Volunteer Abroad in Italy

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A Guide to Volunteering Abroad in Italy

The name Italy brings up so many different images: art, wine, food, museums in Florence, restaurants in Rome, gondolas in Venice, picture-perfect ancient ruins, fashion runways in Milan, and majestic Mediterranean Islands. While all visitors want a taste of it all, some individuals (like you!) want to do something more meaningful to make an impact on the nation. Volunteering in Italy gives individuals the chance to contribute to the nation’s needs and learn about the culture firsthand from the viewpoint of the locals while enjoying all the magnificence Italy has to offer.

Where to Volunteer Abroad in Italy

Italy is a boot-shaped peninsula in Europe that extends out into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia. Rome, the capital city is the most populous with over two and half million people. The nation’s other most populous cities are Milan, Napoli, Torino, and Palermo. Volunteering in Italy offers these cities and so much more! Here are the best places to volunteer in Italy.  

Rome, the Eternal City has always been a religious capital for thousands of years and is still the center point for the world's over one billion Roman Catholics. The city is the perfect place for the faithful volunteers, as it offers plenty of options for projects. A visit to the hundreds of churches within Rome, with the amazing number of holy relics, could be a pilgrimage all on its own. 

Venice, the city of canals (with no roads!) is made up of over 100 small islands and will delight you with its beauty. Strolling through the city on a gondola ride will never be as romantic as it is here. You’ll never tire of places to see and things to do while you’re here from marveling at St. Mark’s Basilica to touring Doge’s Palace. 

Naples lies in southern Italy on the front calf on the boot. Volunteers who are history lovers will rejoice in this city of relics. Whether you’re ogling at Mount Vesuvius’ grandiosity, visiting the National Archaeological Museum, or touring Naples underground, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a time machine to the ancient past. Don’t forget to take a bite of the signature pastry here, sfogliatella, for a quick snack (or even breakfast if you have a sweet tooth).

How to Volunteer in Italy

Whether you’re a sea or land lover, you’ll easily be able to find volunteer opportunities in Italy that suit your needs and tickles your fancy. From getting your hands dirty to assisting others, you’ll be making a big difference for the locals. Here are popular volunteer projects in Italy. 

Marine Conservation. Dive into the sea to help marine researchers record life in the sea, such as dolphins, and evaluate humans’ impacts on these creatures. The research you’ll be doing and that data you’re providing will be invaluable to for helping to protect this fragile ecosystem.

Teach English. With Italian being the main language spoken, Italy looks to native English teachers to supplement children’s language learning. You’ll be opening doors and opportunities for these children by teaching them English. Many of these programs encourage volunteers to lead games and activities, so you’ll be playing hard while working hard! 

Archaeology. Why not volunteer in Italy by helping archaeologists excavate tombs to reconstruct the past? If you couldn’t get enough of the song “Pompeii” by Bastille, then you can even unearth relics of Pompeii that tell a story about the Roman civilization long ago!

Costs of Volunteering in Italy

Hold onto your cannolis, you may dreaming of the pasta and wine you’ll stuff yourself with while you’re here, but you’ll also need to keep in mind the costs as well. Italy is a costly European country, so you’ll need to do some preparation ahead of time. Most program fees cover the costs of food and housing. Unfortunately, you’ll likely need to shed more bucks for international airfare. Consider applying for scholarships, and you could also ask for friends and family’s help via FundMyTravel.

Accommodations in Italy

Would you like to immerse yourself with the Italians or live with other international volunteers like yourself? From hostels to homestays to apartments, Italy offers a plethora of choices. Depending on your program, however, you may not even have to worry about making arrangements for accommodation. If you’re interested in staying in an apartment, the rent is more affordable than most places in Europe (around $600 a month for a one-bedroom apartment). However, as a volunteer in Italy, you could live with an Italian host family. 

Italian Visas

If you volunteer abroad in Italy for less than 90 days, then a passport is the only requirement. If you’re planning on staying longer, then you’ll need to apply for a visa. You can get started looking into the visa requirements via GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory. Program coordinators are also usually happy to assist with your needs and answer questions as well.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

With plenty to offer curious volunteers, you’ll never be bored in Italy. The coastline is perfect for boating activities and snorkeling. Regardless of time of year, volunteers can always fill their free time with language learning.

Depending on if you mind crowds or not, you’ll need to research the times you would like to visit here. Peak tourist season starts in June and lasts until August. Low seasons are a great time of year as a volunteer in Italy for a unique experience. 

Volunteering in Italy will overall deliver a balance between meaningful service, relaxing beauty, and historical adventures.

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A Guide To
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GoEco - Volunteer Abroad in Italy

GoEco was created by experienced volunteers for people who are eager to travel and contribute to the community, wildlife and environment they visit. Based on years of practice and in-depth field reports, GoEco presents you a careful selection of excellent yet affordable volunteer and ecological minded vacations.

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Most Affordable Volunteer Programs in Italy with IVHQ!

International Volunteer HQ offers affordable, trusted and responsible volunteer abroad programs in Italy! IVHQ volunteers can chose from a wide range of volunteer projects including Teaching English, After School Care, Environmental and NGO Support.

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Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational (A.C.L.E)

Experience Baiardo, Italy through volunteering with ACLE. Volunteers can take part in the restoration of several medieval houses by completing a variety of activities, such as painting, landscaping, and furniture restoration. Participants share accommodations with other volunteers. This program is open to participants who are 18 years old and above.

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Tutor, Camp Counselor or Work Abroad in Italy w/ GeoVisions

Spend 15 to 20 hours a week assisting teachers at an Italian school teaching students how to speak and understand the English language. Offered through GeoVisions, participants are paired with local host families where room and board are provided. The program includes in-country staff support and medical insurance.

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Dolphin Conservation and Sailing in Italy

Live aboard a historical sailing boat and take part in conservation surveying work with wild dolphin populations. This project is set on the picturesque island of Ischia, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, making this a unique and meaningful experience.

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Explore Italy as a Volunteer in Classrooms & Camps

Experience Italy as a volunteer for one to two weeks! Our partnership with teachers and administrators in several small towns in the Puglia region puts you directly in touch with students on a daily basis. Volunteers help plan each day's work using English texts and established lesson plans, reviewing exercises the students have completed and will be studying in the near term. Volunteers als...

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Ultimate Europe Tour

The ultimate European adventure every June and July travelling safely and comfortably between cities via train so you have the maximum time exploring. Do not miss out on the experience of a lifetime and friends for life! Do not travel alone, join our fun group every June and July to explore Europe with our UK leader. We use trains to speed us safely and comfortably between cities so you have...

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Cultural Homestay International

Live in Italy for two months to one year and work as an English Conversation Volunteer through Cultural Homestay International. The program requires that participants conduct English language lessons with their host family, in return for their accommodation within the family home. Volunteers also have the chance to pick up some Italian through informal language lessons. Placements are offered i...

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Siena Italian Studies Program

Participants become immersed in Italian culture and language through Siena Italian Studies program which includes impactful service-learning opportunities. Students get to become involved with the unique activities and excursions with locals and community members. Siena Italian Studies offers language programs with volunteer placement components to participants from around the world.

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Exchange and Experience Italian lifestyles with Joinki

Become part of the Joinki Language Tutor Program in Italy. This opportunity offers you a whole new way of experiencing cultural exchange, since you will be given the chance to be an active member of a true Italian community. You will serve as an English or German language tutor to an Italian family in the Trentino Region. In return for providing exposure to the language around 15 hours ...

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Teach your Language to a Host family and Travel for Less

Travel abroad for less and learn the language of your host family in exchange, you teach them back yours. GoCambio connects millions of people who want to learn or improve the language they are learning with the millions of people who travel in search of unique and independent experiences. So, in exchange for a couple of hours a day helping someone improve the way they communicate in the ...

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Make A Global Difference with InterExchange!

Live with an Italian host family and teach them English as part of volunteer placements through InterExchange. Volunteers can choose to live in Ancona, Macerata, Perugia, and many other Italian cities. In return for language lessons, volunteers are provided with food and housing throughout their stay.

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IPSL Study Abroad + Service-Learning

IPSL offers substantive volunteer service programs for students interested in doing summer or semester studies in Italy. They provide enriching service learning and cultural immersion that give students the avenue to create a professional network that will prove valuable in their future career.

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American Institute For Foreign Study

Spend a semester or academic year in Rome with AIFS. Earn up to 16 credits as an intern studying at Richmond University in Rome. No previous Italian language study is required. Your program begins with a 2-week language and cultural orientation to acclimate to life in Italy. Internships are available in: - Art, Design and Media, Art History, Business, Communications, Economics, Education, ...