Volunteer in Germany

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A Guide to Volunteering in Germany

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13 Volunteer Abroad Programs in Germany

ELI-Experiential Learning International

Experiential Learning International is offering volunteer positions at a daycare center in Germany. The program, open to American, Australian, Canadian, and European participants, places volunteers in the rural village of Enkenbach-Alsenborn. Intermediate German language skill is required to join the program. Homestay accommodation is provided to each participant.

City Travel Review

Gain a cross-cultural volunteer abroad experience in Berlin with City Travel Review. Volunteers get to go on walking tours around the city, complete German language classes, and share their experiences through a writing and research project. This City Travel Review project placements is open to volunteers of any nationality during the summer.

Volunteer Abroad with an i-to-i TEFL Certificate

Volunteer abroad and earn a TEFL certification through i-to-i UK programs in Germany. Located in Cologne, programs are available all year round and require volunteers to be fluent in English. The program includes Pre-Departure Orientation, inclusion in the Post Alumni Network, and more.

United Planet

Individuals can engage in rewarding volunteer programs with United Planet while experiencing the unique cultural of Germany. Programs are available in two locations. Volunteer opportunities include Childcare, Youth Development, and Teaching. Program participation is restricted to American and Canadian volunteers.

International Volunteers

Take the chance to become immersed in the culture and lifestyle of Germany through International Volunteers. Participants can live and work in rural areas for a maximum of 12 weeks. Volunteers live with a local family and partake in community service projects, such as Childcare, Youth Development, and Daycare Assistance. These programs are open to all nationalities.

Concordia

Live in Germany's rural communities while making a difference in the lives of German people through a four-week project with Concordia. Individuals from the UK can participate in a pre-arranged volunteering project, which includes options to focus on Childcare, Teaching English, and Conservation.

Up with People

Develop insights about Germany and its people through Up with People volunteer abroad programs. Establish social responsibility by participating in activities such as English Teaching, Home Visits, and other volunteer placements in Frankfurt. The program is open throughout the year to worldwide participants who wants to change the world.

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Upclose example of the intricate design of the Cologne Cathedral. Photo by Annie Bierbower

How to Volunteer Abroad in Germany

A Guide to Volunteering in Germany

Germany has always been at the center of European affairs, and today it is one of the most influential countries on the planet. Deutschland has the fourth largest economy in the world, yet with great power comes great responsibility, so there is still a significant need for volunteers in Germany. German volunteer opportunities center on social services but unique placements are also available. Volunteering abroad in Germany will allow international volunteers to experience a truly industrious culture while working to make a positive impact on the everyday life of German citizens.

Locations

Germany is the most populous country in Europe and home to numerous large cities that host volunteer programs allowing individuals to lend a helping hand in German communities. Municipalities such as Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, and Dusseldorf are all globally oriented cities which enjoy a wealthy disposition; however, every big city comes with its share of social ills, so individuals who volunteer in Germany will likely be able to find work in social services or community building in any of these cities. Historically rich and architecturally beautiful, life in the big city can be both a fun and rewarding experience for volunteers in Germany.

Many volunteer programs in Germany will also invite volunteers to live and work in smaller villages throughout the rural areas. These locations are often less infrastructurally developed and have a greater need for basic services in the areas of education, health services, and child care. Living in a rural area you will have a chance to take residence in the beautiful German countryside away from the hustle and bustle of city life. And if you ever grow tired of the relaxed pace, Germany’s world-class railway system can connect you to any part of the country for a reasonable price.

Germany is highly developed throughout, so anywhere you land can offer a safe and comfortable lifestyle. After deciding between a rural or metropolitan volunteer experience in Germany, do some research and browse through programs to discover which is the ideal combination of work opportunity and location for you.

Projects & Placements

Education and childcare work are the most common areas of placement for volunteer abroad in Germany. English-speakers are needed throughout the world to teach English at all levels, and Germany is no exception. You will be able to find placements in teaching or youth development in most big cities and in many rural areas. Some programs require that you speak at least intermediate German to enroll, so check the requirements carefully.

Like many developed countries, Germany is also working towards improving its culture of social and environmental responsibility. Those who choose to volunteer in Germany will be able to find work caring for the elderly or providing necessary social services in big cities, and programs located in the countryside where they can aid in nature and wildlife preservation projects. Whether working at a daycare in the inner city or helping to prevent pollution on the outskirts, volunteering in Germany will make a positive impact on the quality of life in Germany.

German volunteer opportunities typically last from a few weeks to a few months depending on the participant’s preference. Consider volunteering in Germany in the summer months because winters can be long, cold, and gray in Northern Europe. But if you are willing to brave the cold, the snow-laden German countryside can be appealing as well.

Costs & Affordability

Germany is a reasonably affordable country to live in, especially considering the state of its booming economy. The average price of goods throughout the nation is only slightly more expensive than what you would expect to find in the U.S or U.K. Prices will vary throughout the country, with the usual rule of thumb being that cities are more expensive than rural areas.

Many volunteer programs in Germany will include the cost of room and board in program fees, meaning you will not need to worry about these expenses while volunteering abroad. Some programs will also compensate volunteers with a small stipend. Take the time to find the program that works for you and your budget, while also consulting GoAbroad’s Scholarship Directory for information on available financial aid opportunities for volunteer abroad in Germany.

Accommodation & Visas

Most German volunteer organizations in rural areas will place volunteers in a homestay during their program, giving them a truly authentic German experience. Apartment living is more popular in German cities, with options for either independent or group living. It is likely that your program provider will help you organize housing for the duration of your volunteer program in Germany. Make sure to communicate your preferences early on to land the ideal living situation for you.

Depending on your length of stay, you may also need to obtain a visa to volunteer abroad in Germany. Typically, stays of up to 90 days are allowed without a visa for tourists from most Western countries. Consult GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for more details on the visa policy for your home country.

Benefits & Challenges

Proudly sophisticated, cohesive, and industrious, German culture makes for a fascinating and influential experience volunteering abroad in Germany. Physically located in the heart of Europe, Germany has always found itself at the center of the continent’s development and has been a country of great importance throughout history. Those who volunteer in Germany will have the chance to strike through political and economic juggernaut and discover the underlying culture and people which make der Deutschland great.