7 Best Volunteer Abroad Programs for a Longer Duration

While all our volunteer abroad programs benefit from dedicated volunteers, no matter how long the stay, the longer you do stay, the more impact you can have, and the bigger the results you will see.

There is nothing more rewarding then seeing the progress of the students you have been teaching and hearing them more confident in their English language. Or admiring the new school you have built for the local kids. Or seeing positive improvements in the health of a community after providing education and vital check-ups.

The longer you stay, the more impact you can have, and as IVI volunteer abroad programs can be up to 20 weeks in duration, why not spend several months in one place?!

By spending several months/ weeks on a volunteer abroad program you can:

  • See a project through from start to finish, or have a bigger impact on the community
  • Learn where the help is best needed on your project, and get to know the project coordinators really well
  • Completely immerse yourself on the local culture. Slow travel allows you to take the time to really see a destination.
  • Really explore your chosen destination, see more of the sights.
  • Talk to the locals, and learn some of the local language.
  • Feel a greater connection to the project and local people.

So, while any project will benefit from volunteers being there for a long time, we have rounded up 7 of our best volunteer abroad programs for a longer duration, where you’ll likely see a big impact for your efforts!

Rural School & Community Support, India

Bodhgaya in India is deemed one of the poorest regions in the country. Volunteers seeking a real humanitarian and authentic Indian experience are encouraged to apply. This special project is centred around a school, although it is not just teaching the local kids English you can help with.

From health education and check-ups, to construction, and women empowerment, any skills are really welcome on this project. The students, who all come from the surrounding villages, have an extremely limited access to education. This school provides valuable education to many students, who will give you a huge welcome with singing, clapping, and smiling faces!

The work that you do here will provide vital help for the entire community, and the longer you stay, the more you can immerse yourself into local life and help where it is needed most.

Project info. 

Construction, Nepal

vollies at construction site

Nepal can experience natural disasters, such as earthquakes, which severely impact the local structures and roads. This volunteer abroad program focuses on the rebuilding of schools, orphanages, and health centres in and around Kathmandu.

A lot of the schools in Nepal lack infrastructure like toilets, proper classrooms, playgrounds, libraries, or even drinking water. Your volunteer work will be helping to renovate and provide support to these areas where so much devastation has occurred.

You’ll help with building new walls, redecorating, preparing cement, painting, basic carpentry and landscape gardening. By spending several weeks or months on this project, you will likely see a big improvement in the time you are there. And there is nothing more rewarding than watching the local kids enjoy the new and improved school you have just built them!

Project info. 

Hospital Internship, Tanzania

Hospital building

According to UNICEF, 88% of all Tanzanian children live in multi-dimensional poverty in Tanzania (affected in at least 3 areas). Locals, particularly those in remote areas, but even those living in the cities, have limited access to healthcare.

The hospitals may also have limited recourses and can be over-run with patients. Depending on your experience, you can assist the local doctors and nurses with important duties, helping to ease the strain. This could include monitoring, observing, and providing health outreach advice to the community.

For those who are already experienced doctors, you have the opportunity to pass on your knowledge to the local doctors. It is also a great chance to experience healthcare in a foreign country and provides valuable work experience to both experienced and student doctors.

Project info.

Rural Primary School Teaching, Cambodia

Participant playing with students

In Cambodia, many families simply cannot afford to send their children to school, particularly in rural areas where 90% of the poorer population live. This project is situated North-eastern Cambodia, close to the Thailand border.

The rural village is around a 4-hour drive to Siem Reap and is a chance for volunteers to really step back from the luxuries and enjoy simple living. The longer you are there, the more you will become in tune with the simpler life, and you’ll be able to really get to know the local families and children.

Many schools in Cambodia, especially in rural locations, lack vital resources. This school you will be working at provides free education to around 200 students form the nearby villages. Most of the kids English is very basic, so teaching conversational skills, as well as reading and writing are all valuable. With good English, these children will have a greater chance of finding paid work when they are older, particularly as Cambodia sees many tourists through its doors.

With any teaching project, the longer you are there, the better. You will be able to track the students progress, learn the level of each student and cater accordingly, and progress through each subject with them.

As well as teaching, you can also help out with the school’s garden, some basic construction, or teach other subjects, such as singing, math and art.

Project info. 

Rural Healthcare, Philippines

medical internship philippines

Poverty is widespread in the Philippines, with 21.6% of the population living below the poverty line. Many children lack a nutritional diet, and malnutrition is common. Those living in poorer communities often lack access to both healthcare and education.

This project welcomes medical professionals and students, to assist the local doctors and nurses with their duties. You will work at clinic where you’ll check in patients, finding out what symptoms they have, and performing health check-ups, and administering medication.

You may also be able to assist with specialist projects, such as women’s awareness education and empowerment in reproductive health.

You stay on the beautiful island of Palawan, which hosts incredible beaches, mountains, and caves, and is a popular tourist spot. On the project you will be working in the local communities, in the more rural areas, where you will experience the local areas and way of life.

Project info. 

Woman & Children Commune, Fiji

This community in Lautoka consists of around 400 single mothers and extended family, who live in basic flats. The women, who come from disadvantage backgrounds, receive some government support and social assistance, although the help they receive can be limited or in short supply.

To ease the burden on the women and allow them the chance to get themselves out of poverty, volunteers and help with various jobs around the commune. From helping the women to use their skills to earn an income, to assisting with childcare, teaching both the women and children English language, to medical assistance, admin assistance or construction.

The longer you are here, the more insight you will get as to where the help is needed, and the further education and assistance you can provide. The work here is ongoing, and there is always something to do!

Project info. 

Community Healthcare, Guatemala

checking in locals for health checks

In developing countries such as Guatemala, those with disabilities, and the elderly can find themselves at a significant disadvantage. On our community healthcare project, volunteers work at assisted living-facilities, helping with people who are physically or mentally disabled, elderly patients, and children infected with HIV.

Care can include basic check-ups, as well as conversation and speech therapy, and general medical care. You’ll help to distribute medicines and interact with patients. Guatemala has an extremely high poverty rate, estimated at 59.5% (23% of those live in extreme poverty), and healthcare resources are often lacking.

You’ll stay in a comfortable and clean home, with a local Guatemalan family. This is a fantastic chance to interact with the local people, learn some of the language and get accustomed to the culture. Staying with a host family is an authentic experience and can truly enrich your long-term stay.

Project info.

So, there you have 7 volunteer abroad programs for a longer stay. IVI have hundreds of volunteer opportunities abroad, so if none of these projects took your fancy, take a look at all our project types and destinations.

We hope you see you soon!

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