Top 15 Summer Volunteer Programs for 2018-2019

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Looking for a fun and productive way to spend summer 2018-2019? We have compiled a list of the top summer volunteer programs for individuals who want to use this summer to make a difference in the world. It is likely that the sun will be shining, the weather warm, and there is no doubt, you will have have the adventure of a lifetime volunteering abroad this summer anywhere in the world! 

Without further ado, here are our GoAbroad top summer volunteer programs abroad for 2018-2019: 

1. Kaya Responsible Travel in Thailand

Volunteer teachers in Thailand
Photo Credit: Kaya Responsible Travel

Spend four weeks studying abroad at Chiang Mai University in Thailand, then spend an additional two weeks volunteering in a community service project and living with a host family. Participants can pick up some of the local language, earn academic credits, learn how to cook Thai food, and participate in many fun cultural excursions, to marketplaces and hill tribe communities nearby. Learn more about Kaya's programs.

2. Love Volunteers in China, India, Mongolia, and Palestine 

Yurt, Mongolia

Those who decide to join Love Volunteers this summer in Asia or the Middle East will have a range of placements to choose from. Volunteers can become a camp counselor, teach English to local children, or partake in a variety of other culturally immersive volunteer opportunities. All Love Volunteers’ summer volunteer programs last a minimum of two weeks, but who’s to say you can’t stay for the whole summer?

3. African Impact in East Africa 

A volunteer with the locals
Photo Credit: African Impact

African Impact carries a wide diversity of volunteer projects across the continent of Africa year round, but their special summer programs perfectly combine travel and volunteering. This summer volunteers can travel throughout Tanzania, experiencing everything from life in a rural village to the coast of the Indian Ocean to community development projects near Mount Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Park. In just three weeks, volunteers will form a well-rounded perspective of Tanzania and have their eyes opened by working closely with local community members. 

4. GoEco in India

Volunteers in India
Photo Credit: GoEco

Travel to India for three weeks and spend half of your time volunteering at an orphanage and the other half exploring the natural beauty and cultural richness of this fascinating country. Volunteers will work closely with orphaned children playing games and teaching them a variety of subjects. After volunteering, participants will have the chance to embark on a journey through India, which includes a tour of India’s famed “Golden Triangle” and a two day trek in the Himalayas.

5. Volunteering Solutions in Ghana 

Volunteer teachers in Ghana
Photo Credit: Volunteering Solutions

International volunteers can embrace Ghana by taking part in community development projects, interacting with friendly locals, and joining excursions which expose them to the country’s glorious landscape and wildlife with Volunteering Solutions. For three weeks this summer, volunteers can enjoy the best of Ghana, exploring the culture and landscapes of the country while giving back to disadvantaged communities through meaningful volunteer placements, such as construction projects or orphanage work. 

6. The Bamboo Project in Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal

Travel through Nepal while working with locals on community development projects during a three week volun-tour offered by the Bamboo Project. From the bustling capital city of Kathmandu to the rugged wilderness of the Himalaya, Nepal is a country that never ceases to amaze and inspire travelers from all across the world. The Bamboo Project will make sure you have the best possible experience in Nepal, with the perfect mix of work and play.

7. Global Works & Travel in China 

Children crossing a stream in China
Photo Credit: Global Works

Global Works’ community service program in China this summer is an exciting blend of meaningful volunteering, cross-cultural exchange, and outdoor exploration. Volunteers will have the opportunity to venture through the richness of both ancient and modern China while interacting with local communities. Volunteers will also learn some Mandarin along the way, through both language immersion in local communities and organized language lessons. 

8. Sankalp Volunteer Society in Jaipur, India

Volunteers in India
Photo Credit: Sankalp Volunteer

Journey to Jaipur for a two week volunteer program and then spend an additional week sightseeing across India. Jaipur is India’s famed “Pink City,” offering a bustling atmosphere of street markets, elephant rides, and sweeping historical architecture. Volunteers can impact the lives of local children by teaching English, working at an orphanage, or volunteering at a community center, before moving on to explore more of the country.

9. World Teach in Costa Rica 

Beach in Costa Rica

Volunteers can spend the summer teaching English at small rural elementary schools in Costa Rica through World Teach. Volunteers will teach children from grades one through six, who would otherwise not have access to an English education. The program lasts for up to 10 weeks and no prior teaching experience is required! 

10. Pacific Discovery in Peru

Students on top of a mountain in Peru
Photo Credit: Pacific Discovery

Volunteers can engage in a variety of cultural activities and adventure outings for over a month this summer and explore the beautiful country of Peru. Participants will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Spanish language and the culture of Peru while volunteering with disadvantaged youth. They will also visit some of the country’s most stunning attractions, from the city of Cusco to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu to the beautiful dunes of Huacachina.

11. Cross-Cultural Solutions in Morocco 

Camel back-riding in Morocco

International volunteers will learn about the history, art, and culture of Morocco while volunteering with Cross-Cultural Solutions in Rabat. This summer program gives volunteers the chance to work closely with community members on select projects, including adult education and work with children with disabilities, explore the city, and embark on cultural outings across the country. All volunteers live at the CCS home base in Rabat, with friendly and very supportive local staff, while they build friendships with people from all over the world!

12. Friends for Asia in Thailand 

Volunteer teaching monks
Photo Credit: Friends for Asia

Friends for Asia offers a two week volunteer and tour program based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Participants will volunteer at orphanages and schools while exploring all that northern Thailand has to offer. From elephant rides to meditation retreats to Thai boxing and massage classes, volunteering with Friends for Asia in Thailand this summer will be an experience you won’t soon forget.

13. Rustic Pathways in Africa

Photo Credit: Rustic Pathways

Rustic Pathways offers the ultimate African adventure this summer, a three week exploration of the continent which spans five different countries and takes volunteers on outings that range from visiting the largest waterfall in the world to diving with great white sharks. Participants will also take part in community service projects and have many opportunities to interact with locals throughout the adventure. 

14. Amigos Link in Mexico

Church in Oaxaca, Mexico

Volunteer for seven weeks this summer in Oaxaca, Mexico with Amigos Link. Participants can choose from four different local development organizations, which carry out projects in the realms of public health and environmental sustainability. Volunteers will work closely with locals in their volunteer work, contributing to both education and community development, enjoy a variety of outings with their fellow volunteers, and learn all about the history and culture of Oaxaca. 

15. International Volunteer HQ in South Africa

surfing volunteers in South Africa
Photo Credit: International Volunteer HQ

Volunteer in South Africa and spend the summer surfing! Enjoy living just outside Cape Town in a volunteer house with dozens of volunteers from around the world. Volunteers with IVHQ can spend their days on the beach conducting surf outreach programs to make a meaningful impact on the lives of local youth. Who wouldn't want to spend their summer with IVHQ in South Africa?

And that’s not all, GoAbroad also has plenty of awesome providers with year-round volunteer programs!

If you’re busy this summer and can’t make your dream volunteer trip happen then no sweat. There are plenty of other great organizations that offer volunteer programs throughout the year. Start your search with Projects Abroad or International Volunteers HQ, which both feature exciting volunteer opportunities all over the world year round. There is never a wrong time to start making a difference!

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