Volunteer Abroad

Are you interested in volunteering abroad? Would you like to get to know your destination country at a deeper level than the surface?

Head abroad through Maailmanvaihto! We send young adults for voluntary work periods of 6–12 months. The aim of our long-term voluntary work periods is to create connections at the grassroot level and understanding between people with different kinds of backgrounds. When you dive into a different kind of daily living as a volunteer, you will learn in practical situations.

Supported learning

We send volunteers to Europe and to further away. The volunteers mainly work among children and youth in the educational and social work field, in non-for-profit communities and organizations. Volunteers are also received by environmental organizations, peace, and women movements, and cultural projects.

“My voluntary work period was a very rewarding and wonderful experience which increased my professional skills as well as my understanding on the world and its cultures.” – Anu Molarius, Proyecto Horizonte – Ushpa ushpa, Bolivia

The voluntary work periods last for half a year the minimum so that the volunteer and the receiving community have time to properly get to know each other and to build co-operation. To support intercultural learning, the volunteers gain training both in Finland and in the destination country.

We send volunteers to Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania through the International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) program and to Europe through the European Solidary Corps (ESC) Volunteering.

Who can participate?

The volunteers are required to have the skill to adjust, flexibility, openness as well as interest in different kinds of cultures and lifestyles. It is beneficiary to know the language used in the destination country already before the departure, but this is not a requirement. No educational or work background is required.

Vapaaehtoistyöntekijä vanhainkodissa Ecuadorissa

The participants must be at least 18 years old. The upper age limit is in the European Solidarity Corps 30 years, whereas in the ICYE program in many of the countries it is possible to go also at an older age.

If you have a physical or sensory disability, we will be glad to see if we can offer you volunteering possibilities abroad with the kinds of arrangements you need. Please, contact us!

Why would I go through Maailmanvaihto?

Training. Maaimanvaihto trains the participants to act as volunteers abroad. In the trainings at least these issues are covered: adjusting to a new environment; the role, rights, and responsibilities of a volunteer as well as health and security issues. Also, support and information from former participants are available.

Caring. We take care of you during your voluntary work period. As your support is a contact person both at the receiving organization as well as at Maailmanvaihto. In the countries of the ICYE program, volunteers are supported by the local ICYE organization.

Support after the return. After your return, you will receive from us support for adjusting to being back in Finland and you are warmly welcomed to join in the activities of our organization here in Finland.

Reciprocity. Our activities are based on the principle of reciprocity. In addition to sending volunteers, we receive volunteers to Finland, so that both Finnish and foreign volunteers and work communities gain learning experiences.

Strong experience. Maailmanvaihto is an organization founded in 1958. During the year, we have gained a strong experience in organizing international possibilities for young people.

Two turtles on the beach heading toward the sea.

Further information

Volunteering in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Oseania – ICYE
Volunteering in Europe – ESC

In case you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.