Outstanding summer programs for teens since 1982

7 of our Best Volunteer Abroad Programs for 2019

Best Volunteer Abroad Programs for Teens

Participating in a volunteer abroad program is an immensely valuable way for any teen to spend their summer.

Combining the transformative experience of volunteering with the incredible benefits of travel? Now that’s something you’ll remember forever.

Global volunteer programs give you the opportunity to broaden your perspectives at a critical point in your personal development. You’ll gain leadership, teamwork, social, and problem-solving skills while working on a variety of community service projects with your peers. What’s more; the friendships you’ll forge while volunteering abroad can last a lifetime.

So how do you choose the right volunteer program? It’s not always easy. There are many volunteer opportunities for teens to choose from. That’s why we’ve done our best to make the choice a little bit easier for you.

We’ve gone through our full list of amazing community service programs and hand-picked 7 that will transport you to exciting destinations outside North America. Some are new, some are long-standing, and they’re all incredible.

Here’s everything you need to know about our volunteer abroad programs you won’t want to miss in 2019:

7 of our best volunteer abroad programs for teens in 2019

Costa Rica Teen Volunteer Program

Costa Rica Community Service

Duration: 21 days
Completing Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11
Service Projects: Youth Leadership, Environmental Sustainability & Infrastructure
Adventure Highlights: This program gives new meaning to the term Pura Vida. You’ll help brighten up the days of local children with fun activities and improve the quality of life for underprivileged locals through infrastructure and beautification projects. And the best part? You’ll be taking part in these meaningful initiatives all while exploring the different regions of Costa Rica alongside your new friends! With the perfect balance of service and adventure, this teen volunteer program is truly unforgettable.
Find out more about this program!

Ecuador Teen Volunteer Program

Ecuador: Medical Assistance

Duration: 11 days
Completing Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Service Projects: Community Welfare & Infrastructure
Adventure Highlights: Whitewater raft the Pastaza River and visit the Pailon del Diablo waterfalls in Banos.
Overview: Travel to the Andean Highlands of Ecuador and learn what it takes to run a mobile clinic for the poor rural communities there. You’ll shadow MEDLIFE medical professionals, participating in a variety of stations each day in an effort to implement health care programs near Cebadas. This summer volunteer program for high school students will help provide you with a greater understanding of public health initiatives across the globe.
Find out more about this program!


Peru Teen Volunteer Program

Peru Community Service

Duration: 15 or 28 days
Completing Grades: 9, 10, 11
Service Projects: Infrastructure, Youth Leadership, & Community Welfare
Adventure Highlights: Explore the Amazon Jungle, marvel at the ancient beauty of Machu Picchu, and whitewater raft the Urubamba River.
Overview: Peru is one of the most spectacular and geographically diverse countries in the world. During your time there, participate in a number of beautification and infrastructure projects like making adobe bricks from scratch. You’ll also have the privilege of brightening the days of children at local orphanages as part of this volunteer opportunity for teens. Friendly Peruvians and amazing adventures add even more depth to this meaningful and memorable summer.
Find out more about this program!

South Africa Teen Volunteer Program

South Africa Community Service

Duration: 13 or 25 days
Completing Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Service Projects: Community Welfare & Youth Leadership
Adventure Highlights: Safari drive in Kruger National Park, swim and surf in the Indian Ocean, and whitewater raft the Sabie River.
Overview: South Africa is filled with unbelievable wildlife, scenic landscapes, and unique culture. Get ready to experience them all! You’ll participate in meaningful community service projects, working closely with youth and embarking on a sustainable environmental project that directly impacts the local community. You’ll gain as much from this global volunteer program as the young students you will be privileged to spend time with.
Find out more about this program!

Thailand Teen Volunteer Program

Thailand Community Service

Duration: 25 days
Completing Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Service Projects: Wildlife Conservation, Youth Leadership, & Community Welfare
Adventure Highlights: SCUBA dive or snorkel in Koh Phi Phi and zip-line through the jungles of Chiang Mai.
Overview: We experience it all on this volunteer abroad program in Thailand! You’ll participate in rewarding community service experiences with children, teaching them English and brightening their days with games and crafts. As if that wasn’t enough to put a smile on your face, we’ll also head to an elephant sanctuary to interact with elephants and learn how to care for them. From Bangkok’s floating markets to the limestone cliffs in Railay Bay, Thailand’s rich culture, beautiful landscape, and welcoming people combine to make this program truly memorable.
Find out more about this program!

Vietnam Teen Volunteer Program

Vietnam Community Service

Duration: 21 days
Completing Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Service Projects: Environmental Sustainability, Youth Leadership, & Community Welfare
Adventure Highlights: Rappel down waterfalls in the Dalat Canyon and learn to SCUBA dive and snorkel in the Hon Mun Marine Protected Area in Nha Trang.
Overview: Discover this ancient culture largely hidden from the modern world. Rewarding community service opportunities with children and an enriching experience with an organic farming community allow you to immerse yourself in Vietnam’s unique and vibrant culture. Outside of your volunteer work, explore famous locations like Ha Long Bay, Hoi An and Nha Trang, where you’ll be treated to flavorful foods, spectacular views and exhilarating adventure!
Find out more about this program!

Interested in checking out our other teen volunteer programs? Browse through our entire list of programs around the world!


Throughout this article, we’ve been highlighting the value of volunteer efforts abroad. But we also know how incredibly important local volunteer efforts are. Click here to learn about the meaningful work we do in our own communities through WCC Cares.