Volunteer FAQ

When does volunteer service begin?

We accept volunteers to begin service in January and July each year.

When is the application deadline?

If you are applying to begin service in January, you should apply by July 1 of the previous year. If you are applying to begin service in July, you should apply by January 1 of the same year. If you miss these deadlines, you should still apply, as positions continue to open even after our deadlines.

How long does the application process take?

The application process will take at least two months, and in some cases up to four months.

What documentation will I be required to provide?

All volunteers must submit a health statement, completed by their physician. Volunteers will also sign a code of conduct, as well as other contracts stipulating the rules and agreements of volunteer service. Volunteers must submit a background check prior to service.

Can I volunteer for less than one year?

All NPH countries of service require a minimum service commitment of one year, and some countries require a 13-month commitment.

Is there an age limit for volunteers?

NPH requires that all volunteers be at least 21 years of age prior to beginning service, but there is no age limit.

Does NPH accept non-married couples?

NPH only accepts married couples for volunteer service.

Do I need to speak Spanish to be a volunteer?

Yes. Spanish language skills will be critical for your success as a volunteer. We require that all volunteers have an intermediate Spanish level upon joining NPH. Some positions require more advanced language skills. We will assess your language abilities in your interview. If we determine that you do not have adequate Spanish skills, you will be required to attend immersion language school at your own expense in the NPH country of service before beginning volunteer service. Please keep this in mind as you apply.

Is volunteer service with NPH safe?

Our volunteers’ safety is always our priority. We recognize that NPH works in countries that are prone to violence and crime. Prior to departure, you will receive safety guidance, and upon arrival in the country, you will receive an in-depth orientation in which you will be given the tools and information necessary to have a safe and enjoyable experience abroad.

What is volunteer service with NPH like?

Read our volunteer testimonials to get a glimpse at the everyday life of a volunteer. As a volunteer with NPH, you will work hard but receive much more in return, including professional skills and abilities that will prepare you for your future career.

What will my daily schedule be as a volunteer?

The NPH volunteer experience consists of three components—your work placement, the time you spend with the children in our residential care program, and your participation in NPH community life. Though your schedule will vary depending on your work placement, volunteers generally work in the morning and early afternoons in their work placements. All volunteers are also required to spend time in the evenings and every other weekend with the children and adolescents in residential care. This time allows you to get to know NPH’s beneficiaries better and form meaningful relationships with them outside of your work placement. Additionally, you will be required to participate in community events such as holidays, special celebrations, or other activities at NPH. All volunteers have every other weekend off, giving you time to rest and leave the NPH property.

Will I volunteer alone or with others?

The operations in each NPH country of service vary in size and diversity, and some have more available volunteer positions. As a volunteer you will live and work with other volunteers from around the world. Some countries of service have smaller volunteer communities of only three to five volunteers, whereas other countries have larger volunteer communities that host up to 25 volunteers at a time.

Where will I live?

All volunteers are required to live on NPH property. NPH provides free housing to all volunteers, that is designated for volunteers. You will be required to share a room with at least one other volunteer. The volunteer houses differ in size and amenities in each NPH country of service. Read more about each NPH country of service on the “Where We Serve” tab to get a better idea of the context.

Will I have access to health care?

Good health is of utmost importance for volunteers. Pre-existing conditions do not disqualify an applicant from service, but it can be difficult to get the same type of care you may have in your country of origin. Volunteers have access to basic primary healthcare services provided by NPH in our onsite clinics. NPH purchases health insurance with international coverage for all volunteers. Extraordinary care can be sought outside of NPH, but volunteers must assume all costs and burden of the services beyond the costs covered by insurance. 

Will NPH accommodate my special dietary needs?

Volunteers are provided with all meals on NPH property free of cost during their volunteer service. However, these meals consist of the same food provided to all of the beneficiaries and staff at NPH. We cannot prepare special meals for volunteers with dietary restrictions. Therefore, volunteers who have special diets must assume the cost of purchasing additional or supplemental food.

Will I receive any kind of financial compensation?

Volunteers receive a monthly stipend in local currency worth the equivalent of approximately 50 USD.

Do volunteers get vacation days?

All volunteers receive 22 vacation days after completing four months of service. Volunteers may use this time to travel in their country of service, or even to plan a trip home. We ask that volunteers do not take vacation days during important events and holidays, including Christmas and New Years in most countries. As part of your orientation, your volunteer coordinator will inform you during which dates you may not take vacation.

Who can I contact with further questions?

Please contact the International Volunteer Coordinator at vo.int@nph.org.