International volunteering

UCL Study Abroad is delighted to work with three volunteering providers who offer excellent summer opportunities to our students.

International volunteering partnerships

Think Pacific - Volunteering in Fiji

Students from UCL  have the chance to volunteer with Think Pacific in rural Fijian schools, implementing education, health and sports development initiatives in partnership with the Fijian Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health & Ministry of Youth and Sports. 

Volunteers will undertake a multifaceted timetable, which will include assisting local teachers within rural primary or secondary schools, organising one to one tuition for students highlighted for additional support, assisting to establish kindergarten programmes, advancing extra-curricular activities and sustainable youth clubs, providing advocacy in areas of health and hygiene, nutrition or environmental issues as well as implementing grass roots sports development initiatives, which include introducing daily PE classes, coaching children’s team and sports outreach. 

About Think Pacific

In partnership with the Fijian Government, Think Pacific has been delivering volunteering projects in Fiji since 2009. Over the last eight years, over 3000 participants have joined the volunteer teams, with large numbers of students joining the programme from UK universities. 

Watch the video below to find out more about Think Pacific:

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The cost of the one-month programme is £1495. Students are encouraged to fundraise over the course of the year to reach this target. Think Pacific will provide resources and guidance to participants to assist in this effort. The programme fee does not cover flight costs, but eligible participants are encouraged to apply to the Global Experience Bursary for additional support. Please note that the Global Experience Bursary will only provide a contribution to your costs.

How to apply

To apply, you will have to complete a short online application. Following submission of the online application, Think Pacific will contact you to arrange a phone call so one of the team can have a chat with you about your application and discuss the programme in greater depth. 


Aslam Bin Norhan from Psychology and Language Sciences participated in the programme over the summer of 2018. Watch his testimonial and hear about his experiences in Fiji below:

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Further information on Think Pacific can be found at the following links: 

Gotoco - Volunteering in China

Starting summer 2020 we are pleased to work with Gotoco as our newest overseas opportunitities provider. They offer accessible exchange and TEFL certificate programmes to European and North American students, in their numerous partner summer camps and schools in China.Since 2011, the Gotoco team has helped 1,000 students and young professionals from around the globe visit China.

A number of UCL students have previously participated in Gotoco programmes.

About Gotoco

Gotoco are a social enterprise devoted to promoting cultural awareness and quality English education through a variety of projects that link Europe and North America to China. They believe it is vital to foster good relations between China and Europe and North America, especially given China’s increasing importance in our globalised world. Experience of China and cultural exchange will be vital for all their participants as they go on to become global citizens and leaders in our rapidly changing world.
Growing out of their experience on summer camps in Yangshuo, Guangxi in 2011, the Gotoco team has built up an extensive network of summer camp partners all over China. The founders, Daniel and Richard first met on their Chinese Studies course at the University of Oxford and formed a strong friendship with Lisha on their year abroad in Beijing in 2012. Daniel, Lisha and Richard founded Gotoco to combine their knowledge, expertise and diverse talents and provide their participants with an unforgettable summer in China.

To find out more, watch the video below:

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There are no fees to participate and accommodation is provided by the camps. Students are expected to cover their own travel and visa costs. 

Students can apply for the Global Experience Bursary to help with the costs.

How to apply

To apply, you will have to complete an online form via the Gotoco website. You will be asked to provide general application information, and to upload your CV/resume and photo. Successful candidates will have an online interview with prospective projects in China before we let you know where you’ll be heading next summer. We will confirm your place on our programmes as quickly as possible. Final location details are usually confirmed from March-June as this is when the summer camps confirm their teams.

Further details

Please visit the gotoco website: https://www.go-to.co/

Raleigh International (new for 2021!)

Study Abroad are delighted to announce a new international volunteering partner for 2021 and beyond. We will now be working with Raleigh International who provide international volunteering opportunities in Costa Rica, Nepal and Tanzania.

About Raleigh International

Raleigh International is a youth-driven organisation supporting a global movement of young people to take action that creates solutions to the world’s most urgent problems.

Raleigh empower young people with the skills, experience, and connections to be leaders of change. One of the ways they do this is through Raleigh Expedition, an international volunteering programme for 17-24 year olds from around the world.

Volunteers on the programme are supported in creating long-lasting change through hands-on projects that help to tackle environmental issues, improve access to water and sanitation facilities and increase access to educational facilities. Expedition teams work in remote, rural locations alongside local communities – the marginalised ‘last mile’ of development that many other charities do not reach.

Raleigh has over 36 years’ experience of delivering responsible, international volunteering programmes. More than 50,000 people from over 100 countries have taken part in their programmes and initiatives.

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How does it work?

Raleigh runs summer Expeditions for 4 and 5 weeks in Costa Rica, Nepal and Tanzania. The programmes are ideal for people that want to make a meaningful impact in a short space of time, while exploring a new country and culture.

On a Raleigh Expedition, you’ll join a team of like-minded young people (aged 17-24) from all around the world and get involved in the issues you care about.

On Expedition you will:

  • Work on sustainable projects that create lasting change in remote communities. All project work will contribute to achieving the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs).
  • Work alongside host country volunteers to ensure maximum long term and sustainable impact.
  • Live in a homestay in a rural community and immerse yourself in new cultures.
  • Take part in an exhilarating Adventure Leadership trek which offers the chance to develop leadership, communication and teamworking skills; test your mental strength and resilience, as well as provide time for personal reflection.
  • Be part of an experiential and immersive learning experience that will include team reviews, debriefs, journaling, 1-2-1s, leadership opportunities and active learning sessions.
  • Develop essential teamwork, active citizenship, language exchange, and intercultural skills and knowledge that can benefit you when applying for future jobs.

Where could I go?

Raleigh currently run Expeditions in Costa Rica, Tanzania and Nepal. Raleigh has offices in each country with a team of staff ready to keep you safe and ensure you create maximum impact whilst you volunteer.

These countries have been chosen because they have large youth populations and volunteers can make the greatest impact. They face issues relating to water and sanitation and are heavily affected by climate change. Raleigh work in rural areas because the people that live there are often the most marginalised. They tend to have poorer access to basic services, lower education levels and a worse standard of living than those in urban areas. Women and children are often the most disadvantaged.

How long do the placements last?

Raleigh run four and five week Expeditions over the summer.

How much does it cost?

Four week Expedition: £2,250

Five week Expedition: £2,590

As a charity, Raleigh talk about fundraising rather than costs, and encourage everyone to do some fundraising for their Expedition. There are also several Trusts and Foundations that offer funding for young people to engage in international volunteering.

When you sign up for Expedition, you will be assigned a Volunteer Coordinator who will prepare you for your programme and support you with reaching your fundraising target.

The fundraising targets will include in-country training, airport transfers, project equipment, health insurance, food, and accommodation. You will need to arrange your flights, visas, and vaccinations.

When do the placements start and when do I need to apply?

Four and five week Expeditions run throughout the summer and are very popular amongst university students. You are advised to apply for these programmes several months in advance to guarantee your place, and to give you sufficient time to fundraise and plan for your trip.


Take a look at Raleigh International’s website for more information or attend one of their Expedition information events to find out more about the programme and the impact you could make volunteering overseas. UCL specific information sessions will also be arranged and confirmed in due course.

Or if you’re ready to take action, apply now!