International development volunteer programs: A primer

A Peace Corps volunteer educates youth about HIV/AIDS in Dominican Republic. Photo by: Peace Corps

Recruiters and seasoned aid workers agree: Volunteering is one of the best ways to break into the field of global development. With overseas placements, volunteers gain valuable experience working with local communities and oftentimes enjoy networking opportunities which may pave the way for future full-time positions.

Scour the Internet and you’ll find quite a number of overseas volunteering programs. Beware though of those that ask for payment to participate. Most aid organizations don’t view for-fee volunteering as actual development experience, and so it is unlikely to give you a big boost when applying for salaried jobs.

About the author

  • Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.