Volunteer OverseasVolunteer Overseas

Volunteering Abroad for College Students

A child in Mexico has her ears checked by a college student volunteering on a medical program.

College is a time for discovery and challenge, both inside and outside the classroom. Make the most of your college years by volunteering abroad or joining an international internship and make travel part of your university experience. Whatever your motivation for traveling abroad, we can help you find the program that works best for you. Check out the types of programs we offer, or explore the countries where we work if you are interested in going to a specific place.

Once you decide what you want to do and where you want to go, let us know when you want to start and end your project when you apply. Most of our standard projects run for a minimum of 1-4 weeks.

International Volunteer Programs for College Students

A child gets help with reading from a college student participating in a volunteer program in Belize.

We have hundreds of projects that cover a wide range of fields. Select one or several programs that match your interests, personal goals, and skill levels. Here are some common choices for American students: pre-med students applying to medical school opt for an international medical internship to strengthen their applications, and students looking to enter careers in Early Childhood Development or teaching choose a Childcare or Teaching Project.

Most of our programs require no previous experience or special skills and our flexibility ensures that a project or internship can fit into any schedule, no matter how busy you are. Interested in getting academic credit for your travels? We have advice about organizing credit for volunteering or interning abroad.

Volunteering Overseas as an Undergraduate

Two college students volunteering in Fiji plant mangroves as part of their conservation activities.

Your undergraduate years are the perfect time to pursue experiences to complement your studies and grow your resume. In addition, some American students are required to spend a time away as part of their degree, like a Medical Elective for example. Our international volunteer opportunities guarantee you have a productive and enjoyable time, while removing the stress of organizing important details like accommodation, placements, meals, and travel and medical insurance.

Alternatively, you could volunteer as part of a study tour, or work on improving the content of a school project. We have dozens of placements that complement undergraduate studies. If you are studying Ecology or Geography, volunteer on a Conservation Project and if you are majoring in English or Media Studies, join a Journalism Project.

We also run highly specialized programs for students writing university dissertations. These programs will meet the needs of your individual dissertation or thesis, and we can provide all the support you need to access a wealth of primary source information.

Students in the same department or club can also work together to arrange a custom group trip to fit your academic and personal goals.

Summer Volunteering Abroad for College Students

Summer is the most convenient and popular time for American students to pursue volunteering or interning abroad. Our flexibility ensures that we can find a great program for any student, even if you have a packed schedule for summer break. Over summer vacation, we recommend joining standard volunteer abroad or internship abroad placements.

If you are traveling on your own during the summer, but want to work with a group, we recommend our 19+ Specials. These are short-term volunteer programs for volunteers ages 19 and up, with set schedules and fixed dates in June, July, and August. Each trip runs for two weeks. This is a great way to meet volunteers from around the world, learn, and give back if you only have a limited time available.

Alternative Spring Break for College Students

Local people get advice during a legal clinic from a university student interning at the Law and Human Rights program in Cape Town, South Africa.

Give the beach a pass for your next spring break and use the week to do something different. Our Alternative Spring Break Trips run for a week and most are located in countries close to America, which helps eliminate jet lag. We offer spring break volunteer programs in a range of fields, from Medicine to Conservation, in February and throughout March on fixed dates.

The Benefits of Volunteering Overseas during University

There is so much to gain from volunteering or interning abroad during your college years! Many of our former volunteers talk about:

  • Deepening understanding of global issues and development
  • Gaining practical experience beyond what any textbook and classroom can offer
  • Adding new skills to resumes
  • Actively making a difference in the lives of communities in need
  • Experiencing cultural immersion first-hand and building their language skills

Head over to our Volunteer Reviews to read testimonials from former university students who traveled with Projects Abroad.

If you have questions or want to know more, get in touch with our Program Advisors by sending an email or giving us a call. You can also chat with our advisors online.

Tell your friends about this page:

Back to top ▲