Blogger’s Guide to Volunteer Work & Gap Years

Gap Years and Volunteer Work Abroad

Volunteer with Elephants at Thailand’s Elephant Nature Park
Anni finds volunteering is probably the most effective way that non-scientists can get involved with these incredible animals.

The Thrill of the Run – It’s a Dog’s Life
As someone who once sat in a shopping trolley and shouted ‘mush’ only to receive a withering look from a friend’s husky, I read with envy the results achieved by these volunteers at a Siberian husky centre in Austria.

Unique Travel with HelpX
Talon Windwalker asks Mike and Ashley Lenzen about their experiences volunteering through HelpX.



How to Volunteer at a National Park (And Live For Free!)
Veronica and David appreciate how lucky they are to be able to explore the great American outdoors for free through the National Parks Service.

Working With the Wichi People in Salta
After visiting an exhibition of photos by Wichi children, Victoria and Steve went to Salta to meet the couple that provided the cameras and visit the garden building project funded by sales of the photographs.

Volunteering at Quellomayo
Lucy Graham dropped in on an Anglo-Peruvian family living near Machu Picchu to help on their farm.

Relax or Volunteer at a Hostel in the Sky
Volunteer and live for Free in Nicaragua.

Our time at Elephant Nature Park
Giselle and Cody help to care for a new born baby elephant and for over 2000 dogs rescued from the illegal dog meat trade.

Our Week at Care for Dogs, Chiang Mai
Franca and Dale make their first step into volunteering.

A Day in the Life of a Volunteer in Cambodia (Volunteering as a Doctor)
An extract from the emails send back to Kathryn’s family and work colleagues from her time volunteering in Cambodia.

Volun-toursim In Thailand: Determining Where To Put Your Efforts
Tips for people who are interested in volunteering in Thailand.

Is it Legit? Why You Should Double Check Your Volunteer Projects
Tips for avoiding scammy volunteer projects.

Gap Year Students Are More Likely To Smoke Weed, Study Reveals
Bad gap year students, bad!

Volunteering! Putting the Santa in Santiago
The Flying Gypset volunteered over Christmas at a home for the homeless.

When Travelling, Be Very Careful Where You Volunteer
Andrea and John warn that sometimes volunteering in a poor country can do more harm than good.

11 Great Volunteer-Ready Dog Shelters in Thailand
Franca and Dale list dog shelters across Thailand that welcome volunteers.

Blog: Volunteering with BlazeAid
Jessica Riley, an Irish backpacker and journalist, shares her experience volunteering with Blazeaid on the clean-up after the 2013 Gippsland Bushfires in Victoria.

So, I Got Accepted Into the Peace Corps and I’m… Moving to Colombia!
Sarah Shaw says goodbye to her Korean teaching job and does the I-got-accepted-into-the-Peace-Corps dance.

Volunteering Jobs with Rescue Dogs in Thailand
Turner Barr exploits cute doggies for his video.

An Interview with Diana from Save Elephant Foundation
Shannon O’Donnell interviews Diana Edelman about her work in northern Thailand.

Day in the Life of a Volunteer in Guatemala
Chalen Yang provides a snapshot of his life as a medical volunteer.

WOOFING in Greece – Pros & Cons
Gary explores what’s good and what’s bad about volunteering on a Greek organic farm.

Wwoofing in Olmué, Chile
Rosie and Jon spent two weeks volunteering on a small farm in the mountain village outside of Santiago.

WWOOFing a Japanese Farm
The WWOOF network provides Mike with a free room and board in an expensive country.

The Backpacker’s Guide To WOOFING
More information on the WWOOF concept.

Our First Official Visit and Some Thoughts
Marco, a permaculturist in northern Thailand receives a visit from a group of Karen from the surrounding mountains and a government official in charge of agricultural policy in the area.

Mae Taeng, Pun Pun and You Sabai Organic Farms, Thailand
Cristen and Miguel set off on a motorbike road trip from Chiang Mai and end up at a couple of nearby organic farms.

Volunteering With WWOOF
A WWOOFers’ impression of her volunteering experience on the Three-Generation Farm in Mae Rim, Thailand.

10 Years Ago Today – Cambodia
Tash reflects back to her time in Cambodia as a volunteer for Youth Ambassadors for Development.

Why Pay to Volunteer
Daniel Quilter argues the case for paying to volunteer.

Voluntourism: Sometimes it Works – Part II
The second part of Bert Archer’s investigation into the complicated world of voluntourism.

Volunteering in Thailand: Our 2nd Volunteering Experience
A volunteer helps a retired teacher who had set up a classroom in his house to help local children develop their English.

Filling in the Gap
Despite being obsessed with travel, Stephen Ferdinando uses his gap year to worm his way into the media.

Indo needs you: Volunteering in Bintan, Indonesia
Avoid throngs of drunk Aussies in Bali and head to the remote island of Bintan where you can give something back to the local communities

Episode Slice #40: Volunteering Abroad – What You Need to Know
A video of Katie Boyer, Volunteer Abroad Director of Go Overseas answering questions on volunteering.

Peace Corps for Couples Part 2: The Interview
Part two of Monkey Brewster’s series on applying to volunteer as a couple with the Peace Corps.

Tea and Mud Houses: Life on a Turkish Farm
Caro and Matt reach a professional standard at laying mud.

Bright Stars and Woodsmoke: A Week on a Farm in Thailand
Naomi Alyssa cleared bamboo, carved posts, cut steps and built supports in northern Thailand.

A Week-In-The-Life of Tony: WWOOFing on A Tuscan Farm
Tony’s decision to quit his job in finance and travel the world with his wife, Meg, led them to a Tuscan Farm.

Phangan Animal Care (PAC)
Ross Fairgrieve shoots a video for a charity dedicated to caring for the stray animals of Koh PhaNgan.

Volunteer Accommodation – What to Expect
Neil, who has volunteered on sports projects in Sri Lanka, India and South Africa, provides an insight into where volunteers rest their heads after a hard day’s work.

Travel Like a Local – Work Away!
Some more information on the work exchange network.

Volunteering in Colombia: Can You Make a Difference in Two Weeks?
Karen asks the question when she and her husband went on a volunteer vacation.

Short-Term Volunteering in Cambodia: Some Questions
With so many places in Cambodia offering the orphanage volunteer work experience to travellers, Travelfish suggests that despite the best intentions your contribution might not benefit everyone.

A Typical Work Day
Tammy and Chris chart their day working for a NGO in Cambodia.

Volunteerism: Be the Change You Want to See in the World
Tammy Lowe tells us more about her role placing Cambodian graduates in marginalised communities.

Gap Year Case Studies: Website Development in Australia
The Telegraph speaks to gap year participants whose work experience abroad has helped them on their chosen career path.

I’m not a Bitch, I Just Play One in Senegal: Part 1
Melanie Chamberlain threatens to slice the boss’s balls off and learns how to backtrack when a radio is broken.

Volunteering Abroad: My Story About Volunteering At Angel House in Seoul
English teacher Caroline Hosey joins a co-worker volunteering at a community home for people with disabilities.

Singing Aloud and Volunteering in Baños, Ecuador
Though technically not volunteers, Melissa Ruttanai and her husband Neil were invited to join travellers and expats from around the world in helping Ecuadorian children learn English.

How To Network While Volunteering Abroad
Brittany Edwardes suggests volunteering can aid your professional development.

Volunteering in Mexico: A Day With the Women of Teotitlan
Katie Boyer visits women’s groups near Oaxaca.

Volunteering On A Vineyard in the Spanish Pyrenees
Emma Higgins finds she now knows far more Spanish words for construction tools than the average visitor to Spain.

Volunteering on a Vineyard in Spain
Emma Higgins writes on her own site about her volunteer stay in the Spanish Pyrenees.

A Breakfast Made For WWOOFing – Foodgasmic Tales From The Road
Exhausting manual labour helps Tony Rulli to conjure a little piece of food porn.

Travel and Discover Rural Reality with WWOOF
WWOOFing from the perspective of a host farmer.

Bamboo Canes and Cannabis Plants
Dawn finds out in France that the WWOOF network attracts the odd eccentric.

Voluntourism: Sometimes it Works – Part II
Toronto Standard reporter Bert Archer continues his investigation into the voluntourism business.

Volunteer Project: Humboldt Garden Collective
Amy, a former volunteer outreach coordinator for a large non-profit, tries to develop her green thumb in California.

Issues with Orphanage Voluntourism
Brittany Edwardes argues there are better ways for untrained volunteers to help orphanage children than working directly with the kids.

The Reasons I Advocate Volunteer Work Exchanges
Kurt shares his personal experiences with volunteer work exchanges in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Belgium.

Why a Gap Year Should Come to America
Americans still have a way to go when it comes to matching Europeans and Australasians in taking a gap year. Katie Aune suggests reasons why taking time out is a good thing.

How to Travel for Free: The Workaway Program
Adrian Phillips suggests Workaway is a better way to remain abroad than selling an organ or smuggling drugs.

Settling into Life in Baños, Ecuador
Kim and her husband spend three weeks in the Andes mountains promoting literacy and the arts to local children.

Memoirs of a Grizzled Expat 8: The Dilemma of Helping Vulnerable Street Kids
Andy Ahmed finds that other expats, irresponsible parents and the possibility of accusations of being a paedophile make it difficult trying to help street children in Cambodia.

Get Your Boots Dirty: Volunteer Overseas
Josh Martin skipped the safari and resorts to volunteer for two months in Ghana.

Helping Local Volunteers Help Haiti
Kirsty Henderson reports on a locally developed project in Haiti that helps other members of their community.

A Birthday Wish
Em volunteers at a deaf school in Kaifenga, China.

Volunteer in Bolivia at a Children’s Center (Interview Part I)
The founder of a children’s centre in Bolivia answers questions about her project.

Why You Shouldn’t Participate in Voluntourism
Richard Stupart runs through some of the arguments against voluntourism.

Live Chat: Everything You Want To Ask About Taking A Career Break With Expert Sherry Ott
Anil Polat and readers of Foxnomad fire questions at Meet Plan Go’s Sherry Ott.

A Week-In-The-Life of Dorothy: Volunteering in the Cook Islands
Octogenarian traveller Dorothy Conlon describes her first seven days volunteer teaching on a Pacific island.

The Selfishness of Teens: Volunteering in Salta
After volunteering with Cloudhead Art in Salta, Victoria and Steve feel teenagers unfairly get a bad press.

The Zombie Chase – Part 2
Amy and Andrew rampage around London after brains.

When Travelling, Be Very Careful Where You Volunteer
A cautionary note for those looking to do good.

Read This Before You Voluntour – Part I
Bert Archer, a travel writer for the Toronto Standard, finds out more about the voluntourism business.

Life at our Workstay
Caro and Matt earn free room and board in exchange for helping out at an eco hostel in Portugal.

A Very un-Gap Yah African Adventure
Gap Yah’s Matt Lacey volunteers at a lion park in South Africa.

Persuasive Reasons to Volunteer Abroad
Some reasons to volunteer.

What Does A Volunteer Manager Do?
Abbas Hussain writes on the person charged with getting the most out of a volunteer workforce.

What it is Like to Volunteer on Skomer
Sandra Young reflects on her weeks’ volunteering with birdlife on Skomer Island, off the coast of Wales.

Helpx: Volunteering a Different Way
George worked for food and accommodation in Australia.

Talking jobs – Interview with a Volunteer
After joining Conservation Volunteers Australia before she left America, Lauren Noble helped plant trees in a nature reserve in Geelong, removed old fencing on a property near Warrnambool and visited Phillip Island to remove woody weeds.

Volunteering at SAELAO in Nathong, Laos
Where the hell is Rory? I don’t know but early in 2012 he was volunteering on a project just outside Vang Vieng.

What’s Wrong With Volunteer Travel?: Daniela Papi at TEDxOxbridge
A Youtube video that dwells on the negative aspects of voluntourism.

A Day in the Life: Peace Corps Volunteer
Caroline Eubanks interviews Melanie Chamberlain on her experience in Senegal.

To Gap or Not to Gap?
Rather than going on a year long backpacking holiday, Sarah took a placement with the Year in Industry scheme and spent ten months working at the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

What Not to Pack for a Volunteer Construction Project
Noa Glow finds that Lululemon Capris and a spaghetti-stringed top don’t cut it when volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.

How To Prepare To Volunteer Abroad
Jessica Festa’s tips include connecting with past volunteers and learning the culture of the country you will be volunteering in.

Gap Year Case Studies: Ski Instruction in Austria
Dearden Jameson worked a season as a ski instructor after taking a BASI accredited gap course.

Farm Life in Northern California
With an interest in one day living sustainably on her own farm, Kirsty Henderson learnt about growing food and farm life in Boonville, Mendocino County.

How to Travel and Work Around the World with WWOOF
Sophie McGovern tells Nomadic Matt Kepnes about her experiences including making goat’s cheese in Tuscany and volunteering in the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest.

Volunteer for a Day ~ Santa Emilia, Nicaragua
Travellers from all over the world volunteer for a day to teach kids art.

Learning to Speak English
Ayngelina spends a week in Spain with 24 other English speakers creating an environment for Spanish students to learn her language.

They gave me a machete: a true story of corn-cutting
Diana hacks away at a field of corn.

Volunteering Abroad: Don’t Go With the Big Companies
Louise Mayman wonders where the money paid to gap year companies actually goes.

If I Were a Chick, This is How I’d Volunteer
Even though he is a fella, Mark Wiens offers some advice to female volunteers.

Volunteering – Is it Worth the Money?
Volunteering your time and effort can be expensive. Neil gives his perspective from volunteering in India, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

Volunteer Sports Coaching in Sri Lanka
From getting out of bed to a casio wristwatch alarm to going to bed covered in mosquito repellent, Neil describes his day.

Volunteering Isn’t Just Teaching English
Sherry Ott has volunteered in Jordan and Lebanon. Here she suggests alternatives ways to impart your skills beyond just talking.

Volunteering in Banos – 30 Kids and 100 Soda bottles
Jack and Jill use empty plastic bottles and the power of imagination to keep a horde of children quiet in Ecuador.

Volunteer in Iceland, Travel for Free
Wade Shepard received free food and accommodation in exchange for carving steps into the side of Eldborg volcano.

5 Tips for Volunteering Abroad
JoAnna Haugen’s advice includes research and cultural sensitiveness.

When Travel Becomes More Than Sunbathing and Drinking
Sofia writes about her friend Sanna, a volunteer in Rwanda.

Volunteer and Paid Opportunities in Southeast Asia (Free) – Places, Like Thailand, Cambodia and Laos
Avril connects other travellers to volunteer gigs as a self-appointed volunteer head hunter.

Why I Recommend a Gap Year Over Uni
Chris weighs up the options, quickly says screw Uni and opts for a year out.

7 Things I Learned at German Helpx
A guesthouse worker in Germany ponder smudges and the differences between British and German beds.

Rowleth End Guest House – Our First Help Exchange
Help X helps more travellers find work in a guest house, this time in England.

Yes, I am in Albania
Peace Corps volunteer, Meredith, spent a year in Albania.

Day 31-43 Tanop Community Education Centre
The Baigrie family describe the facilities and duties for volunteers at this Cambodian school.

Trail Building: A Volunteer Experience for Nature Lovers
Sarah Palmer describes three trail building projects in the USA.

Singing Aloud and Volunteering in Banos, Ecuador
Melissa Ruttanai describes the activities of the Biblioteca Interactiva de Baños.

Volunteering in Eastern Europe at a Bear Sanctuary in Romania
Natasha wins a competition to become a volunteer at a home for over 50 brown bears.

Volunteering at Mr T’s Organic Farm in Vang Vieng, Laos
Not far from the alcohol buckets and tubing of Vang Vieng is the organic farm of a Laotian biologist where Penny Atkinson spent some time teaching English, milking goats and building a mud house.

People Smugglers, Misplaced speedos and Ravenous Carp – Volunteering with a Difference in Thailand
Simon Busch, writing in MSN Travel, speaks to volunteers in Thailand.

Voluntourism: How to ensure you really are doing some good
Katy Stewart answers questions put by Iain Mallory. A big part of the interview is taken up with Katy’s views on voluntourism including commercialisation and giving special thought to working with children.

How to overcome home sickness while volunteering abroad
Zablon regularly writes for the Travel Dudes about volunteering abroad. This time he suggests some remedies for missing home.

So, You’re Going to Save the World?
Laura ensures sarcasm when she decides she wants to volunteer.

Volunteer and Paid Opportunities in Southeast Asia (FREE) – Places Like Thailand, Cambodia and Laos
Team Chiang Mai volunteer to help people volunteer around the northern Thai city.

A Tale of Three Schools
Alexia Nestora presents a tale of good intentions gone wrong.

Volunteer Chronicles: Settling In
Sherry Ott’s initial experiences and impressions volunteering in Jordan with the Conservation Corps.

Volunteering in Svay Rieng
This is what Dave Dean of What’s Dave Doing did last year in Cambodia.

Do Good Thursday: Mending Faces, Changing Lives
Talon’s guest post about volunteering for Uplift Internationale, an organisation that performs free surgery for children with cleft lips.

A Day in the Life of an Equestrian Intern in Costa Rica
Erin and Simon helped out with horses at an equestrian centre in a rural part of Costa Rica.

A Week-in-the-Life of Jeannie: Nomadic Chick
Jeannie Mark describes one of the twelve weeks she spent as a volunteer in a small village in India.

The Opportunities of Travel: ‘Volunteering’ in Taiwan
Johnny Ward is staying at an English school in Taiwan for Thai TV.

Volunteering in Kuala Lumpur
Victoria Brewood compiles a list of five Malaysian NGOs in the habit of welcoming volunteer workers.

How Volunteering Can Lead to Extraordinary Travel Experiences
Mark Wiens recounts some of his own volunteer experiences and passes on some advice how others can do the same.

How a Pencil Made Me Appreciate Life Like Never Before
Adam and Megan tell of their involvement with Big Brother Mouse, an organisation trying to improve literacy in Laos.

How Volunteering in Buenos Aires Accidentally Took Me Back to my Roots
When Michael Tieso volunteered in Buenos Aires he had no idea he would be spending time in the same area his mother grew up in.

Nomadic Interviews: Todd’s Wanderings
Another in the excellent series of interviews by the Never Ending Voyage people, this time with Todd Wassel, a veteran traveller and international development worker of 11 years.

Do Good Thursday: Four Free Volunteer Programs in Peru
Why pay to volunteer when their are plenty of worthy NGOs that won’t charge a penny and may even divvy up lunch.

Professional Internship Opportunities in Peru
Cusco resident Camdon Luxford provides further proof that Peru has a wealth of opportunities for travellers hoping to avoid paying to volunteer.

5 Cheap Ways to Volunteer in Peru
And, while we’re on the subject, here’s one from me on Cheapoair’s blog.

Lies, Lies, Lies (or Volunteering in Nepal)
Connie Hum gets the shitty end of the stick when she ends up with a lying, thieving family masquerading as a volunteer organisation.

Life on a Malaysian Rice Farm: Up to my Knees & in Over my Head
If you only read one story about working on a rice farm in Malaysia this year, this is it.

Unbrave Girl on Board: Life on a Malaysian Sail Boat
After the rice fields Sally boards a boat and starts sanding it down.

Volunteer Abroad for Free
Zablon Mukuba gives some advice via TravelDudes.

Seeing a Different Side of South Africa
Rebecca volunteered at a small primary school in KwaZulu Natal.

Do Good Thursday: Kirsty’s Volunteer Abroad Experience in Rwanda
We know how Kirsty Henderson makes her money (see her interview above in the Writing, Blogging & Photography section). This is how she spends some of her time. Kirsty is a serial volunteer and also publishes an ebook on the subject.

Why I Volunteer: Eric “Kuba” Ash
Eric has volunteered with WWF-Canada, WildAid, Jungle Cat World Zoo, and the International Tiger Coalition.

Questions to ask a WWOOF Host
Kelsey suggests some questions to ask to the farmer in who’s house you may soon be living.

Solo Travel Options: WWOOFing in Japan
Sean volunteered on an organic farm in the coastal village of Uchinoura, on the south island of Kyushu.

Volunteering Gone Waaayyy Wrong and 10 Tips to Avoid a Bad Volunteer Experience
Lash has a bad WWOOF experience in Florida.

First time WWOOFing!
You have to start somewhere and for Mark that somewhere is New Zealand.

Organic El Salvador
Mike and Ashley Lenzen hooked up with an El Salvadorean-American couple who established their organic farm four years ago to help local kids.

Stephanie Usry, WWOOF
Stephanie picked grapes, apples and basil on a farm in Italy.

Der Bauerhof
Goat sheering and scythe wielding were two of the tasks entrusted to this WWOOFer.

WWOOFing in New Zealand
Rebecca Morley recounts her experiences on three farms in New Zealand .

10 Tips for Getting Your First WWOOF Gig
WenLin Soh’s appreciation of good food leads her towards the organic farming network.

Volunteering for a slice of Turkish life
An Irish Times piece about WWOOFing in Turkey.

Cool People Met While WWOOFing: Lee the Dish Fairy
Celeste reminisces about a Korean friend she knew in New Zealand.

WWOOFing in Italy
Working on an organic vineyard in Tuscany.

A Different Breed of Nomad
Tiffany and Greg interview Robyn who worked on an organic farm in Rarotonga.

3 Things I Learned from WWOOFing in Serbia
Beth and Randy enjoy the regional cuisine, culture, customs and homemade wine that are among the benefits of volunteering on an organic farm.

WWOOF: Organic Farm Exchanges
Car-guy Ian explains the concept of WWOOFing to Jocelyn Broyles.

To WWOOF or not to WWOOF That is the Question
Erin questions whether a black thumbed city girl can make a go of WWOOFing.

In Which I Become a French Cowherd
Kelsey learns that cows have an ankle phobia when she herds five of them (and Bruno the Bull) through the French countryside.

Portraits of WWOOFers in Tuscany, Italy. Part 1
The first in a three part series of photographs of WWOOF volunteers.

What the Heck Am I Doing With My Life?
Adam Pervez is a serial volunteer and, among many other things, has cleaned dog cages at an abandoned dog shelter, done menial tasks at a nursing home, helped publicise an organisation that turns used bikes into human-powered machines, and built a website for an indigenous Mayan co-op.

A Volunteering Honeymoon in Zimbabwe
Not long after Craig Young got down on one knee to propose to Kim they heard the tiny patter of… um, great big lion paws.

When Love is Louder than Language – A Day at Casa Mea
Kurt and Dayna are honest with themselves that volunteering for a day won’t change much but they still made a small difference in the lives of seven children at a home in Romania.

Helping Hand: Building Schools on your Travels
Ed Rex looks back to his time as a volunteer in 2007 where he helped rebuild after the destruction of the Lord’s Resistance Army in northern Uganda.

Voluntourism: Helping or Hurting?
A Canadian TV show discusses the topic.

Volunteer Travel in Indonesia
Heather Boylan used her experience to train teachers in South Sulawesi.

The Kids of Ngong Hills, Kenya
Despite finding that volunteering abroad wasn’t as easy as she thought, Angie Orth finally had the opportunity when she visited Kenya.

Beacon: Blists Hill Victorian Town
James Carpenter dresses up as a Victorian for the day.

A Week-In-The-Life of Inge: Volunteering in Costa Rica
Inge sheds some insight into seven days of her life as a volunteer at a Zoo.

Wildlife Volunteering at the Safari Park Open Zoo in Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Jennifer volunteered to improve the lives of animals living in the Safari Park Open Zoo in Kanchanaburi.

The Reality of Tiger Temple: My Final Thoughts on my Volunteering Experiment
Mixed emotions push Turner Barr to move on from volunteering at the often controversial Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi.

Why Volunteering Is An Invaluable Part of Travel
Backpacker Becki argues volunteering is for (travel) life, not just a one off experience to tick off your bucket list.

Habitat for Humanity Review Zacapa Global Village Trip April 2013
Mig finds a meaningful experience and a cultural immersion on his volunteer vacation in Guatemala.

Day 2 in China
Shachaamah Brown volunteers with pandas.

Volunteering with Dogs in Thailand
Dale and Franca care for dogs in Chiang Mai.

You Can Be A Cleaner Too: Working for Accommodation in a Hostel
Forest Parks tells us it is possible to stay in a nice hostel without it costing a penny.

Does ‘Voluntourism’ do More Harm Than Good?
Orphan huggers create a market for orphans and well builders take work from locals, argues Richard Stupart.

What is Responsible Volunteer Tourism?
Richard Brownsdon wonders why Siem Reap, a town of 100,000 people, has 35 orphanages and steers us towards matching our skills with the real needs of the local community.

Monk Chats in Chiang Mai
Travellers can help young Monks get better at speaking English.

Days Going By…
Genine Spicer’s first week volunteering in Cambodia.

The Pros and Cons of Work Exchanges
Is participating in work exchanges a viable way of travelling cheaply? Jess, Wanderlust’s Blogger of the Week, shares her experiences.

Volunteering in India with Children
Alaina McGregor, of Jandals and a Backpack, volunteered for two months at The Educators Trust, a children’s charity in Goa, India that provides an education to slum and street children.

Volunteering with Animals Abroad – Our Week at the Dog Rescue Project in Thailand
Amy and Andrew find the perfect volunteering opportunity during their trip to the Elephant Nature Park where they help out with their Dog Rescue Project.

Volunteering with Elephants (Thailand)
Diana talks about her time as a volunteer at the Elephant Nature Park near Chiang Mai.

Voluntary Vacation: Hostel Hopping in Guatemala
Jonathon Engels suggests exchanging a few hours of reception service or other work for food and a room.

A Cautionary Tale: Volunteering in Trade for Free Accommodation
Sometimes a volunteer just needs a little ‘alone time’.

Free Accommodation at Hostels: An Interview With a Die-Hard Hostel Fan
Eric Reed answers questions on working for his bed and food in the UK, Cambodia, Greece and Turkey.

The Ups and Downs of Work Field Trips to Rural Cambodia
Tammy goes on a field trip to interview and take photos of some of the beneficiaries of the NGO she volunteered for.

Volunteering At An English School In Yangshuo
Vicky and Dave converse with English students in a Chinese school. In return, the school allows them to live free of charge in the student dormitories.

A Volunteering Honeymoon
Joshua and Sutay Berman get married and volunteer in India for the New York based American Jewish World Service.

My Volunteer Work in Paracas, Peru: Bartending
Peru gave Trisha Velarmino new and unique experiences, including working as a hostel bar manager.

The Safari Park Zoo Volunteer Project
I have fond memories of being chased by a lion at this great volunteer project in Thailand. Tessa and Nicole spent a week there feeding monkeys, walking lions and tigers, bottle feeding young leopards, and cleaning up poo.

8 Ways to Avoid Being a Poser of a Voluntourist
How to find a genuine low cost volunteering abroad programme and avoid falling into the category of ‘poser do-gooder.’

Spotlight on BAWA, Volunteering in Bali
Michael Huxley advocates working for the Bali Animal Welfare Society.

An Average Helpx Day (With Horses!)
Danalynn and Chris round out their time in Southern Africa on a horse ranch, helping out with guided horse tours in the Garden Route of South Africa.

Volunteering with Children in Phuket
The Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation welcomes a new Office Fellow to work in their administrative office for at least 6 months.

The 10 Most Important Things I Learned While Volunteering Abroad
Lessons learnt on Jessie’s journey teaching English in Thailand and doing orphanage volunteer work in Ghana.

My New Adventure
Rachel starts a Christian gap year course called Soul Edge in Saskatchewan, Canada, that will involves three months of leadership training and two months of mission outreach to the First Nations people living in Pelican Narrows.

IamA a 19 y/o Guy Who Took a Gap Year and WWOOFed, Helpxed, and Couchsurfed Around Europe for 6 Months (on the Cheap!)
Questions answered on Reddit.

Volunteering in a Hostel in Berat, Albania
Miming the words for ‘sausages ‘and ‘charcoal’ in a small Albanian shop is one of the tasks assigned to Els.

Volunteer in Koh Lanta Thailand – A Disaster!
Yara Coelho puts up with a poor Workaway host.

The Joys of Free Volunteering in Thailand: Tiger Piss, Fur Balls and Excrement
One of a series of posts by Turner Barr on his time working at the Tiger Temple.

The Problem With Little White Girls (and Boys): Why I Stopped Being a Voluntourist
White people aren’t told that the colour of their skin is a problem very often, says Pippa Biddle, but in most of the developing world it can be a hindrance.

What I Learnt in Nepal – Why A Bad Travel Experience Isn’t The End
Rachel writes about  volunteer experience she didn’t like in Nepal – and then spends a lot of time responding to negative comments below the line.

How To Look For Volunteering Jobs in Latin America
Trisha Velarmino answers a reader’s question.

The Seven Kinds of Volunteer You Meet Travelling
Building huts. Teaching kids. Shovelling dung. Is it for you? Before you answer, you might want to check out the kinds of people you’ll have to live with.

Video: Volunteering at an Orphanage in Myanmar
For a change, here’s something to watch, rather than read.

Family Volunteering Holidays
From helping to build a school in Kenya to beach cleaning in Wales to working with mahouts and their elephants in Thailand, Gretta Schifano lists some of the best options for families.

Volunteer Holidays: How to Find an Ethical Project
There are hundreds of ‘voluntourism’ projects available, but a new report claims few of them are doing as much good as they claim. So how do you find an experience that genuinely makes a difference? Two experts in responsible tourism give their tips.

#TTOT Roundup: Gap Year Travel
The participants of Travel Talk on Twitter give their take on gap years.

Image courtesy mrcharly

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