The CCS Experience
Sure you can! There is no limit to how many CCS destinations you may volunteer in consecutively. Some of our volunteers have volunteered in more than seven CCS destinations in a row! While each program has a separate fee, you'll receive a discount for participating in multiple programs. We've also got some great, multiple-program itineraries up our sleeve, so be sure to let us know if you need a little inspiration.
We believe that the most successful approach to international volunteering is one that looks to the needs and goals of the local community, and we're committed to providing volunteer work that helps them carry out their objectives.
Our volunteers complete a Skills & Interests Form to let us know their top two choices for a volunteer project. With that information, our awesome Program Site Specialists work with in-country staff to select the volunteer project that best fits your skills and interests, aligns with at least one of your top two choices, and addresses the needs of the local people.
Learn more about our process.
You and your fellow volunteers will be served three meals a day. Meals will vary in every destination, and always include a variety of healthy and delicious local cuisine. Vegetarian options are regularly available at all Home-Bases and our CCS cooks are happy to accommodate for any dietary restriction.
For more information on meals in specific countries, please contact us.
We offer a broad range of impactful volunteer projects in order to match the skills and interests of the volunteer with the objectives of the local community. Whether you're working to improve education for children, enhance the quality of healthcare, assist with the care of infants and children, improve health and a sense of dignity among the elderly, improve the quality of care for people with disabilities, or support those affected by HIV/AIDS, volunteer projects are always aligned with current community needs.
Learn more about our volunteer opportunities.
Free time is available some afternoons, most evenings, and every weekend. On weekends, you'll have the option to take excursions, or you may choose to stay in town and explore your new community. You may also choose to travel before or after the program, but this may affect the tax-deductibility of your airfare. Learn more about what's included in the CCS experience, and for some great ideas of what you can do during your free time abroad.
We suggest reserving your spot at least 60 days prior to your desired program start date. Many of our programs fill up quickly, and although we do accept enrollments within 60 days of the start date, we cannot guarantee a spot.
In general, volunteers must be 18 to participate independently on a CCS program. If traveling with a parent or guardian, the minimum age is 8 years old. There is no maximum age. Hear more from our volunteers of all ages.
We offer a variety of programs for teens ages 15-17 who wish to travel independently.
Our volunteer projects accommodate all levels of skills and experience.
A basic knowledge of English is necessary to follow the instructions provided by CCS staff. Speaking the local language is not required. In fact, read this blog post to find hear a firsthand account of how impactful a CCS experience can be, even when you don't speak the language.
Actually, most of our volunteers enroll on their own for the international adventure of a lifetime. You can rest assured that our programs are the safest around, and that you've always got an incredible team of in-country staff to rely on. The beautiful thing about volunteering internationally with CCS is that even if your fellow volunteers aren't your old friends, you're never really going it alone. In fact, chances are, you're about to meet some brand new, soon to be "old friends." Whether you find that special connection with your fellow-volunteers, the in-country staff, or new local friends, the moment you arrive in your destination of choice, you become a part of the family! Read this story about a solo female traveler and learn about the connections that you'll make on your volunteer experience of a lifetime.
Program fees and fundraising
Travelocity has selected CCS as a partner for their Travel for Good℠ program and is offering grants of up to $5,000 for individuals or groups to volunteer abroad.
Additionally, quite a few universities and colleges have identified scholarships and grants specifically intended for international volunteerism. If you're a student, additional funding may be available through your university.
Yes! Program fees are 100% tax-deductible for U.S. residents, and for many, airfare is tax-deductible as well (dependent upon travel plans for before and after volunteering).
With CCS, you don’t pay to volunteer. You pay for the assurance of living in a safe and comfortable Home-Base; an opportunity to be completely immersed in a warm and welcoming community, and to find the family that you never knew you had.
Your program fee enables us to create an incredible breadth of Cultural Activities, from language and cooking lessons, to exclusive lectures on local culture and history. Your contribution will help to create long-term sustainable jobs paying living wages for local people, like the CCS directors, drivers, cooks, and house guards, and to make sure that they’re all expertly trained. You’ll pay so that the ingredients necessary for the CCS cook to prepare authentic, healthy cuisine are purchased locally, and to ensure that the trusty passenger van safely transporting you to and from your volunteer project each day is ready for the job. The contribution of your program fee is an investment in your international experience, and in the local economy in a community that you’ll soon call home.
Learn more about our program fees and start dates.
The program fee includes everything, but your airfare and free time activities. Want to see the full package? Read more here.
It sure does! Travel medical insurance for the duration of your program is included in the program fee.
Why yes, we do! And we'd be happy to set one up for you. Just contact a member of our team and we'll create a payment plan that works for you.
Certain companies offer matching gifts to employees and sometimes, they even extend the offer to spouses and relatives of employees as well. This means that they'll match at least a part of what you pay toward your Cross-Cultural Solutions program fee. Each company's matching gifts program is unique, so be sure to review eligibility criteria, match percentages, and other important details.
Find out if your company offers a matching gifts program that can be used toward your Cross-Cultural Solutions volunteer abroad adventure here. Once you've confirmed that your company offers matching gifts, please ensure that you're eligible before applying for a matching gift. For more information contact a Program Advisor today.
Each summer, thousands of students, families, working professionals, teens, and retirees volunteer abroad with CCS in one of 11 program sites across the globe. Over the summer, there are more start dates available to help ensure everyone can volunteer when it is convenient for them, but spots fill up faster during these times. There are also certain volunteer programs that are only offered in the summer.
Summer-Only Volunteer Trips (from May through August):
- Cape Town, South Africa has trips from two weeks to up to three months.
- Salvador, Brazil has trips from one week up to three months.
- Bangkok, Thailand has trips from two weeks to up to three months.
Summer volunteering programs offers many opportunities for school groups, high school students, college students, and graduates:
- Are you looking for summer teen volunteer options? Our summer teen programs are specifically designed for high school students ages 15-17 who wish to experience a structured, safe volunteer program.
- Want to plan an unforgettable and educational summer class trip? Summertime is the most popular period for faculty-led, and other group trips.
- Trying to find a remarkable graduation gift? A CCS program is a wonderful, life-changing opportunity to experience the world and have fun at the same time. CCS program fees are 100% tax-deductible for U.S. residents.
Find out more about summer volunteer abroad experiences of a lifetime.
Check out our Dates, Fees & Availability for this summer and start planning your trip today!
Cross-Cultural Solutions offers exciting opportunities for college students to travel, have fun, and give back on an alternative spring break.
You'll work side by side with local people on community-led initiatives and enjoy the adventure of traveling to and exploring another country in a safe, structured program.
Here are the programs offered over March and April for one or more weeks:
- Salvador, Brazil
- Cartago, Costa Rica
- Guatemala City, Guatemala
- Lima, Peru
- Rabat, Morocco
- Volta Region, Ghana
Check out our Dates, Fees & Availability for this spring break and start planning your trip today!
A CCS program is a great way to experience all that volunteering abroad has to offer for a shorter period of time than the Peace Corps, which requires a two-year commitment. Learn more about the similarities and differences in CCS vs. the Peace Corps
Forever! Just kidding. We offer a variety of program lengths so that we can meet the needs of every kind of volunteer. Only have a week to spare? We've got plenty of week-long programs that offer an excellent introduction to your destination of choice through volunteering, cultural immersion, cultural activities, and free time. And the best part is, one week is plenty of time to make a real impact.
Our volunteers love their CCS experience, but here's one thing we hear over and over: "I wish I stayed longer!" Try a longer duration of stay and reduce the cost per week of your experience. So if you've got more time to spare -- three weeks, seven, twelve (you get the point) -- enroll to volunteer in any destination for up to 12 weeks. And if after that, you're ready for even more, we've got some great options for pairing programs so that you can volunteer in multiple destinations, one after another.