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Megan Colborne is a content writer from South Africa with a passion for travel and adventure. Megan has an honours-level degree in Journalism specialising in writing and editing, as well as digital media. Before starting at GVI in 2019, she spent a year working in Spain, and travelling to other European countries like Amsterdam, Switzerland, Ireland and France. Megan is also an alum of the GVI Writing Academy.
Six volunteer abroad programs for high school students

If you’re a teen in high school then you’re probably itching to see more of the world. Well, good news – with these six volunteer abroad programs for high school students, you don’t have to wait until you’ve finished school to travel overseas! 

A great way to see more of the world is through volunteer trips. There are plenty of great volunteer opportunities for high school students out there. All you need to do is decide where to go.

Not only will these trips allow you to make an impact and do a bit of travelling, but they will also grow your confidence, enhance your soft skills and give you the opportunity to explore your interests. 

Choosing the best volunteer abroad programs can be confusing and a little overwhelming if you aren’t sure where to start. That’s why we’ve put together a few suggestions to help and get you inspired to join volunteer trips abroad for high school students.


Solo volunteer trips abroad for high school students

You can choose to start your journey solo, instead of with a group from your school. But you’ll meet up with a group of like-minded teen volunteers when you join one of these three volunteer abroad programs for under 18s. 

1) Greek-out while working with sea turtles and marine conservation

Volunteer abroad in Greece where you can assist in the conservation of sea turtles

Soak up the gorgeous Grecian sun while you assist on this sea turtle and marine conservation program in Greece. You will be accompanied by a group of like-minded teen volunteers from all over the world. 

During your time volunteering, you will be based in Giannitsochori. Giannitsochori is a small, traditional village in the municipality of Zacharo, southern Elis. It is situated in the narrow coastal plains along the Ionian Sea, just two kilometres north of the mouth of the river Neda.

One type of activity you can take part in on this program is surveys.  You’ll do daily morning and night surveys to record turtle nesting activity. You could also get involved in lookouts to protect the turtle nests from predators.

2) Trek to new heights in Nepal

Make an impact and experience trekking in Nepal on this volunteer abroad program for under-18s


Volunteering for high school students is not only about making memories. You can also make a real impact in collaboration with Nepali communities. 

Join other volunteers aged 15 to 17 on this exciting Himalayan trek and Nepali immersion teen volunteer program where you will assist with the improving health and safety standards of educational facilities in Pokhara.

Activities on this teen volunteer program vary from building desks for classrooms to installing water tanks for drinking water. 

You will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) 3: Good Health and Well-Being, and Goal 4: Quality Education. You will also learn about ethical best practice and the importance of ensuring these projects are led by the local community.

After the volunteering portion of the program, you will get the awesome experience of trekking in Nepal – something not many people can say they’ve had the opportunity to do. So get trekking and make an impact! 

3) Spot lions in South Africa

Volunteer abroad in South Africa and contribute to wildlife conservation efforts


Are you sitting in class daydreaming of a job in wildlife conservation and scouring Google for volunteer trips to Africa for high school students?

If that sounds like you, then the South African wildlife conservation program is totally the teen volunteer program for you. 

There are many great volunteer opportunities for high school students out there with opportunities to work with animals. What makes this program special is that it gives you the opportunity to experience South Africa’s wildlife first-hand in the animals’ natural habitat, without the Instagram filter.

This teen high school volunteer abroad program will teach you to identify and track South African animals and to record behavioural and locational data for conservation purposes. 

Keen to get involved in volunteer trips to Africa for high school students? Go wild and have the time of your life while you make a meaningful impact on this special high school volunteer abroad program.

Are your parents concerned about high school volunteer projects abroad?

Do these volunteer abroad programs for high school students sound like something you really want to do, but you just need help getting mum and dad on board?

To ensure volunteer safety and to give your parents peace of mind, all teen participants are greeted by GVI staff at their arrival destination. On our teen high school volunteer projects abroad, other support services are also available. These include on-flight accompaniment, and in-airport assistance. 

Concerned parents can read more in our parent pack or even get in touch with parents of GVI alumni about their experience with our volunteering for high school students programs.

Group volunteer trips abroad for high school students


We understand that all parents are different, so if this isn’t enough to fully convince yours to let you travel across the oceans, why not consider convincing your school to join one of our group high school volunteer projects abroad instead?

Group volunteer abroad programs for high school students are a great way to travel abroad with the added comfort and security of being surrounded by people you already know and trust. 

Travelling in a group will give you (and more importantly, your parents) peace of mind, allowing you to experience the best volunteer abroad programs for high school students to the fullest.

Check out these three teen volunteer abroad programs for groups.

1) Travel to Thailand for a conservation experience

Teen volunteers working on community development garden installments in Thailand


Take a class trip to Thailand and get involved in hands-on conservation efforts in the Phang Nga province on this Thailand conservation experience. 

As a group, you will contribute to and learn more about the history of the UN SDGs. During this teen volunteer program, you will assist on long-term conservation and community projects. 

Individual itineraries are created for each school group that joins a GVI program, so each program will vary from the next. An example of the type of work you could find yourself doing is working alongside local community members at turtle conservation facilities.

When your school facilitates group volunteer abroad programs for high school students like this one, they are giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture and learn so much more than you would in the classroom. 

2) Join a Nepal community development experience


When looking at the different locations for volunteer trips abroad for high school students, why not focus on Nepal? 

The Nepal community development experience creates great volunteer opportunities for high school students to be exposed to a variety of different initiatives. You will be working with the local community and offering support where it’s required. This might be in a local school, or on other community initiatives. 

What makes this one of the best volunteer abroad programs for high school students is the long-term involvement and commitment of GVI team members here. Because of this, you and your fellow teen volunteers can be certain that you are making an impact and contributing to long-term sustainable goals.

3) Contribute to community development in Cape Town

Teens volunteering abroad in Cape Town communities


If you have your heart set on volunteer trips to Africa for high school students, South Africa could be the perfect group volunteer location for you and your peers.

Cape Town provides great volunteer opportunities for high school students to get stuck into some hard, and incredibly rewarding, work. 

During this teen volunteer program in Cape Town, your group of teen volunteers will learn all about the history of Cape Town. You will work with the communities near our base to offer support and capacity where you can. For example, previous volunteers have assisted with projects like painting and brightening up educational facilities with happy murals.

So, taking part in these high school volunteer programs will contribute to long-term goals and further development and empowerment of this community.

Chat to us today to find out more about our volunteer abroad programs for high school students.

Megan Colborne is an intern at the GVI Writing Academy. The Writing Academy is a skills-development program that pairs development editors with budding travel writers. Learn more about the program here.

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