Volunteering Abroad for Teens

It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to volunteering abroad as a teenager. But don’t give up! To help, we’re featuring our favorite programs open for teens. So are you ready for a breathtaking experience?

Why volunteer abroad as a teenager?

Why should you volunteer abroad as a teenager? First off, you will be experiencing a new culture and environment that is way different from your own. You might be working to rehabilitate animals, or helping replant trees, or maybe supporting students at an after-school program. Moreover, these experiences will broaden your horizons and allow you to learn from other cultures for a greater worldly perspective. Not to mention, it looks great on a university application!

Second, all of our organizations are doing amazing sustainable development work! By volunteering as a teen you will help with their efforts while also sharing what you have learned with friends and family, furthering the impact of the organization!

Sound good? So let’s take a look out how you can volunteer as a teenager responsibly.

Why volunteer abroad as a teenager with Kaya?

Here at Kaya, we want to make sure that all of our participants, even teenagers, are taking part in responsible volunteer programs. For a deep dive into responsible travel and why it matters you can take a look here. Of course, at Kaya, we thoroughly vet and develop all of our programs to ensure that they meet our rigorous standards as well as promotes ethical and sustainable initiatives. All of our volunteer programs are working with existing initiatives that work year round (with or without volunteers). This ensures sustainability for the community and provides an authentic context and experience for our teenage volunteers.

Also, did you know that most students in the US study abroad in the UK, Italy and Spain? As a company Kaya works in “non-traditional” locations in Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Latin America. So if you are curious about the idea of exploring the world “off-the-beaten-path” then you can do so with our safe and experienced in-country teams? By choosing a Kaya program, you can rest assured that your teenager self be supported before, during and after your volunteer experience. So basically, you can have an awesome adventure with an amazing safety net!

Remember, if you have any specific questions about responsible travel, let us know. Or if you want to know more about the programs we’ve listed, feel free to reach out!

If your family or friends have any practical questions, you may want to direct them to this handy blog post!

Travel in 2021

As a teenager looking to travel in 2021, you do have options! We know it can be difficult to know where you can travel right now. But check out the amazing list below!

So what’s different about volunteering abroad as a teenager this year? Well, we have additional Covid-19 safety measures in place to protect you and our communities. And remember, our placement advisors are standing by to answer your questions!

Opportunities to Volunteer abroad as a teenager

You’re young, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a bit impact! In fact, we think teenagers make some of the most enthusiastic volunteers and some of the best, most open-minded travelers.

We’ve compiled a list of best options for teens by discipline so you can decide where to volunteer this summer, fall or beyond! And learn more about each available location here:

Teenagers volunteering


So are you a teen looking for a fun and meaningful volunteer experience? And do you love teamwork, nature and learning new things? Well, travel to South Africa this summer! You can gain hands-on experience in reforestation, conservation, and environmental education, and meet people from all over the world!

Tree Planting Eco Festival Volunteering in South Africa

Conservation and Wildlife

As a teen volunteer on a conservation project, you can help to protect incredible wildlife! How about working with Elephants and Rhino and Cheetah on a responsible conservation project? Remember, all of our programs keep in mind ethical handling and practices of animals!

Conservation and Ecology Volunteering in the Eswatini Savannah

Rhino, Elephant and Big Cat Research and Conservation in Greater Kruger, South Africa

Volunteer with the Big 5 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Lion Rehabilitation and Conservation Volunteering in Zimbabwe

Pre-vet Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Placement in Zimbabwe

Wildlife Orphanage and Rescue Sanctuary in Zimbabwe

Teens traveling in 2021 and working with lions
Teens traveling


Are you passionate about the arts and wildlife? Are you always carrying a camera? Do you love observing the natural world? Experience South Africa for yourself and engage in conservation work! At the same time, use your photography skills. You’ll come away with some incredible memories (and photographs for your portfolio)!

Photography and Conservation Project In Greater Kruger, South Africa

Sports, Coaching and Physical Education

So, are you really into sports and physical activity? Or do you just like working with kids and people in general? If you’re a teenager looking for coaching experience, or if you are a big kid at heart, here are some volunteer abroad programs to consider!

Community Sports Coaching Volunteering in Cape Town, South Africa

Sports and Community Volunteering in Zambia

Sports Volunteering abroad in Eswatini

Travel in 2021 as a teen
Travel to Eswatini as a teen

Building and Gardening

You’re a teenager, but that doesn’t mean you can’t engage in meaningful travel and make a difference (as we’ve seen)! You can help communities construct, repair and refurbish homes, schools and facilities, and gardens. Bring some enthusiasm and a desire to get your hands dirty!

School Building and Gardening Volunteering in Eswatini


Teaching and Education

Ready to build your leadership and teaching skills as a volunteer on an education initiative? Do you love working with kids? Are you considering a career in education and looking for experience? Then these options might suit your hopes and dreams!

Community Teaching Volunteering in Cape Town, South Africa

Teaching and Community Work in Zambia

Teaching abroad as a minor
Can I volunteer in public health as a teen?

Health and Community Development

At our public health programs, you can volunteer and assist local staff with health promotion and community development. You will observe, assist and learn from this amazing organization. And this will be an incredible opportunity for teens considering careers in the nursing or medical fields.

Public Health Internship in Zambia


Girl and Women Empowerment

Learn about the experiences of local girls and women in Zambia, and share your own experiences. Through this cross-cultural exchange you can help girls and women build skills and gain confidence. Not only does this help to empower the individual but also the greater community!

Girl and Women Empowerment Volunteering in Zambia

Can I travel as a teen?

So, we’ve looked at some amazing volunteer abroad options for teens. To learn more, connect with one of our placement advisors using the “chat now” feature on our website, or feel free to request a brochure.


Testimonial Blog on Ecuador Whale and Marine Program

Wondering what traveling during COVID might be like? Here is a testimonial blog on Ecuador Whale and Marine Program written by our participant Emma Edges. Emma was in Ecuador for 5 weeks starting from the end of May 2021, so she had to travel during the pandemic and...

Study Abroad in Environmental Science

Have you ever wanted to study abroad in Environmental Science? Well, why not study at a local university in Cuenca, Ecuador and intern at a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center deep in the Amazon rainforest?Why Ecuador is the Ideal Place to Study Abroad in...

Study Abroad in Latin America

Study abroad in Latin America and experience Ecuador to the fullest! Kaya's program combines a semester of study at the Universidad de Cuenca with an immersive internship rooted in local community engagement, a homestay, and a Spanish language course! This is the...

Kaya’s Fundraiser for Urgent Oxygen Production in Nepal

Nepal's COVID-19 cases has reached over 680 thousands for the entire country counting around 30 million people. The lack of liquid oxygen in Nepal has been a huge issue during the second wave of infection and could be more catastrophic in the event of a third wave....

What to Do on a Gap Year

If you're wondering what to do on a gap year, why not learn how to make authentic Thai food, dance "Genna Bounce" in Jamaica, or care for capybaras in the Ecuadorian Amazon? If you're ready for an adventure, read on! Not Sure What to Do on a Gap Year? In our humble...

Pronouns and Inclusivity

Why have people started sharing their pronouns? You may have noticed, more and more, that people have started to share their pronouns in their email communications, in their introductions and even in conversation. But what is this all about and what is it trying to...