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Volunteering in a community other than your own

Terrific opportunities to travel to new places to serve as a volunteer — inside your country but also overseas.

Volunteering abroad

Increasingly, more people learn about and want to strengthen their connections to other parts of the world.

In addition to media, global events and catastrophes, and world travel, volunteering offers ways to engage with other countries.

Opportunities to serve abroad can range from a few days or weeks to several months or years.

To learn more, out our comprehensive resource center on volunteering abroad, the International Volunteerism Resource Center.

Volunteering in your own country

Want to stay a little closer to home but still serve somewhere new? Interested in helping out with disaster relief, education, or other critical needs somewhere else in your own country?

Consider spending your next vacation, holiday, or break from school — or even longer if you'd like — volunteering in another region, province, state, or city.

For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, thousands of people traveled from around the United States to assist with rebuilding efforts in New Orleans.

Students regularly spend spring break volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and other nonprofits in regions throughout the country (and world).

Why travel in-country to volunteer?

  • Broaden your horizons at home.
    First, volunteering within your own country gives you a chance to meet and learn from people with diverse life experiences; learn new skills or use existing skills in ways that you'd be unable to at home (for example, perhaps you've always wanted to learn more about large-scale organic farming but live in the middle of a dense city); and deepen your understanding of other communities and cultures within your own country.
  • Test the waters for volunteering abroad.
    Practice volunteering away from home, while getting to know a regional subculture and dialect — but perhaps without learning an entirely new language, currency, or legal system.

Get started

Follow many of the same self-assessment steps for determining how, what, where, and when you'd like to volunteer as you would if you were going abroad here.

Keep in mind that though you are staying in-country you may experience substantial changes like adjusting to a new climate, or living in a different community. You may even need vaccinations and immunizations.