Ireland is a poetic land, with mighty cliffs, calming ocean waves, and deep green pastures, which have inspired wonder for thousands of years. Ireland offers a beautiful landscape, with a proud and friendly culture, upon a unique isle of the North Atlantic. As a volunteer in Ireland you will have the opportunity to contribute to the wellbeing of communities in need that are often forgotten. While volunteering in Ireland, international volunteers will have the chance to soak in all the fun, fancy, and folklore this magnificent Celtic island has to offer.
Dublin is Ireland’s capital, largest city, and economic, cultural, and educational hub. So basically it’s a big deal. Throughout Ireland’s tumultuous history Dublin has always been of central importance to the country’s well being. Today, with nearly 2 million people inhabiting its metropolitan area, the capital continues to host its fair share of social problems, so volunteering in Dublin presents an array of placement options. Architecturally beautiful, culturally enriching, and historically fascinating, this great city is undoubtedly the face of Ireland.
Other volunteer opportunities are available in smaller cities, which provide a comfortable and charming environment for volunteering abroad in Ireland. Volunteer placements in these cities, such as Cork, Limerick, and Galway, expose volunteers to a more intimate, small town feeling while volunteering in Ireland. Days spent working to positively impact communities and evenings spent casually fraternizing in local pubs, will make for time well spent in the latter waterfront townships.
Many volunteer programs in ireland will provide volunteers with access to the rural countryside, especially when volunteering in environmental preservation. Regardless of the location, volunteer work in Ireland will promote a desire to extensively explore the lush green countryside of this temperate island nation, and memories of its natural beauty will last a lifetime.
Projects & Placements
There are many opportunities to volunteer in Ireland in the fields of social work and community development in almost every area of the country. Education and youth work, along with care for the elderly and the homeless, are also popular areas for volunteering in Ireland, and areas where the need for volunteers is constant.
As the country continues to industrialize, Ireland’s mythical countryside remains in danger of pollution and environmental destruction. Therefore, many volunteer placements are also available in the fields of environmental preservation and animal welfare. Planting trees, contributing to sustainability initiatives on local farms, and natural habitat clean up are all examples of environmental volunteer work in Ireland. Individuals who volunteer in animal welfare, on the other hand, can work at animal shelters, assisting with animal adoption and even helping with basic veterinary tasks.
Most volunteer programs in Ireland last a few weeks to a few months, often leaving program duration up to the preferences of each individual volunteer. Ireland can be cold, damp, and rainy throughout the winter months, so consider volunteering abroad in Ireland during the warmer temperate summertime if your schedule allows. The vibrantly green Irish springtime, though often rainy, would certainly not be a bad choice either.
Costs & Affordability
Although you will not be paid to work as a volunteer in Ireland, most programs will cover the costs of room and board through program fees. The cost of living is fairly high in Ireland, goods tend to be more expensive than in the U.S., but daily living expenses vary considerably between rural and urban areas. It is certainly possible to lead an affordable lifestyle as a volunteer in Ireland, just keep an eye on your spending and pub visits.
Accommodations & Visas
It is usually possible to live in a homestay or in an apartment while volunteering abroad in Ireland, and some programs will also organize group living arrangements for program participants. Homestays are a good way of becoming close with a local family, group living options are good because of the social opportunities, and individual apartments can be good for volunteers who seek more independence during their volunteer work in Ireland.
If you are planning to volunteer abroad in Ireland for more than 90 days, and you are not a European national, then you will likely need to obtain a visa. The visa process is fairly simple and most volunteer program providers will help you go through the necessary steps. It is important to get the ball rolling early, when it comes to applying for a visa, to avoid last minute hassles.
Benefits & Challenges
The scenic beauty of this Celtic nation is matched only by the warming charm of the Irish people. On this sprawling green island of the North Atlantic you will become familiar with the ancient lore, rich modern history, and vibrant contemporary culture that makes Ireland one of the most visited destinations in the world. So let go of your troubles, go have some fun, and volunteer in Ireland to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need.