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Cost/Money Matter


As noble as it is to volunteer abroad, you will quickly realize that it is not free. In fact, volunteering in another country can get quite expensive. All volunteer organizations running volunteer abroad programs require you to pay the program fee for arranging your volunteer program, including food, accommodation, and project overhead cost. Additionally, you will also incur other volunteering abroad expenses such as airfare, vaccination, visa, travel insurance, and pocket money. Are you still wondering about volunteer abroad cost? This article will guide you on all the money matters related to volunteering abroad.

How much does it cost to volunteer abroad?

Volunteer abroad cost really depends on the volunteer abroad company, program, and host country. Most international companies are more expensive than local companies offering the same volunteer programs. In general, medical and other professional volunteer programs tend to be more expensive. Some very poor countries such as Uganda and Nepalhave a variety of cheaper programs than other developing countries such as Argentina and Costa Rica. Volunteer abroad cost can range anywhere from $200 to $3000 for a 2-week program. There is lot of difference so you need to be careful.

What does the fee cover?

The program fee covers for your meals and accommodation, airport pickup, volunteer abroad program, and support of local staff when you volunteer abroad.

What are other cost should I aware of?

You would need to prepare extra cash for additional expenditure such as airfare, vaccination, Visa, and travel insurance. Please keep in mind that there may be additional fee for medical and special projects.

Where does the money go?

This is a must-ask question when it comes to volunteer abroad cost. There is no definite answer to where the money goes. As fees range from $200- $3000 for a two-week volunteer program, some portion of the fee will definitely go for accommodation/food and expenses of the company to run the program. However, if you realize that a majority of the fee is going for things such as program coordination, quality maintenance, and informational materials, then the organization may be using the money mostly for their profit.

Does my host family get money? How much?

Our research shows host families get $50- $200 per month, depending on country of the volunteer abroad program.

Will there be any grant, discount or deals from volunteer organizations?

Most of the volunteer organizations do not get any funding from the government. Therefore, they will not be able to offer you grants or scholarships. However, some discount in program fee may be possible after negotiation.

Is there any way to reduce the cost?

Please refer to section 25 on ways to reduce the cost of volunteering abroad.

Do I need extra money? Why? How much?

There is no definite answer as this depends on your habits, host country, and lifestyle. However, most programs cover room/food, so you just need some extra money for traveling and eating outside.

When is the deadline to pay the fee?

This varies according to the different organizations, so you need to check their website or contact providers.

What happens if I cancelled?

Different companies would have different refund policy. Hence, it is better for you to check with the respective organization.

Can I raise fund? How can I raise fund?

Crowdsourcing websites such as Gofundme and Giveforward.com are great resources to get financial assistance from around the world. Additionally, you can also raise funds for your trip by approaching local businesses in your area to sponsor your cause. Some people opt to raise funds by organizing bake sales and charity nights in their colleges as well. Decide what works for you and give it a shot! There is always a way to work out the financing of your trip, no matter how daunting it seems to be at the beginning.

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