Spend a season soaking up the splendor of Switzerland. Located right in the heart of Europe, Switzerland lies landlocked between Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Lichtenstein. The beautiful Alps fill the lower two-thirds of the country, creating an attraction for millions each year. Volunteers are amazed at their majesty; they soar up an incredible 15,782 feet! Switzerland’s northern region is known as the midlands and is filled with picturesque rolling hills, lakes and meadows. This is where the majority of Switzerland’s population and businesses reside. In Switzerland, volunteers can expect to hear the lilt of a variety of languages – German, Italian, French and others.
United Planet is the US and Canadian partner of the International Cultural Youth Exchange, or ICYE. As a volunteer in Switzerland, you will be hosted by ICYE Switzerland, ICYE’s Swiss partner organization. Get ready to be “more than a tourist” as part of Switzerland’s volunteer exchange program.
Volunteer at a school or organization that works with children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. These projects aim to provide their residents with family-like surroundings, close contacts, and a sense of security. Volunteers assist in various types of classes and take care of the children.
Volunteers work with physically and mentally disabled adults at a center that empowers its members by helping them become more self-sufficient, dispelling prejudices, and organizing activities that involve the local community. Volunteer tasks typically include assisting the residents in daily activities such as washing, eating, going for walks, cleaning, and helping during swimming lessons.
Volunteers provide these elderly individuals with company and a listening ear, and help them get around to various daily activities. This project gives you the chance to learn about Swiss society from those who know it the best.
Volunteers assist in a cultural center with tasks such as taking phone calls, office work, and organizing cultural events. This is a great opportunity to help immigrants understand and integrate into their new home.
Volunteers help with administration work to support the staff at local radio and theater organizations. Volunteers are required to speak fluent German for this project.
There are a wide variety of things to do in Geneva. You can see the remains of past structures and churches at Saint Pierre’s Cathedral, walk around Lake Geneva and take in the beautiful Swiss landscape. Or, visit the Palace of Nations, which is the European headquarters of the United Nations.
Basel has more museums than any other city in Switzerland; it is truly a city of Swiss culture. One of the biggest highlights of Basel is its yearly Fasnacht, or carnival. The Carnival is held on the Monday following Ash Wednesday. At 4 in the morning, the city turns off all of its lights and a colorful light procession takes place throughout the city.
This historic cathedral offers amazing views of the city and it is also a beautiful example of French Gothic architecture. Lausanne is the only city to continue the tradition of having a watchman climb to the top of the steeple tower and every hour between the hours of 10pm and 2 am call out that a new hour has struck.
Entlebuch is the first Biosphere established in Switzerland; it works to preserve the beautiful flora and fauna of Switzerland. There are opportunities to explore the reserve by using energy and fairytale themed trails.
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.
|Start Date||6 month fee||1 year fee||Early Bird Deposit Deadline||Regular Deposit Deadline|
|August 2016||—||$13,645*||Friday, January 22, 2016||Monday, February 22, 2016|
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.