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.
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.