At WorkingAbroad, we place many groups of volunteers abroad each year to our projects around the world, and are happy to arrange volunteering abroad placements for all types of groups of all nationalities, ages and group sizes. On this page, you can find out more about volunteering abroad as a group with your School, University or workplace. You can also find some testimonials from previous groups, who have joined our volunteering projects, and a list of our current projects which are suitable for group volunteering abroad. If you have any questions about arranging a group booking please contact us.
We have previously arranged group volunteering programmes for the following:
Vets without Borders - A&M Texas University, USA - Ocean Research and Marine Conservation Volunteer Programme, South Africa
Bridgwater College, Somerset, UK - Playa Tortuga Project, Costa Rica & Elephant Sanctuary, Thailand
South Devon College, Devon, UK - Bear Tracking Project, Sweden
Folkehøgskolen Nord-Norge School, Norway - Wildlife Sanctuary Project, Namibia
Zurich International School, Switzerland - Bottlenose Dolphin Project, Croatia
International School of Geneva, Switzerland - Elephant Sanctuary, Thailand
Lewes Old Grammar School, East Sussex, UK - Shamwari Game Reserve, South Africa; Playa Tortuga Project, Costa Rica and Dolphin & Whale Project, Italy
Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic School, Texas, USA - Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Programme, Costa Rica
Baltic Travel Service, Lithuania - Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Programme, Costa Rica
University of Montana, USA - Rural Community Project, Nepal
The Burnett Honours College at the University of Central Florida - Kariega Big Five Game Reserve Programme, South Africa
Box Hill Institute, Australia - Dharamsala Community Project, India
For Universities, Colleges and Schools, group volunteering is a great way of providing a hands-on extra-curricular experience to your staff and students in a range of areas directly relevant to their studies/degree course, such as gaining first-hand experience in wildlife conservation, scientific field research, community development work, teaching, medical work and so on. For other groups, travelling and volunteering as part of a group is also a great way to experience volunteering abroad, giving you the opportunity to experience a new culture and work with the local community, whilst also working as part of a team of friends/colleagues.
Please note that we can also usually offer discounted rates to groups depending on the size. You can find the age requirements on the individual project pages. Most of the projects accept groups with people below 18 years, as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Please don't hesitate to get in touch, if you are in doubt about the age requirement on a particular project.
ASIA & OCEANIA:
A group of students from the International School of Geneva joined our Elephant Volunteer project in Thailand in 2018 and had the following feedback:
"No matter how big or small something is, one should always respect the other. During the trip to Thailand, we have opened our eyes and developed many skills ranging from how to treat animals fairly -meaning giving them the chance to live in the wild - to understanding and cherishing new culture. On our hike in the jungle, we learnt that elephants eat 10% of their body weight- around 250kg. That means that a whole bucket full of bananas is merely a snack. Planting bananas was therefore beneficial to the elephants and the sustainability of the sanctuary which we helped fund. By cutting, transporting, and planting the banana trees we learnt the hard work and effort put into producing even the most basic of products. Today and onward we need to be more mindful in our consumption of them". - Sera, Viveca, Haofei, Megan, Flavia and Zoe
A group of high school students joined our Wildlife Rescue Volunteer Project in Indonesia for 1 week in March 2018. Here's the feedback from four of the students:
"Our group came to the Wildlife Rescue project to make a difference in the protection of endangered species. We can safely say after leaving that we did just that. By helping create the different enrichment and activities that the animals used on a daily basis, we could see first-hand how our work and time was worthwhile, as it was clearly stimulating for the animals. In addition, working to help ‘greeneries’ the Orangutan enclosure was very rewarding, as we could see immediately after we left the impact it had on the general excitement and energy that the Orangutans had. Overall, our entire group felt that the project was a great place to volunteer, as we really felt that we had made a difference. My favourite moment has to be filling the Orangutan enclosure with greenery and seeing them play and swing around, knocking down all the palm fronds"
Quote from Jackson: “Honestly the week I spent at the Wildlife Rescue project was possibly one of the most moving and generally incredible weeks I have ever had. There was literally nothing I could fault it on from the people to the activities it was a truly wonderful and enriching experience. I could not recommend it highly enough as words can’t encapsulate it properly"
A group of Students from Lewes Old Grammar School in the UK visited our Dolphin & Whale Research Project in Italy in 2017. Geography teacher Abbi Nagamootoo had provided this feedback:
"Students stepped out of the classroom and onto a boat recently, as they sailed across the Mediterranean Sea in search of marine life. Year 9 pupils were enlisted to help four cetacean researchers at the port of Sanremo, Italy, where they helped to collect valuable data about whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean region while living on a 72-foot research sailing boat.
Over the course of the trip, students and those of us teachers accompanying them, saw more than one hundred striped dolphins, a loggerhead sea turtle, two sperm whales, and two fin whales. We also spotted bottle-nosed dolphins, only the fourth sighting of the pod for the entire season. The most incredible discovery came later: we saw one sperm whale called Erico twice in the course of the week – which was incredible considering he hadn’t been seen by researchers in the entire Mediterranean Sea for more than a decade! Best of all, though, was when we came across another sperm whale. We soon realised he had never been seen before and had the unique privilege of naming him Lewis, in honour of our school.
Students were put through their paces as amateur sailors on the expedition, and tasked with cooking, cleaning and maintenance duties, while also spending one-hour shifts each day working with a marine biologist on the sighting platform. Pupils had the chance to jump from the boat into the water to swim and snorkel in the middle of the ocean. This trip was really about offering students something different. After we went to Costa Rica last year, we wanted to give Year 9 students a similar chance to do conservation work in an inspiring setting. The expedition gave them an insight into marine life which they could never have experienced had they just studied it within a Sussex classroom. It was quite literally a chance to expand their horizons by sailing into the vast expanse of the ocean and we are so grateful to the research institute for being a visionary organisation.
The trip marked LOGS’s third collaboration with WorkingAbroad, which has worked with the institute for almost a decade to send volunteers to the Dolphin and Whale Project in Italy to research the ecology, behaviour, feeding habits and conservation of cetacean species living in the Mediterranean.
Vicky Kornevall-McNeil, co-founder of WorkingAbroad, said: “The feedback from students has been wonderful. This experience will stay with them for the rest of their lives – nothing beats the excitement of being on the top, looking out, and suddenly sighting a sperm whale, and we’re delighted to now offer this trip each year to LOGS to help inspire and reconnect them with nature.”
Here is a review from a teacher, who led a group of students from Lewes Old Grammar School in the UK at our Playa Tortuga Project in Costa Rica:
Myself and a colleague chaperoned twelve 16-17 year pupils to take part in the marine research programme at Playa Tortuga in Costa Rica. From a personal point of view and having experienced many different parts of the world, this experience was one of the best! We spent 3 weeks living and working in Playa Tortuga where pupils worked on three different projects; marine turtle project, mammal projects and the butterfly garden project.
A little about the projects - First of all the manager of the reserve, Oscar, was superb and planned an excellent schedule for the trip. Each day the pupils would take part in a different aspect of one of the research projects. The pupils were able to be extremely hands on helping researchers capture caimans and crocodiles, setting up motion cameras in jungles and even collecting turtle eggs!
About the reserve: the reserve was excellent and all members of staff were around and helpful throughout the whole stay which really eased the pressured placed on us as teachers. The pupils were able to enjoy the natural environment in which we were staying whilst remaining safe which is always a priority when taking pupils on abroad trips.
Whilst out in Costa Rica we also took part in activity day trips including; a mangrove boat trip, high wire zip lining, whale watching and a trip to Cano Island. All trips were AMAZING and could not be faulted. Vicky from Working abroad planned everything for us, from getting picked up to and from the reserve to choosing safe and reliable companies. I would strongly recommend doing any of these trips as they were a real highlight for myself and the pupils.
Overall I would 100% recommend Working Abroad as a company to run any working trip and I look forward to planning many more trips through the company in the future!
No writing to describe this trip would ever be enough to summarise what a truly amazing experience it was!
Michelle Fox, Teacher at Lewes Old Grammar School, UK.
Eight Conservation students from Bridgwater college in Somerset spent 2 weeks at the Playa Tortuga project in Costa Rica:
It was a great trip and the reserve staff were very accommodating and helpful. They are very knowledgeable and approachable and we felt looked after at the reserve. We all learned a lot on the trip and it was really beneficial to see the fruits of the student’s labour in terms of footage from camera traps they had put out. It was good that the staff let the students work on a trial and error basis with the cameras as this allowed them to appreciate how they worked and it allowed them to alter them to be more effective.
The students enjoyed the caiman conservation aspect of the trip and especially liked measuring and weighing the animals and contributing to the data collection, and it was useful that the staff put this into context with talks about caiman and crocodile conservation.
Some of the students and myself did struggle with the heat and humidity, but fans were supplied in the rooms and the main common area had fans, which made the room cool. It was good that the staff at the reserve were aware that the heat and humidity did affect us (coming from a temperate environment) and they accommodated this by not staying out in the field for prolonged periods, and water was readily available.
The closing activity of going to a hotel and looking out onto the Pacific and watching the sunset was a great touch and the students and myself really appreciated this at the end of the trip.
Overall, it was a great experience, and some of the students want to go back to the reserve to volunteer in the future.
Adam George, Lecturer at Bridgwater College
A Group of Animal Conservation Students from Bridgwater College, UK joined our Elephant Volunteer Project in Thailand:
Organising a trip for a group of students can sometimes be difficult but WorkingAbroad made it so easy for us, were really cooperative and supportive throughout. It was easy to contact people for information and they always gave a quick response. The trip itself was incredible and is something that the students and myself will treasure forever. They are such amazing people and provided the best support for the students to learn and experience everything in Thailand. Not only did they work with the beautiful elephants but also got to teach in the local schools and visit some of the temples. There was not a single thing that I would have changed except to stay forever! - Kayleigh Liddell, Lecturer at Bridgwater College
Visiting Thailand was an amazing experience. Working at the project provided an excellent opportunity to do a variety of tasks with the elephants. The possibilities were endless and thoroughly exceeded expectations. The support provided by tutors and staff helped me to gain as much from the trip as possible. Overall a much enjoyed trip that was planned well enough for it to run smoothly and in a way that meant we all achieved a large amount of knowledge - Amy Price, Bsc Animal Management
Going to Thailand was definitely an experience I wont easily forget, with some fantastic memories and friends made in the process. Being part of a project such as this was a huge honour, making me realise just how much work, effort and time goes into helping the Asian elephants. I can honestly say I will be an ambassador for the cause having learnt so much whilst I was there - Katie Reading, Bsc Animal Management
Vets without Borders students from A&M Texas University joined our Ocean Research and Marine Conservation Programme in South Africa. They learned all about marine mammal research, bird ringing, land surveying, wildlife rehabilitation and lots more! Here’s what they had to say about their experience:
I cannot begin to express my gratitude for this amazing experience!!! Every single thought and expectation I had about this trip was surpassed immensely! There was never a point where I did not learn something new. From the boat trips, learning all about the local marine life to completing an otter dissection, there was never a dull moment! I will never forget the hikes we did, most definitely the most beautiful yet scariest thing I have ever done! It wasn’t just the experiences that made this trip amazing, but also the sense of community that the project extended and the friendships that were made! Leaving Plett, I truly felt a part of something bigger than myself. I was warmly welcomed into this brand new family, something most cannot say after leaving a volunteer experience. I not only grew educationally, but personally as well!! I wouldn’t trade any part of this trip for the world! Thank you for showing me all these opportunities that exist to not only help save animals, but also to improve the lives of others around me! - Samantha Jansen
Volunteering with the Ocean Research and Marine Conservation Programme was a one of a kind, eye-opening experience to the natural world that I never expected to see. There is no better way to experience Africa than working side-by-side with Jared, Michael, Wesley, and the rest of the team. Seeing all the research and projects going on there was very inspiring! I arrived in Plett expecting to learn all about the marine life there, but left with so much more about people, land animals, and most surprisingly myself. Two weeks was not enough! I really hope to get a chance at round 2! - Courtney Markley
I came to volunteer to expand my horizons and get animal experience as I am hoping to have a career with wildlife. Little did I know it would be SO much more. It exposed me to research, new professions in conservation, to townships, and the most beautiful beaches on this earth. But most importantly the programme introduced me to amazing people who whole-heartedly love their jobs: Jared was laughing through every adventure, Chanel had such a passion for the animals she works with, and Wesley never stopped smiling when we visited schools. This experience has given me opportunities I couldn't get anywhere else; when was the last time you got to dissect an otter who had stranded or assist in Brydes whale research? My goals have been altered- i want a job I can enjoy every single day like all the hilarious, dedicated people I am so lucky to have met. My inner strength was tested as we hiked and hiked and hiked, but the views were worth the millions of steps and scaling of rocks! I had to stop and remind myself multiple times to take it all in because I was really in South Africa- it was really happening.
Now that I have left (it's only been a few days) I am determined to go back! All it would have taken for me to stay was a place to live- 2 weeks was not enough time to take it all in. There are so many volunteering opportunities in the area, but I am so glad I was able to be stationed with the programme in Plettenberg Bay because I had access to so many wonderful cities on the garden route. I have so many unforgettable memories from this trip, one of them being load shedding. I had never even heard of this term before my trip, but by the end I found it quite peaceful. A perfect break in the day to journal or play phase 10 with my fellow Aggies. Seeing the pod of dolphins, and helping out at the Creche are just a few more of those unforgettable memories. I loved the two days I got to hang out with the kids at Siyakula. Seeing the bright smiles of everyone in the township gave me such a warm feeling. Thank you for giving me experiences of a lifetime and pointing me towards an amazing career! I love you all and hope to see you again one day- maybe for a vacation or a big move from the USA! - Shelby Joseph