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Volunteer abroad over 50

Volunteering abroad when you're a senior, over 50 or a retiree is the perfect way to share your life experience with those who need it the most...

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Volunteer Projects for Seniors and for over 50s

If you think that only young people can volunteer, think again. There’s a whole demographic with time, resources, and invaluable skills. With many people over 50 being more fit than most 20-year-olds nowadays, age should not hold anyone back from volunteering. There are more and more international organizations offering projects that target seniors and retirees to share their experience and life lessons with the world. Head to Africa, America, Europe or Asia for wildlife conservation or development work and share this unique experience with other seniors.

Whether you’re in your twenties or well in your sixties, everyone should be able to volunteer and enjoy the great benefits of volunteering abroad. Learn more about the volunteer opportunities for senior citizens and find out how you can make a difference in Africa, Asia, or South America. Get to know the culture of your volunteer destination and experience this together with your peers who share your passion for wildlife conservation, environmental conservation or community development.

👵🏽 What is volunteer abroad over 50?

As volunteer programs open up volunteering to all age categories, many have created a 50+ volunteering category in their programs. This is to encourage voluntary work abroad for over 50s. This doesn’t mean that you are restricted to these projects, however. You can apply for any program you wish, just get in touch with the program advisor. There are several projects especially those involving, children, community development and teaching that would benefit greatly from more mature volunteers.

💪🏽 The Pros and Cons of volunteering abroad over 50?

You may be over 50 but there’s a world of volunteering opportunities for older adults. If you’re still hesitant about becoming a senior volunteer abroad, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons:

Pros of Volunteering Abroad over 50

  • This is your chance to volunteer abroad and contribute to a meaningful cause with other 50+ volunteers.
  • Over 50s volunteering overseas will generally be less physically demanding. Knowing others in your age group are taking part in such projects, generally gives most volunteers the confidence to participate.
  • It’s a super opportunity to meet and connect with other adventurous 50+ people.

Cons of Volunteering Overseas over 50

  • You may prefer to volunteer with younger volunteers.
  • You might not find the project you want under the volunteering for over 50s category. That’s totally fine. If you’re confident and eager to join another project that has caught your attention, just contact the program and discuss the possibilities.

Depending on what you would like to do, you can volunteer for any program abroad regardless of your age. It’s a matter of connecting with the program and checking whether there is a match between the requirements of the organization and your skills. The 50+ volunteering category gives those who would like to volunteer with their peers and connect with others within their age group, the chance to do so.

🤔 Why should seniors volunteer abroad?

Many people link volunteering with very young people. This is an outdated assumption, however, and it’s important to acknowledge that there’s an important place in the volunteering landscape for retirees or those over 50 looking for a new challenge. There are more and more organizations worldwide that are dedicated to improving the circumstances of those less fortunate or taking action to protect the environment. All these organizations are in need of helping hands and everyone regardless of their age can contribute.

How will you make a difference?
Volunteer organizations are realizing that while most volunteers are rather young, there’s a huge demographic being left out. A demographic that has a lot more time on their hands but also has (life) experience. No matter what your age is, you can make a meaningful difference and touch the lives of the locals at your volunteer destination or contribute to wildlife conservation. Bring your life experience to the table and impact lives during your volunteer experience abroad. Depending on your passions and skills, select an organization where you can make a difference.

If you have a medical background, there are plenty of programs available in Africa or Asia focused on health care and looking for medical professionals. Retired doctors or healthcare professionals are always in demand. Ex-teachers can put their skills to work in an international setting and learn a thing or two about the new culture.

Grab this chance to help empower local communities in Africa, Asia, South America or Europe and provide the support they need to improve their life’s prospects. Definitely, do your research prior to joining a project. Join a reputable organization that understands the needs of the community and help them achieve their goals.

👴🏽 What are the Volunteer Opportunities for Senior Citizens?

There are plenty of opportunities for volunteering abroad over 50. Maybe you already have a destination in mind that you’ve always wanted to explore. You should also take into account your skills and see where you can really make a difference. Here are some of the options that you can choose from:

  • Work at an animal conservation center or sanctuary
  • Agricultural or farm work
  • Cultural immersion programs
  • Environmental conservation
  • Wildlife conservation
  • Teaching
  • Humanitarian work
  • Community Service
  • Health care

There are countless international options for retirees or seniors to volunteer abroad. It’s a matter of choosing one that fits your skills and passions!

👵🏽 How Do I Choose the Right Senior Volunteer Program Abroad?

The most important aspect in choosing overseas volunteerwork for seniors is that you do enough research on the different volunteer organizations and try to answer the following questions:

  1. What does the organization stand for?
  2. What is their objective and how are they trying to achieve it?
  3. How are the funds they receive spent?
  4. How do you think you will contribute?
  5. What do you think the effect of your volunteer work would be?

Read up on the organization, read reviews and ask previous volunteers about their experience with the organization. There are wonderful organizations that are doing very responsible work and you can be part of it. Take a look at the different volunteer projects on our website.

Be especially careful when you volunteer with children. Do your due diligence prior to signing up. There are organizations out there that are doing more harm than good. There are organizations that are taking advantage of the volunteer industry by exploiting families. We have attempted to screen these organizations but you make the final call. Choose wisely and you will be in for an incredible experience while supporting a meaningful cause.

🌍 What are the Best Places to Volunteer Abroad over 50?

The world is basically at your feet. There are volunteer opportunities abroad for those over 50 all around the world. Whether you want to keep it close to home or travel far, it’s all possible. Whether you’re adventurous and want to teach children or do wildlife conservation work or learn more about sustainable farming in India, there are countless projects available. Volunteers with a medical background can find opportunities abroad anywhere around the world. Volunteers who don’t want to travel too far can also apply for opportunities closer to home.

🎁 5 Benefits of volunteering abroad over 50

A volunteer project allows people to get out of their usual environment and open up to new experiences. If you’re over 50 and looking for an adventure, you’ll definitely find it here! Join one of the 50+ volunteer programs abroad and you will help the communities of your travel destination while embarking on an unforgettable adventure with your peers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits:

  1. Valuable Learning Opportunities


    Choosing to volunteer abroad will open up a new world no matter how old you are. Whether you volunteer in Africa, America, Asia or Europe, you will see a different side of the country and culture and get the chance to interact with the local community. This will enable a deeper understanding of the people and their situation. You will also learn about what it takes to do conservation work abroad. Learn new skills and witness the opportunities that will unfold because of this international experience. Best of all, share this experience with your peers.

  2. Meet new people


    You will meet other volunteers and travelers who are also over 50 and share your interests. This will be a wonderful opportunity to build meaningful relationships!

  3. New Experiences


    This is a brilliant way to expand your perspective on life. Learn about other people’s struggles and Issues that seemed like huge problems before, may seem trivial after your volunteer experience. New life experiences make you stronger and will empower you for future adventures.

  4. Health Improvements


    Traveling and volunteering are two ingredients that practically guarantee happiness and is backed up by research. Supporting a meaningful cause will give you a sense a purpose that contributes to people’s happiness. Happy people also tend to be healthy people. Volunteer with other 50+ volunteers and see what benefits it has in store for you!

  5. Travel


    This is your chance to explore and discover some of the most interesting places the world has to offer. Discover the rawness of Africa, the laidback approach of Asia, or the pristine nature in America. Combine travel with a meaningful cause! You’re really getting the best of both worlds here.

🚀 How Do I Get Started with 50+ Volunteering?

You’re ready to do a volunteering project but you’re not quite sure where to start? First of all, have a look at the different programs across the globe, and pick the international projects that have caught your attention.

Once you’ve done that, let’s take a look at the first 3 steps which will send you on your way to volunteering abroad:

  1. Check whether there’s a match between you and the project by looking at their requirements.
  2. Take a look at the location of the project and decide whether it would be a place you are excited to go to.
  3. Get in touch with the organization and see whether your expectations and schedules match up.

Once this is sorted. Let’s take a look at the practical steps:

Insurance (Health & travel)

We recommend getting both health and travel insurance. Get in touch with your program contact person to find out if an insurance plan is already in place for volunteers.

Visa, Passport, and Documentation

Once you know your destination, take the following 3 steps before setting off on your adventure!

  1. Look into the visa requirements for the country you will volunteer in
  2. Make sure everyone has valid passports considering the requirements of the host country
  3. Make sure you prepare the correct documents to fulfill the visa application

The world is waiting for more 50+ people to volunteer abroad for conservation, as a teacher or even as a medical professional. Are you ready to take the step? Inspire other by setting a great example and get ready to reap all the benefits that come with doing good for others.