(your journey here)

Teen Volunteer Abroad

“The most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done”

Lots of your peers may be engaged in volunteer work. Hey, it makes you feel good and looks great on a college or job app. But why not try something that is “the most fulfilling thing (you’ve) ever done?” Get outside your bubble, experience a culture that’s completely foreign to you, do something important in a place where it’s needed. With United Planet, you’ll get all the support you need to make it safe, rewarding and valuable. Like many of our volunteers, maybe you’ll go for the experience … but you’ll bring back memories of some of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet. You might even introduce yourself to someone you may not recognize – yourself, after you see what the world has to offer.

If you are a parent or family member of a Teen Volunteer Abroad Quest, check our Information for Parents page, where you will find answers to many of your questions about international volunteering.

Why volunteer abroad with United Planet?

United Planet Quests are designed to be immersive, authentic, comprehensive and provide you everything you’ll need to succeed. The program elements allow you to engage fully with a new culture, forge strong relationships, and challenge yourself. Most importantly, we partner with the community to ensure your experience will be important, relevant and helpful to the community you serve.

  • We are a mission-focused, non-profit organization
    We are all about service, making a difference, building a global community.
  • Our programs emphasize authenticity
    Get outside your bubble, jump into a real experience, become a global citizen.
  • We provide everything you need to succeed
    Classes, in-country travel, home stays, meals, work –we are your cultural bridge.
  • Your safety is our most important concern
    From one-on-one assistance before you travel to experienced staff in country, everything is done to ensure your safety and wellbeing
  • (your journey here)
    Your Quest is personalized to provide the opportunity for genuine, meaningful personal growth.
  • What we do is meaningful
    Your experience will be important, relevant and helpful to the community you serve.

Year-Round Opportunities for Teens 16+

Costa Rica

Students teach classroom of children in Costa Rica
Working with Children

Age: 16 +
Program Length: 10 days – 12 weeks
Availability: Programs begin weekly, year round

Teen volunteers can be placed at schools, day cares, orphanages, or a local hospital where they will be mentors to local children. Common tasks include helping with homework, teaching English, and leading games and activities. Volunteers may also be asked to help around the site with gardening, cooking, cleaning, and maintenance work. Learn more about volunteering in Costa Rica.

Group of united planet volunteers smiling
Ecotourism & Wildlife Conservation

Age: 17 +
Program Length: 1 – 12 weeks
Availability: Programs begin weekly, year round

High school students ages 17 and up can work at environmental conservation projects located throughout Costa Rica. volunteers work to preserve parks and promote sustainable systems to conserve flora, fauna and water resources. Some volunteers will assist in the rehabilitation and conservation of wildlife. Programs have been selected for their suitability for this age group and vetted for their safety by the United Planet staff. Learn more about volunteering in Costa Rica.

Peru

Female volunteer smiles with children at table in Peru
Community Development & Healthcare

Age: 17 +
Program Length: 1 – 12 weeks
Availability: Programs begin weekly, year round

Teen volunteers have a variety of options to participate in community development Quests in Peru, such as teaching or working in a day care center in Quito. Spanish is required. Learn more about volunteering in Peru.

Romania

Female volunteer smiles with child in Romania
Orphanage & Community Development

Age: 16 +
Program Length: 1 – 12 weeks
Availability: Programs begin twice a month, year round

Volunteers in Romania live and work in a rural community and orphanage. Caring for children is the focus of most Quests; however, there are other options in the community for volunteers with different interests. No language experience necessary. Learn more about volunteering in Romania.

South Africa

Female volunteer smiles on tennis court with children in South Africa
Sports Coaching

Age: 17 +
Program Length: 5 – 12 weeks
Availability: April – December, with specific start dates

Teens aged 17 and up can choose to coach at-risk youth players in different sports in South Africa. Volunteers stay in Port Elizabeth and have the opportunity to go on excursions to the Kragga Kama Game Reserve and more. Learn more about volunteering in South Africa.

Female volunteer takes a photo with two children in South Africa
Social Work

Age: 17 +
Program Length: 5 – 12 weeks
Availability: April – December, with specific start dates

Teens aged 17 and up can work in a number of social projects, including teaching, arts and crafts, or orphanage care work in South Africa. Volunteers stay in Port Elizabeth and have the opportunity to go on excursions to the Kragga Kama Game Reserve and more. Learn more about volunteering in South Africa.

Summer Break Opportunities for Teens 16+

Our summer break volunteer abroad opportunities for teens have been created and specialized for teens. As each of these programs vary from our general volunteer quests please Contact Us to get additional information.

Male volunteer helping other male students with classwork

CHINA – Summer Teaching Quest

Age: 16 +
Program Length: 4 weeks
Dates: July 21 – August 16, 2015
Enroll by: May 22, 2015
Quest Fee: $3495

Students 16 and up are welcome to spend four weeks in rural China, teaching wonderful Chinese students. Along with volunteering the itinerary includes a tour of Beijing, travel to local villages, teaching English and environmental studies, authentic Chinese cuisine, and more. Learn more about the China Summer Teaching Quest.

Volunteer in a purple shirt teaching a room of High School Students

CHILE – High School Teaching Quest

Age: 16 – 18
Program Length: 2 weeks
Dates: June 14 – June 28, 2015
Enroll By: April 17, 2015

Located in Viña del Mar, volunteers on the Teaching Quest work as English teaching assistants with local English teachers in government subsidized schools. English teaching assistants will work closely with Chilean English teachers, developing lesson plans, providing small group tutoring and correcting tests. They may also read aloud and sing songs in class with the younger students and talk about their own experiences.Volunteers will also have opportunities to explore Santiago and the Viña del Mar area. Explore Chile or Contact Us for more information.

Volunteer in a gray sweater smiling with four other children

ECUADOR – Environmental & Education Quest

Age: 16 – 18
Program Length: 2 weeks
Dates: August 1 – August 15, 2015
Enroll By: April 17, 2015

Students will have the opportunity to see two sides of Ecuador: the cloud forest and the city of Quito. For one week, volunteers will work and live together in an environmental lodge; the other week they will be at an educational center and temporary housing for street children. Volunteers can tutor, organize games with the children, and will also work on a group project to be determined by the needs of the center (such as painting or fixing furniture). Volunteers will live 2-3 volunteers together with host families. Explore Ecuador or Contact Us for more information.

Two femaile volunteers in blue shirts who are working to preserve the community

PERU – Leadership Through Service Quest

Age: 15 – 17
Program Length: 3 weeks
Dates: July 9 – July 30, 2015
Enroll By: May 9, 2015
Quest Fee: $3295

This unique Quest is designed to immerse volunteers in another culture in an intentional way. The group will complete volunteer projects as requested by the host community. In addition, they will take language classes, participate in cultural activities, and visit local points of interest. They will also speak with local leaders about their area of expertise and complete a research project. The United Planet staff member will lead the group in reflection exercises throughout the program to enhance learning. The Leadership Through Service Quest begins with an experiential-based workshop in New Hampshire designed to guide students in self-exploration, teamwork, and develop their leadership competencies. Learn more and download a sample itinerary.

Have questions? We’d love to help.

Contact Us