What divides people is no match for what unites us—our humanity.
Human collaboration, more than anything, can change the world for the better.
Everyone can make a difference.
We believe in people.
To bring people together across borders to share their humanity and take action for positive change.
We understand people know what is best for their own communities. Our programs address issues that have been identified by local communities as opportunities to engage people in meaningful action.
Impact Through Sharing
We believe that the energy, ideas and skills that people share with each other, across borders and face to face, can support advancement in key areas such as conservation, education and health.
Opportunities For All
We embrace diversity. We offer varying programs to ensure that regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, nationality or skill, everyone can find an opportunity to make a difference.
We believe that traveling with UBELONG is as much about engaging in meaningful work as it is about building self-confidence, shaping leadership skills and making lifelong friends.
We recognize that the best way to understand global issues is by traveling, doing things on the ground, and gaining firsthand experience. Our programs emphasize immersion and experiential learning.
People To People
People learn from each other through direct human exchange. We offer programs that instill a strong sense of shared humanity and global citizenship.
"I was no longer a tourist, but a volunteer having an impact on real lives."Bill Mulligan, University of Wisconsin-Madison student, Volunteer Abroad in Peru
The UBELONG Story
In 2004, our Co-Founders, Cedric Hodgeman and Raul Roman, met at Cornell University, where they were inspired to change the way people engage with the world.
For years, they traveled, studied and served in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. However, back at home, there were so many people who struggled to find the right opportunity to travel and fulfill their promise as global citizens.
In 2009, UBELONG was founded in Washington, DC. Our home is one of the world’s most important centers of international affairs. We are surrounded by influential international organizations, government agencies, embassies, think-tanks and universities.
Right from the start, we tapped heavily into these networks to design our world-class programs.
UBELONG is made up of an international team of great people spread across four continents. We started in 2009 working in Asia and Latin America. Two years after we established programs in Africa. In 2013 we opened our European office in Lisbon, Portugal.
We are a global organization but we think local.
The name UBELONG is a call for action. It reflects the values of our organization. UBELONG is the simplification of a simple but powerful statement: “you belong”.
When we say “you belong” we are talking to the thousands of people who yearn to make a difference abroad.
Also, when we say “you belong” we are talking to the people who live in the communities across the world where we work. Through our programs, we seek to strengthen a sense of social inclusion in these communities, a sense of global belonging.
"The people we met inspired us, welcomed us, and allowed my students to learn and serve in a truly authentic classroom."Katie Hluchyj, Hartford High School teacher, High School Abroad in Laos
We offer programs across many areas because we believe everyone has something valuable to contribute if they are given the chance. Whether you are looking to volunteer abroad for the first time or are a corporate professional with years of experience, we have a program for you.
We are a social organization. Everything we do is rooted in making a positive difference on you, the local communities you visit and the world. We empower you to take concrete, measurable steps towards positive global change, while giving you the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and grow.
Our team consists of recognized professionals at the top of their field. Our learning and volunteering programs are built on practical knowledge gained through years of international experience and our team’s extensive background. We also rely on our deep relationships cultivated around the world with a range of professionals.
We believe that learning and volunteering abroad should be accessible to people of all backgrounds. A fundamental part of our mission is to offer the highest quality experiences at the lowest possible cost.
Our most important asset is our people—our employees, partners in the field, hosting communities, the range of individuals and corporations that work with us, and you. When you join a UBELONG program you become part of an exciting global community linked together by an insatiable desire to discover new horizons and make a positive impact on the world.
"It was an excellent opportunity to give something back to society while coming together as a team."Mascha Driessen, Microsoft Sr. Director, Company Programs in Portugal
Volunteer. Discover. Impact. Join UBELONG. Join the best.
of service to date
by our participants
On our team
including our local partners
our team flies each year
(over 8 times around
Cups of Coffee
our team drinks on
a typical week
(not that much, we’re actually
more tea drinkers)