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Volunteering & Paid Teaching

Volunteering overseas can be one of the most meaningful experiences of your life. You can volunteer internationally with as little as two weeks of vacation time, and have an experience you will always remember. 2011 is the official European Year of Volunteering.


Decide if you are the right kind of person to volunteer. Are you flexible? Do you have the patience to let go of grandiose plans and undertake basic tasks? Are you open to other world views? Willing to be more modest in clothes and behaviour than you are at home? Are you reliable?

Figure out your timeline and budget. Do you have two weeks or two years? While most volunteer programs do charge a fee to cover expenses (such as airfare), some government and religious programs will cover all your expenses.

Think about your goals. Be humble about what you might be able to contribute and focus on goals such as learning another language or learning from another culture. Try to avoid unrealistic and overly lofty goals such as “saving the world” or “saving souls.”

Think about your expectations and preferences. Can you live without a hot shower every day? Do you want to volunteer with a group or have an immersion experience? What part of the world do you want to see?

Explore different volunteer programs and independent volunteer options. See the web links below for how to find programs. Make a list of about 5 possible programs, then contact past volunteers from those programs and ask them questions until you narrow your list.


To encourage humility while volunteering, think about the people you will work with and ask yourself:

What knowledge and skills do the people from this community possess that I do not?

What life experiences do they have which are different from mine?

What are some of the obstacles they have had to overcome in their lives?

What challenges do they face daily that I do not?

What are some of their personal and professional strengths?

What can I learn from them?

Think carefully about whether you can cope with the living and working conditions.





Desire to learn

Ability to take care of your health

You don’t need a lot of money to volunteer, some groups will cover all your expenses.

A good, kind, unselfish heart.


Africa: Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mozambique, Zambia

Asia: Thailand, India, China, Cambodia, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam.

South America: Peru, Costa Rica.


Orphanage and childcare-

These projects are for those individuals who love to be around children. Helping disadvantaged children throughout the world is a worthwhile way to give back to those less fortunate.

Teaching and education-

If you are patient, compassionate and caring, have a real desire to give joy, happiness and education to children, well then this is the project for you.

Health and medical-

Medical projects allow volunteers to make a significant impact on reducing local health care issues. Medical volunteering is an excellent learning opportunity as you are exposed to third world health environments.

Community development and construction-

Volunteers can partake in activities such as building, painting, home-based care, adult literacy, farming, AIDS outreach work and teaching English.

Environmental development-

Perfect for outdoor and nature lovers who have a passion for wildlife.

Sports development –

Fun and exercise that can stimulate their ability to be part of team work and stimulate their health.

Links of different volunteering programmes;


Teaching English abroad is one of the best ways to truly get to know a country, its people and its culture. It’s an experience that will change the way you see the world forever. Teaching English abroad can be a rewarding career and a liberating lifestyle or it can be a means to earn as you travel. Think of it as an opportunity to live, travel and earn abroad. P.S. Don’t forget to purchase a Lonely Planet book of your chosen destination, filled with pictures, maps, basic language translations etc.

Volunteer Teacher


Thailand Open to non degree holders.

Thailand is a popular destination for individuals who are interested in gaining a valuable cultural experience. Thailand prides itself on its rich history, tropical climate and renowned hospitality.

See for requirements to teach English in Thailand and salary.

China– Open to non degree holders.

If you’re looking to work in some of the most unique destinations in the world, China is definitely the place for you.

See for requirements to teach English in China and salary.

Vietnam– Open to non degree holders.

Vietnam is now very much a part of the global economy and its growing tourism has contributed toward the high demand for English teachers. Be part of the vibrant culture and scenic beauty of this country, which teachers can cherish while teaching English in Vietnam.

See for requirements to teach English in Vietnam and salary.

Taiwan Diploma/degree required.

Taiwan is a land of contrasts, boasting rugged mountains and pristine coastline, as well as several of Asia’s urban centres. A country rich in culture, Taiwan’s atmosphere and energy are unparalleled. Living and teaching in Taiwan is an amazing life changing experience.

See for requirements to teach English in Taiwan and salary.

Korea Diploma/degree required.

Teaching English in Korea can be an excellent alternative to the traditional post graduate path. It is also an amazing opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Teaching English in Korea can be the start of a lucrative, professional career path as well as your chance to gain international experience.

See for requirements to teach English in Korea and salary.

Written by: Seana Henry

Proofed by: Dara O’Conor

Uploaded by: Emma Duggan


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