Volunteer Abroad

Volunteering abroad is an opportunity to strengthen your cross cultural understanding and global competence. Being exposed to a new place and new people affords you the opportunity to a first hand exploration into the nuance and complexity of working and living across cultures. The exposure to new ideas and lifestyles will not only help you grow personally, but will also make you a more creative problem solver and a more effective communicator.

As you choose how you plan to volunteer abroad, we hope you consider the consequences of your presence on the community and incorporate the concepts of Fair Trade Learning. Review the suggestions below: 

  • Local sourcing by using host families or locally-owned hotels, local eateries/cooks, and local guides
  • Ask your provider about how they engage with the communities and how they receive community input for project design
    • Seek out partner organizations that offer fair compensation to all of those involved in making your experience a reality
  • Take time to sit and talk with local people to learn about their lives while you are abroad
  • Reflect before, during and after the experience

CHECK YOURSELF – Community Engagement Checklist


U-M CoE does not officially partner or endorse organizations, but here are a few placement organizations to start you on your search.


Find an opportunity:

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