Volunteer in Eastern Europe & Russia

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Volunteering Abroad in Eastern Europe & Russia

Russia alone is incredibly vast, bordering Mongolia and Kazakhstan to the south and extending north to the Arctic, east to Alaska and west toward the Eastern European nations of Ukraine, Romania, Poland, Hungary, and many more. Volunteer programs can be found all over Eastern Europe and Russia, focused on anything from education and childcare to medicine, conservation, and renovation projects. The need for extra hands is high so volunteers looking to an unfamiliar culture will find plenty of opportunities to volunteer in Eastern Europe and Russia. However, with so much cultural and linguistic diversity, volunteers may find it challenging to choose just one location.


While volunteer work in Eastern Europe and Russia covers a massive area, most placements will be found in Russia, Romania, Poland, and Croatia specifically.

Russia. This enormous country has over 160 ethnic groups and 142 million people, with most of them living in urban centers, like Moscow and St. Petersburg. Demand for volunteers in Russia is high in the cities, in orphanages and the fields of education, medicine, and community outreach. There are also opportunities to volunteer in Russia which allow volunteers to experience the wilder side of Russia, through working in conservation, animal rehabilitation, and archaeology.

Romania. Romania has long enticed foreigners with its incredible and romantic landscape, language, and rich cultural history. The capital city of Bucharest offers many volunteer opportunities, but so do the less populated cities of Brasov, Sibiu, and the infamous Transylvanian region. Those looking to volunteer in Romania in orphanages or engage in service projects and community outreach will find plenty of programs options.

Poland. Six countries border this nation, including Germany, the Czech Republic, and Ukraine, not to mention Denmark and Sweden just across the Baltic Sea. Those looking to combine volunteering in Europe with traveling will appreciate the central location. Volunteer programs in Poland tend to be most prevalent in Krakow or Warsaw.

Croatia. Located on the Northeast side of Italy across the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is the land of 1,000 islands. It’s a great place to get involved with conservation efforts and wildlife rehabilitation, including working with brown bears, elephants, monkeys, or even bottlenose dolphins. There is also a high demand for improving infrastructure through construction and renovation projects.

Projects & Placements

Education. Teaching English is one of the most widely available placements for volunteering in Eastern Europe and Russia. There are several types of volunteer teaching programs to choose from, some allow participants to live with host families and receive home cooked meals and cultural immersion in return for language training. Even though English is a global language, this region is still in need of native speakers, especially in rural areas. Individuals can also become an education volunteer in Eastern Europe or Russia and work with small children teaching arts, computers, and sports too.

Orphanages. The quality of life throughout this region can vary greatly from town to town. Therefore, many orphans, children with physical or mental disabilities, troubled teens, and even many elderly reside in group homes and orphanages, where they are provided with much needed attention and resources otherwise not available to them. Volunteering in orphanages can be emotionally challenging but also one of the most rewarding ways to volunteer in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Medicine. Many places throughout Russia and Eastern Europe offer medical volunteering programs. Whether in busy urban centers or rural less-developed areas, medical volunteer placements are abundant. Volunteers can even choose from a variety of medical specialties, including nursing, dentistry, and veterinary studies.

Community Outreach. There are lots of volunteer programs in Eastern Europe and Russia that focus on community development and service projects, including youth rehabilitation, social work, public health awareness, trail development, and recycling initiatives.

Conservation & Animal Rehabilitation. From bear sanctuaries and archeology sites in Romania to environmental conservation efforts in Poland and Russia, individuals looking for volunteer work based in a more natural setting will find opportunities across the region. 

Costs & Affordability

Most individuals who volunteer in Eastern Europe and Russia will have to pay a program fee, the cost of which depends highly on the type of project, location, and inclusions. Volunteer program fees generally include housing and meals, as well as visa assistance and other amenities.

Russia is one of the most expensive places to live in the region, followed by Poland and Croatia. However, Romania is relatively affordable compared to other Eastern European nations. Be sure to research locations that fit your budget accordingly.

Accommodation & Visas

Accommodation will vary depending on the program you choose. Those who volunteer in Eastern Europe and Russia usually live in shared housing, in the form of apartments, houses, or dormitories. Other volunteers will have the chance to live in a homestay, which tends to include home cooked meals. If you live in or near to major cities, you will likely have more modern and Western style amenities, but in more rural areas the latter may not be true. Be sure to prepare yourself for for the climate, local way of life, and living conditions.

Cost of visas will vary, as will visa requirements for volunteer work in Eastern Europe and Russia. For instance, Russia requires volunteers to have a work permit. Sometimes visa requirements will depend on the length of your program, and programs that last less than three months often don’t require anything more than a tourist visa. Be sure to check the government regulations of your chosen country well before departure.

Benefits & Challenges

  • Language Training. Since the languages of Eastern Europe and Russia are so diverse, many volunteer programs offer language training in conjunction with volunteering, so you have the opportunity to learn a bit of Russian, Romanian, or what have you.
  • Adventure. Russia and Eastern Europe are full of incredible sights to see. Volunteers may find the terrain and environment highly unfamiliar, and should take advantage of the opportunity to explore mountain ranges, national parks, historical ruins, and shores of the Baltic or the Black Seas.
  • Cultural Difference. Living in non-Western environments may take some getting used to, especially when it comes to language, customs, food, and transportation. Volunteers should research the culture, primary religion, and historical context to better prepare for living and volunteering in Eastern Europe and Russia.
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A Guide To

Volunteering Abroad in Eastern Europe & Russia


116 Volunteer Abroad Programs in Eastern Europe & Russia


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International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is the world's leading volunteer travel organization, providing affordable, safe and responsible volunteer programs in over 30 different destinations around the world. With program fees starting from just USD 10 per day, IVHQ is the volunteer organization of choice for thousands of volunteers every year. Established in 2007, IVHQ has supported over 55,0...


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Thousands of volunteers from all over the world have trusted Love Volunteers to provide meaningful volunteering abroad placements in communities where their help is really needed. Join us on one of our safe, responsible and affordable programs in Eastern Europe and Russia for a truly memorable experience! Check out our exciting programs and become a Love Volunteer!


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In this program, you will get to live in Funtana, Croatia. Located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, Funtana has several water activities to offer, such as swimming, sailing, diving, and water skiing. Other activities include playing sports, going camping, or even riding horses! You will also be able to learn about the history, culture, and indulge in Croatian food and wine. Volunteers on th...


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Volunteer in an Eastern European community with Projects Abroad. Travel either to Romania or Moldova and enjoy the outstanding scenery, diversity, and the wonderful culture while helping develop a community. This program is open to participants from around the globe.


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Volunteer at a youth summer camp in Pilicia, near central Poland. Volunteers are needed to teach English, lead culture workshops, lead sports dance and art activities. The camps typically run July and August. There are four camp sessions lasting 10 days each. Volunteers can go for as many sessions as they want. Participants will live at the camp with other counselors. Accommodations and al...


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This is service-learning at its best. Teach conversational English in rural elementary and high-school classrooms in the Siedlce region, east of Warsaw and at English language camps in the Tatra mountain village of Zakopane. You don't need previous teaching experience to encourage and stimulate youth and adult students! Any native English speaker can be very helpful. Emphasis is on conversation...


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Travel to Europe and teach a family how to speak and understand English in volunteer programs with GeoVisions. The programs place volunteers with a family in Poland, Turkey, or Russia, and teaches them English up to 15 hours a week. In exchange, the host family provides a private room and three meals a day. All programs include orientation, emergency evacuation services, and medical insurance.


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There are over 50 bears living at the inspiring sanctuary. The bears are being rehabilitated after years of misery in circuses or as tourist attractions in tiny cages. It is fantastic to see these beautiful animals living happier lives and you will help achieve this by working alongside a very dedicated team of Romanian workers. You have to be happy to turn your hand to all tasks in the day ...


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Get the opportunity to stay in a beautiful resort while helping talented youth develop their English speaking skills through the volunteering programs offered by AIP Angloville. They provide placements in Hungary and Poland. Volunteers will stay in a quality hotel located in the beautiful countryside of Hungary or Poland for seven days, and will mentor ambitious and talented youth from all o...


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Shadow doctors 20+ hours/week in Lithuania through the Atlantis Fellowship. 1-8 week Fellowships during winter, spring, or summer breaks.


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Volunteers For Peace is a Vermont non-profit with over 30 years of experience coordinating meaningful international voluntary service opportunities. We offer projects in more than 90 countries for volunteers ages 15 – 99! Find a project and use the coupon “gab14” for a $25 discount on your registration fee today!


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Greenheart Travel’s Teach English in a Homestay in Russia program is ideal for adults looking for a deep cultural immersion and exchange. As a volunteer homestay teacher in Russia, you will have the chance to live life as a local while instructing conversational English for 15 hours a week to your Russian host family. This opportunity is perfect for those hoping to gain experience in teachi...


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Croatia is a beautiful country that is emerging as a popular European tourist destination. Croatia is a former Yugoslav republic on the Adriatic Sea. It is about the size of West Virginia. Part of Croatia is a barren, rocky region lying in the Dinaric Alps. The Zagorje region north of the capital, Zagreb, is a land of rolling hills, and the fertile agricultural region of the Pannonian Plain is ...


Volunteer in the picturesque Drava Region, one of the wildest natural jewels of Central Europe. The area offers a wide variety of habitats and ecosystems which are in need of daily conservation work. Visit and protect the ecosystems of swift-flowing rivers, surrounding floodplain forests and fabulous oxbow lakes, the beautiful marshes, and eye-catching alder moors, the neighboring Croatian area...


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Premier TEFL has partnered with Angloville to bring you the ultimate TEFL experience. The Anglo-TEFL Scholarship combines 120 hours of accredited TEFL tuition with hands-on teaching experience in Central Europe. This exclusive package is designed to give you the best start in your English teaching adventure. Afterwards you’ll be prepared to work all over the world, be filled with confidence...