Volunteer Abroad for 6 Months or 12 Months

During a long-term volunteer Quest with United Planet you become deeply involved in a host community, and immersed in a new culture and a different way of life. In a few months, you will learn more about the world and yourself than you even thought possible.

United Planet and the ICYE Federation

international cultural youth exchangeExperience a life-changing program in one of over 30 countries across the globe. United Planet is the U.S. and Canadian member of the International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) Federation, founded in 1949.

Through a vast network and 60 years of experience, United Planet and ICYE offer a wide range programs for volunteers from around the world.

Who can enroll?

The people who join United Planet come from all walks of life and reflect a diverse range of personal, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.

  • Participants must be 18 years of age by their departure date. Upper age requirement varies by country. Please inquire for more details.
  • Participants must be citizens or residents of the U.S. or Canada. Residents and citizens of other countries should contact the ICYE member organization in their country.
  • Language fluency is not required, but basic knowledge of the local language is helpful.

Where can you go?

When can you go?

Long-term Quests begin in January and August of each year. Specific start dates for each country may vary. Please visit our Long Term Prices & Details page for program start dates and application deadlines.

Can I receive academic credit for my Quest?

Through a partnership with the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, United Planet now offers students the option to gain academic credit for Quests of any length. Learn more...

How much does it cost?

Program costs vary by country and program duration. Please visit our Long Term Prices & Details page for a detailed list of program fees and for more information on what’s included.

Program fees typically include:

  • Food & lodging in your host country (host family or shared residence)
  • Airport transfers
  • Emergency medical insurance
  • In-country orientation, language training, mid-year camp, and final camp
  • On-going support and supervision
  • Monthly stipend for incidental expenses
  • Extensive pre-departure preparation including a training weekend

Joining United Planet's long-term Quest means you will receive excellent support and guidance throughout your preparation and volunteer experience.  All volunteers participate in a pre-departure training weekend to help them prepare for the logistical, cultural and safety aspects of their program.  Watch a video about this training!

Hear What Others Have to Say!

CNN selected United Planet as one of the “10 non-profit organizations that can help you to make a positive impact on the world around you.” Watch the video feature here!

Read about our volunteers’ experiences abroad by checking out our long-term volunteers blog! Explore volunteer stories, tips, and news from the field.

Read more testimonials and volunteer stories!

Watch some of our long term volunteers' stories on our YouTube Channel

Three Easy Steps to Apply

Questions about applying? 1-800-292-2316

Contact us 1 800 232 2316Call one of our friendly regional Quest coordinators today. We will walk you step-by-step through the application process and answer any questions you may have. You can also visit our FAQ page for more information. 

Step 1: Choose your Quest. Contact us at any time for help!  We'd love to talk to you. Email or call  1-800-292-2316.

Step 2: Enroll online. Please fill in the enrollment form. Then reserve your spot with a deposit (which is credited toward your program fee).

Step 3: Meet your Quest coordinator and iron out the details. Once you've applied, your United Planet coordinator will contact you, and arrange a phone session to talk about your Quest of interest. THANKS!