Volunteer & Internship Opportunities

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Volunteer Vacations (1999) by Bill McMillon Volunteer vacation organizations fall into several categories. Discover the ones that are right for you.

To buy this book, click: here

Global Volunteer Network offers a professional course in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) through their partner, Global English. They have negotiated a discount for all their volunteers.

For details, click: here

Idealist.org offers links to many agencies (volunteer and internship opportunities) in the United States and around the world.

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Caribbean Volunteer Expeditions a non-profit agency, started in 1990, conducts eight trips per year. (Roughly half of their volunteers are solo!) Helping to preserve and document the fragile historical heritage of the Caribbean is their mission.

According to their literature, "You don't necessarily have to be architecturally skilled, although we appreciate any professional assistance; you just have to be willing to help preserve the history of the Caribbean and have fun."

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African-Experience offers volunteer work with wildlife and conservation courses.

Here's your opportunity to experience a real African adventure in the beautiful setting of Southern Africa on "big five" game farms!

Spend your day working with wild animals, hand rearing baby lions, translocation of rehabilitated cheetahs, helping preserve endangered species, and bottle feeding baby baboons. Work with professional vets to aid ill or injured wild animals as well as researching various endangered animals.

Louise Gardner of African-Experience offers the following particulars:

"Most of our volunteers travel solo; I'd say about 80-90%. But they are keen to meet other people whilst volunteering.

About 55% of the volunteers are female and 45% are male. The average age range is 20's , most being early 20 to mid 20's; however the programmes/courses are open to anyone over the age of 17 yrs. A large % of volunteers come from USA , England and the Netherlands, most being USA and England."

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La Sabranenque Restoration Projects team members learn traditional techniques stone masonry, path paving, floor tiling as they help restore castles and other medieval buildings in Provence and, for one two-week period, in Italy.

One-, two- and three-week sessions run from March through October. Participants live in handsome rooms in stone buildings restored by previous volunteers. They share meals at huge tables under the trees.

According to Marc Simon of Sabranenque, "Although there are some couples that take part in our projects, the far majority of participants are "solo" volunteers I would say at least 80%, though I've never done any "statistics."

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Coastal Ecosystems Research Foundation Be a biologist for a week! CERF is conducting research on the biology and ecology of gray whales and are inviting whale enthusiasts to come be a part of this project.

Solo selection? "Generally we get few couples, and occasional friends travelling together. I'd guess about 90% of our guests have been travelling alone, and probably something like two thirds of them have been "unattached".

Excerpt from the BC Grey Whale Newsletter, June 2002 edition:

"We're getting our plans organised for another summer working with grey and humpback whales off the coast of BC.

This promises to be an exciting season. We're moving our base from Skull Cove to Duncanby Landing, where we have a renovated logging camp at our disposal (imagine: beds, showers, electricity, and real plumbing!

It's going to take some getting used to after so many years spent camping at
Skull Cove!). We're expanding our research area to include the humpbacks in FitzHugh Sound and the southern Inside Passage. We'll also be heading up to Prince Rupert twice this summer, looking for other grey whale hotspots on the way up, and humpbacks on the way down. We're looking for volunteers to come help out."

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Global Volunteer Network The Global Volunteer Network currently has volunteer opportunities available through their partner organizations in China, Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Thailand and Uganda.

NEW! New Zealand Program Join a small team of volunteers working to preserve, monitor, and re-establish the natural environment. Encounter native forests and wild coastline in the stunning South Pacific.

For details, click: here

Executive Director Colin Salisbury reports

For 2003, our volunteer data was as follows:
Median age: 23
Average age: 26
Age range: 18-77
Gender mix: 66% female
Most of our volunteers come individually; I can't access the data very easily, but I'd estimate that it'd be greater than 90%

USA 41.65%
UK 20.57%
Aus 9.00%
Can 8.48%
Other 20.31%

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Here's what I discovered:

This is the first apparel ever registered by the EPA as an insect repellent. It has highly effective chemical (derived from chrysanthemum) tightly bonded to the fabric. Odorless and colorless, it does not affect the feel or performance of the garment. The fabric also offers 30+ SPF sun protection, and wicks moisture from your skin to keep you dry and comfortable. (Downside: repellent protection good through 25 washings.)

If bug bites are a concern at home or for your upcoming travels, I encourage you to visit both ExOficio and Magellan's you'll notice that styles for men, women and kids vary. ExOficio features the most extensive selection, including a convertible pant option for men, women and kids. (P.S. it's their new clothing line!)

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Global Volunteers is a private, international tax-exempt, non-profit organization.

Fostering understanding between cultures, Global Volunteers designs programs to let participants work side-by-side with local people on projects important to the community.

Possibilities include serving as classroom assistants to Vietnamese teachers of English in the Mekong Delta, building a children's playground on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, and caring for abandoned babies in Romania.

Vice president Michele Gran remarks, "Last year, about 60% of our volunteers traveled without a friend or spouse. That doesn't imply that they don't have a spouse or friends We try to make volunteering with us as easy and non-intimidating as possible for people who can't find someone to accompany them. We send teams of between 8 and 22 people, so no one is ever alone. But, more than that, we have nearly two full days of on-site orientation and team building, both to increase the comfort level of the team members and to maximize our team effectiveness for the projects. I am convinced that we're a superior opportunity for solo travelers with a goodwill objective."

These are great trips for single people. They attract a very active crowd of men and women of all ages with diverse educational, professional and cultural backgrounds. (During the last year, they hailed from 46 countries.)

The organization supports projects that join the public with teams of scientists and educators. Offerings include tracking mountain lions in Idaho and overseeing maternal and child health in India.

Volunteer Travel Based in Guilford, Vermont, they offer an array of positions including schools, biological reserves, conservation areas, rainforests and cloudforests, wildlife rehabilitation centers, sea turtle monitoring, animal shelters and clinics, farming & forestry projects, eco-tourist projects.

Placements are available in: Australia, New Zealand,
Belize, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Ecuador, Nepal.

University of California Research Expeditions Program
You can turn your vacation into the adventure of a lifetime, whether your interest is archaeology, animal studies, geology, arts and culture, the environment, or conservation! Each participant is an active and full-fledged member of the research team and contributes an equal share to cover the project costs.

As a donation to the University of California, your contribution is tax-deductible.

(Countries include: Argentina · Belize · Canada · Chile · Ecuador · Hungary · India · Indonesia · Israel · Kenya · Malawi · Nepal · Russia · Solomon Islands · South Africa · Spain · Turkey · Venezuela · USA)

Management responds to our inquiry about their numbers of solo participants: "I don't have the exact figures, but last year I think there were about 15 couples (30 people) out of 200 (which is about 15%). The rest of our participants were single, with ages raging from college students to retired."

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Oceanic Society a conservation organization, known for natural history and research expeditions, offers volunteers opportunities to research sea birds and marine mammals, including whales, dolphins and manatees.

Trips, usually a week in duration, include studies of a herd of midway spinner dolphins in the Hawaiian Islands, humpback whales on Costa Rica's remote Osa Peninsula, and whales and dolphins in Monterey Bay, California.

Wilderness Volunteers 2005 marks its seventh season of organizing service trips in cooperation with public land agencies including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, National Forest Service and the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Note the following information appearing on their Frequently Asked Questions page:

What is the average age of participants on Wilderness Volunteers trips?

The average age is about 40 with a range of 18 to 75.

Does everyone come with a partner?

No, while each trip typically has a couple or two, most folks
come to the trip alone

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Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) When you join WWOOF Australia you can choose from among 1,200 Organic Farms offering to teach you about organic growing. You'll work in exchange for your keep: full board and accommodation, usually in a family home.

Solo "specs": "Probably about half our participants are travelling solo."

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AVSAR - United States-based nonprofit organization offers structured volunteer and internship service opportunities in Mumbai, India.

AVSAR connects volunteers to grassroots nonprofit organizations working to provide healthcare and other services in the slums and underprivileged areas of Mumbai (often with street children, child-laborers, sweatshop employees, etc.).

AVSAR has opened its recruitment of students or professionals at the undergraduate level, in the fields of Public Health, Medicine, Business, Computer Science, Graphic Arts, etc.

AVSAR is now accepting applications for one-month to twelve-month placements. June and July 2005 are on a soft close; August 2005 is almost closed. AVSAR is currently seeking placements through August 2006, but positions are available year-round.

Cost: $350 program/lodging fee

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