Volunteers and South African children stretch on a surfing program for last minute volunteering abroad.

Last Minute Volunteering Abroad

If you decide to volunteer abroad at the last minute, Projects Abroad can arrange programs on very short notice. This is what you need to do for a last minute volunteer opportunity: 

  • Get in touch with us as soon as possible
  • Decide what volunteer abroad or internship program you want to do (our Project Experts can also help you choose what to do) and we’ll let you know where you can go 
  • Let us know if we can organize a flight for you on short notice, making sure you have the best routes and shortest layover

Although we strongly recommend applying at least three months before you want to volunteer overseas, we know that advance planning isn't always possible. If you're flexible and prepared to move quickly, we'll do our best to get everything organized! 

What are the best programs for last minute volunteering abroad?

We have a range of volunteer abroad programs you can do last minute. We consider factors like availability, time of year, and visas, etc. when we advise you. 

At certain times of the year, especially over the summer, projects can fill up quickly. We offer our programs on a first come, first served basis to those who have completed our application process. During the most popular times, generally June to August, please be aware that we are limited by capacity constraints on some programs.

Here are the programs that are easiest to arrange on short notice:

These programs give you the best opportunity to start quickly. In some cases, we run our own internships abroad. When we run a project ourselves, it makes it easier for you to join on short notice. If you’re interested in doing a medical program last minute, we strongly recommend programs like Public Health in Belize or the Philippines.

If you're between the ages of 15-18, it's easy to join one of our summer volunteer programs for high school students on short notice. Our High School Specials are pre-arranged around particular dates. However, these trips are popular and fill up quickly, so not all programs and dates will be available last minute. 

Want more information about last minute volunteering abroad? Our popular blog about volunteering on short notice gives more information on what you need to consider.

Visa Information for Last Minute Volunteering Abroad

Some countries also require visas to enter. We advise you through this process, but it can take weeks or months in some cases. Embassies and consulates control this process entirely, so visa-processing times can prohibit last minute travel to certain countries. 

Most US and Canadian citizens don't require a pre-arranged visa to volunteer in: 

  • Argentina
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Cambodia
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Mexico
  • Nepal 
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Romania
  • Samoa
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania

If you're staying for 30 days or less, you should also be able to enter Thailand without a visa. 

Please note that volunteers should never apply for a visa until they have been instructed to by Projects Abroad.

I’m looking for last minute volunteering near me. Where can I go?

We can help you find a last minute volunteer opportunity in whichever of our destinations is closest to you. We can also book flights for you, and make sure you have the most direct route possible, with the shortest layover times. 

By going somewhere relatively nearby, you cut down on travel time and jet lag. 

Getting Started with Last Minute Volunteer Travel

If you know what project you want to do, apply online right away. 

Only our in-country staff can review applications, so the sooner they have it the better chance we have of accepting you. When filling out the form, be sure to enter your reference information and submit the application deposit by credit card or PayPal payment so that we can begin processing immediately. We don't process applications that lack a deposit, no matter what the timing.

After submitting your application online, contact us by phone to make sure we’ve received the application and that we have all of the information that we need. Of course, if you're having trouble deciding what you want to do, please contact us right away so that we can help!

Need more help?

We’d be happy to talk about which projects you can do and where you can go on short notice. Our staff are ready to answer your questions, big or small. 

(+1) 212 244 7234

or email:

to start planning your project