Volunteering overseas often conjures up images of traipsing through jungles to remote island villages and hammering tooth and nail to help build schools. While those are both definitely options on a volunteering holiday, you may not have realised you could also teach disadvantaged kids how to surf or hand-rear baby lion cubs in South Africa or help out with panda conservation in China. Voluntourism projects range from building developments for disadvantaged communities, working with children and animals and so much more.

Volunteering overseas can involve a wide range of work; you could find yourself helping to support the health of communities in Peru to working on conservation projects in Costa Rica and joining community projects in India, South Africa or Ecuador. What it’s really about is doing a little good in the world – ultimately though, you’ll get just as much back as you give, if not more, in the grand scheme of things.

Whether you want to work with kids, animals or help with building and conservation, there’s a variety of options all over the globe from helping with kids in Thailand and Vietnam to feeding elephants breakfast in Sri Lanka, looking after game animals in Kenya and Namibia or getting involved in sporting activities with disadvantaged kids in Malawi. There's also orangutan conservation in Malaysia or helping with whale shark conservation in Mozambique. Whatever your calling, we can help sort out packages, visas, travel, insurance and accommodation details so you can start making a difference, sooner.

You can volunteer from two weeks to a month or more, and there's no age limit on giving back. What’s different about travelling as volunteer as opposed to a regular tourist is you get to know the local people and you get an insider view. It’s a big deal you’ve come out of our way and are giving your time, and your gesture won’t go unnoticed. In most cases, when volunteering overseas, your meals and accommodation will be sorted and any additional expenses will be left up to you, so it’s a good idea to have some extra savings for further travel after your volunteering endeavours come to an end.

Student Flights

How to be a Mindful Traveller

06th November 2018

Mindful travel is the only way forward. The world is an incredible place full of amazing adventures, unforgettable encounters and memories to last a lifetime. With a little thought and planning, we can all put our best foot forward and aim to leave a minimal footprint on the places we visit. Here are a few tips and suggestions on how you can be a mindful traveller, wherever you go. 1. CONSERVE...Continue reading →

Top 3 tips for volunteering overseas

  1. Look after yourself: Take malaria medication if it’s advised for the region you’re travelling to, and get all of the relevant vaccinations. Drink bottled water, carry antibacterial hand gel and wash your hands. Illness is usually prevented by taking a little extra care in terms of hygiene. 

  2. Learn some local language: A few words in the local lingo will get you a long way!

  3. Keep your eyes and mind open: Consider the impact of the photos that you take and the messages you put across.

Before you go - checklist:

The travel stuff

  • You'll need a visa appropriate for volunteering and travelling in your chosen destination;
  • Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity;
  • Travel insurance.

Personal admin

  • Let AEC (Australian Electoral Commission) know you’re leaving the country so you don’t get wacked with fines for not voting if there’s a local or national election on the horizon;
  • Make sure your drivers licence is valid for a while or apply for an international drivers licence;
  • Make copies of your documentation (i.e., passport, visas, birth certificate, etc.);
  • Photocopy all documents including insurance particulars, record the numbers of your credit cards, passport, and airline tickets and give to a responsible family member or friend at home;
  • Bring additional passport photos to ease the process of replacing a lost or stolen passport, or if other official documents are required once you are in your destination country.

Medical

  • Medical – do you have you have all the drug prescriptions you need, including your glasses/contact lens prescription (if you wear them)?
  • Pack a spare pair of glasses and contact lenses (if you wear them);
  • Have you had all the relevant shots/immunisations for the region you’re travelling to? And pack a list of the vaccinations you’ve had, just in case;
  • Visit your dentist to have a clean and checkup before you jet.

Finances

  • Tax – let the ATO know you’re leaving the country;
  • Apply for any credit and debit cards for travel;
  • Notify your bank and close any accounts that might charge you fees while you’re away;
  • Money – take approximately $AU200 with you as universal currency;
  • Pay off any debts you have with friends, family or financial intuitions;
  • Cancel any automatic withdrawals you have from your bank account.

Practical

  • Pack you camera, batteries and chargers;
  • Pack an extra memory card for your camera;
  • Buy an international power adaptor suitable for use in the region you are travelling to;
  • Invest in a good backpack;
  • Don't forget all your electronic chargers;
  • Note all your insurance and emergency numbers in a safe place;
  • Know the address of the closest Australian embassy in your destination, just in case.

The not-so obvious

  • Pack foam earplugs (to block out noisy travel buddies or offer to others if you’re the noisy one!);
  • Bring a good book or a novel based somewhere where you are headed - it adds an interesting perspective when you explore these destinations;
  • If you have more than one credit card, separate them. Perhaps store one in your wallet and the other in your luggage. That way if you lose one or the other you’ll still have access to cash;
  • Collect Australian souvenirs (those little clip-on koalas go down a treat) to give out to your students or kids you meet while volunteering;
  • Purchase a few educational games or children’s word association games;
  • Collect glossy catalogues and magazines with lots of pictures; these are hard to find in most developing countries and students love them!
  • Find out what is considered to be proper attire in your classroom or volunteering location, including shoes, as well as weather-appropriate clothing for your destination.

Building for Communities, 7 nights

8 day volunteer tour in Thailand. 7 nights bunk-room accommodation in a shared house. All meals. Arrival orientation bri more..

$795*from

Chiang Mai Elephant Adventure, 7 nights

8 day volunteer tour in Thailand. 7 nights of shared accommodation. All meals. English speaking guide. All transport. A more..

$1,345*from

Thailand Elephant Sanctuary, 1 week

8 day volunteer tour in Thailand. 7 nights of multi-share accommodation Transfers All meals Arrival orientation briefing more..

$1,345*from

Cape Town Township Kinder Kids, 1 week

8 day volunteer tour in Cape Town. 7 nights of multi-share accommodation. Arrival orientation briefing. Airport pickup. more..

$875*from

African Wildlife Rehab, South Africa, 2 weeks

15 day volunteer tour in South Africa. 14 nights of multi-share accommodation. Airport pickup and transfer to project. A more..

$1,595*from

Big 5 African Wildlife Research, 2 weeks

15 day volunteer tour in Africa. 14 nights of multi-share bunkroom accommodation in project house. Airport pickup. All m more..

$2,195*from

Helping Kids in Vietnam, 7 days

7 day volunteer tour in Vietnam 6 nights bunk-room accommodation in a shared house. Arrival orientation briefing. Socia more..

$895*from

Tanzania Help Kids, 2 weeks

15 day volunteer tour in Tanzania. 14 nights of multi-share accommodation. Breakfast and dinner daily. Arrival orientati more..

$1,095*from

Helping Kids in India, 2 weeks

14 day volunteer tour in India. 13 nights bunk-room accommodation in a shared house. All meals. Airport pick-up. Arrival more..

$1,095*from

Street Dog Rescue in Kathmandu, 2 weeks

14 day volunteer tour in Kathmandu. 13 nights multi share accommodation. All meals. Airport pick-up. Arrival orientation more..

$1,145*from

Women Empowerment in Nepal, 2 weeks

14 day volunteer tour in Nepal. 13 nights multi share accommodation. All meals. Airport pick-up. Arrival orientation bri more..

$1,145*from

Helping Kids in Fiji, 2 weeks

14 day volunteer tour in Fiji. 13 nights bunk-room accommodation in a shared house. All meals. Airport pick-up. Arrival more..

$1,195*from

Costa Rica Turtle Conservation, 8 nights

9 day volunteer tour in Costa Rica. 8 nights dorm-share accommodation. All meals. Arrival orientation briefing. Pre-depa more..

$1,195*from

Helping Kids in Kenya, 2 weeks

15 day volunteer tour in Kenya. 1 night accommodation in a single room at a hotel. 13 nights of twin-share accommodation more..

$1,245*from

Turtle Conservation, 2 weeks

14 day volunteer tour in Sri Lanka. 13 nights bunk-room accommodation in a shared house. All meals. Arrival orientation more..

$1,495*from

Elephant Camp Adventure, 2 weeks

8 day volunteer tour in Sri Lanka. 13 nights bunk-room accommodation in a shared house. All meals. Arrival orientation b more..

$1,495*from

African Wildlife Sanctuary, 2 weeks

15 day volunteer tour in Africa. 14 nights twin-share accommodation. All meals. Return airport transfers. Arrival orient more..

$1,995*from

Borneo Orangutan Sanctuary, 2 weeks

15 day volunteer tour in Borneo. 14 nights of shared accommodation. Self-catered meals, food ingredients all provided. P more..

$2,445*from

Help Kids in Buenos Aires, 4 weeks

28 day volunteer tour in Buenos Aires 27 nights private room accommodation in a shared apartment. Arrival orientation br more..

$2,695*from

Oops, no operators available now

leave us a message and we'll get back to you shortly!

Wanna chat? No time to call but got a burning question?

You can chat with us anytime Mon-Fri between 9:00am and 8:00pm and Sat-Sun between 10:00am and 5:00pm - We'll be here to answer any question you want to throw at us.

We can even book your trip over live chat too if talking over the phone isn't your thing!

YES! WE WILL CALL YOU FOR FREE NOW!

Just key in your contact details and we will call you back instantly for free. Entering your post code allow us to direct the call from the nearest store.

What can we help with?

Leave us your details and we will get back to you with the best deals available tailored just for you

Travel Details
I want to know more about...
Adults
Children
Infants
Group (10+)
I am under 30 or a student
Contact Details
Send me Hot Travel Deals
Enquire

By proceeding, I agree to Student Flights' Terms of Use and my personal information being handled in accordance with Student Flights' Privacy Policy.

Find a store close to you

We have opened over 70 stores for you to visit all over Australia.
Find one that's convenient.

Use Store Finder

Gap year stories

Student Flights round the world travel How taking a year off to travel taught me to say ‘yes’

"I can take you, it is perfectly safe, don't you even worry boy, this is not a problem!" These reassuring words were offered to me with a sly wink by a Mongolian soldier holding a machine gun on the back streets of Ulaan Baatar, uniform wrinkled, eyes wild with danger. At the time it sounded dodgy...Continue reading →

Student Flights View from a roof in Istanbul How to become a travel vlogger according to HeyImNatalia

If you had told 18-year-old Natalia that 23-year-old Natalia would be travelling around the world and getting PAID for it  - I would have laughed. The reality is though, that is exactly what 23-year-old me is doing. The online space has changed so much over the last couple of years and new jobs...Continue reading →

Roll up, roll up, come and get your visa! Photo: Getty Images. How to get a student work visa in the USA, UK & Canada

One of the many great benefits of being a true blue Aussie, besides the white sandy beaches and reppin a Southern Cross tattoo (lol), is that no matter how scruffy some of us get overseas, many countries actually really love having us around. Resultantly Australia has fostered many overseas...Continue reading →

Girl taking instagram photo on her phone while travelling. Ways to make money while travelling

You don’t need to become a travelling sales rep or transport unidentified items on your person across borders (please don’t do this) to make money while travelling. Here are a few of the many ways to make some cash while travelling… Join expat life Get a working visa and earn money doing whatever...Continue reading →