17 international (no cost) volunteer programs

A football clinic organized by Japan Overseas Cooperation volunteers at two schools in the eastern region of Bhutan. Photo by: JICA

It’s no secret that international volunteering programs are an excellent way to kick-start your global development career. But in recent years, international volunteering has become a controversial topic of discussion. A growing number of for-profit companies are offering costly, short-term volunteer trips — and their effectiveness and ethics have come under scrutiny.

Volunteering is a great way to gain in-the-field experience, see first-hand how charities are run, and meet people already working in the industry. But it’s also important to do something worthwhile that shows potential employers that you chose the volunteer scheme carefully.

About the author

  • Lottie Watters

    Lottie Watters formerly covered career and hiring trends, tips, and insights. Lottie has a background in geography and journalism, taking a particular interest in grassroots international development projects. She has worked with organizations delivering clean water and sanitation projects globally.