For many people volunteering overseas provides an unforgettable experience. Whatever you have done before, the chance to travel and work in a totally different environment can be life-changing.
If you have skills that are required overseas, especially in developing countries, then it shouldn't be too hard to find a voluntary post. Although some countries are moving more towards training and retaining their own professionals rather than importing them, there is still a need for people qualified and experienced in, for example, engineering, teaching, or medicine.
You are likely to be required to commit for a reasonable length of time, but will usually have the costs of travel, board and lodging met. Often you will receive a payment equivalent to a local wage.
If you don't have skills and experience that are in demand you are likely to have to pay the costs of your trip abroad. With flights, insurance, staff costs, administration, board and lodging to consider, these costs can run to thousands of pounds.
Indeed, some volunteering overseas might be better described as a working holiday.
The key thing, if you undertake such a trip, is to try and make sure that you will actually be doing some good, that you will be safe and that you will get value for money. Try to speak to other people who have volunteered with the organisation and find out as much as you possibly can before you pay any money or make a commitment.
The overseas volunteering organisations listed in this section are not necessarily endorsed or approved by Reach.
Foreign Office - for the latest travel advice about where's safe and where isn't.
Volunteering England - useful information about volunteering overseas.
If you're thinking of volunteering overseas this summer then there might well be cash available to help you out, as number of bursaries and grants exist that are designed to support student development, volunteering opportunities and overseas placements.
Have a browse through the Funderfinder directory and check out the Unigrants website to see if you qualify for any of their grants. Good luck!