Interested in volunteering in Africa, Asia, Latin America, or Oceania? Would you like to volunteer for half a year or a year? Apply for the ICYE program!
In the ICYE volunteer program, intercultural understanding is built through everyday collaboration. A 6 or 12-month long-term partnership provides a shared learning journey for both the volunteer and the hosting organization.
Opportunities exist in various parts of the world in different work fields, such as
As an ICYE volunteer, you work in supportive roles. You don’t need to have a specific educational or work background to participate in the program. On the other hand, if you are, for example, a healthcare, social, or education student or professional, it may be possible for you to apply your expertise.
In volunteer work, you get to broaden your worldview, learn about intercultural interaction, build new connections and friendships, and develop your skills.
At the program’s training camps, you get to prepare for your volunteer experience and reflect on it.
Volunteers typically stay either with a host family or at their volunteer placement.
”The wonderful people and experiences of my volunteering year taught me and gave me perspective to look at things from different sides.” – Sanna Ojaniemi, ICYE volunteer at an activity center for children and youngsters in Brazil
Africa: Ghana| Kenya | Morocco | Mozambique | Nigeria | South Africa | Tanzania | Uganda
Asia and Oceania: Indonesia | India | Japan | Nepal | New Zealand | Philippines | South Korea | Taiwan | Thailand | Vietnam
Latin America and the United States: Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Colombia | Costa Rica | Colombia | Ecuador | Honduras | Mexico | Peru | the United States
Learn about the voluntary workplaces at the ICYE network’s search engine for long-term volunteering (icye.org). In the search engine, you can browse voluntary workplaces by country or theme of the work.
The year-long voluntary work periods begin in August–September when an on-arrival training camp is organized in each country that receives ICYE volunteers. The exact starting dates vary according to the destination country. In most countries, one can also start a half-year voluntary work period in January–February.
The participants need to have an ability to adjust, flexibility, openness as well as interest in different cultures and lifestyles. It is an asset to know the language of the destination country already before departure, but this is not a requirement. The volunteering periods include a language course of the local language. No educational or working background is required.
Mainly 18–30-year-old young adults. The age limit varies a bit according to the destination country. Over 30-year-old adults can participate in voluntary work periods mainly in Asian and African countries.
“As a volunteer, I learned enormously about the local culture. – Jenni Valtere, an ICYE volunteer in a kindergarten and primary school in Indonesia
We will send for volunteering abroad only people who have received a full series of vaccinations against the coronavirus. An exception is possible if the participant hasn’t been able to take the vaccination due to health reasons. By requiring the vaccination, we want to ensure the health security of the volunteers, voluntary workplaces, and host families.
Yearly, the first application round for ICYE volunteering ends on 31st October, and the second on 31st January. In the second application round, you are welcome to apply to those destinations to which open places are left from the first application period.
Apply now for the volunteering season 2024–45! The first application period will continue until the end of 31.10.2023, and you can apply to The application period continues until the end of October 2023 and you can apply to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, South Africa, South Korea, Philippines, Ghana, Honduras, Indonesia, India, Japan, Kenya, Colombia, Morocco, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal., Nigeria, Peru, Taiwan, Tanzania, New Zealand, Vietnam, and the United States. In this application round, you are welcome to apply both to the departure of August–September 2024 and January–February 2025.
In case due to the corona situation, you cannot travel to the destination country you had planned, you can change the destination country, postpone your departure or cancel your participation without costs (see cancellation terms in more detail).
There is a participation fee for the ICYE program. The fee covers arrangements of the volunteering year, such as insurances, camps, and language courses. ICYE does not seek financial gain from the program.
The participation fee includes:
NB! The participant also needs to pay for the flights and the visa to the destination country.
NB! In case extra costs are caused by the Coronavirus situation (quarantine costs when arriving in the destination country, for instance), the participant needs to pay for these costs.
Maailmanvaihto grants the participants stipends (maximum of 500 €) on an economic basis.
When do I need to pay the participation fee?
If after the selection interview, you are selected as a participant, within approximately two weeks of your selection interview, you will receive a participation and payment agreement with cancellation conditions to sign and you will need to pay a deposit of €350. In the contract, you will decide whether to pay the rest of your participation fee in one, two, or more installments. Your participation fee must be paid in full before departure.
”I can definitively recommend heading for volunteering. Incredible experiences and people.” – Antti Soininen, ICYE volunteer at circus and theatre activities for children and youngsters in Cochabamba, Bolivia
“As greetings to everyone interested in international volunteer work, I want to say that if there is even a small possibility to go, then do it! Along the way, you will learn new things about yourself, others, and the whole world.” – Kalle Godenhjelm, volunteering at an activity center for children and youth in Brazil