Volunteer Projects to Suit Every Type of Traveller!

Like our projects, our volunteers can be quite diverse, and whilst most will share one main goal, which is to give back to a deserving community, there are certain projects which will suit you more than others.

Some destinations are a bit more of a challenge in terms of culture shock or in an ‘off the beaten path’ location, and some are more suited to those looking to meet other volunteers. While one destination may be perfect for some, it may not suit another. We want you to have the best trip possible, and that means finding the right place for you!

In this post, we will walk through the types of travellers out there, and which volunteer projects and destinations may be best suited! This is just a bit of fun, but if you need some more help, please just ask us, we are always happy to advise 😊

So here are some of our best volunteer projects to suit all kinds of traveller!

The Culture Vulture

spices at market

For those who want a real cultural experience, then we would recommend a project where you will stay with a host family. These placements can really give an in-depth insight into the local people, and after a short space of time it will feel like a second home! Many of our projects in Fiji include a homestay, including our women’s commune, animal shelter, and nutrition projects.

Many of our Nepal projects are based in Kathmandu, a vibrant capital city, full of fascinating culture, museums, galleries, markets, etc.

For those who don’t mind being out in the sticks a bit, our rural school and community project in Bodhgaya in India is a true cultural experience like no other.

We also have many cultural week programs. These are usually a week long completed before your volunteer project, as a way to understand more about local norms and the local culture. Our immersion program in Peru can be longer than a week and is a unique experience to spend time with rural Peruvian communities.

The City Explorer

Cu Chi Tunnels - Group photo on top of a war tank (1)

For those of you who love wandering around a new city, visiting museums, art galleries, local markets, and having the convenience of everything nearby, then why not try some of the following volunteer projects:

In Guatemala, some parts of the country have a real European feel about them, with all the old colonial buildings lining the streets, like in Antigua, where you can teach English or help on our medical program.

Our Stray Dog Rehabilitation volunteer project in Nepal is very popular, and you are free to explore Kathmandu in your free time.

For those heading to Southeast Asia, many of our projects in Vietnam are situated in Ho Chi Minh city, which is a fascinating city to explore with so many things to do both in and outside the city. Some of our projects include teaching English and volunteering in the food shop, where locals with low incomes can receive heathy meals (such a great and rewarding project).

For those wishing to volunteer in Africa, then why not book on one of our projects in Accra, Ghana, such as construction or sports coaching. Accra is the capital and largest city in Ghana, with a population of over two million. It stretches along the Ghanaian Atlantic coast and extends north. From museums, to shopping, art galleries, the beach and more, Accra is an exciting place to visit.

The Foodie

enjoying local food

Love all kinds of food and trying exotic new things? You can learn a lot about the culture from trying the local cuisines, as well as it being a great bonding experience when staying with a local family. Try heading out to local restaurant too, it helps to give back to local businesses and you can experience local life and all kinds of new delicious foods. Tip: head to the place busy with locals, if there’s a line up, it must be good!

Some destinations to head to for fantastic food are Vietnam, Thailand, Bali and Sri Lanka.

The Nature Enthusiast

For those of you who love being surrounded in nature, many of our volunteer projects are located in beautiful places to get out and explore. Spending time in nature has so many health and mental benefits too, and it’s always so exciting exploring somewhere new! As a volunteer, the weekends are always free or you to travel and discover new places.

Try our turtle conservation project in Guatemala where you will spend most of your time on the beach. There is also the mangrove conservation project in the Philippines, where you will spend most of your time outdoors, conserving Palawan’s mangrove plantations, a vital habitat for its marine life.

Our Buddhist monastery teaching program in India, is set in Sikkim, which is bordered by Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. Spectacular scenery is the highlight of this fascinating region.

For those is really want a true nature experience then head on our remote Amazon rainforest conservation program in Peru. This could be a challenge as accommodation is basic but it’s an experience like no other, plus the work is so important to help fight issues such as deforestation and climate change.

If you love animals too, then try our latest program in Madagascar volunteering with lemurs!

The Off the Beaten Path Traveller

volunteer with local Maasai, Tanzania

For those who have travelled before or simply want to throw themselves in the deep end, then we do have several programs that are a bit more remote. These projects can often be some of the most rewarding and unique experiences, so if you don’t mind a lack of Wi-Fi or home comforts, then go for it!

Our rainforest program in Peru, as stated above is a real off the beaten path experience, as is our remote island teaching program in Fiji. Only 4 volunteers are allowed at one time, so it makes it more of a localised experience. This is one of our most popular projects.

We have several off-site projects in Costa Rica, including sustainable farming, turtle conservation and working on the nature reserve.

Our rural teaching volunteer project in Cambodia is located in North Eastern Cambodia near the border of Thailand. Here you will take part in an amazing village school project which started in 2012 and has been completely built by volunteers under the supervision of local management with in-depth knowledge of the local challenges and opportunities.

For more of an active placement, try our Maasai Tribe Community Support in Tanzania. You will stay in a very simple, traditional, family home in a Maasai Village in Arusha (or surrounding villages). Moita is quite a bit off the beaten path. Located several kilometres away from the main roads near Arusha, there are many smaller towns along the way to this small village. Get involved in things like cooking, collecting firewood and milking cows.

The Sociable One

IVI volunteers holding turtle

Many of our volunteers travel solo, and love to know that there will be other people on the project at the same time as them. The majority of our volunteers are aged between 18-25, so if you are looking to find some like-minded travellers and make friends then there are many projects which would suit your needs.

Our turtle project in Sri Lanka is usually pretty busy with volunteers from around the world and is in a great location close to the beach and some great nightlife (although we do advise to be very careful at night and always head out in a large group).

Nepal and Bali generally have many volunteers at one time, from all the various projects, so there is a great social atmosphere and it’s easy to make friends! Our programs in Peru and other South American countries includes a homestay but you will have the opportunity to meet lots of volunteers through the volunteer hub, which is available to you to hang out in.

The Adrenaline Junkie

group pic in mountains

Nepal would be the go-to place out of all our destination for major thrill seekers! Although places like Costa Rica, the Coral Coast in Fiji, and Thailand all have exciting activities to try like white water rafting, ziplining, and bungee jumping!

Pokhara, Nepal is one of our latest projects and has many adventurous activities available, like paragliding and ziplining.

For the real adventurous, why not head out on one of our base camp treks. They are a minimum of 4 weeks, which can be extended to included more volunteering time at the end. It includes an introduction week in Kathmandu, then a trek (either Everest base camp or Annapurna), and then a week’s volunteering in Kathmandu.

This is a once in a lifetime trip and some of the most spectacular scenery in the world!

Budget traveller

Bodhi Tree School, India

We try to keep our programs as low as possible for you, but there are some destination or projects that are more budget friendly than others. Specialist placements and construction placements tend to be a little higher due to materials and supervision needed.

Some of our more affordable options (for a two week duration) are the rural school project in India, which is just $335 for 2 weeks. Our standard projects in Ghana (including teaching, sports coaching and art and design teaching) start at $380 for 2 weeks. Most of our projects in Nepal are just $433 for two weeks, and our Hua Hin projects in Thailand $450 for 2 weeks.

The Chilled-Out Traveller

group at the turtle conservation project

Volunteering can be hard work, so if you would prefer to relax and unwind on your days off, then there are plenty of places to do so. All of our programs by the beach provide opportunities to chill out in your free time, such as kindergarten teaching in Fiji, turtle conservation on the stunning island of Nusa Penida in Indonesia, and our mangrove project in the Philippines. Pokhara in Nepal, whilst having plenty for the active lover, is also a quiet and peaceful spot with a stunning lake to unwind next to!

We hope that you have found one of our volunteer projects that suits you! Whatever you choose, we are sure you will have a fantastic time! The act of giving back is such a wonderful experience.

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