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Find your programme

work abroad programme   Volunteer programmes

WYSE Work and Volunteer Abroad, as an association, does not directly provide any work abroad or volunteer programmes/placements. You can rely on our trusted members to provide you with the right high-quality programme that works best for you!
We know the difficulty in finding an ideal programme with the many options available, so we hereby provide a guideline for you to find your best option efficiently.

Step 1 – Ask yourself the right questions

Before looking for the programmes, start first with asking yourself the following questions:

1. What do I want to do?

There are many options available for those wanting to go abroad and gain ‘life experience’. The first thing to consider is whether you wish to participate in a work abroad or volunteer abroad programme.

Both options show similarities such as fulfilling your desire to travel and explore the world, diving into a new culture and language, to get a better understanding of the world around you.

Work abroad is the term used for when someone interns, works, or teaches in a foreign country through a programme to gain work experience while being immersed in a foreign work environment (cultural exchange). The position may be paid or unpaid depending on the country.
Dependent upon the programme, you may live in a dormitory or apartment with other participants, or with a host family.

Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, there is no financial gain involved. It is helping, assisting, or serving other people, communities or the environment without pay, intended to improve quality of life and in return achieve the feeling of giving back to the world.

Volunteering is also renowned for skill development, socialisation, and fun. Additionally you can make contacts that could prove their importance for your future employment.

Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. Others serve on an as-needed basis, such as in response to a natural disaster.

2. What type of programmes am I interested in?

There are many different options for working and/or volunteering abroad available, below you can find a short description of the various programmes available

Au pair – Please visit the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) website to find more information on au pairing and on how to find the right placement

Study abroad – Please visit the Study WYSE website to find more information on study abroad programme providers

Language travel – Learn your desired language locally during an intensive international language class/course.

Work abroad exchange:

  • Camp counselling – Post-secondary students, youth workers, and teachers can come and travel to the USA to share their culture and ideas in camp settings throughout the country. You can find more information on the requirements here.
  • Career training
  • Internships
  • Summer work and travel USA – This specific international cultural exchange programme founded and supervised by the Department of State is for students coming to USA during their summer vacations to work and travel. The primary purpose of the programme is to acquaint students with the culture and life of modern America and the distribution of other cultures among its inhabitants. You can find more information on the requirements here.
  • Teaching abroad
  • Work and study
  • Working holiday

Volunteer travel:
A popular form of volunteering among young people, particularly gap year students, is to travel to communities in the developing world to work on projects. Activities include teaching English, working in orphanages, conservation, and so on. International volunteering will give you valuable skills, knowledge, and the experience of a lifetime!

Below are a few distinctions in what your volunteer work could entail:

  • Environmental volunteering – You would contribute towards environmental management or conservation, including activities like environmental monitoring, ecological restoration (for example re-vegetation and weed removal), protecting endangered animals, and educating others about the natural environment.
  • Service learning –
  • Skills-based volunteering – You can use your personal skills or education to contribute to raise the knowledge level of the community for example by teaching or to provide medical assistance where the local set-up does not suffice.

3. Set your expectations right!

Being abroad in the country of your choice will always be different from what you’re used to, therefore it’s crucial for you to start expecting that it will be different!

Simply anticipating the fact that there will be changes will already help you to better prepare you for living abroad in the country of your choice. Already think about the following things:

  • Be flexible and open-minded – You will no doubt have to adapt to new things you encounter in the country of your choice.
  • Expect cultural differences – Everywhere you will go, the culture and habits of people will be different than what you’re used to at home. Keep in mind that what is normal for you, isn’t necessarily the case in another country.
  • Learn about your destination before you go – Read-up about the history of the place you will visit, will already give you a little insight into their daily life; learning a few local phrases before you go, will bring out a smile on anyone’s face!

4. Which country do I want to go?

5. How long do I want to join the programme? Period of time

Do you want to be involved in a programme for a longer period of time or are you looking for a summer break? Everything is of course possible!

Tip:
If you find these questions difficult to answer, you can ask yourself the questions in a different way, like “which country I do NOT want to go?”, “what type of programmes am I NOT interested in?” These questions allow you to filter the programmes you do not need to pay attention to. This will save you time.

Step 2 – Finding the right programme

Review our members list – Our trusted members offer many quality work and volunteer abroad programmes in many different fields. You can check the list of our members and then contact them directly!

Tip:
You can search our members list by country, we categorise the organisations according to the headquarters location of the organisation. We suggest that you first look up the organisations based in the country you are located currently, since they will be able to provide you with the up-to-date details on any local Visa requirements and other practical issues. 

Step 3 – Be proactive!

If there is anything that you do not understand, always ask the programme providers.

If you still have questions, regarding the quality of the organisation, just email us and we will try to help you out – As we want to make your experience one to remember!