Archive | Trip planning

How to find free and independent international volunteering with animals

Whether you’re on a tight budget, interested in something more niche than spay/neuter clinics, want to be part of locally-run projects, or just want to travel without a big group, independent volunteering can make for a great experience.  What you lose in the dedicated skills training you get with paid voluntourism programs, you gain in learning about howRead More »

Structured voluntourism program, placement agency, or independent volunteering?

So, you’ve thought about what you want to get out of an international volunteering experience, and now you’re ready to decide whether a structured program, an unstructured placement, or independent volunteering meets those needs best. What are the differences? Structured programs A structured voluntourism program with domestic animals generally focuses on skills-building. The two biggestRead More »

Start with questions: what do you want to get out of international volunteering?

When I try to give people advice about the large umbrella topic of “international volunteering with animals,” the thing I have to remember is that everyone is looking to get something different out of it. Advice I’ve given to one person with one set of needs won’t suit another person with other interests. And whileRead More »

The road from “they are so cruel to animals!” to “thank you”

One of the first issues that comes up commonly when I’ve seen other pre-vet and vet students talk about international volunteering is the way that “they” treat animals. Yes, “they” do treat animals very differently, and that’s a big culture shock that I still haven’t gotten over. (Nor do I particularly want to get overRead More »

What is “voluntourism”?

When I went to East Africa on a wildlife watching vacation, I had a couple of days of downtime at a campground in Uganda. I was planning to spend the time drinking beer by the river and reading a book. There was a group at the same campground who were there on a volunteer projectRead More »