How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas

list_volunteeringby Joseph Collins, Stefano DeZerega & Zahara Heckscher
foreword by Frances Moore Lappé & Anna Blythe Lappé


How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas is the first comprehensive guide to international volunteerism for Americans of all ages—from college students to senior citizens. Joseph Collins, Stefano DeZerega, and Zahara Heckscher—all founders of respected volunteer organizations—share everything you need to know about volunteering in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.

In depth chapters provide information on:

  • How to decide if international volunteering is right for you
  • How to choose the right program
  • Fundraising and financing
  • What to do before and after you go abroad
  • How to be an effective volunteer
  • The Peace Corps
  • Political and social contexts of Americans volunteering abroad


Featuring worksheets, first-hand accounts from volunteers, and profiles of more than 100 volunteer organizations, this indispensable and unrivaled guide is a must-read for anyone who’s ever dreamed of living and volunteering abroad.


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Responses to How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas:


This remarkably comprehensive handbook is what so many of us have long been waiting for: it truly tells it like it is. After six years research and many more years of immersion in their subject, the authors seem to know everything about volunteering overseas and are generous and direct in sharing their knowledge. Anyone who has even considered volunteering abroad—whatever his or her age, interests, or abilities—will read it with delight and appreciation.”

Clay Hubbs
Ph.D., Editor and Publisher or Transitions Abroad Magazine

Volunteering overseas can be a rewarding and enriching experience. But it requires sympathy, reciprocity, willingness to learn as well as to give, and an understanding of the problems and opportunities, which are many and complex. This book is a wonderful guide that addresses all of these issues and more—informed, sensitive, comprehensive. A most valuable contribution.”

—Noam Chomsky
Political Analyst and Author of Manufacturing Consent

I truly wish I had read this book before I went overseas. I would have been able to get so much more out of my experiences. As I read the book, I kept thinking to myself ‘If only I had known…’ If only I had known the practical tips for cultural immersion, the no-nonsense ideas for effective volunteering, even the detailed suggestions about dealing with reverse culture shock when coming home—this information would have really enriched all of my volunteer experiences, in addition to my travels and studies overseas. The analysis of the pros and cons of the Peace Corps and the evaluations of other volunteer programs just aren’t available anywhere else. For anyone considering volunteering or working abroad, this is a priceless resources. I know I will use it the next time I go overseas.”

Ilisa Gertner
Volunteer in Guatemala and Israel
Teacher in Korea