Volunteering abroad for room and board

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Nowadays, there seem to be loads of volunteering abroad ’companies’ available who require you to pay a certain amount of money to be able to volunteer. We believe that true volunteering should be free, or even better: that you get something in return for helping out. All the websites below are offering free volunteer opportunities in exchange for food, a place to sleep and sometimes even some pocket money. Sometimes you have to pay a small fee to register.

Volunteering in general

Free volunteer work abroad – Free volunteer opportunities are listed per country.

HelpX – A basic free membership, but then you cannot contact any hosts. Premium membership costs 20 euros per two years. Helpx offers a range of volunteering opportunities. Usually, the helper works an average of 4 hours per day and receives free accommodation and meals for their efforts.

WorAaway – Also offers a range of volunteering opportunities, usually in exchange for room and board. The costs are 23 euros for a 2-year membership.

Working Traveller – Is free as well. Opportunities are listed per country on the map. You can send messages to the people offering the working options. Its called working but since you won’t earn a lot volunteering would be more suitable.

Volunteerbase – They call themselves the free option to big websites like HelpX, Wwoof and WorkAway and work similar.

Se7en – Similair to workaway. A membership costs 15 euros per two years.

Staydu – Free. Same as before, but not many members, thus little opportunities.

Working Abroad – Free to register, but the volunteer opportunities sometimes cost money.

AIESEC – Offers free volunteering options and internships abroad for young people (under 30). Sometimes meals and accommodation are covered by the organization.

Global help swap – Several free volunteering opportunities

Festivals

Work exchange team – You can work on festivals in exchange for tickets for the festival. Mostly in the USA and Canada.

Organic farms

WWOOF international – WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. From here you can search on country and get a membership. The membership costs you a little money and is per country, but you can work on organic farms including room and board.

WWOOF independents – Here you can find a list with WWOOF opportunities from countries around the world that don’t have a separate national website.

Governmental

Youth in Action/Erasmus+ – Now part of Erasmus+, previously Youth in Action. For EU residents. The program is financed by the EU and usually for people below 25, but sometimes for older people as well. The EU pays for food and accommodation plus a great amount of the travel expenses to get to the volunteering place as well.

Grundtvig – Similar to Youth in Action, but without age restriction. It is now also part of the Erasmus+ program.

EVS – Also for young EU residents (until 30) only (sorry), but its a great program. It is now part of the Erasmus+ program as well (= getting more complicated), so I advise you to search for a local ‘sending organization‘ that can give you more information. EVS stands for European Voluntary Service and gives options to volunteer in the EU, preferably long term (6+ months). Travel costs, room and board and pocket money are included.

UN Volunteer – A great CV opportunity. Note that you have to be at least 25 to be able to volunteer at the United Nations. They pay for most of your expenses as well.

Peace Corps Volunteers – Program in the USA

EU AID – The European version of the peace corps starts in 2015. It offers opportunities for EU volunteers to strengthen humanitarian aid operations worldwide. Travel expenses will be covered, accommodation provided and you get paid a small amount for everyday expenses. First positions are expected to be offered in the end of 2015.

County independent

CSETC – Via this website you can look for opportunities to work at World Heritage sites and teach English to school kids in China. Local travel, food and accommodation are taken care of by the organizers.

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