If you decide to volunteer abroad at the last minute, Projects Abroad can arrange programs on very short notice. We recommend getting in touch with us as soon as possible when you decide. Our Project Experts can help you choose what to do and let you know where you can go.
Although we strongly recommend applying at least three months before you want to go, we know that advance planning isn't always possible! If you're flexible and prepared to move quickly, we'll do our best to get everything organized. We can also organize your flights on short notice, making sure you have the best routes and shortest layovers.
The best programs for last minute volunteering abroad
We have many volunteer abroad projects you can do last minute. We also consider factors like availability, time of year, and visas, etc. when we advise you. At certain times of the year, especially over the summer, projects can fill up quickly. We offer our programs on a first come, first served basis to those who have completed our application process. During the most popular times, generally June to August, please be aware that we are limited by capacity constraints on some projects.
Here are the projects that are easiest to arrange on short notice:
These programs give you the best opportunity to start quickly. In some cases, we run our own internship abroad placements. When we run a project ourselves, it makes it easier for you to join on short notice.
Some countries also require visas to enter. We advise volunteers through this process, but it can take weeks or months in some cases. Embassies and consulates control this process entirely, so visa-processing times can prohibit last minute travel to certain countries.
Most US and Canadian citizens don't require a prearranged visa to volunteer in Argentina, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Fiji, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Peru, Romania, Samoa, South Africa, and Tanzania. If you're 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're a teenager, it's easy to join one of our High School Specials last minute, because they're prearranged around particular dates. However, these trips are popular and fill up quickly, so not all programs and dates will be available last minute.
Getting started with going abroad at the last minute
If you know what project you want to do, book online right away. Only our in-country staff 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 reference information and submit the application deposit by credit card or PayPal payment so that we can begin processing immediately. We don't 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're having trouble deciding what you want to do, please contact us right away so that we can help.