20 Opportunities to Travel, Intern and Volunteer in EuropeCharitable giving — of time and effort, not just of money — can also be a fantastic way to see other parts of the globe. That’s why we’ve put together this list of volunteer holidays in Europe. These are perfect opportunities for trailing spouses, gap-year students, expats approaching the end of a work contract or anyone just in need of a little adventure. The options run the gamut from wildlife conservation to community building — things that demand dedicated efforts, even on a continent that enjoys the riches Europe does.
Here are 20 opportunities to travel and to donate your energy to worthwhile causes in Europe.
Protect Loggerhead Turtles in GreeceGlobal Vision International offers a multi-week program in the southern Peloponnese, where international volunteers work year-round to protect the habitats and nests of loggerhead turtles. This includes conducting morning surveys, and watching out for predatory mammals or sea water flooding of the nests. The first dates available are in mid-June, and two-week volunteer holidays start at 1,990 USD.
Wildlife Conservation in the Scottish HighlandsFronteering offers an intensive, 24-week program in which volunteers get to work hands-on with various conservation tasks designed to help protect native species such as the European wild cat, otters, ospreys, and white-tailed and golden eagles. Start dates are rolling throughout the year, and the programs costs 1,495 USD, though you must find your own accommodation after the first two weeks.
Construction and Renovation Project in PortugalInternational Volunteer HQ is doing ongoing work around Lisbon and Mafra to directly assist local residents who cannot afford repairs or retrofits for their homes. Additionally, IVHQ has four other projects locally that include scuba diving, food rescue and youth support. Programs start from 375 USD for a week, and the construction project also requires an additional 300 USD charge to cover materials costs.
Spend a Day With Climate Change Researchers in EnglandEarthwatch Institute lead researcher Dr. Martha Crockatt will lead volunteers around the ancient Wytham Woods just outside of Oxford for a day. “In the midst of rich and diverse flora and fauna, you can play an important role in collecting data vital to understanding how natural woodlands are responding to climate change,” Earthwatch writes. Dates and contributions are still forthcoming at the time of writing.
Work With Children in BulgariaOriginal Volunteers seeks five people per week to help out with marginalised Romany children and children with learning difficulties near Varna in the summer. “Activities are mostly play or supervision based so anyone who likes playing games or setting up art and craft activities will feel comfortable and in the summer there is always another volunteer next to you so you won’t feel you are leading anything on your own unless you want to,” organisers say. Prices start at 125 GBP per week, and the flexible work schedules offer ample time to explore Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.
Medical Internship at a Day Care Center in RomaniaProjects Abroad seeks volunteers with at least a year of medical studies under their belts to spend two weeks or more at a day care center in Brasov in Transylvania, where medical professionals currently treat about 30 children daily. “The center offers a variety of treatments to the children including physical therapy, massage, educational programs, kinetotherapy, psychological treatment, and speech therapy,” the listing reads. “The center is eager to have up to four interns, with each intern specialising in one of the following areas: Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Physical Therapy, Psychiatry, or Psychotherapy.” Start dates are flexible, and program costs start from 2,990 USD for two weeks.
Permaculture Gardening in NorwayWWOOF Norway has a current farm project that begins the first week of April and asks volunteers for a minimum two-week commitment. During that time, volunteers will prepare soil, build fences, erect a greenhouse, and do everything else necessary to get a permaculture garden up and running in Norway. WWOOF projects around the world connect volunteers with opportunities to learn about sustainable agricultural and provide a place to stay in exchange for their efforts. The only administrative fee is a yearly 25 EUR membership fee.
Teaching English and Community Building in RomaniaLearning Enterprises is looking for 15 to 20 volunteers for a seven-week program in which you’ll have the chance to work with children and host families in villages and orphanages around Romania. The program is broken up into a pair of three-week placements, with a mid-program orientation session and bookend weekends in Budapest, Hungary, for briefing and debriefing. Application costs range from 25 to 35 USD, and enrollment is open through February 14.
Summer English Language Camp in ItalyLoveTEFL is seeking native English speakers who want to spend their summers in the beautiful hillside town of Assisi in Italy’s Umbria region. As a tutor, you will be assigned a host family to live with and paid a salary of 350 EUR per month. Applications are due by April 15, and the camp’s start date is June 10.
Community Development in BosniaLove Volunteers seeks volunteers for a four-week project in Brcko, a small city in the northeast of Bosnia that borders Croatia. “The Bosnian War of 1992-95, which ripped apart the former Yugoslavia, brought with it violence and devastation of unprecedented scale,” organisers write. “This ethnically rooted war left in its wake great division between the people of this once united region long after the guns were lowered. Two decades later the remnants of racial hated still divide the people of the region who teeter on the edge of social and political instability. “Through our wonderful partner organisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Love Volunteers aims to support local and international efforts to put an end to the racial segregation by removing the inherited prejudice of the region’s next generation — its children.” Volunteers live in a self-catered house, and fees start at 106 USD per week.
Internship at a Conservation-Focused NGO in LondonFrontier, an NGO “dedicated to safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem integrity and building sustainable livelihoods for marginalised communities in the world’s poorest countries” seeks interns in its London offices for the summer. The internship tracks focus on
- marketing and online media,
- conservation and research,
- and organisational support.