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Volunteer in South Korea

Ancient meets cutting edge in the unique character of South Korea. As one of the most technologically and scientifically advanced countries in Asia, South Korea is still loyal to its Confucian legacy, seeking harmony and balance in all areas of life. Tireless efforts by South Koreans have led to a tremendously successful recovery from both World War II and the Korean War. In South Korea, sunny springs are followed by hot, rainy summers, which then give way to a bountiful autumn showing of colors every year. Many travelers come to see its modern cities, but with beautiful mountains, enchanting ancient temples, and serene rice paddies, South Korea is an ideal destination for all.

United Planet is the US and Canadian member of the International Cultural Youth Exchange, or ICYE. As a volunteer in South Korea, you will be hosted by ICYE South Korea, ICYE’s South Korean partner organization. ICYE South Korea has been helping volunteers help South Korean communities since the mid-1980s.

Korean woman cooks food at Tongin Market in South Korea

Project Information

Working with the Disabled

Volunteer in a center that builds a sense of community spirit among the disabled, both young and old. The center empowers its members by helping them become more self-sufficient, dispelling prejudices, and organizing activities that involve the local community.

Social Work

Assist with the daily running of a children’s home where abandoned children are given shelter, food, and education. Volunteers can work in the kindergarten, lead creative activities and games, and participate in the children’s development, depending on their interests and experience.

Working with the Elderly

Participate in social welfare programs that ensure that the elderly enjoy a good quality of life. Activities include helping in the daily care of people who can no longer look after themselves, spending time with those who do not have support from their family, helping the elderly participate in the center’s workshops, and helping with the day-to-day running of the center.


Work with children from low-income families and assist with workshops and courses designed to keep the children interested in learning. Workshops include arts and crafts, sports, and language-learning. Volunteers act as classroom assistants and participate in workshops and games, supporting and encouraging the children.

Country Highlights

Visit the Insadong Tearooms

Have a cup of tea in Seoul’s traditional Insadong district. It still has dozens of secluded places serving traditional brews.

Visit Seoraksan National Park

Seoraksan National Park is located outside the fishing village of Sokcho, in the North-East corner of Gangwon-Do. During the peak fall seasons, it is a great climbing, hiking spot.

Participate in the Boryeong mud festival

Korea’s dirtiest, most enjoyable festival takes place each July on the west coast – don’t forget your soap!

Take a day-trip to Guinsa temple complex

The most distinctive temple complex in the country, Guinsa’s paths wind snake-like routes up a tight, remote valley in Korea’s heartland.

Quest Fees and Details

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.

Included in Your Quest

  • Extensive pre-departure preparation, including a training weekend in New Hampshire with United Planet staff
  • Food and lodging in your host country
  • Airport transfers
  • Emergency medical insurance
  • In-country orientation upon arrival and ongoing support and supervision throughout your Quest
  • Language training
  • Mid-year camp (for 1 year volunteers) and final camp
  • Monthly stipend for incidental expenses


  • 19 – 26 years old
  • Citizen or resident of the United States or Canada

Start Dates and Travel

  • Long-term Quests begin twice a year, in January and August.
  • Volunteers are responsible for booking and covering the cost of their own flights, both to the training weekend in New Hampshire and to and from their host country.
  • Volunteers will obtain the necessary visas with support from our Long-Term staff to volunteer in their host country.

Quest Fee and Deadlines

 Start Date  6 month fee  1 year fee  Early Bird Deposit Deadline  Regular Deposit Deadline
August 2016 $8,995 $12,295 Monday, March 21, 2016 Monday, May 23, 2016
January 2017 $8,995 $12,295 Friday, August 12, 2016 Friday, September 16, 2016
Enroll by the Early Bird Deadline and take $300 off your Quest fee.
About Our Quest Fee

We want you to succeed. That means having in place the support our volunteers need. We don’t just drop you in country and hope for the best. We provide training before you leave … language exposure … 24/7 in-country support … support for your host family … accommodations, meals and airport transportation … activities and excursions. The whole idea is to make the experience successful and productive for you and the host community, and we have found that these things are crucial. Remember that we are a non-profit, mission-driven organization – we wouldn’t spend money on something that wasn’t important.

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