With a variety of short-term volunteer opportunities available all over the world, individuals, families or groups can make the most of their time abroad. Our short-term volunteer programs range in duration from 1 to 24 weeks – even if you only have a week or two, you can still turn your travel experience into something meaningful. Make a lasting impact working on a sustainable community development project, or choose a volunteer program specialising in early childhood development, education, women’s empowerment, sports, construction or public health.
Being part of a short-term volunteer program gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in diverse global cultures while working in breathtaking locations across four continents: Africa, Asia, Australasia and Latin America.
Want to know what previous participants have to say about their volunteering experience with GVI? Head over to our testimonials page!
Collaborative work makes the biggest impact. That’s why community is at the heart of what we do. All our volunteer projects are locally-led, with decision-making shared between GVI, local organisations, government and community leaders. This type of work allows us to be a part of the continuous development of communities and individuals.
With long-standing on-the-ground teams, our projects don’t stop when our volunteers leave. Regardless of how long you stay, our projects continue to run, ensuring long-term sustainable results. Whether you have one week or three months, your contribution will make a difference in the communities where we are based.
All of our volunteer abroad programs align with one or more of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and focus on the following areas:
Volunteers on our women’s empowerment program in Ghana work towards Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 5: Gender Equality and Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities. While in Fiji, volunteers on a public health project work directly with the district nurses to promote health and wellbeing within the community, contributing to Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being. Volunteering on one of our teaching programs will see you contributing towards Goal 4: Quality Education.
Please note that GVI does not support orphanage volunteering in any of our locations.
Our commitment to constantly improving on our ethics and impact is represented in our stances on orphanage volunteering, construction and medical volunteering, our badge of ethics, ethical commitments and five empowerment principles.
We also have a comprehensive and regularly updated health and safety policy that forms the foundation of all our activities abroad.
We partner with a number of reputable local and international organisations, and regularly review our comprehensive Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy.
With hubs and on-the-ground teams in multiple countries around the world, we have something for everyone – from the island of Viti Levu in Fiji, to the jungle forest of Costa Rica or the coastal town of Kokrobite in Ghana.
Thinking about travelling to more than one country? Why not create a unique multi-country volunteering experience by combining several short-term volunteer programs. You could work on similar types of volunteering programs in multiple locations or join completely different types of volunteering experiences in vastly different destinations.
You could combine your interest in public health with your interest in teaching. Or contribute to gender equality initiatives across multiple locations by joining women’s empowerment programs in Ghana, Nepal and Costa Rica. With many ways to combine short-term volunteering programs and international destinations, we can create a program that suits you.
Not sure how to manage the logistics? Our dedicated enrolment team is here to help. Get in touch and we’ll sort out the details. All you need to decide is where you want to go and which volunteer program you’d like to join.
We offer long-term community volunteer opportunities in the following countries:
If you book two or more consecutive volunteering programs, the fee from your first program will qualify for a combination discount.
While you’re on a short-term volunteer program you’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel and sightsee – as well as free time on base where you’ll be able to connect with your fellow participants. Volunteer work takes place during the week and usually during regular office hours, which means you can spend your evenings visiting the local areas and taking trips on the weekends to surrounding areas.
With our hubs located in some of the most popular travel destinations in the world, many volunteers choose to spend time travelling before or after their program. You could spend time in the country you’re volunteering in or travel further afield to neighbouring countries. Volunteering in Costa Rica, Ghana, South Africa, Cambodia or Nepal offers the perfect opportunity to travel to other countries in South America, Africa or Asia.
With hubs located across nine countries and four continents, joining a short-term volunteer program is the ideal opportunity to travel to some of the most beautiful and unique parts of the world.
Home to some of the best beaches in the world, volunteers in Thailand can spend their free time swimming in the warm waters of Phang Nga Bay, visiting historical temples and enjoying the many Thai dishes which the country is famous for.
Three hours from the capital city of Kathmandu, our base in Nepal is in the tourist town of Pokhara, the second-most visited city in Nepal. With views of three of the highest mountains in the world and beautiful Phewa Lake, this location is loved by adventure-seekers and those looking for some downtime. You could spend your free time biking around Phewa Lake, watch a movie at Pokhara’s outdoor Movie Garden or pay a visit to the Shanti Stupa – a hilltop Buddhist monument and World Peace Pagoda dedicated to spreading kindness. Those in search of adventure have come to the right place. With the Himalayan mountains on your doorstep, you could take part in one of two trekking opportunities in Nepal – the Annapurna sanctuary trek or the Everest base camp trek.
All our volunteer projects include GVI Experiences, a selection of locally curated activities that are included in your program. You could learn how to surf on Kokrobite beach in Ghana, white-water raft down the Pacuare River in Costa Rica, take a trip to the island of the lemurs in Madagascar, visit the World Peace Pagoda in Nepal, or take a tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site Robben Island in Cape Town, South Africa.
Many of our volunteers form lifelong friendships with their fellow volunteers – living, working and spending your free time with like-minded people from around the world can be a life-changing experience.
If you’ve been thinking about joining a volunteering abroad program, but aren’t sure where you can go, what kind of projects you can contribute to, or how you’ll get there, we’re here to help. Our dedicated team of enrolment officers will be able to answer all your questions and assist with choosing a destination and program that’s the right fit for you.
We offer 360-degree support – from your initial contact with us, right through to the end of your program. As soon as you’ve booked your program, you’ll be assigned a personal support coordinator, who will oversee your pre-departure journey. Your support coordinator will bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival on base, making sure you have all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks and any other documentation. They’ll also guide you through a personalised packing list specific to your chosen location and program, and facilitate any necessary cultural orientation and program-specific training.
We specialise in volunteer projects abroad for participants of all ages. On all our volunteer programs, we provide a pre-departure program before you arrive at your chosen location. The program support coordinator and program manager will host a pre-departure call for all volunteers booked onto the program to answer any last minute questions you might have.
In many of our locations, we set up a WhatsApp group to effectively manage participant arrivals. This means you’ll be connected with local GVI staff from the moment you start your journey to the moment you arrive at your program destination.
Once you return from your program, you’ll be asked to provide feedback on your experience with us, and are automatically added to our alumni support network which gives you access to special offers, professional opportunities and connections from around the world.
When you book a volunteer program with GVI, you can rest assured knowing your safety is our priority. Our stringent support and safety operational guidelines ensure we are compliant with British Standard 8848, a set of requirements designed to ensure international adventure travellers the highest standard of care on their trip abroad.
You can read more about our safety and support policies here.