Volunteer Abroad Last Minute
Projects Abroad can arrange last minute international volunteer abroad programs on very short notice. Although we strongly recommend applying three months or more before your start date, we understand that it’s not always possible to set things up well in advance and strive to be as flexible as possible in arranging programs with less notice. In fact, our record time for arranging a project is a mere 24 hours! Provided you are flexible and prepared to move quickly, we will work with you.
Last Minute Volunteering Abroad – What can I do?
It’s possible to do many projects, but not all. Last minute projects can be precluded by many factors. We recommend applying as soon as possible (up to 1 year in advance) to keep these things from stopping you. At some times of the year, especially over the summer, some projects fill up. Programs are offered on a first come, first served basis to volunteers who have passed our application process. During the most popular times to travel, generally June to August, we are limited by capacity constraints on some projects for a variety of reasons.
Projects that are easiest to arrange on short notice are:
Conservation & Environment
Agriculture & Farming
Other projects can also be set up on short notice, but these will give you the most opportunity to start quickly. For some internships we run our own placements that are easier for you to join last minute, such as Human Rights in Argentina and South Africa and Journalism in Bolivia, Romania, and South Africa.
Some countries also require visas to enter. We advise volunteers through this process, but it can take weeks or months in some cases. The process is controlled entirely by embassies and consulates, so visa processing times can prohibit last minute travel to certain countries.
Most US and Canadian citizens do not require a prearranged visa to volunteer in Argentina, Bolivia, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Fiji, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, Romania, Samoa, South Africa, and Tanzania. If you are staying for 30 days or less, you should also be able to enter Jamaica and Thailand without a visa. (Please note: volunteers should never apply for a visa until they have been instructed to by Projects Abroad.)
If you are a high school student, it is easy to join one of our High School Specials on short notice because they are prearranged around particular dates. However, these trips are popular and many times fill up, so not all programs and dates will be available last minute.
Volunteer Last Minute – How do I get started?
If you know what project you want to do, apply online right away. To ensure that your application process proceeds smoothly, please see our Application Tips. Only our staff in-destination can review applications, so the sooner they have it the better chance we have of accepting you. When filling out the form, be sure to enter your passport number and reference information so that it is complete and ready for processing right away. Please also submit the application deposit by credit card or Paypal payment so that we can begin processing immediately. We do not process applications that lack a deposit, no matter what the timing.
After submitting your application online, contact us by phone to make sure we’ve received the application and that we have all of the information that we need. Of course, if you are having trouble deciding between several project or destinations options, please contact us right away so that we can go over that information with you.