Travel with the best.

Trusted by thousands every year, UBELONG is the leading organization for people seeking affordable, high-impact volunteering and learning opportunities abroad.

UBELONG is based in the United States and offers 1 week to 6 month programs throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

We Believe... What divides people is no match for what unites us—our humanity.

Human collaboration can change the world for the better.

International volunteering, when done right, can bring people together across borders to dispel stereotypes, create meaningful human relationships, and encourage the sharing of energy and talent to tackle some of our generation's most pressing global challenges.

Our Mission

To offer people the most meaningful trips of their lives, and to allow them to volunteer abroad so they can share their humanity and make a positive, lasting impact on the most critical social and environmental challenges our generation faces.

Our Values

Bottom-up


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.

Personal Growth


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.

Hands-on


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

CORNELL


While a student at Cornell University, Cedric Hodgeman was inspired to change the way people engage with the world.

For years, he 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.

WASHINGTON, DC


In 2009, UBELONG was founded in Washington, DC, one of the world’s most important centers of international affairs.

Right from the start, we tapped heavily into these networks to design our world-class programs.

WORLD


UBELONG is made up of an international team of great people spread across five continents.

We started in 2010 working in Asia and Latin America. Two years after we established programs in Africa. In 2013 we opened our European office in Lisbon, Portugal and in 2015 our Latin American office in Cusco, Peru. In 2017 we moved our US office from Washington, DC to Charleston, South Carolina, a delightful place and fast-growing entrepreneurial hub.

We are a global organization, but we think local.

UBELONG


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

Why UBELONG?

Flexibility


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.

Impact


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.

Experience


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.

Affordable


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.

Network


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

Executive Team

  • barbara-barbosa-ubelong-program-officer

    Barbara Barbosa

    Head of Impact and Engagement

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  • cedric-hodgeman-ubelong-cofounder

    Cedric Hodgeman

    Founder & Executive Principal

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  • julia-lombao-ubelong-video-lead

    Julia Lombao

    Lead Videographer

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  • martina-kaser-ubelong-program-officer

    Martina Kaser

    Head of Growth and Outreach

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Volunteer. Discover. Impact. Join UBELONG. Join the best.

Numbers

  • 4,200,000 hours

    of service to date
    by our participants

  • 12 countries

    where UBELONG
    has programs

  • 47 On our team

    including our local partners

  • 200,000 miles

    our team flies each year
    (over 8 times around
    the world)

  • 26 Cups of Coffee

    our team drinks on
    a typical week
    (not that much, we’re actually
    more tea drinkers)

You Belong

  • Bea Matthews

    Meet UBELONG Volunteers like Bea, who served for three months assisting in nutrition education in disadvantaged communities of Ghana.

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  • Doug Anton

    Meet High School Abroad participants like Doug, a high school teacher from Vermont. He led students and teachers to Thailand and Laos.

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  • Grayce Belvedere

    Meet Company Programs UBELONGers like Grayce, an executive who led her consulting firm to the Galapagos Islands.

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