Close your eyes and imagine travelling to one of the most wild and beautiful countries on the planet, meeting people from all around the world, and coming together to make a positive impact. Now open your eyes and realize that you have the power to make this happen. Embarking to volunteer abroad in Australia will be the journey of a lifetime in a country with friendly people, remarkable scenery, and an adventurous state of mind; all you need to do is make the decision to go.
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As one of the world’s largest and most sparsely populated countries, there is plenty of room for international volunteers in the land down under; Australia ranks as high as fifth globally in total land area, and only 51st in total population. Most of its cities are located along the country’s extensive coastline, with the eastern and southern regions home to the highest population concentration.
The country’s largest city of Sydney is the most popular destination where most choose to volunteer in Australia. Sydney is regarded as a premier global city and is hugely influential around the world in areas spanning the economic, political, and cultural spheres. Pristinely settled on the world’s largest natural harbor, it certainly isn’t sore on the eyes, either.
Not far behind Sydney on many traveller’s itineraries is Melbourne, the country’s second largest city and another exceedingly popular destination where to volunteer abroad in Australia. Melbourne is often regarded as one of the most livable cities in the world, and the hard work of volunteers plays no small part in that prestige.
Other potential destinations where you can volunteer abroad in Australia include Canberra, Brisbane, and Perth; every Australian city offers a little something different, so do your research carefully while deciding on the best-fit destination for your global adventure!
Projects & Placements
Because so much of the country is wild and unsettled, it may come as no surprise that many of the most popular volunteer projects in Australia are in the realm of environmentalism. Specifically, doing work in areas such as conservation, trail building, and animal welfare are all examples of ways you can contribute positively to local aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems while you volunteer abroad in Australia.
While Australia has an advanced economy and high living standard, there is also a strong demand for international volunteers to work in areas such as community development and grassroots campaigning. There are many underserved Australian citizens, especially in the urban areas, who can benefit greatly from the devoted work of a volunteer force. Other popular fields in this vein include working with indigenous peoples and refugees, as well.
There are a huge amount of opportunities to volunteer in Australia within a wide diversity of fields and locations, so take the time to look into as many different programs as you can. Volunteer programs in Australia can last anywhere from just a couple of weeks to a full year, depending on the project’s structural parameters as well as your own personal availability.
Costs & Affordability
Put bluntly, Australia is an expensive country. As a volunteer abroad in Australia, many of your basic living costs such as housing and food will likely be covered in the upfront program fees. Because the costs of volunteer programs in Australia vary widely, however, and because you will not be paid for your services, fundraising can be a worthwhile venture. You might be surprised by how much family and friends will be willing to help contribute to your cause!
Accommodation & Visas
Accommodations will also vary widely depending on what type of volunteer project in Australia you are working on. Homestays are usually a popular option, which can give you the rewarding opportunity to immerse yourself within Australian family life. Group living situations in apartments or dormitories with other international volunteers are also often available.
You will need to apply for a visa in order to volunteer abroad in Australia, so it’s best to get the ball rolling on this process early. Most often your volunteer program will help guide you through this process; in the meantime, you can check out our Australian Embassy Directory for more visa information relevant to your individual circumstances.
Benefits & Challenges
Freedom. While volunteering abroad in Australia is a big commitment, the sense of freedom and perspective you will gain by leaving home to work halfway across the globe cannot be overstated enough. Get ready for your world to grow.
Work. Day in and day out, working with like-minded individuals as a volunteer in Australia will prove to be a tremendously rewarding experience. More importantly, you will be giving your time to positively impact your host country in an area you are passionate about.
Wilderness. Australia is infamous for it’s Outback, a huge terrain of land that remains unsettled at the heart of the continent. The freedom to explore this and other beautiful landscapes is just one more perk while you volunteer abroad in Australia.
It might seem like an intimidating decision to volunteer abroad in Australia, but if you put your heart and mind to it, then you can make it happen. Having an experience that few will ever have, in one of the world’s wildest and exciting countries, will be well worth the effort.