Volunteer Abroad

Volunteer abroad in Costa Rica or Sri Lanka for an unforgettable travel experience. Make a positive difference in the global community as a volunteer.

Choose Your Adventure

  • Costa Rica

    Animal Rescue Center
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  • Sri Lanka

    Elephant Conservation
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Travel for a Change as a Volunteer Abroad

Volunteering abroad is your chance to make a positive impact in the world while learning about your host community. Where do you want to travel for a change as a volunteer?

    • Image :
    • Name : Allison Yates
    • Full Name : Allison Yates
    • Role : High School and Short-Term Abroad Programs Coordinator
    • Image :
    • Name : Hope Pavich
    • Full Name : Hope Pavich
    • Role : High School and Short-Term Programs Director
    • Tab : Discounts & Deadlines
    • Text :

      Greenheart Travel’s teen volunteer abroad programs have specific start dates depending on the program destination. Read on to learn more about application deadlines and available discounts and scholarship opportunities.


      Volunteer Abroad Program Deadlines:


      Our volunteer in Costa Rica and Sri Lanka programs have varying deadlines and program start dates. While we suggest submitting an application 8 weeks in advance to the departure date, please note the summer months fill up quickly and it’s best to reserve your spot on the program as early as possible.


      May 15, 2017


      Deadline to apply to volunteer in Sri Lanka on our exclusive teen group summer start date.


      Monthly Deadlines:

      Deadlines to apply to volunteer in Costa Rica are on a monthly basis. Please note the summer months fill up quickly and we advise submitting up to 12 weeks in advance to secure your spot.



      CCI Greenheart Host Family Discount:


      Families who have hosted a student through CCI Greenheart in the United States are eligible for the following program discounts. Programs must start within 12 months of the last date of hosting a student.


      Hosted one semester or less:

      $100 discount on a Teen Volunteer Abroad Program


      Hosted one full semester or longer:

      $200 discount on a Teen Volunteer Abroad Program


    • Tab : Parent FAQs
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      The decision to send your teenager abroad can be difficult and there are a lot of questions to consider. We understand your concerns and the Greenheart Travel staff is there for you every step of the way! Here are some of the common questions we get from parents as they consider the program.

      What does it mean to be in good mental health in the program eligibility requirements?

      Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to the most well adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on a program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our students, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of our applicants.


      We cannot accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition.

      These include, but are not limited to:

      • Depression
      • Obsessive compulsive disorder
      • Debilitating anxiety
      • Eating disorders


      If the student’s mental health issue has been resolved (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will ask for a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc.) as part of the application process.


      Is the program fee tax deductible?

      Greenheart Travel is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, so a portion of your Volunteer Abroad program fees may be tax deductible. Contact us for more information. We recommend that you also consult with your tax professional to discuss your particular case, as application of tax laws can vary based on individual circumstances.


      Can my child apply with a friend/family member?
      Absolutely! We are happy to accept friends and groups.


      Will my child need to get any vaccinations prior to departure?

      When traveling to any destination, make sure their routine vaccines are up to date. Try to schedule an appointment with your doctor 4-6 weeks before they depart for the trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, and a yearly flu shot. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that they also get the Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid vaccine.


      What happens if my child gets sick or injured abroad?

      They will be covered by mandatory health insurance. You will receive a policy brochure and insurance card via email 2 weeks prior to their departure. Our partners at the volunteer project will also be in contact with us notifying of any illness or medical needs that we would immediately communicate with you if anything were to happen.


      How can they contact friends/family from home?

      While Skype is the best option as a free service, a second option for slow internet connection is to get a local phone card and call from the host family’s home or volunteer house. Keep conversations to a minimum, around 10 minutes, and make sure your child asks permission before using the phone to make sure the family isn’t expecting a call. Another option is to purchase a local prepaid SIM for your unlocked phone to keep in touch. Local phones can be purchased at the airport for as little as $25.


      What if my son/daughter have an allergy/specific dietary requirement?

      We can cater to vegetarian needs quite easily. Any other specific diets should be discussed so we can make arrangements with the volunteer project and/or host family.

    • Tab : Service Learning
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      Does your high school require you to volunteer to meet graduation requirements? Are you applying to top colleges that are asking for your service learning experience? Once you are accepted on a Greenheart Travel program, you will be eligible to join our Greenheart Club!


      The Greenheart Club is a great way to:


      • Track and present all your service-learning hours during and after your program
      • Earn rewards and project grants based on the number of service learning hours you record
      • Explore you host community, meet international friends and make a positive impact while abroad and when you return home


      Once you are accepted on your Greenheart Travel language camp program, we’ll help you get started! In the meantime, get inspired by our alumni stories on our blog.



      “While in Spain, I experienced many amazing things and I got the chance to volunteer through awesome organizations. My experience actually inspired me to major in international relations.” – Eleanor Brow, Greenheart Travel alumna in Spain.


      “It is a great feeling to know that I am able to make a difference. I have also had students tell me that I’ve made them realize how important studying in school and learning English is. I’m glad I was able to help these students and show them how much potential they have if they apply themselves. They are amazing people and I will miss them all when I return to the U.S.” Diana Freedman, Greenheart Travel alumna in Italy


    • Tab : Why Choose Greenheart?
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      There are a so many factors to consider when choosing a volunteer abroad program. Below are a few ways Greenheart Travel can help make this planning process as stress-free as possible, and help make sure this is a successful and life-changing adventure!


      Greenheart Travel is a Mission Driven Non-Profit

      • Greenheart Travel is a non-profit, mission based organizationcommitted to making a positive, long-lasting impact in the communities where we work.
      • We partner with local, grassroots non-profit organizations to create the most impactful program.


      Personal Program Manager for Every Student

      • Greenheart Travel has a personal program manager for each student traveling abroad offering support from the time you or your child inquires to the time they return home, by someone you know by name.
      • Our staff is in Chicago and available to answer any questions during U.S. business hours.
      • You will receive friendly, responsive, and professional communication from staff that has actually volunteered abroad themselves.
      • Hands on support and personal attention every step of the way.
      • An experienced program manager will personally review your application to make sure this is the right program for you.


      Global Community of Volunteers

      • As a Greenheart Travel volunteer, you will gain access to a community of alumni and current volunteers on the program, before you even leave!
      • Automatic enrollment in the Greenheart Club
      • Being a Greenheart Travel volunteer alumni qualifies you to apply for a Greenheart Grant
      • Exclusive access to Greenheart Travel Alumni Program


      Top-Notch Materials & Preparation

      • Extensive orientation handbook to prepare you for life abroad
      • Webinar pre-departure orientation with focus on cultural training
      • Destination-specific “Culture Smart! Guide Book


      Don’t just take our word for it! Check out independent reviews from past participants of Greenheart Travel programs here.

    • Tab : Application Process
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      Committing to a volunteer abroad program is an exciting time, and we are here every step of the way to make the application process as simple as possible. Below are the 4 steps you’ll need to take to be accepted on a Greenheart Travel program.

      Step 1:

      Click the APPLY NOW button. Once the short form is complete, you will be connected to a volunteer abroad program manager.

      Step 2:

      Once you complete and submit the initial form, you will receive an email with a unique link to the rest of the application where you’ll need to provide general information about yourself to help us get to know you.

      Step 3:

      After we receive the completed Part 1 of your application, you will be asked to sign the Terms and Conditions of the program, showing you understand and agree to the requirements and details of the program. This will be emailed to you.

      Along with the signed Terms and Conditions, you will need to submit your $250 deposit. A deposit is required in order to reserve your spot on the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.

      Step 4:

      Once we receive the signed Terms and Conditions and program deposit confirming your commitment to the program, we will send you the link to the final part of the application. Part 2 is the final part of the application that includes more detailed information about yourself and why you would like to volunteer abroad.

      Payment Schedule

      As for the payments, you will be required to pay a $250 deposit when you submit your application, and then a second $500 placement deposit will be due after your acceptance. This is due no later than 8 weeks prior to your departure date. The final balance of the program is due 35 days before departure. We do not deviate from this schedule and you can pay online via credit card.

      After Applying, Now What?

      Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 business days to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.

      Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. You should expect to receive an orientation packet via email, which talks more about your program, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program. We will also schedule a pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions you may have.