite city and choosing the duration of time.

High School:

Energetic programs link high school students with local community members through orientations, homestays, community service projects and more.

Global Routes Student Volunteer Reviews:

Past participants echo that Global Routes individualized programs guarantee positive volunteer experiences. You will journey outside of your comfort zone and open your heart to a new culture, people and world. Read through hoards of interviews online and a 95% customer satisfaction rate.

However, looking back on my experience in Costa Rica with Global Routes, it was easily one of the best decisions I have ever made. My experience has affected me so profoundly, that I’ve had trouble describing it in a way that others will understand, but what I can say is that Global Routes provided the perfect environment for personal development. Opportunities to reflect upon my strengths and weaknesses seemed to naturally present themselves throughout the duration of the trip, and by the end I felt that I had a deeper understanding of myself than ever before. I would highly recommend going to Costa Rica with Global Routes – I would definitely do it again if given the opportunity!

By – Jolene

Institute for Study Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- Institute for Study Abroad

Created in 1988 on US soil, the Institute for Study Abroad, or IFSA for short, offers international volunteer opportunities for high school students in 20 countries. Earn transferable credit, academic and personal support and a once-in-a-lifetime experience if you sign up for an IFSA program.

IFSA High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Summer Programs:

IFSA recently added summer programs abroad to their repertoire of offerings. Study in an affiliated university abroad and learn from regular university staff.

Internships:

Strengthen your resume and peak into a foreign world of business and negotiations while studying abroad and enjoying the amazing city of your choice.

Service Learning:

Return your host community’s kindness and complete a wide range of activities to help them thrive. Opportunities are available in Australia, Costa Rica, Northern Ireland, Peru and Scotland.

IFSA Student Volunteer Reviews:

Past reviewers all support IFSA’s mission to assist students in acquiring a global perspective and improving personal development. With on-site support, application assistance and a strong alumni network, IFSA makes volunteering abroad simple for high school students. Customers rate IFSA with a 94% satisfaction score.

IFSA Butler was supportive and welcoming throughout my abroad experience. I really appreciated having people at IFSA to call when I had questions or concerns during my application process. They acted as my academic advisors– alleviating my concerns about exams and assessments, answering questions about reading lists and content, and checking in on my progress throughout the semester. They were event organizers, planning weekend trips to different parts of England. They functioned as a family away from home, too — hosting holiday parties and meeting for tea on campus. They knew my name, my courses, my travel plans. IFSA was more than just a study abroad program because in addition to coordinating my study abroad logistically, they also supported me personally.

By – Jessica

Gap Medics:

Based out of Newcastle, England, Gap Medics is a specialist organization that focuses on placing medical enthusiasts in Tanzania, Croatia, Poland and Thailand in order to improve and sustain constant health care. Opportunities include volunteering or interning as a doctor, nurse, physician assistant, midwife and dentist.

Gap Medics High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Community Healthcare:

Start at the most fundamental level of healthcare and serve struggling rural communities who might otherwise lack easily available health care methods.

Pre-Medicine:

Expert mentors, observational activities and tutorials offer interns rare insight into the true demands of a medical career abroad.

Pre-Physician Assistant:

Follow your personal Physician assistant mentor throughout a hospital as you learn first-hand how to attend to the countless problems that arise in a hospital setting.

Gap Medics Student Volunteer Reviews:

Gap Medics is one of the only companies out there that offers students aged 16 and over insight into one of the most serious and intense professions the world has to offer. Reviewers praise the high level of responsibility and access these internships offers to participants. 112 reviews online boast a 94% customer satisfaction rate.

Not only was my experience with Gap Medics eye opening in the best way, it was fun, well-organized and seriously the trip of a lifetime. This trip provided me with excitement and motivation for pursuing a medical career in the future and I highly recommend students at any level to consider studying with Gap Medics.

By – Morgan

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Global Work:

51 best highschool volunteering- Global Work

Global Works recently celebrated its 26 year anniversary and for good reason: they lead most companies in providing international opportunities for high school students. Each program partners with a local and a foreign organization to implement grassroots projects with the sole purpose of making a lasting, beneficial impact.  

Global Work High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Summer Service Adventure:

Global Work offers three different Summer Service Adventure programs: Global Action Programs, Language Immersions and Enrichment Programs.

Custom Group Travel:

Live your dream through hands on, authentic activities, language learning, history lessons, art projects, cultural adventures and more.

Global Work Student Volunteer Reviews:

Past high school volunteers abroad all quote Global Work on their tight-knit connection with local community families and companies. If you want to truly make a difference and do so in a grassroots manner, Global Works is a great option for you. They carry a 94% customer satisfaction rate on more than 40 reviews.

My experience on this Global Works trip was nothing less than phenomenal and life changing. Every day I spent in this amazing country helped me grow as a person in knowledge and understanding. Those who accompanied me on this trip would definitely say the same.

By – Abby

Visions Service Adventures:

51 best highschool volunteering- Visions Service Adventures

Visions Service Adventures was founded in 1989 and currently brings community service projects to 8 different countries. Middle school and High school students volunteering abroad can link up with VISIONS to experience an invigorating life of travel, freedom and responsibility.

VISIONS High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Teen Summer Programs in Peru:

Teen Volunteers embark on a journey to Peru where they will construct school facilities, help with irrigation systems and promote environmental awareness.

Teen Summer Programs in Dominican Republic:

For its 26th year, the DR program continues to offer service projects building clinics, schools and homes as well as running summer camps in the Dominican Alps and along the beaches.

Teen Summer Programs in Montana:

Enjoy an amazing volunteer abroad opportunity at Montana’s Glacier National Park. Tasks include carpentry, building improvements and backpacking through the Montana wilderness.

VISIONS Student Volunteer Reviews:

Challenging projects bring teen volunteers closer together as they rebuild damaged communities and homes. Past high school volunteers can’t stop talking about the plethora of adventures offered including explorations every night. Go online to see why people have rated VISIONS with a 98% customer satisfaction rating.

Visions Peru was a wonderful opportunity for my teenage children and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants their teen to have a real community service experience in Latin America. What appealed to us was the fact that Visions advertised itself as "not a teen tour" and this was definitely true! As a parent, I think Visions did a great job of balancing work and fun and safety and independence. The staff was young, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable about Latin America and were great role models of young people making unusual choices in their career and life paths. All in all, I have no complaints and am really glad that my children had the opportunity to participate in this valuable program.

By – Emily

Spoleto Study Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering- Spoleto Study Abroad

With a focus on offering high school volunteer abroad opportunities, Spoleto Study Abroad places a stress on the humanities. Intern in filmmaking, vocal music, visual arts, architecture, photography, instrumental music, drama and writing roles in either Tuscany or Umbria.

Spoleto High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Student Programs:

From July 7th to July 31st, travel into the heart of the Italian Renaissance for the unique opportunity to gather international experience in the humanities.  

Adult Programs:

Faculty members can join the Teaching Fellows Program and journey to Spoleto, Italy where they will run the residential life program and receive in depth teaching and training.

School Tours:

Schools can apply for the chance to take their students and faculty on an educational adventure to Italy. The curriculum and schedule can be customized for each school.  

Spoleto Student Volunteer Reviews:

Reviews rave about the structured programs, amazing staff and enriching cultural excursions. Italy, with a massively rich artistic history, is perhaps the best place to study the humanities. Apply today or go online to learn how Spoleto accumulated an 88% customer satisfaction rating.  

I will never truly find the words that accurately express my gratitude and love for Spoleto Study Abroad Program. My time in Italy introduced me to the most incredible people, who I have the privilege of now calling my friends. Spoleto gave me three of the most vibrant and happiest weeks of my life. Spoleto became a home to my peers and I. It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity that adds to your knowledge of the world, of yourself, and of art and love- the universal languages.

By – Victoria

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Walking Tree Travel:

51 best highschool volunteering- Walking Tree Travel

With an international staff dedicated to protecting the biological communities that support the world, Walking Tree Travel inspires and motivates its participants to become globally active citizens. Learn much about the environment, language and culture in the city you choose to travel too.

Walking Tree Travel High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

High School Service Adventure in Costa Rica:

Join local conservation efforts in restoring and maintaining the white sand beaches of Pura Vida, Costa Rica.

High School Service Adventure in Peru:

Travel to Lima Peru to tackle socioeconomic differences left as a result of the extensive colonial history and natural disasters.

High School Service Adventure in Guatemala:

Add the amazing country of Guatemala to your list of countries visited and explore the ancient ruins of Tikal, the blue waters of Lake Atitlan and the active volcanoes.

Walking Tree Travel Student Volunteer Reviews:

Reviews online note how when traveling with Walking Tree Travel, participants are not merely observing tourists, but rather almost immediately become part of the communities they travel too. For more information, go online to read through many more reviews.

I went on a trip with Walking Tree 3 1/2 years ago, and I can only say great things about my experience with this company! Peru was amazing, but without the planning and guidance from the leaders, the trip wouldn’t have been as rich in culture and having a more local experience rather than just being a tourist! We had times where we could go off and explore by ourselves, and times to bond with the group. Definitely would recommend this company for any future travels!

By – Anonymous

Summer Fuel:

51 best highschool volunteering- Summer Fuel

For over 30 years, Summer Fuel has offered individualized summer programs that combine academics with exploration and excitement. Above all else, the company values safety and thus ensures that no matter where you travel to, you will live safely, surrounded by an attentive staff and an affectionate local community.

Summer Fuel High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Pre-College:

With locations in Boston, MA, Amherst, MA, and Berkeley, CA, enroll in 2- 3 or 4 weeks long pre-college program for a very affordable price.

Study Abroad:

Study abroad in one of seven locations around the world and decide whether you want to live with a host family, in a dorm or in an apartment building.

Social Entrepreneurship:

Social Entrepreneurship programs are available in both Washington D.C. and Palo Alto California for a total of 2 weeks.

Summer Fuel Student Volunteer Reviews:

Known for having innovative and engaging summer programs, past high school volunteers and interns for Summer Fuel value the company’s creative opportunities and diverse student population. Go online to read through a host of other positive reviews.

I found a home in the other side of the world! I don’t want to use cliches, but I’m afraid I will this time, because with Summerfuel I indeed had the best summer of my life. But not only that, I learned more than words can express, personally and academically. Whatever course you decide to take, I guarantee that you will be taught by the best teachers you could imagine; I never met anyone who wasn’t completely satisfied with their classes. Overall, this was one, if not the best experience of my life. And even though the places I visited and the classes I took were extraordinary, nothing compares to the people I met. Nowhere else would I have been able to talk for hours about books or poems, or about music or the Chinese language. The people that attend the Summerfuel Oxford program have a passion so deep and wonderful for something, that led them to travel to another country (and most of the time also continent) to study it and live it, and none of them hesitate to share it.

By – Miyin

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Loop Abroad:

51 best highschool volunteering-Loop Abroad

Founded in 2009, Loop Abroad focuses its efforts on only one location and in only the realm of animal healthcare and welfare. By enrolling in Loop Abroad programs, you will learn how cultural values, resource availability, global climate and economic incentives can affect veterinary practices around the world.

Loop High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

College Veterinary Service Program:

Ages 18-23 can apply to become a veterinarian and work alongside professionals at an elephant sanctuary or dog rescue in Thailand.

High School Veterinary Program:

High School Students aged 14-18 can experience the same program as college veterinarians in Thailand.

Thailand 101:

Thailand 101 is a 2 week program for students aged 17-23. Volunteers begin helping at the Elephant Nature Park and finish in the city of Chiang Mai.

Loop Student Volunteer Reviews:

Considered the Thailand experts, Loop Abroad brings students ages 14-23 across the world to help animals and children in real, impactful ways. Volunteers are amazed at the hands-on access and responsibility they must assume. With more than 50 reviews online, Loop Abroad scores a 98% customer satisfaction rating.

From beginning to end, the high school vet program with Loop Abroad was an amazing experience. The staff is incredibly supportive and engaged in everyone who attends the program.  I experienced so many eye-opening things and enjoyed having the opportunity to socialize with our designated Thai staff member everyday. With the Loop Abroad program you are able to make unique and special memories like this because the staff take time to give you those opportunities. In addition, after the end of every groups’ time in Thailand, the Loop abroad staff has the participants fill out a survey. They want your honest feedback and take it to heart. After you return home, Loop Abroad still keeps in touch with you by offering different opportunities they come across. I would highly suggest this program to anyone wanting to learn more about veterinary medicine, as well as anyone wanting to experience an amazing culture, and making lasting memories while doing so.

By – Alexis

Reach Cambridge:

51 best highschool volunteering- Reach Cambridge

Live in a famous university city and experience a foreign world of university classes and insight while exploring the amazing places the UK has to offer. Through Reach Cambridge, you will meet and learn from people all over the world and undoubtedly expand your horizons far beyond what you thought was possible.

Reach Cambridge High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Summer Groups:

High school students volunteering abroad pick their own academic schedule in which they will work alongside international teachers and students in their favorite subject.

Science Programs:

Pick from one of four programs, reside on the Cambridge University campuses and attend classes taught by the smartest men and women in their field.

Arts and Humanities Programs:

Join other interns, volunteers and students at the University of Cambridge to experience distinct and expert courses in the humanities.

Reach Cambridge Student Volunteer Reviews:

If you’re interested in a top-flight education, look no further, because the University of Cambridge is often revered as the best university in the world. Past participants can’t stop talking about the incredibly intellectual teachers, enjoyable social environment and pristine accommodations. Reach Cambridge scores a 100% customer satisfaction rate.

I have been to a lot of summer programs, and none of them compare to what I experienced at Reach. I wish I could go back next summer, but unfortunately I can’t. However, I have recommended the camp to my friends and will continue to do so.

By – soccerguy

The English Camp Company:

51 best highschool volunteering- The English Camp Company

The English Camp Company or ECC organizes programs in Italy, Austria and the US for children aged 6-14 years old. Energetic and well-qualified tutors, which you can apply for, work with each kid to ensure a positive experience. You’ll be sure to master a second language if you enroll in one of these programs.

ECC High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Teach English in Italy:

Native English speaking students over 18 who can work as a team and inspire learning in others should apply to teach and tutor abroad in Italy.

Teach English in Maryland:

The ECC offers a USA program in which high school students volunteering abroad enjoy two weeks of complete immersion in the English speaking city of Annapolis, Maryland.

ECC Student Volunteer Reviews:

Tutors working with ECC combine both their love for travel and teaching when they apply for a teaching position. Past participants adore the travel opportunities, living facilities and ambitious kids with whom they work. Follow the link for 18 more interviews and a 99% customer satisfaction rate.

Working with the English Camp Company this past summer was an AMAZING experience shared with AMAZING people. At the start of your adventure you are provided information about safe travel and what to expect when traveling. For me, this past summer has been an experience that I will cherish forever, along with the friends and families I met along the way. If you are looking for a way to experience culture, language, FOOD, good people and a chance to use your fantastic teaching skills, apply to the English Camp Company TODAY!

By – Jamie

EF International Language Center:

51 best highschool volunteering- EF International

EF International Language Center places a premium on learning a new language as fast and as efficiently as possible. Journey to 12 world famous destinations to make friends, explore a new culture and learn a language faster than you ever thought was possible.

EF Language Center High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Language Courses Abroad in Spain:

Three offered programs allow students to travel to Spain to improve their Spanish. Choose to live and study in Malaga or Barcelona.

Language Courses Abroad in China:

Enroll in EF’s Chinese course in China and experience the wonders the eastern world has to offer. From the Terracotta warriors to Beijing’s Forbidden City, explore Chinese cultures, languages and traditions.

Language Courses Abroad in Costa Rica:

Kick back and relax on the pristine beaches of Costa Rica while immersing yourself in a fun-filled environment of Spanish cultures, exciting adventures and sweet surfing.

EF Language Center Student Volunteer Reviews:

Choose to travel from two weeks up to an entire semester in one of EF’s 12 amazing locations. Past volunteers are stunned by how quickly and effectively language acquisition was through EF’s programs. Go online to see why they score a 94% customer satisfaction rate.

I had an amazing time during my short stay with EF Paris. There is a lot of independence required for this course, you are in charge of showing up to school and managing your time but that’s what makes the experience so meaningful.

I would also reccomend going more more than two weeks to get the most out of the school aspect of the stay.

All the staff, especially activities directors, were fantastic. The overall school/social environment was wonderful, I made amazing friends there that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Definetly reccomend a stay with EF Paris, great school and great experience.

By – Lara

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Summer Study Programs:

51 best highschool volunteering- Summer Study Programs

With a combined pool of 75 years of experience in offering college and high school volunteer programs abroad, Summer Study Programs makes sure you receive everything you need in order to enjoy the experience of your lifetime.

Summer Study High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Summer Enrichment Programs:

 High school student volunteers in 9th, 10th and 11th grade can attend pre-college summer programs at the world’s most esteemed Universities.

Study Abroad Programs:

Summer Study has created study abroad programs in Europe for high school students looking to earn an educational, extracurricular and cultural experience.

Summer Study Classes:

Summer Study programs allow high school students the ability to jump start their college career and garner valuable life lessons in universities across the world.

Summer Study Programs Student Volunteer Reviews:

High school students in the past admire Summer Study Programs ability to offer college insight to pre-college students. Enjoy college-credit courses, challenging course work, sporting events, nightly activities and more while studying. Follow the link above to find out more.

University of Otago:

51 best highschool volunteering- University of Otago

Almost 150 years old, the University of Otago kindly invites high school students abroad to live, study and enroll in their offered classes. The University is stationed in New Zealand so visiting volunteers, interns and students can easily explore the amazing scenery and landscapes that surround the University of Otago.

University of Otago High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Career Development Centre:

Receive professional assistance with career planning, job searches, skill acquisition and more while attending University of Otago’s Career Development Centre.

Childcare:

Join one of five campuses for childcare scattered across the University of Otago’s campus and help teach bilingual students with a mixed age range.

Disability Information and Support:

Either you have a disability or wish to help others who do, the University of Otago’s disability information and support centre ranks high above all others.

University of Otago Student Volunteer Reviews:

Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand invites students to its campuses from over 90+ countries every year. Most participants applaud the University’s unmatched diversity and range of perspectives. Go online to see why they have a 95% customer satisfaction rate.

Oh man where do I start? I have so many beautiful memories from my trip to Dunedin and my study abroad experience at Otago. First of all I would like to thank the wonderful staff the made my trip outstanding, there was a lot of support from the University of Otago from all aspects. From the Uni flats staff to the professors at the University would always be at my service whenever I needed their help or support which is something that I’ve NEVER experienced at my home university. People are extremely friendly in throughout New Zealand and I’ve made lots of friends while I was abroad. I will truly keep New Zealand very close to my heart for embracing me with open arms! Thank you!

By – Zamora

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KCP International:

51 best highschool volunteering-KCP International

Since its foundation in 1983, KCP International has grown into its role as the leading Japanese language educator in the world. Every year, 900 students from around the world flock to Tokyo for KCP’s amazing and challenging cultural and language immersion programs.

KCP High School Volunteer Abroad Programs

Language Immersion:

KCP focuses on holistic language education and thus constantly reinforces the four communication skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in a Japanese context.

Cultural Immersion:

Complete organized adventures throughout Tokyo to visit important cultural and historical sights. Witness customs, lifestyle, politics, psychology and religion in Tokyo.

KCP Student Volunteer Reviews:

On nearly 50 interviews, KCP scores a 95% customer satisfaction rating. Past volunteers are blown away by how intensive and effective the Japanese language learning programs actually are. Go online to discover more about the industry leader in Japanese study abroad programs.  

I went to KCP for one semester (about 3 months) for a fall/winter semester from October to December, and I loved every second of it. It’s very intense in its academics, and you learn a LOT just in first year. It’s taught all in Japanese, which I know sounds scary if you don’t know a lot of Japanese, but it almost makes more sense that way. The teachers are excellent, and the two english support staff are amazing and can help with ANY problem or question you may have relating to school or not. The dorms they provide are excellent even though they can be a long commute, that is very normal in Japan. You use the grammar points you learn in class once you leave the school at restaurants and interacting with Japanese people. I suggest exploring outside the school because all the students are from other countries. Just be sure to explore to get the full experience of Japan, and KCP is there to be the foundation for that. Enjoy!

by Kalina

These 51 programs compile our list of the best high school volunteer abroad opportunities available. They offer intellectual, insightful and entertaining experiences across all corners of the globe, and better yet they are extremely affordable.

If you’ve volunteered, studied or interned abroad in high school but did so through another company, please comment below. We are always adding new programs to the list and would love to hear your feedback.

Otherwise, pick your favorite company and go! The world is your oyster!

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July 25, 2018

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