Short-Term Group Projects

How long: 2-4 weeks
When: Throughout the year, but principally between June and October
Destinations: 50+ countries worldwide
Activities: Social, Environmental, Youth Work, Arts/Cultural, Language, Sport
Who can apply: Anyone 18+; some projects available for 16-17 year olds
Cost: £150 to £175

There are over more than 1,500 International Volunteer Projects (IVPs) throughout the world each year. Whether you want to join a world music project in Berlin, work with children in Japan, build a school in Kenya or help with turtle conservation work in Mexico, there is an IVP waiting for you.
If you are looking for a new challenge, want to meet people from all over the world, learn about other cultures, broaden your horizons, learn new skills and have great fun but only have a limited time available, then maybe a two week International Volunteer Project is for you? IVPs bring groups of people from different parts of the world to live and work together on community-based initiatives. Being part of an international group enables you to experience many different cultures and at the same time gain a unique insight into the local community where you are volunteering. 

You can join an International Volunteer Project at any time of the year, although the majority of the projects take place between June and October. Projects run between set dates, mainly for a duration of two weeks, however some may run between one and four weeks. There is a minimum age requirement of 18 to join most projects, but there is normally no upper age limit. There are also a range of projects available for volunteers aged 16-17.

We provide preparation/training for projects in developing countries (‘the South’) to ensure volunteers have a full and safe experience. The training is run by UNA Exchange staff as well as volunteers and always includes recently returned volunteers. There are five training weekends per year for volunteers heading South.

You can search for your ideal project now using our online database of projects! This is regularly updated and projects that are full are removed as quickly as possible.  More information on what you can expect, preparation/training requirements and the costs involved is available on the Frequently Asked Questions on short term projects. Or the UNA Exchange office if you have any questions. 

A first step into international volunteering

The first IVP I joined was in Germany when I was 18. It was a massive experience for me in so many different ways. We were a big group of 23 volunteers from all over the world – Spain, the USA, France, Honduras, Algeria, France, Germany, Russia and Japan. I had never met so many different people and learnt so much about the world from real people, not books. We were working on the renovation of an amazing castle in Bavaria so we pulled down walls, installed drainage pipes, plastered, painted and replaced windows. It was amazing for me to have such responsibilities and learn so many new things. We had such a good time together as a group, we laughed solidly for three weeks! For me this really was a life-changing experience that will stay with me forever.

Lisa Chadwick