These organizations don’t require a program fee, may cover all of your expenses, including airfare and room and board, and even provide a stipend.
However, these well-known international volunteer programs are highly selective and may require a significant time commitment (27 months for Peace Corps and six months for UN Volunteers).
How can I get paid to travel?
Teach English abroad programs are a popular way to live and work in another country. Essentially, it is a great way to get paid to travel.
In order to Teach English abroad, we recommend that you earn your Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification.
International TEFL Academy offers a great 11-week program where you can earn your TEFL certification online to prepare for your teaching English trip abroad.
Once you have your TEFL certification, you will get lifetime job placement assistance to live, work, and get paid to travel to exotic destinations such as Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico, and more!
What are the Best Volunteer & Teach Abroad Programs around the World?
Saving money means not losing money, and one way Plan My Gap Year helps its travelers be financially responsible is through Travel Vault. Plan My Gap Year is a member of Travel Vault, so your program and registration fee are insured and financially protected.
This peace of mind is important even when you’re traveling on an affordable volunteer program!
A trusted organization founded by volunteers for volunteers, Plan My Gap Year offers a range of projects in the areas of community, childcare, conservation, and healthcare.
One excellent and affordable program to consider with Plan My Gap Year invites you to teach English in Morocco, with fees starting at only $225. Low registration fees, cheap flights from London, and low-cost project fees makes Plan My Gap Year a great option for cost-conscious travelers and offers loads of fundraising advice and even a scholarship!
Another organization with affordable programs abroad is Maximo Nivel, which operates intercultural centers in Costa Rica, Peru, and Guatemala. Maximo Nivel has partnered with California State University, Monterey Bay (a regionally accredited university) to enable their volunteers and interns to earn university credit for their trips. See this page to understand how you can earn university credits.
Maximo Nivel fees start at $645 for one week, which is reasonable in comparison to other organizations. Also, earning credit during your trip offsets expenses when you consider how expensive those credits would be at home. It can enable you to graduate early, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. Do check if the credits will transfer to your university (Maximo Nivel can help with transferring credits).
Founded in 2010, International TEFL Academy (ITA) offers the gold standard in TEFL certification for teaching English abroad & teaching English online.
We are proud to provide the finest internationally accredited TEFL courses both online and in-person in 20+ locations across the globe. ITA certifies 5,000 people per year, and our graduates are teaching in over 80 countries & online.
Our #1 commitment is to provide the highest quality training and services to our students to help you achieve your goal of getting a great job and enjoying the experience of a lifetime teaching English abroad and online.
All ITA TEFL courses – including online TEFL classes – include live practice teaching & employ a state-of-the-art curriculum taught by highly credentialed and experienced instructors.
In addition, all ITA students receive lifetime job search assistance that includes personalized guidance from our team of expert advisors. To learn more & begin your journey, download your free TEFL Guide now.
ALSO SEE: UNSW Scholarships for Indian Students
Offering more than 150 unique projects in 34 countries around the world, Love Volunteers places thousands of volunteers into meaningful and life-changing programs each year.
Launched in 2009, Love Volunteers has become known for their impactful, reasonably priced programs (which include three meals a day and homestay/volunteer house accommodation). One- and two-week placements are typically priced between $180-$400.
For instance, Love Volunteers offers very affordable one-week placements in exciting volunteer destinations like Honduras ($190) and Nepal ($195). Please note there is a $249 registration fee to reserve your spot, and you’ll be responsible for your own airfare and travel insurance.
Projects Abroad began in 1992 and has become one of the largest volunteer organizations in the world. To date, they’ve placed more than 120,000 volunteers in programs across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and the South Pacific. Known for their world-class support and high-quality service projects, Projects Abroad receives excellent reviews from past volunteers. On Volunteer Forever, they have a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars across nearly 350 reviews!
With a variety of award-winning volunteer projects, Projects Abroad has prices starting at $925 per week. If you stay longer, your average daily fees go down even further. Even better, volunteers get food and accommodation on each project (which lowers your expenses greatly!).
For example, you could volunteer as a sports coach in Samoa and help the youth there. If you stay for five weeks, the fee is $3,590 (or $718 per week). With a group? Consider Projects Abroad’s Wildlife Conservation project in Botswana. For each group member, fees are $1,785 for two weeks.
If you’re looking for a low-cost adventure, GoEco can provide just that. With more than 150 high-quality community, wildlife, and environmental initiatives across the world, you’re certain to find a volunteer project that suits your interests and budget.
The organization was created by experienced volunteers in 2006, and they’ve made a point to ensure their programs make an impact and are affordable.
To make their programs even more affordable, GoEco also offers fundraising opportunities and scholarships like the GoEco Volunteer Scholarship, which includes a $1,000 flight voucher plus full program cost.
One of their most budget-friendly projects is the Desert Wildlife Program in Israel (from $650 for two weeks). Protect endangered animal populations in the Arava Desert and assist with educational outreach.
Or, you participate in the Sustainable Community Development initiative in Samraong, Cambodia (from $580 for one week). Volunteer work consists of teaching at a local school and assisting with construction and renovation of schools and community centers.
Specializing in low-fee, top-notch volunteer projects throughout Africa, Agape Volunteers has been named one of Volunteer Forever’s Best Volunteer Abroad Programs. Founded by Oxford graduate Guillaume Lefevre in 2011, the organization boasts a perfect 5-star rating on Volunteer Forever. Definitely check them out if you’re looking for an affordable, reputable program in Africa.
Projects through Agape Volunteers start at only £510, a cost which already includes registration fees and your travel insurance. You can volunteer in projects ranging from medical volunteering to coaching a football academy in Nairobi. Popular volunteer destinations include Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, and Tanzania.
When it comes to budget-friendly volunteer trips, Iko Poran offers plenty of options. The organization has projects throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia. Many start from only $150 for your first week abroad (including a $229 registration fee). The program fee is paid directly to the host country and community, ensuring that the money is used to help those you serve.
Iko Poran currently has an incredible opportunity to volunteer and teach English in Colombia for free ($229 registration only). A few other affordably-priced volunteer programs include a Nepal teaching trip, Uganda sports coaching program, and Peru construction initiative.
What if you could search for affordable volunteer programs from many different providers in one place? That’s what Abroadly, a new booking platform by Volunteer Forever, enables you to do.
Choose from over 150 programs based on your budget and interests. Through Abroadly, you can get started on a cheap overseas volunteer trip for not that much money at all. Prices start from just $171.
Additionally, when you apply for your perfect trip through Abroadly, you’ll have free access to our crowdfunding right here on Volunteer Forever and you can enter for a chance to win up to a $500 scholarship. That’s money you can use for your flight, travel insurance, souvenir shopping and more.
If you’re searching for an affordable, unique program in an exotic location, Fronteering is the right organization to consider. With programs in more than 15 countries throughout the world, Fronteering has numerous great volunteer programs with low price tags.
The organization is known for their off-the-beaten-path projects that aim to uplift indigenous communities and preserve natural environments.
One program through Fronteering brings you to the northernmost territories in Canada to care for and play with huskies.
Not only will you get to go dog sledding and experience life off the grid (there’s no electricity in the cabin!), you’ll also get to see majestic scenes like the northern lights and wildlife such as moose and lynx roaming free.
How splendid does that sound? Note the husky center has over 100 dogs, and your work as a volunteer intern is necessary to maintaining the facility, keeping the dogs healthy and happy, and ensuring long-term sustainability of the operation. The program costs just $1345 for 12 weeks.
Or, head to the wide-open spaces of Roraima, Brazil and live with a local family on a ranch. This program is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in Brazilian culture, learn Portuguese, and see what it takes to work on a ranch.
Main duties include feeding and grooming the animals, gardening, cleaning the stables, helping prepare meals, and giving salt to the cows. The project takes you away from the lights and sounds of the big cities in Brazil to experience the quiet, rural side of the country. Soak it up because it truly can be a peaceful, enlightening time.
The program costs just $895 for four weeks, and you can stay up to 12 weeks.
Global Vision International (GVI) has been around since 1998, having placed more than 35,000 participants in volunteer programs and internships around the world.
They run hundreds of projects and even offer short-term trips designed for younger volunteers, including high school students, who want to travel, learn, and support good causes. Longer programs are excellent for those looking for career development opportunities and to gain professional experience.
Affordable programs range from wildlife conservation in South Africa to women’s empowerment in India. Book your trip in advance, when projects have more availability.