Find the program length for you
Lately, we've been hearing from folks who want to know what we think is the perfect program length for an international volunteer experience with Cross-Cultural Solutions. You know, the international volunteering "sweet spot." After checking in with our alums, in-country teams, and international volunteer experts here at CCS HQ, we've got the lowdown on how it feels to be a volunteer for 1 week, 2, 3, all the way up to 12!
1 or 2 weeks: If you're hoping to do it all, see it all, and change it all, but don't have much time to spare, our 1 and 2 week programs are a great fit. Volunteers enjoy an impactful volunteer assignment, organized cultural activities, and free time on some afternoons and most evenings. Volunteers who enroll for 2 weeks also get a full weekend of free time.
Whether you're a student looking for an alternative spring break or a mid-career professional in search of the perfect way to spend those vacation days, a 1 or 2 week experience offers you a chance to participate in cultural programming, get to know the people at your volunteer site, have some time to explore, and play an important role in longer-term impact.
3 or 4 weeks: If you've got more time to spend in your volunteer destination of choice, a 3 or 4 week volunteer abroad opportunity is a great option. You'll have a chance to settle into your volunteer assignment a bit more and you'll also enjoy 3 to 4 weeks' worth of cultural activities, all included in your CCS experience.
Volunteers who enroll for a 3 or 4 week volunteer abroad program also get multiple opportunities to explore on the weekends. So whether you chose to set off and discover more of your host country or stay close to the Home-Base to explore your new neighborhood, your free weekends give you a unique opportunity to put all of your new experiences and cultural knowledge to work, and pick up even more along the way!
5 to 8 weeks: If you’ve got time to volunteer for 5 to 8 weeks, you’ll have a chance to get to know your destination of choice much more intimately. Not only will your volunteer assignment begin to feel like a natural part of your daily routine, you’ll likely have discovered your favorite bakery or cafe, and other favorite spots in the neighborhood. Since you’ll have already done the camel trek in Morocco or visited the Taj Mahal in India (maybe during your second or third weekend in-country), you’ll have time to explore some of the paths less traveled during your weekend free time.
9 to 12 weeks: While our longer-term international volunteer opportunities are perfect for gappers and college-aged volunteers on summer break, you don't have to be a student or a recent grad to enjoy all the benefits of our longer-term volunteer abroad opportunities. We've got plenty of alums that enrolled during a career break, or as a part of their much-anticipated retirement. We've even got some enterprising alums that were able to negotiate a brief "sabbatical" with their employer in order to volunteer for 2 or 3 months, and return from the experience job intact. In fact, almost all of our volunteers seem to have the same bit of advice to impart to future volunteers like you: Stay longer!
"I got so much from it because I was there for a longer time. I want to go back. It became my home."
Susanne, Thailand volunteer, 12 weeks
"I wasn't even sure what I was going to do in Tanzania for 12 weeks, and by the end of the experience, I could have easily stayed for 12 more!"
Hannah, Tanzania volunteer, 12 weeks