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Environmental Volunteering Opportunities Abroad

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 5 Mar 2015 | comments*Discuss
Gap Years Gap Year Travellers Gappers

Environmental volunteering opportunities abroad are becoming increasingly popular with gap year travellers. Many different types of environmental volunteering opportunities exist around the world, and gappers can either find their own placements or work with placement organisations in order to find the best fit for their skills and interests.

Types of Environmental Volunteering Opportunities Abroad

The environment and environmental awareness are hot topics around the world right now and countless projects, programmes and initiatives are dedicated to helping the earth and its ecosystems.

Rubbish clean up, recycling programmes, weed removal, reforestation, planting gardens and wildflowers, collecting seeds, clearing invasive species and implementing sustainable agricultural practices are all types of activities in which gap year travellers may be able to volunteer. Collecting data for environmental research, fighting climate change, trail maintenance, fisheries initiatives, pollution programmes and carbon reductions are others options that gap year travellers may have for environmental volunteering abroad.

Obviously not all of these programmes will be available in every location given that environmental programmes tend to take their lead from the climate, environment and ecosystems of any given area, so gap year travellers should consider whether they care more about the type of work to be done or where they will be doing this work before starting a search for environmental volunteering opportunities abroad.

Finding Your Own Environmental Volunteering Placement Abroad

Gap year travellers may be able to organise their own environmental volunteering placements abroad. Asking experienced travellers for recommendations, looking into existing programmes, asking around in a desired location and targeting specific organisations to find out more about their work in different locations are all good ways to get a feel for the opportunities that exist already.

Asking about the work that is done, what is expected of volunteers, if there is an application procedure, if there are any safety or security concerns for volunteers and what kind of commitment is required from volunteers are all good questions for gap year travellers to keep in mind when exploring possibilities for their own environmental volunteering placements abroad.

Working With Placement Organisations for Environmental Volunteering Abroad

Some gap year travellers won't want to organise their own placements for environmental volunteering abroad and may choose instead to work with established placement organisations.

While this takes the stress out of organising a placement, gap year travellers should still do their homework to find out about which opportunities are available. Not all organisations will work with all available projects, programmes and initiatives, so working with more than one placement opportunity at a time may also be a good idea.

Gappers should also find out about the costs of the placements, if there is any cost for using the placement service, and if there are any security concerns about specific areas. Finding out about the flexibility of travel dates, if any of the placements offer payment and/or if course credits can be obtained from such placements is also a good idea.

Environmental volunteering opportunities exist around the world. Researching the different types of opportunities available in different locations, available placements in different programmes and working with placement organisations are all good ideas for gappers interested in environmental volunteering opportunities abroad.

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