Posts Tagged ‘volunteer’


Student Travel Must-Do: Volunteer Abroad

March 24, 2010

Volunteer Abroad

So far on my Student Travel Must-Do List:

1. La Tomatina in Buñol, Spain

Next: Volunteer Abroad

All of my past travels have been purely selfish. I went places that I thought would be exciting, adventurous or beautiful or places where I had friends and family to visit or places where I had a free couch to stay on.

Now I’d like a chance to travel for good, where my time will help someone other than myself.

There are many options available for volunteering abroad depending on if you want to volunteer for a week or two, a month or a year. Here are two names in volunteer travel that you know you can trust to provide you with a well-planned cultural experience:

  • Volunteer Abroad is run by Travel CUTS and places students and adults with groups that build housing, run health clinics, support education and do other things to get involved in communities around the world. They have programs for Summer and Reading Week as well as other times during the year.You do have to pay for these programs, but the program fee covers accommodation, meals, language training, activities during your orientation week and cultural training. Your international flight, transfer to your placement and weekend trips are not included.
  • Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program connects you with a home-building project in one of the dozens of countries around the world where they operate, from New Zealand to Romania to Macedonia. Projects last from 9-14 days, so you could easily combine your volunteer time with a regular holiday.Habitat trips cost between $1,275 and $2,500 (travel to and from not included), depending on your destination, but they provide ways for you to fundraise through their site.

Some universities also offer summer volunteer projects, so check with your study abroad office to see if they have anything that interests you.

If you have other volunteer programs to recommend, leave a comment below.

Let’s all help out!


Volunteer Abroad and Make Your Holiday Matter

February 19, 2010

Your generation isn’t nearly as shallow, apathetic, or clueless as the media makes you out to be. (Right?) Sure you want to have fun and spend some of your holiday sleeping in, dancing on pub tables, and extreme sporting, but you want a little more to show for your time away from home than a sunburn and a few blurry photos taken with your friend’s camera phone.

If you’re looking for an experience that will let you combine good times and good deeds, consider spending time as a volunteer in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal, Nicaragua, Peru, or Tanzania.


With the Volunteer Abroad program, you can work with kids in a local school, support conservation efforts, help rebuild homes and schools in regions that have been hit by floods or earthquakes, assist in a medical clinic, or pick out one of the many other worthwhile projects available.

So get yourself connected. Projects last between 4 and 24 weeks, making it simple to combine a shorter project with a backpacking trip you’re planning, or make the volunteer experience the main part of your itinerary. Volunteer Abroad will help you plan your travel arrangements, including any day trips, weekend activities, or other destinations you want to add to your adventure.

Visit for more information.


Volunteer and Get a Free Day at Disney

February 2, 2010

Update 4/7/2010: Looks like the first million people have claimed their free ticket, so this program is over. Let’s hope Disney offers it again next year.


Give a Day. Get a Disney Day.

That’s the offer and it’s as simple as it sounds. To get people volunteering in their communities, Disney is offering a free 1-day, 1-theme park ticket for either Disneyland® Resort or Walt Disney World® Resort to the first million people who complete their day of service. The offer is good in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

As a traveler you probably already have a strong volunteer ethic. Why? Because you’ve seen a little of the world, you appreciate cultures, communities and the elements of nature that bind us all together, and you know how important it is to support the people and programs that try to make life better for everyone.

Reaching out and connecting with others is what being a traveler is all about, even when you’re not far from home. So help out at a community garden, a local animal shelter or your old elementary school, and know that what you’re doing is just as important as if you were doing it on the other side of the world.

Oh, and enjoy the added benefit of free rides. Woo hoo!

Here’s the fine print:
You must pre-register and sign up through this site to volunteer and complete your service at an eligible volunteer opportunity in the fifty United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or Canada to receive a ticket after verification of such service. Ticket quantities for this program are limited. You must be at least 18 to sign up. You may only sign up a maximum of 8 members of your household. Children must be at least 6 to participate in the program. One ticket per person, regardless of the number of times you volunteer. Program begins January 1, 2010 and continues until tickets are distributed or until December 15, 2010, whichever occurs first. Your voucher for a free ticket must be redeemed by December 15, 2010, and used on the same day of redemption.

Sign up now and find a great volunteer opportunity near you!


Make Your 2010 Travel Resolutions

January 7, 2010

Hello, and welcome back!

Actually, you may have been here all along – I’m the one who took a little break. It’s a new year though, new decade, and I for one am ready to jump start my life. I’m ready to set new goals, learn new skills, meet new people, and think and plan big.

So why not start with some resolutions? Really, I would only ask that you set one resolution: Travel.

That’s it. I’m not telling you where to travel or how or with who. Just resolve to do it. Start small, maybe camping for a weekend with friends or visiting your grandmother like you keep saying you will or checking out your first sci-fi convention.

The where and the when don’t really matter. What’s important is that you get out of your house, try something new, open your mind to new experiences and ways of life and open your address book (a real paper one or the one in your mobile) to the new friends you’ll make on the road.

If you like your goals to be a little more specific, how about one of these?

  • Travel green. Resolve to minimize your carbon footprint, clean up after yourself wherever you go (that includes the movie theatre), and support local businesses whenever possible.
  • Travel for good. Take part in a volunteer project in another country and do more than just sit on the beach and visit museums. Build a house, teach, farm, take part in people’s lives.
  • Travel for study. Don’t be a tourist, be a student. Plan a semester or summer abroad and see what campus life is like in another country.

I also resolve to provide you with inspiring travel ideas throughout the year, because there’s plenty to see and to out there.

Get moving!