Volunteer Teaching Abroad

Back to Programs

Volunteer Teaching Abroad

Teaching abroad is a goal for many people, whether they have a degree in education or not. Volunteering in as a teacher or teaching assistant for a short amount of time is an excellent way to test if a career in teaching is a good fit for you without committing to the investment of a TEFL certificate or working abroad full time. Volunteer teaching abroad gives individuals specific classroom experience even before a practicum or student teaching placement is possible, and adds a competitive edge to any education student’s resume.

Why Volunteer to Teach Abroad

Volunteer teaching abroad is a wise choice for anyone who wants to teach abroad long term in the future. While countries and placements vary, the responsibilities and tasks for international teaching are similar in every location. You will most likely be helping with both planning and leading lessons, and your enthusiasm will bring a new energy to the classroom. Through working with local students and teachers, you will learn a great deal about the local culture as well as classroom management in new settings.

By volunteering as a teacher abroad you can get experience with a certain amount of responsibility and influence in the classroom that you wouldn’t necessarily have through the same position in your home country. Even as a teaching assistant, you may be in charge of multiple lessons each week as well as grading assignments and more long term unit coordination. You may also have the chance to start a club or activity group for students that will allow them to explore subjects outside of the classroom. If you are able to commit to a minimum of a few weeks of volunteering abroad, teaching is the best way to have a bigger impact on the students and school where you are placed.


In general, the main regions for teaching placements abroad are in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, however, you are likely to find a placement anywhere in the world.

Ecuador is a smart choice for those interested in working on their Spanish language skills, since the Spanish spoken in Ecuador is well-pronounced and easy to understand. Ecuador has an open and welcoming culture, which helps teachers feel involved in the community and get to know the teachers and students easily. Most opportunities for volunteer teaching in Ecuador are centered on teaching English.

The Philippines is an ideal place for volunteer teaching abroad. Many people in the Philippines speak English, so lessons in the arts, healthcare, and technology are still successful even if you do not speak the local language. There are still some opportunities to teach English in rural areas of the country, where schools primarily utilize local dialects. 

South Africa offers a wide variety of teaching placements and the choice to volunteer in South Africa as a teacher is a wise one. You can work with children or adults, either at a school or in a community. Volunteers in South Africa may also work at neighborhood centers or in rural villages doing special lessons or workshops.

Costa Rica provides volunteer teachers the chance to work in a geographically smaller nation. Similar to Ecuador, many teaching positions in Costa Rica are in teaching English. With a relaxed and open attitude, the pura vida lifestyle of Costa Rica is a good fit for someone who wants to volunteer but also have time to slow down.

China is a great location to become a volunteer teacher for anyone who is interested in a future teaching career in China. Teaching in China gives you a front seat into Chinese culture and people, which is invaluable experience when trying to develop a career in China. Most teaching placements in China are as English teachers, and China is one country where you may be able to earn money even for a shorter term placement due to the high value the nation puts on education.

Volunteer Teaching

Most placements volunteer teaching abroad are a minimum of one week in length. Depending on your personal preferences, you may find yourself teaching in a variety of settings. Some individuals may choose shorter program lengths where they are placed in community centers or other drop-in style instruction locations. The longer you can commit to a program, the more you will get out of it.

Teaching English: This is by far the most popular type of volunteer teaching placement because of the demand around the world. Most nations realize the importance of teaching English, however the lack of resources for education means that the quality of instruction can suffer. As a native English speaker your skills are of high importance (even if you’ve never had any formal teacher training).

The Arts: Dance, music, theater, and visual arts can be incredible tools for processing and expressing creativity. Since resources are usually put toward core subjects rather than the arts, these subjects are sometimes not a part of the day to day instruction for most students. By giving youth the time and space to be creative, you can enrich their lives in a way that might not occur without international volunteers.

Healthcare: Accurate and comprehensive health education is something you may take for granted depending on where you grew up. In most parts of the world, it can still be a challenge to get information because of cultural differences or geographical location - most rural areas do not have any access to proper health education. The importance of education surrounding diseases, sexual health, and hygiene is a worldwide necessity.

Technology: Teaching computer literacy to both children and adults is another powerful way to make a difference. While lack of access to technology is certainly an issue in some communities, there can also be a huge barrier to using it because of the learning curve. You can help children have more resources for completing their schoolwork and assist local adults in becoming proficient with various technological softwares and programs that can make their businesses more successful.


Volunteering abroad as a teacher provides many personal and professional benefits, even for those who are not planning to go into a career in education. By spending time instructing youth or adults, you will gain insight into how people from a foreign culture approach a problem or discussion, increasing your own problem-solving skills. The ability to teach different subjects outside of English makes volunteer teaching an even more valuable addition for individuals outside the field of education. Teaching abroad also shows a commitment to educating others and a desire to expand knowledge of your specific subject area.

Read More

written by:

A Guide To

Volunteer Teaching Abroad


2077 Teaching Volunteer Abroad Programs


This listing has been saved 281 times

Teach abroad through a volunteering program from GoEco. The organization provides volunteers with access to programs initiated by their partner groups around the world. GoEco only works with the best programs, validates the reputation and quality of projects, update the timing and availability of programs, and help volunteers prepare for their trip.


This listing has been saved 58 times

Our real Asia Volunteer Experience is an English teaching program takes you to Kolkata in East India and Phang Na in Southern Thailand. This program allows you to experience two completely different cultures and gives you the chance to explore two amazing destinations within the realms of one single teaching program. Taking a combined program with Volunteering Journey allows you to get twice th...


This listing has been saved 93 times

Share your passion for people and love of teaching in Cape Town, as you work with underprivileged inner-city communities, teaching and caring for disadvantaged children and creating fun learning activities. Although voted one of world’s top tourist destinations, Cape Town has many informal settlements ridden with poverty, substance abuse, unemployment and HIV/AIDS; issues which largely stem ...

volunteer teacher

This listing has been saved 362 times

Volunteer in teaching programs abroad with Love Volunteers. The organization offers affordable volunteering programs that provide tangible aid to communities in developing countries. Volunteers can work in primary and high schools, créches, and pre-primary.


This listing has been saved 2 times

Our volunteer teaching projects focus on improving English literacy in rural schools using approved reading schemes. Give extra lessons, teach children about the importance of wildlife conservation and how to protect the environment. Teaching abroad is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture as you influence the future of African children through improvements in their education.


This listing has been saved 13 times

Oyster Worldwide specializes in worthwhile and rewarding volunteer and paid work programs in stunning destinations overseas. From the moment you enquire, you will receive personalized support and guidance from experienced, well-travelled advisors. Work on a farm in Australia, volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica or teach English to children in Chile, there is a program to suit everyone!


This listing has been saved 72 times


Renowned for friendly people and a relaxed pace, Laos is a perfect place to visit for volunteer travel, and teaching monks could be a great and rewarding way to spend your time while you are there. Many rural boys move to urban areas to ordain as Buddhist monks for low-cost living and for the opportunity of an education. You will teach English to the monks at Wat Siphoutthabat School in Luang P...


This listing has been saved 218 times

Projects Abroad offers the opportunity for volunteers of all ages to join our Care project in Costa Rica, This childcare project is based in day care centers and kindergartens. Based in Heredia and San Jose, volunteers will spend their days at their Care placements, and return to their host family accommodation in the afternoon. At the placement, volunteers typically run educational games and g...


This listing has been saved 130 times

Cross-Cultural Solutions is a nonprofit working to address critical global issues by providing meaningful volunteer service to communities abroad, and contributing responsibly to local economies. As a leader in the field of international volunteer travel since 1995, we know that the best approach to international volunteering—the only approach—is one designed by the community. In every communi...


This listing has been saved 75 times

Maximo Nivel is a locally based organization in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Volunteer abroad—get involved, make an impact, and learn to serve by working at local projects: - Working with Kids - Teaching English - Conservation - Construction - Animal Care - Eco-Agriculture - Medical & Healthcare Since 2003, Maximo Nivel has been a leader in educational travel and stu...


This listing has been saved 32 times

Take part in a highly rewarding teaching project with Kaya Responsible Travel. The organization provides volunteering opportunities in 20 countries worldwide. Volunteers can gain valuable teaching experience, learn a foreign language, and immerse in a unique culture.


This listing has been saved 125 times

Provide teaching services to nonprofit educational organizations and schools in underserved communities abroad through Connect-123. Volunteers work with students from early childhood to tertiary levels. Volunteer teachers can assist in reading and literacy programs, teaching, tutoring, and mentoring students, and researching educational policy.


This listing has been saved 144 times

CrossContinental offers affordable intern abroad, volunteer abroad, culture/language immersion programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Gain hands-on experience, improve your resume, enhance cultural understanding, and build global network. Stay with a host family for culture and language immersion.


This listing has been saved 18 times

Take part in low-cost volunteering programs in Oaxaca, Mexico, with Adelante International Internships and Study Abroad. Volunteers can get involved in teaching projects that greatly benefit local communities. Participants get to experience one of the most biologically diverse areas in Mexico and interact with warm-spirited locals.