Volunteer abroad for up to a year

Long-term volunteering abroad from 1 to 12 months

Basic information about volunteering abroad

  • Duration: From a month to a year
  • Price: Co-ordination fee 270€ and KVT’s membership fee 10/20€, and a possible program fee to the hosting organization (volunteering in Europe, the United States and Asia does not include a program fee, in other countries the extra fee is 130-290€/month). Projects that last under a month have a 100€ co-ordination fee.
  • Age: Over 18, or over 20 years of age
  • Application period: Throughout the year, depending on the project
  • Earlier experience: experience of independent travel, or other such international activity recommended
  • Voluntary work locations: see the Long-term volunteering database

Volunteering abroad?

Through KVT you can volunteer abroad from a month to up to a year. KVT’s volunteers work with our sister or partner organizations on practical, non-profit grass-roots projects. The volunteers are able to familiarize themselves thoroughly with the work of the project, and also with the culture in the local community. The volunteer is often (but not always) the only foreigner in the location. Normally the volunteering tasks do not require any special professional skills. The most important qualities for a volunteer are independence, responsibility, and a realistic attitude. Most long-term volunteering projects are located in Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin-America and the United States.

We require that the people applying for volunteering projects are motivated to work with the project in question, independent, responsible and have a realistic and respectful attitude to the receiving community’s ways and culture. Volunteering cannot be compared to a holiday, and working in a foreign culture may be very challenging. For this reason, it is good if volunteers heading outside Europe have prior international experience, as well as experience of independent life.

A good option is to first try volunteering for a shorter time period in an international workcamp. See information about voluntary workcamps here.

For whom?

  • For people who want to get more thoroughly acquainted with the living conditions of a foreign country
  • For people who want to live and work with locals
  • For anyone with a month or a year to spare
  • For independent, active and adaptable people
  • For anyone with genuine interest in getting to know a new culture and respect for others
  • For anyone with sufficient language skills
  • For everyone who is over 18 years old

In KVT’s long-term volunteering projects you can:

  • Do office work for one of our European sister organizations
  • Teach children English in Indonesia
  • Work as an assistant for handicapped people on an organic farm in the United States
  • Co-ordinate a women’s project in Peru

Project duration and practicalities

The long-term volunteering projects take from a month to a year, depending on the project. Most commonly the projects last from three to six months. The volunteers need to pay for their own travelling, but the project host will supply them with accommodation, food, guidance and orientation. In addition to this, in Europe, the United States and Japan, the volunteer often gets a small allowance.

The volunteer projects in the Global South often have an additional program fee specific to the project. The sum ranges from130 to 300€ per month, and covers the cost of accommodation, food, guidance and orientation. The size of the fee is always included in the position description in the long-term volunteering database.

Get acquainted with our projects in the volunteer work database!

Trainings

We organise trainings for volunteers going on long-term volunteering projects three or four times a year. This training is obligatory. The training usually takes place in Helsinki and lasts one day. The training deals with adapting to a foreign culture, the significance of volunteer work, the volunteers’ motivation and expectations, and also with some practical matters. In these trainings, you may also hear previous experiences from those who have done volunteer work earlier. The people coaching you are KVT’s experienced volunteers.

Insurance and visas

Our volunteers need to have comprehensive travel insurance. If the volunteer project is within the EU, the volunteer can use the European Health Insurance Card. The volunteers need to get their visas themselves.

Returned volunteers

After returning home, KVT expects the volunteer to send them a report. All returned volunteers are most welcome to participate in KVT’s activities. This can be sharing experiences with other volunteers, or participating in local groups, for example. More about KVT’s activities here! In the autumn, we organize an event for all returned volunteers. This is where the volunteers can meet each other and share their experiences. Other meetings for volunteers are also organized throughout the year.

How to find a long-term volunteering project

  • Most of the projects are listed in Service Civil International’s long term volunteering database
  • Follow the New volunteer work projects -page (UUSIMMAT VAPAAEHTOISTYÖPAIKAT)
  • If you are interested in volunteer work in Peru, Bolivia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Senegal, please contact Meri at
  • Remember that all applications need to be sent to the KVT office!
  • Long-term volunteering projects, as well as SCI’s internal European Voluntary Service projects are often advertised on KVT’s website, on KVT’s Facebook page, as well as in our newsletter, which you can order from here.

HOW TO APPLY? See here the detailed instructions.

For more information about the volunteer projects KVT offers, please contact Meri at or +358 45 1049829 (from Mondays to Thursdays)

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