On this page, you will find some of the amazing feedback stories, photos and video clips from previous participants on our volunteering abroad programmes around the world. Please scroll down to read more and get inspired for your next volunteer trip abroad! Additionally, you will also find links to our independent review listing sites, where you can find reviews written about our projects by past volunteers.
Read independent reviews of our volunteering programmes on GoOverseas.com
Read independent reviews of our volunteering programmes on VolunteerForever.com
Samantha Wilson was part of the 8 week Eco Divemaster programme on our Reef Buddy project in Carriacou:
My 8 week Eco Divemaster programme was a memorable experience. 8 week time well spent I was surprised how much I learnt in this time frame. This was going to be my first volunteer work abroad in Coral conservation and Lionfish containment.
My objective during this volunteer programme was to learn and contribute to Coral conservation work and Lionfish containment and to progress in scuba diving, as I wanted to venture in a whole new career in the diving world, to certify in PADI open water, Advanced open water and Divemaster. That’s exactly what I accomplished during this 8 week programme. I gained confidence and valuable diving experience at the Reef buddy project.
The Reef buddy project has an incredible setting to learn various dive courses and to learn and contribute to Coral conservation work and Lionfish containment. The Turquoise and Cobalt blue colours of the Caribbean sea is incredibly beautiful, I was always looking forward to getting in the water when I was there. It made me feel so refreshed. There are various dive sites you can visit, each has its own unique qualities. Reef walls/ volcanic bubble gardens and a wreck with sightings of exotic fishes and wonderful marine life.
The team at the project are full of enthusiasm and inspiring knowledge and will happily make your diving experience an enjoyable one. I also have to add my lovely 8 week stay at John’s Unique resort. Owners are a delightful couple Tim and Mishka with their friendly staff, made my stay so warm and hospitable which I’ll never forget. I had a wonderful time and so should other people out there. It’s absolutely rewarding and gives you a fresh perspective on life. Thank you too WorkingAbroad for giving me the opportunity and to many more people in the future.
Anna Hubbard from the UK, volunteered at our Elephant Volunteer project in Thailand:
I had the most amazing 2 weeks and learned so much about the seriously harmful impact that the mass tourism industry has on elephants. During my time there I washed and fed the elephants every day, having prepared their food for them, went on a walk twice a week to find the elephants roaming free in their natural habitat, and looked after the other animals on site, as there are many cats and dogs that need looking after too.
We also took a trip to the local school where I managed to teach a class some English, that was great fun. It was great that, although the main purpose of the trip was to look after elephants, they weren’t always the main focus, which was a good thing, otherwise I think it would have felt more like a zoo rather than a project to actually help these animals. The whole purpose of the sanctuary is also to promote ethical tourism, something that I will take away with me now and promote to all my friends at home!
Victoria Golding, a Marine Science student from the UK, wrote about her time at the Dolphin & Whale Research project in Italy:
Meeting the team was great, everyone was so welcoming and had a lively and pleasant attitude. The boat was a lot larger than I had imagined, with wooden décor and the glimmer of paintings of great big blue beasts on the walls. The harbour was large, with even larger boats and extravagant yachts neatly parked in their berths awaiting the next morning’s sunrise.
I’d say the third day was my favourite. We examined the Sea long and hard that day. The sea conditions were OK. Three people were on watch constantly throughout the day to search for any blows from a whale nearby or the glimpse of a dolphin breaching from the water. One person searched on the left side of the vessel, the second on the right and then one of the crew members spanning the entire horizon. Each team was on duty for one hour and then swapped with another group. It got really hot up there, in constant exposure to the fiery sun and hats only got you so far. I’d say my favourite view on the boat was sitting on the bow of the boat, only seeing the tip of the nose of the vessel dip up and down into the oncoming waves, with splashes of seawater either side of me as the waves crashed over the gunwale. The only thing between myself was the stretch of blue to the horizon and the Sun. Just as I was about to start my one-hour shift on watch duty, a blow was spotted! I climbed to the top of the boat and within 5 minutes I saw the blow of my first sighting of a Fin Whale. It was truly amazing. I was ecstatic!
The rest of the week was spent with more trips out searching. On our last day we came across another Fin Whale, a Sunfish, jellyfish and many experts in flying – seabirds. We also had other lectures during the week covering how to identify certain marine mammals, what their behaviours are like in social groups, the 25 years’ worth of research summary and the work that the project has achieved and where the research is heading to in the future.
This was an invaluable experience and I not only learned so much about cetaceans and the work that is carried out in order to help the preservation of the conservation of these animals, but I also learned a lot about myself and where I would like to expand my skills as a scientist. So much work and dedication has gone into this project by the head scientists and employers of the organisation who make it all happen and it was an honour to be a part of journey.
One thing which has stuck with me since this experience is the beauty that is right on our doorstep, free to everyone to experience and enjoy. It pains me to see the ocean being polluted with plastics and garbage from our carelessness and disrespect for the environment. It was spectacular seeing these creatures in their natural environment, however the time I spent snorkelling in the evening I could only fear at what might happen to these creatures when I came across numerous amounts of plastic waste in the oceans. To say the least, I did not only see this at the shallow beach coasts, but also out at sea, too many miles far from our garbage bins! Tethys has done a fantastic job in protecting these cetaceans’ home, studies have shown increases in the whale and dolphin populations – it’s amazing. They have inspired me to help the oceans in my own way.
Fenja Squirrell, from the UK, volunteered for 1 month at the Bird, Mammal and Herpetofauna teams at our Amazon Basin Research Project in Peru:
My time was amazing just a month, not long enough. I learned so much and everyone was really nice! Despite me being the only volunteer for the majority of the time, I made amazing friends with the staff. I still miss being in the jungle and one day hope to maybe live and work there. I was on the bird team for the majority of the time and did alot of bird ringing, which was fantastic way to add to my UK bird ringing experiences, with so many wonderful different species. My highlights were the rufous motmot and the Ivory billed Acaricari!
After a hearing a sighting from one of the locals two weeks before we arrived to the community of a harpy eagle coming to the trail and picking up an armadillo off the path and flying off with it, we had to try and look for it! Trekking through the rainforest to search for a harpy eagle nest for over three hours in the hot, sweaty humid jungle was an eye-opening experience. We found three nests one of which had an Ornate hawk-eagle in it, which is a beautiful huge raptor. Unfortunately no Harpy eagle but was still a really fun hike and we were rewarded by the eagle in the end! I managed to visit a local Harpy eagle rescue centre later in trip to see the powerful birds up close!
I also went out walking during the day looking for mammals and did some night walks for mammals and amphibians! An amazing find was a huge pit viper which was brought back to the community to try and educate them on snakes and not to kill every snake they saw. In one of the communities, their efforts had clearly worked, as locals would catch the snakes and handle them to show their strength rather than simply killing them!
As a vegetarian, I was slightly worried by what food I would get, but the chef made me some delicious dishes and really made lots of effort! Overall it was an epic trip filled with so much wildlife, and I would recommend it to anyone who has a love of nature and can cope with the many biting insects and ants which are part of the jungle life.
With little to no ability to hear, Cindy King from Oregon, a volunteer on our Amazon Basin Research and Conservation Programme in Peru, discovers the rainforest in silence, using her heightened sense of sight to locate animals during wildlife monitoring.
Watch this video to see what life is like as a volunteer at our Bottlenose Dolphin research project in Losinj and meet the lovely staff and volunteers who are passionate about their work!
Click to watch a short documentary about organic food production, conservation and sustainability in the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest, created by previous volunteer Hollie Abbott from the UK.
Watch this video to learn about volunteering on the Carnivore Conservation project site in the Kanaan Desert in southern Namibia where volunteers take part in hyena, cheetah and leopard research.