Cross-Cultural Solutions, also known as CCS, is a nonprofit working to address critical global issues by providing meaningful volunteer service to communities abroad, and contributing responsibly to local economies.
As a leader in the field of international volunteer travel for over 18 years, we know that the best approach to international volunteering—the only approach—is one designed by the community. In every community in which we work, we have long-standing relationships with local organizations who communicate real-time needs and objectives to the CCS team so that our volunteers can work alongside local people and make a sustainable impact. Since 1995, we've made the volunteer abroad experience of a lifetime possible for over 30,000 international adventurers just like you. And with our staff of 300+ in 10 countries around the globe, along with our 99.5% volunteer satisfaction record, you can rest assured that we'll provide you with the full experience—a safe, immersive, and impactful adventure of a lifetime.
For over 18 years, Cross-Cultural Solutions has maintained the highest level of excellence by partnering with a variety of prestigious organizations and institutions, both in the national and international arenas. Find out why Cross-Cultural Solutions is lauded as a leader in the field of international volunteering.
We partner with the world's most prestigious academic institutions. Find out what top colleges and universities have chosen CCS.
“CCS practically invented short-term international volunteering. Inspired by the Peace Corps and filling a need not addressed by most NGOs, Steve Rosenthal and his team have made international volunteering a valuable service to vulnerable communities and a life-altering experience for aspiring difference-makers. CCS was the right partner for CARE and continues as the standard bearer of international volunteering. ”
- Marilyn Grist, Former Executive Vice-President of External Relations at CARE and CEO at Help Age USA.
Our Mission is to operate volunteer programs around the world in partnership with sustainable community initiatives, bringing people together to work side-by-side while sharing perspectives and fostering cultural understanding. We are an international nonprofit organization with no political or religious affiliations.
Our Vision is of a world where people value cultures different from their own, are aware of global issues, and are empowered to effect positive change.
Our Values are:
When people of different cultures have an opportunity to connect, there comes an understanding of our shared humanity.
We accept, appreciate, and respect that people know and understand what is appropriate for their own communities.
We commit to ensuring the safety, flexibility, professionalism, transparency, and excellence of our programs.
Learn about how we measure our impact.
The Leading Authority on International Volunteering
Since 1995, we have not only to set the standards of excellence in the field of international volunteering, but surpass those standards and raise the bar at every turn.
As a part of our commitment to excellence, we partner and collaborate with the following institutions and organizations, each one recognized as a leader in the field of international volunteering, international development, or global social responsibility.
“Excellence is a driving mantra for Cross-Culture Solutions, the trend setter in global cross border volunteering. First and foremost, the CCS model produces real difference for developing communities and empowers local home grown non-profits, fostering sustainability. International research has pointed to the track record of CCS in building social capital, while ensuring that volunteers themselves have life-changing experiences. CCS holds itself accountable to measures, feedback, and transparency standards. Their program is a fantastic "on ramp" to Peace Corps, public service or creating one's own social enterprise for global results. My personal visits to CCS volunteer centers in Bangkok Thailand, Moshi Tanzania, and Cape Town South Africa (through a recent Senator Harris Wofford CCS Global Service Fellowship), have further confirmed close up the excellent performance of CCS directors and staff, from the site level up to the dynamic multi-national head office based in New York. Kudos also to founder and President Steve Rosenthal, who served as the founding chairman of the Building Bridges Coalition which grew out of the Brookings Initiative on International Volunteering and Service to become our preeminent global volunteering network platform.”
-David L. Caprara
Board, Building Bridges Coalition; Nonresident Fellow, Brookings Initiative on International Volunteering and Service;Vice-President for Strategic-Partnerships, Global Peace Foundation; Former National Director of AmeriCorps*VISTA
Learn more about our credentials
United Nations Economic and Social Council granted CCS Special Consultative Status in May, 2003, which granted us recognition as an important leader in the field of international volunteering. The United Nations Economic and Social Council is responsible for "promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress; identifying solutions to international economic, social and health problems; facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation; and encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms."
GreatNonprofits recently awarded Cross-Cultural Solutions its top-rated award for the third year in a row! GreatNonprofits bases its voting system entirely on ratings and reviews submitted by volunteers. The organization prides itself on its mission "to inspire and inform donors and volunteers, enable nonprofits to show their impact, and promote greater feedback and transparency."
Building Bridges Coalition (BBC) is a project of the Brookings Institution's Initiative on International Volunteering and service and is comprised of international volunteer organizations, corporations, universities and colleges, government agencies, policy makers, and other stakeholders. The coalition has five work groups, each actively involved in organizing effective practices, increasing public awareness, energizing campus and corporate engagement, and advocating for public policy initiatives. CCS is a Founding Sponsor of the BBC, and our Founder and Executive Director Steve Rosenthal serves on the Board of Directors and has been named Chairman Emeritus.
The International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) is a distinguished group of non-governmental organizations involved in international volunteer work. In order to gain membership, member organizations must meet stringent criteria and adhere to defined best practices. The IVPA works to ensure positive, sustainable, and responsible international volunteering. CCS is a charter member of the IVPA and active in the creation of organizational principles and IVPA leadership. We proudly meet and exceed the prescribed best practices.
Our College and University Partners
We shine brightest under the most intense scrutiny. When top colleges and universities look for an exceptional international volunteering partner, they choose Cross-Cultural Solutions. One such proud example is our continuing partnership with the Princeton Bridge Year program. Below are others: