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How to Volunteer or Work Abroad

This is a working list of useful sites for volunteering and working abroad. For information on trip planning, visit the “Travel Resources” page.

I will continue to add to this list over time to make it as comprehensive and helpful as possible. If you have recommendations for me, make sure to let me know, and I will add it to the list. I like to add sites and organizations that have been recommended to me by first-hand accounts of people.

HELPFUL BOOKS

* Be Multinational E-Book (FREE) - 22 Stories of Everyday Citizens Making Living Abroad Reality.  You’ve been given one Earth. Travel, live, work and study about it. Mentioned in Episode Slice #72.

* Delaying The Real WorldMentioned in Episode Slice #12, this book serves as a good resource to see what kinds of global opportunities are out there.

Go Global! Launching an International Career Here or AbroadMentioned on Episode Slice #12, this book offers ways to get started on your international career.

* How To Teach English Overseas – A great book that includes teaching info on several different countries. It also has personal stories from different teachers who have taught abroad.

* One White Face - This book is often referred as the “Eat, Pray, Love” for the younger generation. In this memoir, author Hilary Corna chronicles her time as a new grad working in Singapore for Toyota Motor Asia Pacific. As the title suggests, she was the one white face working there. The story behind how she got the job in the first place is pretty incredible.

INTERNATIONAL JOB AND VOLUNTEERING  SITES, PROGRAMS, & LOCATION INDEPENDENT INFO

* Abroad 101 – Featured in Episode Slice #23, Abroad 101 is a review site for study abroad programs. They are expanding to teach abroad programs too. They also partner with organizations to provide scholarships for studying and teaching abroad.

* Abroad Reviews – This site is a review site mainly for volunteer programs, language programs, and study abroad programs.

* Atlas Corps – An international network of nonprofit leaders and organizations that promotes innovation, cooperation, and solutions to address the world’s 21st century challenges through an overseas fellowship of skilled nonprofit professionals. Mentioned in this quick slice.

* Blue Bridge Project – Attention college grads! Want to be a program leader for high school volunteers over the summer or even longer? Talk about a fulfilling job. Blue Bridge Project is the place to go. Click here for more info!

BridgeAbroad – This organization offers volunteer, teach, and intern opportunities in South America and Spain

BUNAC - An organization that offers volunteer, intern, and work abroad programs.

CIEE - A English-teaching placement program, as well as a program to help you find work abroad in a number of different countries. Mentioned in Episode Slice #12.

Digital Nomad Academy - Want to live a location-independent life? This course is packed with resources to get you going. Also check out Thrilling Heroics by the same guy.

* ExpatCareers.com – It’s exactly what it sounds like – a job search website for international careers. A lot of the postings are corporate jobs.

* Global Links – A study abroad program with over 20 years of experience. They also have a news site that reports about study abroad topics.

* Global Mamas - Global Mamas is a non-profit and fair trade organization that works to achieve economic independence of women and alleviate poverty at a grassroots level in Ghana through the sustainable growth of small women-owned businesses.

* Go Abroad – A great resource to learn about different programs abroad for volunteering, interning, studying, teaching, and getting TEFL certified.

Go Overseas – A “review directory of teach, study, intern, gap year, and volunteer opportunities abroad” with a community of people who are “passionate about traveling abroad.”

* Grassroots Volunteering – If you are looking for something meaningful, local, and community-based, this is the site for you. Shannon O’Donnell from Episode Slice #17 is the face behind it.

* Groundwork Opportunities – Helps to get people involved in community-led projects all over the world.

* Idealist.org – They state it best: “The world’s best place to find volunteer opportunities, nonprofit jobs, internships, and organizations working to change the world.” My very first guest on Atlas Sliced got a job in Costa Rica through Idealist.

InterNations - Discussed on Episode Slice #13 and Episode Slice #28, InterNations is the “first international online community for people who live and work abroad.”

* ISV – An organization that offers paid volunteer abroad and adventure travel programs

IVHQ – A volunteer placement program with affordable rates that I used when volunteering in Peru. I’d recommend getting in touch with several volunteers who have done the program you are interested in, so you know what you are getting yourself into. They have a great Facebook page to connect.

Lattitude Global Volunteering – An “international youth development charity offering volunteering and gap year placements for people under 25.”

Leslie Forman - Leslie offers a very helpful and FREE course for people interested in launching their international careers

LiveAndWorkAbroad.org - An e-course designed to help you get your dream job abroad. Created by Hilary Corna, author of a fantastic book titled One White Face.

Omprakash – They connect volunteers with affordable grassroots projects all over the world.

* Peace Corps – Want to volunteer with the U.S. government? Peace Corps focuses on sending volunteers to areas in need of social and/or economic development. Episode Slice #10 features an interview with Peace Corps volunteer Sam Sachs.

Volunteer Forever – Use crowdsourcing to fund your volunteer trips!

* Volunteer Solutions – Has comprehensive volunteer abroad options in 20 countries

* WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) – Volunteer on farms all over the world in exchange for accommodation, food, and education about living an organic lifestyle.

Asia

Tiger Temple - A legit program to volunteer with tigers in Thailand. Featured on Episode Slice #11.

Australia

* Career One – A job site in Australia

Seek – Australia’s #1 job site. Mentioned by Alison Brown from Episode Slice #5.

Latin America

God’s Child Project – Not religious (although it sounds like it), this charity organization is dedicated to “breaking the chains of poverty through education and formation.” Former guest Luke Armstrong (from Episode Slice #7) worked there.

Maximo Nivel – A language center and volunteer center with locations in Peru, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. Maximo Nivel changed my life. I started off as a volunteer in Peru at Maximo and then decided to take Spanish lessons with them, and then a TEFL certification course. The course was a bit pricey, but the quality was excellent.

* Ninos de Guatemala - Want to volunteer with development projects in Guatemala? Ninos de Guatemala is also a great organization. It focuses on community development projects, especially education. Megan Kadrmas from Episode Slice #14 is involved with them.

TEACHING ENGLISH SITES, PROGRAMS, AND RECRUITERS

Note on recruiting companies: It’s free for you to go through a recruiting company, and they can answer most questions that you have about the application process to teach abroad.

There are tons of recruiting companies out there, but I’m only going to list ones that have decent reputations and ones that were personally recommended to me on more than one occasion.

SITES AND PROGRAMS

Dave’s ESL Café – My go-to site for info about teaching abroad. Has jobs postings, teaching ideas, forums, and lots of other good info

International TEFL Academy – This site has really good info on teaching abroad and also has excellent country profiles.

Maximo Nivel – A language center and volunteer center with locations in Peru, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. Maximo Nivel changed my life. I started off as a volunteer in Peru at Maximo and then decided to take Spanish lessons with them, and then a TEFL certification course. The course was a bit pricey, but the quality was excellent.

World Teach - From their site, “WorldTeach partners with governments and other organizations in developing countries to provide volunteer teachers to meet local needs and promote responsible global citizenship.” Mentioned in Episode Slice #12.

GENERAL RECRUITING COMPANIES FOR MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

* Footprints Recruiting – I used Footprints and had a negative experience with them when using them to teach English in Korea. With that being said, I know other people who liked them, so I will include them on the list and give them the benefit of the doubt.

* Get The Edge Up – Focuses on personalized service and coaching, which is great. They don’t just ditch you when you arrive in a new place to teach English. They support you along the way!

* Reach to Teach – A reputable recruiting firm for teaching in China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Chile, and Georgia.

* Teach Away – I have heard good things about Teach Away for teacher placement programs

China

ESL Jobs

* International English Solutions – Mentioned in Episode Slice # 16.

* United International College – Has university teaching jobs

Living

* Beijing Boyce – Good for local bar and restaurant scene (thanks @willmoyer)

* China Smack – News/content from Chinese Internet that is translated for foreigners (thanks again @willmoyer)

* City Weekend – Good site for happenings around Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou

* The Beijinger – Good site for events, news, and info about what’s going on in Beijing

* eChinaCities – From their site: “English-language website that provides a comprehensive range of services and information for both international visitors and China-based expats.”

Korea

ESL Jobs 

WorknPlay – One of the biggest recruiting companies for ESL jobs in South Korea.

Apple Tree Global Recruiting – I personally know people who have used Apple Tree recruiting for ESL jobs. Some had good experiences, and some didn’t, so I am putting it on the list.

Adventure Teaching – I also know quite a few people who have used Adventure Teaching as a recruiting company for ESL jobs. Most of the people I talked to had a good experience with Apple Tree.

Living

* 10 Magazine – A great magazine (print and online editions) and website for all things happening in Korea

* Groove Magazine – Another good magazine (print and online editions) for what’s going on in Korea.

* Eat Your Kimchi – A hilarious video blog about living in Korea. Hosts are two Canadian couples who have been living in Korea for a while. Their FAQ page is phenomenal.

COMING HOME – TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR EXPERIENCES!

Here are some great sites to check out when you return home and want to use your time abroad to enter the field of international education and/or meaningful travel.

* Melibee Global – An organization that inspires innovative international ideas for what you can do with your experiences when you return home

Native Foreigner Magazine - Culture shock is difficult. But what about reverse culture shock? Native Foreigner Mag focuses on the return home and what lies ahead when coming back to your home country.

Small Planet Studio - This site is all about re-entry and re-launching your life when you come home. It’s for anyone who has been abroad, whether it was ten years ago or ten days ago. You can always “re-launch” yourself and grow as a person.