Requirements: What qualifications do you need to volunteer abroad?
For the majority of our Standard Projects, there are no requirements. All you need is to be committed to making an impact. This also extends to our Teaching Projects – you do not need a TEFL certificate or be a professional teacher to get involved. If you do have qualifications, we will welcome your experience and skills.
At some of our projects, you will need language skills and/or a certain level of experience before you can join. The specific project page will tell you if this is the case.
Our organized group trips for volunteers of all ages – High School Specials, Global Gap, Alternative Spring Break Trips, Winter Break Trips, and Grown-up Specials – have no requirements. However, you will need to be a certain age for some of these group trips.
Are there language requirements?
On most of our Standard Projects, you are not required to speak any specific languages other than English. Few of our volunteers are able to speak the local language before they arrive. It is an advantage to learn a few basic phrases but it is certainly not necessary to be fluent! At our Care and Teaching Projects, volunteers teach English in English – this is what schools want, and it helps us work towards our goal of helping underprivileged children improve their English.
There are some exceptions where a basic, intermediate, or advanced knowledge of the local language is needed to participate in the project. This is often for more professional projects like Journalism, Law & Human Rights, and Medicine & Healthcare, or for French and Spanish speaking countries. The project page will specify if any language skills are required. If you are unsure of your language capabilities, please contact us and we will let you know if you’ll be able to participate.
In many of our destinations, it is possible to take language lessons if you want to improve your language skills. Please see our Language Courses section for more details.
Are there age requirements?
The majority of our Standard Projects only require you to be at least 16 years old to participate, so anyone aged 16 and older can volunteer with us. Some projects do require you to be older than 16, but if this is the case, it will be stated on the project page.
Here are the general age requirements for all of our projects.
- High School Specials: Teenagers (16-19)
- Alternative Spring Break Trips: University age (18-22)
- Global Gap: Gap year (18-19)
- Projects for Professionals: Professionals (30+)
- Grown-up Specials: Anyone (50+)