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Volunteer Overseas

Flexible Start Dates for Projects Abroad

Flexible Start Dates

Generally speaking, you can start any project on any day. When you apply, you will specify your preferred start and end dates. Our projects run year round and have volunteers arriving almost every day. Since our staff work full time, they are always available to collect volunteers, no matter what time you arrive.

Since our projects sometimes depend on the local holiday calendar, there are brief occasions when normal project work is suspended. For example, schools often close for winter/summer holidays. During these times, we arrange alternative work which is similar to your placement. You may take part in a school holiday teaching programme, for example.

If you would like to check any local holiday dates in advance please call us on 01273 007230 or email us at In addition, once you are accepted onto the project, you will be contacted by your Volunteer Advisor who will let you know about any local holidays or if it may make sense to arrive a couple of days later.

On our standard projects your project length is calculated from the time you leave home until the time you arrive back home. For example, if you sign up for a four week trip you will need to ensure your international travel time is included within this four week duration. This is to ensure your whole trip is covered by our insurance.

Fixed Date Group Trips

The only exceptions to our “any start date” policy are our fixed date group trips. These are structured volunteer projects that take place on specific dates.

  • High School Specials:These are safe and structured group trips, designed for those aged 16 to 19. You’ll get to volunteer alongside people your own age, while exploring a new culture and making friends. These projects run for two, three or four weeks over the summer holidays.

Find out more about our High School Specials

  • 19+ Specials:Based on our popular High School Specials, but designed for an older crowd, these are summer group trips for young adults aged 19 and over.

Find out more about our 19+ Specials

  • Grown-up Specials: These are specially-designed two week placements for older volunteers – those aged 50 and over. As a volunteer, you will work alongside a group of like-minded people your age and follow a daily schedule arranged by our local staff.

Find out more about our Grown-up Specials

  • Christmas Projects: As the name suggests, these are group trips that take place over the Christmas season. They are open to volunteers of all ages.

Find out more about our Christmas Projects

When should I apply?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so there is no firm deadline for applications. Some countries and projects require at least three months to process an application, arrange for visas, and advise you properly on how to prepare. Other countries can be processed in as little as two to three weeks.

Whenever you are thinking of travelling, we encourage you to apply as early as possible. Having more time to prepare makes it easier for you to fundraise, and for us to advise you on preparations. It also makes more options available for tailoring a programme to your individual interests and preferences.

What if I want to go very last-minute?

If you decide to go with us at the last minute, give us a call on 01273 007230 to see how quickly we can arrange everything for you - depending on the project and destination, we can sometimes work miracles!

What is the minimum duration of a project?

It depends on the project. Most have a minimum duration of one, two, three or four weeks. Check our Prices page to see what is possible for your project of interest.

For over 20 years Projects Abroad have been experts in volunteering abroad, work experience and gap year placements.

Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has now sent nearly 100,000 volunteers from all walks of life to volunteer projects in the developing world.

Learn more

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