Slovenia is a small, diverse country with cultural influences stemming from all across central and southern Europe. Formerly a part of the nation of Yugoslavia, Slovenia escaped communist rule in 1991 and over the past few decades has benefited from significant economic and political progress. Yet there is still work to be done, and the volunteer abroad in Slovenia can enjoy living in a truly beautiful country while helping locals tackle the many new challenges of the 21st century.
Slovenia rests among a largely mountainous terrain in the southern reaches of Central Europe. It shares a northern border with Austria, eastern border with Hungary, southern border with Croatia, and western border with Italy. Slovenia is also one of the most bio-diverse countries on the continent, with extensive rivers and forests providing a thriving environment for thousands of different animal species.
The population of Slovenia is quite small and scattered, with roughly 2 million citizens in total living throughout the country (the majority are Slovenes, though many other southern and central European ethnicities and cultures are represented). Ljubljana, the country’s capital and largest city, is a particularly popular destination where to volunteer abroad in Slovenia. Portoroz, a small coastal town on the southern Adriatic coastline, is another such popular destination.
Because many volunteer projects throughout the country are devoted to environmental and wildlife preservation, it is also common to volunteer abroad in Slovenia’s rural areas, where you will be living much closer to nature than in the big cities. Slovenia is very small, so don’t stress too much about the decision of where to volunteer abroad; anywhere you end up, you will be only a few hours from everywhere else!
Projects & Placements
Slovenia has performed very admirably on most political, economic, and social fronts over the past few decades since declaring independence from Yugoslavia; it is now a high income country that ranks well by most measures of human development and economic equality. Nevertheless there are always a host of social problems to be met head on in any country, and so community development and economic development remain two broad areas in which it is very much possible to volunteer abroad in Slovenia.
More popular among international volunteers, however, is partaking in projects that engage with the immense biodiversity of living species and ecosystems that Slovenia plays home to. You can volunteer abroad in Slovenia in areas ranging from marine conservation to biological research to tree planting, and many more different types of placements on top of these.
Ecotourism is one more especially popular type of volunteer project in Slovenia, providing international aspirants the unique opportunity to give back to the environment while also taking advantage of Slovenia’s many adventure travel opportunities. You can generally decide on the length of your own stay as a volunteer abroad in Slovenia; some volunteers choose to stay for just a few weeks, while others stay up to a full year working with their projects.
Costs & Affordability
Slovenia is a moderately expensive place to volunteer abroad (but not nearly as expensive as other popular destinations in Western Europe, for example). The country is part of the European Union and Eurozone, and so utilizes the euro as a form of currency like the majority of the continent. If affordability is a concern, check out our fundraising page to get started toward making your dream trip volunteering abroad in Slovenia become a reality!
Accommodation & Visas
Homestays are often the most popular form of accommodation for the volunteer abroad in Slovenia, giving you a great opportunity to immerse yourself intimately in the local culture while living with a local host family. Sometimes apartments or group living situations are also made available, depending on the location and duration of your volunteer project.
As part of the European Union, Slovenia shares a similar visa policy to other EU countries: citizens from inside the EU will not have to apply for a visa at all in order to volunteer abroad in Slovenia, while citizens from other countries often are allowed to enter the country for up to 90 days before having to worry about obtaining documentation. For more information regarding your individual circumstances, check out our Slovenian Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Off the Map. Slovenia is typically not the first destination on many people’s European itinerary, which is part of what makes it such a great place to volunteer abroad. It is a truly wonderful country where the local culture is not drowned out by tourism.
Diversity. Slovenia not only is home to an immense diversity of landscapes and indigenous wildlife, but also to a great melting pot of peoples and cultures coming from all over the European continent.
Impact. Last but not least, volunteering abroad in Slovenia is a great way to experience this unique European country and culture while also giving back of yourself in contribution to local causes. Volunteering abroad is the best way to travel!