The Right Way to Volunteer with Animals Abroad

Volunteering with animals abroad is a unique experience to try during your gap year or when you want to volunteer overseas. Most volunteers spend their time volunteering as a teacher or health care professional; hence, it is a good option for those who want to try something new on their next volunteer trip. It also changes your perspective about protecting wildlife, especially in communities wherein the wildlife is in danger.

To help you prepare before you join volunteering programs with animals abroad, here are some things to keep in mind.

How Much Time Do You Have?

There are several programs for volunteering with animals abroad. It depends on how much time you wish to dedicate to the program. Some programs require you to volunteer your time for a few days to one week. Meanwhile, there are also programs that can last for several weeks (i.e. minimum of four weeks) as you will be handling various wildlife sanctuaries at a time.

Type of Wildlife

What type of animals do you love (or are comfortable with) volunteering for? You will be amazed at how many animal options there are for volunteers. Some programs will have you work with a specific type of animals while there are also those that require you to work with a variety of wildlife. If you have a specific fascination for or interest for an animal, you might find yourself more dedicated to a particular volunteer program. There are also certain wildlife volunteerism programs associated with a certain location. Hence, you might want to look into the location where you plan on volunteering with animals abroad with a specific type of wildlife.


The importance of the volunteer work being done and the comforts associated with it can impact the cost of joining the program. There are some that require volunteers to care for the animals. Meanwhile, there are also programs dedicated to conservation studies. The latter are more intensive in nature; therefore, they can also come with a hefty price tag. Choose a program based on your interest towards the goals of the program while also taking the cost into account.

Comfort Features

Volunteer programs come in all sizes and shapes. Some will require you to enjoy the rustic experience of working with the wildlife, while there are some that provide a few comforts to provide a semblance of home. You have to look into the accommodation provided as part of the volunteer program before you sign up. When you plan on volunteering with animals abroad, you can expect to encounter difficult work and situations for every day you spend volunteering. Therefore, enjoying some comfort can provide you with relief. The amount of comfort you can get in your accommodation will impact the cost; hence, you have to learn to strike a balance between the two.

If you take the time to choose which program to join in, you can have a more meaningful stint as a volunteer. Volunteering with animals abroad with IVI can be the most rewarding experience you can have, especially if you are an animal lover.

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Jake Phillips
Jake Phillips
Based in Chicago. I love playing tennis and loud music.