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Overview

In Morocco, volunteer in caregiving, education, health, NGO support or women’s empowerment. Live with a friendly Host Family in the heart of the city. Additionally:

 

 

 

About Rabat

Rabat, which means “fortified palace” in Arabic, is the capital and third largest city of Morocco. It sits on the Atlantic Ocean and Bou Regreg River, and on the opposite shore of the city of Sale. Rabat is Morocco’s Royal City – it is the seat of the Royal Family – and is known as the “Washington of North Africa” because of its green parks, wide boulevards, monuments, embassies, and government buildings. Rabat exudes the richness of Moroccan culture in a calm and refined manner. Its medina is well preserved, and its array of small businesses ranging from coffee shops to leather merchants to vegetable stands is impressive. Rabat’s newer neighborhoods are also welcoming and highlight the country’s modernization.

However, Rabat is plagued by Morocco’s striking economic disparity between the poor and rich. Unemployment is an issue, especially for the dissatisfied youth. Social services like education and healthcare are also lacking for the poorest, and for them there is little hope of breaking the poverty cycle. In Rabat there are numerous volunteering opportunities available to you, including working in an NGO, teaching English, and caring for children. Click on the tabs above to learn more.

 

“From my host family, to the program coordinators, to the guy who owned a shop outside my house, they were all so helpful and kind” Lydia Whitbeck, UBELONG Morocco Volunteer from the United States – read her interview here.

Projects

Caregiving

With a median age of 27, Morocco, like most countries in the Maghreb, has a young population. Coupled with the country’s high poverty rate, this means Morocco has a large number of vulnerable children living in poverty. Abuse, malnutrition and neglect are common. Many children receive limited early childhood stimulation, which has implications for their development and ability to ultimately break out of the poverty cycle.

Volunteers bring affection and energy, and provide children from disadvantaged backgrounds positive stimulation and role modeling. Volunteers also share new backgrounds and skills with the children to enrich their lives and expose them to different cultures. Volunteers live in Rabat and work in the city and surrounding areas.

Click on a heading below to learn more.

What do volunteers do?
Volunteers generally work three to five hours a day in a center for children with disabilities ranging from toddlers to teenagers. Some have physical disabilities, while others have mental ones that range from moderate to severe. The center helps the children lead dignified lives and, when possible, to prepare them for life in an adult world. Volunteers play with the children and give them affection, care and friendship. As needed, volunteers also help the local staff with the children’s exercises, for example those related to physical movement or speech. Finally, volunteers may be involved in feeding, washing, and leading basic education classes for those children able to participate.

Requirements to participate:
-The energy to keep children stimulated.
-A very caring and open attitude.
-French or Arabic are not required, although at least a basic level is helpful.
-Education and/or professional experience in a caregiving-related field is not required.

Minimum time commitment:
1 week.

Project schedule:
The project starts every Monday of the month and runs year-round, except for the month of August (for groups of four or more, we may make an exception and allow an alternative start date – contact us to request an exception).

Please note:
1. This description is intended only as a broad overview of the work. There is no typical day or script to follow. Remember, volunteers are serving in the developing world where conditions can change in an instant. Being flexible, open and able think on your feet are crucial characteristics of a good international volunteer. It is each volunteer’s role to fit in with their project and not the other way around. We expect volunteers to contribute wherever the need arises, even if it means being involved in activities they were not expecting to work in. Being able to adapt, adjust and fit in is challenging, but also what makes international volunteering so special.

2. Prior to arrival, volunteers must provide a police background check. Without it, volunteers will not be allowed on the project.

#FinestVolunteersInTheWorld:
1. Read reviews of past UBELONG Volunteers and see why UBELONG is trusted by thousands every year.

2. Browse our Volunteer Abroad news section to meet UBELONG Volunteers, the finest international volunteers in the world.

3. Like UBELONG on Facebook and connect with past, current and future UBELONG Volunteers.

 

Priyanka, a young professional from Canada, with her new friends in Morocco!

Priyanka, a young professional from Canada, with her new friends in Morocco!

What do volunteers do?
Volunteers work in one of various after-school youth centers in Rabat, or with a local NGO that works with children with injuries and disabilities in Rabat’s public hospitals. Volunteers generally work three to five hours a day with children ranging from toddlers to young adults. They support the local staff and partake in a range of activities, including dancing, making art, playing and singing with the children. Depending on the need, volunteers may also have the opportunity to lead classes on relevant topics, for example English, math, reading and life skills.

Requirements to participate:
-The energy to keep children stimulated.
-A very caring and open attitude.
-Arabic is not required, although at least a basic level is helpful.
-Education and/or professional experience in a caregiving-related field is not required.

Minimum time commitment:
1 week.

Project schedule:
The project starts every Monday and runs year-round, except for the month of August (for groups of four or more, we may make an exception and allow an alternative start date – contact us to request an exception)

Please note:
1. This description is intended only as a broad overview of the work. There is no typical day or script to follow. Remember, volunteers are serving in the developing world where conditions can change in an instant. Being flexible, open and able think on your feet are crucial characteristics of a good international volunteer. It is each volunteer’s role to fit in with their project and not the other way around. We expect volunteers to contribute wherever the need arises, even if it means being involved in activities they were not expecting to work in. Being able to adapt, adjust and fit in is challenging, but also what makes international volunteering so special.

2. Prior to arrival, volunteers must provide a police background check. Without it, volunteers will not be allowed on the project.

#FinestVolunteersInTheWorld:
1. Read reviews of past UBELONG Volunteers and see why UBELONG is trusted by thousands every year.

2. Browse our Volunteer Abroad news section to meet UBELONG Volunteers, the finest international volunteers in the world.

3. Like UBELONG on Facebook and connect with past, current and future UBELONG Volunteers.

 

Patty, from Denver, working with the children at the center where she volunteered in Morocco.

Patty, from Denver, working with the children at the center where she volunteered in Morocco.

Education

Education in Morocco is free and open to all children up to 15 years old. However, education in Morocco lags far behind other Arab countries, with enrollment and literacy rates among the lowest in the world.

Many children do not attend as their parents require them to help with household chores or work in support of the family finances. The problem is worse for young girls, as reflected by Morocco’s sharp male to female literacy gap. Additionally, as is common throughout the developing world, many Moroccan schools in poor areas face material shortages, overcrowding and poor teacher training.

The education projects lets volunteers support Moroccan after-school centers and schools serving poor children. They bring valuable language skills that are sought after in Morocco’s tourism dependent economy, as well as fresh perspectives on the world. Volunteers live in Rabat and work throughout the city.

Click on a heading below to learn more.

What do volunteers do?
Volunteers usually work three to five hours a day in public schools or NGOs teaching children ranging from toddlers to young adults. Volunteers are supported by local teachers, but can expect to have the opportunity to lead classes alone right from the start. The children generally have a basic to intermediate level, and volunteers work with them on all facets of language training, including grammar, pronunciation and writing. Additionally, depending on the need of the local teachers, volunteers may be able to lead classes on other topics, for example culture, geography and math.

 

 

Requirements to participate:
-Native speaker in the language being taught.
-The creativity and initiative to lead classes with limited resources.
-Teaching experience and/or certifications are not required.

Minimum time commitment:
2 weeks (for groups of four or more, we may make an exception and let you stay a week – contact us to request an exception).

Project schedule:
The project starts every Monday and runs year-round, except for the month of August (for groups of four or more, we may make an exception and allow an alternative start date – contact us to request an exception).

Please note:
1. This description is intended only as a broad overview of the work. There is no typical day or script to follow. Remember, volunteers are serving in the developing world where conditions can change in an instant. Being flexible, open and able think on your feet are crucial characteristics of a good international volunteer. It is each volunteer’s role to fit in with their project and not the other way around. We expect volunteers to contribute wherever the need arises, even if it means being involved in activities they were not expecting to work in. Being able to adapt, adjust and fit in is challenging, but also what makes international volunteering so special.

2. Volunteers applying to this project must choose the language they will teach, which can be either English, French or Spanish. They should indicate their choice in their application.

3. Prior to arrival, volunteers must provide a police background check. Without it, volunteers will not be allowed on the project.

#FinestVolunteersInTheWorld:
1. Read reviews of past UBELONG Volunteers and see why UBELONG is trusted by thousands every year.

2. Browse our Volunteer Abroad news section to meet UBELONG Volunteers, the finest international volunteers in the world.

3. Like UBELONG on Facebook and connect with past, current and future UBELONG Volunteers.

 

Taylor, a student at Emerson College in the United States, leading a class in Morocco!

Taylor, a student at Emerson College in the United States, leading a class in Morocco!

Health

Morocco has made significant efforts to improve healthcare across the country. Still, many issues related to healthcare access and quality still remain. Many Moroccans still suffer from preventable diseases, or ones that could be treated with proper modern care. Moreover, especially around mental illness and diseases like HIV/AIDS, social stigmas continue. There is still a lot of work to do to, particularly raising awareness and improving education. Volunteers bring valuable experience and skills, as well as outside perspectives. Volunteers live in Rabat and work throughout the city.

Click on a heading below to learn more.

What do volunteers do?
Volunteers generally work four to six hours a day in a local NGO that promotes awareness about HIV/AIDS, and helps HIV positive individuals find medical, financial, and emotional support. Depending on local need, volunteers may be involved in educational campaigns about the disease, as well as workshops helping HIV positive individuals understand their treatment options and available resources. As determined by local need, volunteers are also expected to help with office work, for example marketing and translation. They may also be asked to teach English to the staff. Finally, depending on the NGO and the experience of the volunteer, volunteers may have the opportunity to assist doctors and nurses during the medical check-ups of people with HIV.

Requirements to participate:
-At least an intermediate level of French or Arabic.
-The flexibility to participate in many different tasks depending on the ever-changing needs of the organization.
-The creativity and initiative to work in an environment with limited resources.
-Education and/or professional experience in a public health or HIV/AIDS-related field.

Minimum time commitment:
4 weeks (for groups of four or more, we may make an exception and let you stay a week – contact us to request an exception).

Project schedule:
The project starts every Monday of the month and runs year-round, except for the month of August (for groups of four or more, we may make an exception and allow an alternative start date – contact us to request an exception).

Please note:
1. This description is intended only as a broad overview of the work. There is no typical day or script to follow. Remember, volunteers are serving in the developing world where conditions can change in an instant. Being flexible, open and able think on your feet are crucial characteristics of a good international volunteer. It is each volunteer’s role to fit in with their project and not the other way around. We expect volunteers to contribute wherever the need arises, even if it means being involved in activities they were not expecting to work in. Being able to adapt, adjust and fit in is challenging, but also what makes international volunteering so special.

2. In their application, volunteers must provide their resume/CV.

3. Volunteers must bring a laptop.Instead of the usual 72 hour review period, on this project we need seven to ten days to review applications and get back to volunteers on whether they have been accepted into the project.

4. Depending on the needs of the organization and motivations and qualifications of volunteers, volunteers may have the opportunity to spend time in the field. However, like any high-skilled post, this opportunity requires that volunteers spend a significant amount of time in the office, especially when they begin and are getting up the learning curve. Additionally, remember that volunteers are not interns—while guidance is provided, there is no formal training and volunteers are ultimately responsible for being very proactive in finding ways to contribute.

5. Prior to arrival, volunteers must provide a police background check. Without it, volunteers will not be allowed on the project.

#FinestVolunteersInTheWorld:
1. Read reviews of past UBELONG Volunteers and see why UBELONG is trusted by thousands every year.

2. Browse our Volunteer Abroad news section to meet UBELONG Volunteers, the finest international volunteers in the world.

3. Like UBELONG on Facebook and connect with past, current and future UBELONG Volunteers.

 

Caity, from Minneapolis, with co-workers at the HIV-AIDS Awareness center.

Caity, from Minneapolis, with co-workers at the HIV-AIDS Awareness center.

NGO Support

NGOs in Morocco play an important role in advancing social issues that may not otherwise be addressed by the government. Within the bounds set forth by the powerful monarchy, local and international NGOs in Morocco advance a range of causes. Especially in light of recent events, NGOs, and civil society in general, have proven to be powerful agents for change in poverty reduction, public health education and the defense of women’s rights.

Volunteers lend their expertise, labor and perspectives to support grassroots NGO efforts. They collaborate with local staff to share ideas and contribute to all activities of the organization. Volunteers live and work in Rabat.

Click on a heading below to learn more.

What do volunteers do?
Volunteers generally work four to six hours a day with a local or international NGO. The NGOs focus on a wide range of causes, which may include children and women’s rights; delivering health and human services to the poor; promoting government accountability; strengthening civil society; and more. What area each volunteer works in is based upon the local need and where they are assigned. In terms of their day- to-day work, volunteers contribute to every facet of their organization’s work, including administrative work, marketing and public relations, planning community events and writing grants.

Requirements to participate:
-At least an advanced level of French.
-The flexibility to participate in many different tasks depending on the ever-changing needs of the organization.
-The creativity and initiative to work in an environment with limited resources.
-Education and/or professional experience in a community organizing, gender, human rights or law-related field.

Minimum time commitment:
5 weeks (for groups of four or more, we may make an exception and let you stay a week – contact us to request an exception).

Project schedule:
The project starts every Monday and runs year-round, except for the month of August (for groups of four or more, we may make an exception and allow an alternative start date – contact us to request an exception).

Please note:
1. This description is intended only as a broad overview of the work. There is no typical day or script to follow. Remember, volunteers are serving in the developing world where conditions can change in an instant. Being flexible, open and able think on your feet are crucial characteristics of a good international volunteer. It is each volunteer’s role to fit in with their project and not the other way around. We expect volunteers to contribute wherever the need arises, even if it means being involved in activities they were not expecting to work in. Being able to adapt, adjust and fit in is challenging, but also what makes international volunteering so special.

2. In their application, volunteers must provide their resume/CV.

3. Instead of the usual 72 hour review period, on this project we need seven to ten days to review applications and get back to volunteers on whether they have been accepted into the project.

4. Volunteers must bring a laptop.

5. Depending on the needs of the organization and motivations and qualifications of volunteers, volunteers may have the opportunity to spend time in the field. However, like any high-skilled, post, this opportunity requires that volunteers spend a significant amount of time in the office, especially when they begin and are getting up the learning curve. Additionally, remember that volunteers are not interns – while guidance is provided, there is no formal training and volunteers are ultimately responsible for being very proactive in finding ways to contribute. Finally, work habits and pace are probably very different than what volunteers are used to at home, and in accepting volunteers into this project it is with the understanding that they are self-directed, proactive and highly adaptive. This volunteer project is very challenging but, for volunteers with the right attitude, they will make an impact and find it highly rewarding.

#FinestVolunteersInTheWorld:
1. Read reviews of past UBELONG Volunteers and see why UBELONG is trusted by thousands every year.

2.Browse our Volunteer Abroad news section to meet UBELONG Volunteers, the finest international volunteers in the world.

3.Like UBELONG on Facebook and connect with past, current and future UBELONG Volunteers.

 

Brittanni, a second-time UBELONGer from Utah, working with Yemeni refugees.

Brittanni, a second-time UBELONGer from Utah, working with Yemeni refugees.

Women's Empowerment

Improvements in women’s issues in Morocco have been made in the last twenty years. Economic and political liberalization have helped, as well as efforts by national and international organizations pushing feminist issues. The government has also taken positive steps, for example by setting aside seats in parliament for women.

However, the gender gap in Morocco remains very wide across every indicator, including education, employment, health, human rights and literacy. Cultural factors play a part, as well as ones related to the education and justice systems. Advancement is more difficult for women than men, especially in poor communities.

Volunteers support a grassroots organization devoted to feminist issues. They bring new perspectives and skills, and collaborate with the local staff to push forward the organization’s activities. Volunteers live and work in Rabat.

Click on a heading below to learn more.

What do volunteers do?
Volunteers generally work three to five hours a day with a Moroccan NGO devoted to promoting women’s rights in Morocco through advocacy, research and direct outreach to marginalized women. Depending on the organization volunteers serve with, they may be involved on issues like domestic violence, economic empowerment, elections, inheritance and land rights, and reproductive health. Volunteers support the small teams by working on a variety of projects, for example collecting press materials and creating press releases; helping on web and social media; writing reports and funding proposals; and maintaining the organization’s library. For volunteers staying for longer periods, they may have the opportunity to work directly with poor women the organization is helping. However, this is dependent on the local need and the background and qualifications of each volunteer.

Requirements to participate:
-At least an advanced level of Arabic or French.
-The flexibility to participate in many different tasks depending on the ever-changing needs of the organization.
-The creativity and initiative to work in an environment with limited resources.
-Education and/or professional experience in a community organizing, gender, human rights or law-related field.

Minimum time commitment:
4 weeks (for groups of four or more, we may make an exception and let you stay a week – contact us to request an exception).

Project schedule:
The project starts every Monday and runs year-round, except for the month of August (for groups of four or more, we may make an exception and allow an alternative start date – contact us to request an exception).

Please note:
1. This description is intended only as a broad overview of the work. There is no typical day or script to follow. Remember, volunteers are serving in the developing world where conditions can change in an instant. Being flexible, open and able think on your feet are crucial characteristics of a good international volunteer. It is each volunteer’s role to fit in with their project and not the other way around. We expect volunteers to contribute wherever the need arises, even if it means being involved in activities they were not expecting to work in. Being able to adapt, adjust and fit in is challenging, but also what makes international volunteering so special.

2. In their application, volunteers must provide their resume/CV.

3. Instead of the usual 72 hour review period, on this project we need seven to ten days to review applications and get back to volunteers on whether they have been accepted into the project.

4. Volunteers must bring a laptop.

5. Depending on the needs of the organization and motivations and qualifications of volunteers, volunteers may have the opportunity to spend time in the field. However, like any high-skilled, post, this opportunity requires that volunteers spend a significant amount of time in the office, especially when they begin and are getting up the learning curve. Additionally, remember that volunteers are not interns – while guidance is provided, there is no formal training and volunteers are ultimately responsible for being very proactive in finding ways to contribute. Finally, work habits and pace are probably very different than what volunteers are used to at home, and in accepting volunteers into this project it is with the understanding that they are self-directed, proactive and highly adaptive. This volunteer project is very challenging but, for volunteers with the right attitude, they will make an impact and find it highly rewarding.

6. Prior to arrival, volunteers must provide a police background check. Without it, volunteers will not be allowed on the project.

#FinestVolunteersInTheWorld:
1. Read reviews of past UBELONG Volunteers and see why UBELONG is trusted by thousands every year.

2. Browse our Volunteer Abroad news section to meet UBELONG Volunteers, the finest international volunteers in the world.

3. Like UBELONG on Facebook and connect with past, current and future UBELONG Volunteers.

 

Katherine, a University of Michigan UBELONGer, working with the women at the NGO.

Katherine, a University of Michigan UBELONGer, working with the women at the NGO.

                         

Living

When you volunteer in Morocco with UBELONG, you embark on a life-changing volunteer trip that is all about volunteering, experiencing the local culture and making new friends. Live with a welcoming, friendly local host family whose comfortable home is perfectly located in the heart of Rabat. Enjoy excellent food and have an authentic, immersive experience living as part of the local community. Read on to learn more!

Housing

Volunteers have the incredible opportunity to live with a Moroccan family. Most are middle class and live in the medina, which is the fascinating historical center of Rabat. In the bustling medina you will find a large sooq, an open-air market that has been integrated throughout the winding streets and fills the air with spices, leather and delectable sweets. The families warmly welcome volunteers into their vibrant homes and invite them into their daily lives. Volunteers usually share their room with other volunteers, and bathrooms are shared with other members of the family. As many homes in Morocco still do not have flush toilets, volunteers may have to use Turkish toilets. Additionally, Western showers are not as widespread in Morocco, so volunteers may bathe in hamams, which are public steam bathhouses that play an integral part in Moroccan society. The homes have telephones, and some even have internet. Conveniences like banks, grocery stores and internet stores are nearby. As Morocco is a conservative society and we work very hard to respect the local norms, except for married couples, we do not house men and women in the same room. Married couples should let us know of their desire to live in the same room in their application.

 

family-ubelong-volunteer

UBELONG Volunteers with their host mom in Rabat!

Food

Moroccan cuisine has the well-deserved reputation of being one of the best in the world. The richness of the ingredients and variety of the dishes are unparalleled. Every day, volunteers receive breakfast and dinner from their host families.

Breakfast: It typically includes mint green tea with orange or other juices, as well as bread with argan or olive oil, butter, jam or honey. Cereal, eggs or yogurt may also be served, as well as local delicacies like beghrirrghaif and countless types of soups that are served in the morning. Volunteers have breakfast with their host families.

Dinner: The variety of dishes in Morocco is deliciously endless, and you will probably try at one point or another a tajine, which is a slowly cooked stew full of tender meats, especially chicken or lamb, and a variety of legumes, vegetables and seasonings, for example carrots, potatoes, dates, prunes, raisins saffron or cumin. Other dishes include the famous couscous, as well as meat kebabs and shwarma. Dinner in Morocco usually begins after 10PM, and some families even wait until midnight to start. It’s a different schedule than volunteers may be used to, and experiencing it is yet another great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and experience Moroccan culture in an authentic manner.

For lunch, volunteers eat out at one of the many local stands or restaurants serving everything from delicious Moroccan specialties to Western-style food. Generally, one can eat very well for under US$5.

 

ubelong-volunteer-abroad-food-morocco-rabat

Tajine, a traditional Moroccan dish volunteer enjoy – so delicious!

Free Time

As the capital of Morocco, Rabat proudly showcases the country’s charm and elegance. Its wide boulevards, many lined by impressive diplomatic and government buildings featuring distinctive Arabic architecture, make for great afternoon stroll. There also important buildings and monuments reflecting Morocco’s rich history, including Le Tour Hassan, a huge minaret dating from 1195, as well as the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, which presents a mesmerizing array of zelij mosaics. To get a taste of the hustle and bustle of Moroccan life, Rabat’s medina features a labyrinth of narrow streets lined by every sort of merchant stall, from butchers to leather makers to jewelers to spice vendors. Sipping a mint green tea or orange juice and watching life go by in the medina is a must for all. There are also museums throughout the city, and opportunities for physical diversion, including surfing at Temara Plage.

 

ubelong-volunteer-abroad-rabat-morocco-sight

UBELONG Volunteers discovering Arabic architecture!

Cost

Volunteering abroad with UBELONG is extremely affordable. Plus, when you consider that UBELONG Volunteers receive extensive support and the trust of joining an organization based in the United States with top reviews, you realize the unmatchable value UBELONG offers. It’s one of the main reasons thousands have already decided to join a UBELONG volunteer trip.

 

Volunteer Placement Program Fee (USD)
1 week $285
2 weeks $425
3 weeks $540
4 weeks $675
5 weeks $875
6 weeks $1035
7 weeks $1155
8 weeks $1205
12 weeks $1665
16 weeks $1985
20 weeks $2255
24 weeks $2545

In addition to the program fee, there is a US$295 reservation fee due upon your being accepted into a project.

 

Additionally, please note:

Before your trip

Easy online application: You can apply online using our Volunteer Abroad application form. We use the application to get to know you and make sure that you join a volunteer project that is right for you based on your background, interests, and skills.

Preparation Booklet: The booklet offers you a wealth of information and helpful tips to prepare you for your volunteer trip with UBELONG. Topics range from health, safety and visa issues to the development challenges that your host community faces.

UBELONG Mentor: We pair you with a UBELONG Mentor, a highly experienced member of our team who works closely with you throughout your UBELONG Volunteer Abroad experience. From coordinating details like airport pickup and housing preferences to preparing you for your role as an international volunteer, your mentor is there for you.

Briefing Meeting: Prior to your departure, you have a meeting with your UBELONG Mentor. You go over staying safe during your volunteer placement, as well as tips for getting the most out of your Volunteer Abroad experience. The meetings generally occur over the phone or Skype, but if you are in the same location as your UBELONG Mentor they can occur in person.

UBELONG Shop 25% discount: The UBELONG Shop is a clothing store selling shirts, bracelets and other items that are inspired by travel. It’s another way for us to advance our social mission. A part of the Shop’s profits go to where UBELONGers serve, for example the hospitals, schools, environmental reserves, etc.

When you are accepted into a UBELONG program, you receive a 25% promo code for the UBELONG Shop. You can share it with your friends and family. The donations from purchases made with your promo code go to the projects in the location where you are travelling.

During your trip

Airport pickup: When you arrive at the Rabat airport, a driver meets you and brings you to your accommodations.

Rabat hostel booking 
To make things easier for you, we have partnered with a hostel in Rabat. If you arrive before your first Monday, which is the first day of your placement, we will reserve you a room prior to your arrival. Depending on the room you pick and the season, the per night cost at the hostel is US$20 to US$40.

Orientation: Our Local Team Leader gives you a volunteer orientation to introduce you to the local team and go over everything from living locally to the work that you will be doing. The orientation is generally your first Monday.

Housing: You live with a friendly family stay. To learn more, click the “living” tab above.

Food: You receive breakfast and dinner every day. To learn more, click the “living” tab above.

United States and Europe based support: UBELONG is an American organization with headquarters in Charleston, South Carolina. We also have a European office in Lisbon, Portugal. As such, you have the peace of mind that comes from having the support of a volunteer organization with an American and European presence.

In-country support: Throughout your Volunteer Abroad placement, we work with our Local Team Leader to provide you with any assistance that you may need. Whether you have a question about where to travel on the weekend or have an issue that requires immediate assistance, the local team is there for you.

After your trip

Reference letter (including for graduate degree and job references): Upon request, we provide you with a letter stating that you joined our Volunteer Abroad program. As the UBELONG network extends widely into the university and professional worlds, participating in a UBELONG Volunteer Abroad program can be a strong positive in a university or job application. See some of the institutions in the UBELONG network.

Fundraising and networking: We hold fundraising and networking events throughout the year to support development initiatives. Join us online, in the United States or wherever in the world we are holding an event. To keep up with events, see the UBELONG Facebook page.

United States President’s Volunteer Service Award: If you are a U.S. citizen and shared your story in our Volunteer Abroad blog, you are eligible for the award, which we have been certified to give as a U.S. based international volunteering organization committed to the highest standards.

Airfare, airport drop-off, travel medical insurance, and visas are not included.

We also require that every person 18 years of age or older obtain a police background check to volunteer with UBELONG – this is part of our commitment to volunteer safety and community safety. The price you pay depends on what location you are in because every country/city has a different price. However, in general, the cost of a police background check ranges from US$40 to US$150 per person.

Additionally, in Rabat lunch and miscellaneous spending like snacks and toiletries are not included. You may also have to take transportation to reach your volunteer project and you are responsible for the fare. Most volunteers budget US$5 to US$10 for each day of their placement for additional expenses in the field.

Please note: We require that you have travel medical insurance, including emergency evacuation, throughout your volunteer placement with UBELONG. We do not include it because there are many different plans available and you know best what is right for you. Before your departure we will ask you for general information about your policy, but it is your sole responsibility to determine its adequacy and any associated details like coverage levels and deductibles.

You can pay us via PayPal (which includes credit and debit card), bank wire, United States Postal Service money order, or certified bank check. We do not accept cash or personal checks. To learn about when fees are due, see our how to apply section.

FAQ

Application

Applying is easy, simply follow the steps we lay out in our How To Apply section.

If you still have questions after doing so, please contact us, we are glad to help.

Our accepting you into a Volunteer Abroad project is based on three things:

  • Availability: We receive many more applications than we have spots for. As such, there may be projects where we simply don’t have a need for volunteers anymore. This is why you should apply as soon as possible. However, you should only apply when you know the exact location, project, and dates of your placement, and when you’re completely sure you’ll join if accepted.
  • Your background, experience and skills: Make sure to check the description of each project carefully. You can find all the project descriptions for this location in the “project” tab above.
  • The UBELONG Mindset: UBELONG Volunteers have the well-deserved reputation of being the best of the best. So, we expect that you will approach your UBELONG experience eager to contribute, and with a caring, humble, proactive and respectful attitude. We just want good people with the right attitude.

Yes, as long as your dates meet the “minimum time commitment” and “project schedule” requirements we have for the project you want to join. You can see these requirements by clicking on the “project” tab above and looking at the description for your project.

Additionally, considering how affordable and popular UBELONG opportunities are, we sometimes run out of spots. So, while you should only apply when you are completely sure you will join if accepted, the earlier you can apply the better your chances of being accepted. Until you have submitted an application, we will not be able to tell you if certain dates have been filled or not – you must apply first.

For additional information, visit our how to apply section and see our application.

Yes. We believe that everyone has something valuable to contribute. If you do not have previous experience, we offer you the opportunity to have a great start with us. We make international volunteering easy – not only are our Volunteer Abroad opportunities rooted in offering you extensive support, but they are also very affordable.

Yes. Many of our Volunteer Abroad projects are designed to offer highly-skilled professionals the opportunity to contribute their expertise while growing professionally and personally.

We were founded by international development professionals and university professors determined to raise the bar in international volunteering. Empowering even the most senior development professionals to volunteer overseas is a key part of our mission.

While we are based in the United States, we offer programs for people of all nationalities. Most of our volunteers come from North America, Europe, and Australia, yet every year we welcome into the UBELONG community thousands of individuals from all corners of the world. As long as you have a willingness to discover the world and volunteer abroad, you’re welcome to join one of our Volunteer Abroad projects.

You should apply as soon as possible as we receive a very high volume of applications for a limited number of spots. However, you should only apply when you know the exact location, project, and dates of your placement, and when you’re completely sure you’ll join if accepted.

Most individuals apply three to six months before their start date, although some apply even earlier and some with as little as a week before. Again, the earlier you apply the better, but only do so when you’re completely ready to commit if accepted.

As of the date you submit your application, you must be at least 18 years old. There is no maximum age requirement. Whether you are a student or have recently retired, or whether you are a young professional or a middle-aged housewife, we probably have a Volunteer Abroad project that is right for you.

Please note: In certain cases, we will allow people under 18 years old to become UBELONG Volunteers. To learn more, see the two FAQs right below this one.

Yes, we have many wonderful families with children volunteer on our projects. It is a great way for families to come together, and we have found that children coming in as volunteers can very positively impact the local communities.

For families with everybody 13 years or older, all our volunteer projects are open to you.

For families with children younger than 13 years old, due to project qualification requirements, logistical challenges and safety precautions, in certain of our locations we cannot have children under 13 years old join. To know the list of volunteer projects that are open to families with children under 13 years old, please contact us.

If you are under 18 years old, you can still volunteer with UBELONG either with your family or with a high school group. Contact us for more information about each option.

Groups

Yes. All groups, including couples, families and friends, can join any of our Volunteer Abroad projects and volunteer together. Every year we have thousands of individuals become UBELONG volunteers as part of corporate, university and religious groups. We can have groups of up to 500 people.

The application procedure for groups is easy and very similar as the one for individuals. You can review the entire process in our How To Apply section, and for your convenience here is an overview:

1. Each group member submits his or her own application online with these points in mind:

  • Everybody in the group should apply within the same 24 hours so we can review all the applications together.
  • In part 1 of the application there is a field where each person types a common group name. The group makes up its own name, past examples:
    • For a couple: “Jane and John”
    • For friends: “Peter, Trent and Mike”
    • For large groups: “Cornell University summer 2015 team” or “Jake’s winter 2018 team from the University of Michigan”
  • If you want to house together or volunteer on the same project, please let us know in your application. We will do everything we can to accommodate you; generally it is not a problem as long as you let us know in your application.

2. Once we receive all the applications, we will review them together. Assuming you are all accepted, we will pair the group with a UBELONG Mentor, a highly experienced member of our team who works closely with you throughout your UBELONG experience to support you. From coordinating details like airport pickup and housing preferences to preparing you for your role as an international volunteer, your mentor is there for you.

As always, if you have any further question please contact us, we are glad to help.

Yes, we have accepted many alternative breaks teams into our Volunteer Abroad program and had great success.

We have had teams from over 100 institutions from throughout the world, including:

  • Cornell University
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of California, San Diego
  • Rice University
  • McGill University
  • Oxford University
  • La Sorbonne
  • College of Charleston
  • University of Indiana
  • New Mexico State University
  • University of Melbourne
  • Dartmouth College
  • Columbia University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • University of South Dakota
  • New York University

The teams volunteered throughout the world on our projects across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Some have gone for a week during spring break, while others went for longer periods. Moreover, as we have over 150 projects, depending on their backgrounds teams have joined projects ranging from teaching English and conservation to healthcare and microfinance.

We encourage you to connect with past teams by visiting our Volunteer Abroad News section as well as the UBELONG Facebook page.

Yes, we work with many high school groups from all over the world.

Visit our high school groups page to learn more about high school groups volunteering abroad with UBELONG.

Mindset

We believe everybody has something to offer by volunteering abroad – this is why our Volunteer Abroad program is rooted in affordability and flexibility.

At the same time, volunteering abroad is not easy. Expect challenges. There is no typical day or script to follow, and in the developing world conditions can change quickly. You must be flexible and ready for anything. Some days will be frustrating and not what you expected.

However, the challenge of international volunteering is also what makes it so special. You will push yourself and step out of your comfort zone. You may develop relationships you would never have ever imagined. Or, in making an impact on those around you, find yourself growing immensely. And when it is all said and done, you may realize you gained even more from volunteering abroad than what you put in.

Volunteers are not tourists. Volunteers expect to serve, tourists expect to be served. As a volunteer your role is to fit in your project and not the other way around. Think what you can do for your hosting community, not what it can do for you. We expect you to contribute wherever the need arises, even if it means being involved in an area you were not expecting to work in.

You must be open, flexible and proactive. That is the challenge, but also the beauty of becoming a UBELONG Volunteer – you will be out of your comfort zone, but don’t be surprised if in making an impact you yourself have the experience of a lifetime.

Finally, while tourism companies offer overpriced “voluntourism” opportunities, we believe that’s unfortunate. Volunteerism and tourism have nothing to do with one another. They require very different attitudes, and attempting to combine them creates disappointment for the volunteer and generates no positive impact for the local community. And, while tourism companies may speak of the “volunteer travel industry”, authentic volunteering has nothing to do with an industry. For UBELONG Volunteers, volunteering is about people coming together for positive change – there is nothing industrial about it.

As long as you take your volunteering seriously and approach your experience with an open and proactive mindset, absolutely.

Your impact will be specific to you – every person experiences life differently. And while you will not “save the world”, as a UBELONG Volunteer you will be part of a large and wonderful community of individuals who, together, are making a significant positive global impact.

There are three general areas where you can expect to make an impact:

  • Project: You bring energy, experience and skills to share with the local community. Whether you are helping plant trees or sharing medical skills on a health project, you are making your mark.
  • Cross-cultural sharing: When people come across borders to live and work together, it’s powerful. It breaks down barriers and dispels stereotypes. Whether you are connecting with a local or another UBELONG Volunteer from a different country, those relationships you create matter.
  • Yourself: In travelling and volunteering, you will probably change for the better. You will pick up new skills, have new experiences and make new friends. How each of us grows is deeply personal to who we are, but be ready to change in ways you may never have imagined.

One of the best ways to learn about the impact of UBELONG Volunteers is to meet them. Do so by reading their interviews in the Volunteer Abroad news section and meeting them on the UBELONG Facebook page.

Community

Yes. While certain times of the year are busier than others, there are generally 5 to 20 UBELONG volunteers in any location at any point in time. You’ll be meeting plenty of other volunteers during your UBELONG experience. A great place to meet them beforehand is our Facebook page – you should like our page and connect with the other people hanging out there.

We encourage you to connect with others in the rapidly growing UBELONG community. It is a great way for you to hear firsthand about what it’s like to be a UBELONG volunteer.

There are thousands of UBELONG volunteers around the world, so getting in touch is easy. You have three principle ways:

1. We frequently publish interviews with alumni in our Volunteer Abroad news section.

2. Many people connect with each other via our rapidly growing UBELONG Facebook page. We suggest scrolling through the timeline and seeing the many pictures, videos, and testimonials posted there. If you have a comment or question, do not be shy, start a conversation.

3. Read some of our Volunteer Abroad reviews.

Health and Safety

Like in any large city where you are a foreign traveler, you must take precautions in Rabat. There are neighborhoods that are not safe, and you should be particularly careful with petty crime and traffic. Additionally, especially if you are a woman, you must be sensitive to cultural norms that may be different from those where you are from. However, Rabat is generally safe and its citizens are very open and friendly. Once you become a UBELONG Volunteer, we will provide you with extensive materials and support to help make sure you stay safe and comfortable.

As international travel and volunteering carry inherent risks, we cannot guarantee your safety. However, your safety is our top priority and we work hard to minimize the risks. We design our programs so that you are surrounded by five layers of protection:

1. Comprehensive program set up
All our programs are personally inspected by a member of our team who goes through an extensive field checklist. We evaluate the local staff, inspect the living facilities, ride the public transportation, speak to former and current participants, taste the food, visit the work sites, and walk the neighborhoods, among many other activities. The program set-up process is long and thorough, but we consider it the most important part of our work. Our philosophy is to only offer placements where we would feel comfortable sending our own families.

2. Your preparation
When you sign up for a Volunteer Abroad project we send you a Preparation Booklet. The booklet offers a wealth of information and helpful tips to help you prepare for your experience. Topics range from health, safety and visa issues to the challenges in your hosting community.

We also pair you with a UBELONG Mentor, a highly experienced member of our team who works closely with you throughout your UBELONG experience. From coordinating details like airport pickup and housing preferences to preparing you for your role as an international volunteer, your mentor is there for you.

Additionally, prior to your departure you have a Briefing Meeting with your UBELONG Mentor. You go over staying safe during your Volunteer Abroad placement, as well as tips for getting the most out of your experience. The meetings generally occur over the phone or Skype, but if you are in the same location as your UBELONG Mentor they can occur in person.

3. Local partners
We have built and continuously manage a network of local partners, including community organizations, NGOs, private citizens and schools. They are well positioned to look after your day-to-day safety and comfort. They have extensive local contacts, understand how things work on the ground, and implement appropriate safety measures.

4. Continual program monitoring
We are proactive in identifying and dealing with issues that may affect your safety. We monitor local conditions where programs are located and continuously communicate with our local partners to determine if any safety steps need to be taken. Our team also spends many months on the road every year supervising placements and checking the safety of our programs.

5. Communication with you
Throughout your Volunteer Abroad experience, we work with our local partners to provide you with any assistance that you may need. Whether you have a question about where to travel on the weekend or have an issue that requires immediate assistance, staff is reachable 24/7.

While the projects in Rabat do not require sustained physical work, working and living in the capital requires energy and strength. Additionally, the weather can be very hot and humid. You should be in excellent physical health.

Prior to arriving in Morocco, we suggest that you visit your physician or a travel health clinic to ensure that you are in good enough health for your placement and to obtain any immunizations that you require.

No immunizations are required to enter Morocco. However, you should see your physician or a travel health clinic prior to arriving in Morocco as most doctors recommend at least a few precautionary vaccinations before arriving, including:

-Routine immunizations for polio, measles/mumps/rubella, etc.
-Hepatitis A
-Hepatitis B
-Rabies
-Tetanus
-Typhoid
-Yellow fever

The risk of malaria in Rabat is low. However, if you plan to travel throughout Morocco after your placement, you should consult a medical professional as there are high malaria risk areas in the country.

Yes. For all our Volunteer Abroad projects we require that you have travel medical insurance, including emergency evacuation, throughout your experience.

We do not include it because there are many different plans available and you know best what is right for you. Before your departure we will ask you for general information about your policy, but it is your sole responsibility to determine its adequacy and any associated details like coverage levels and deductibles.

Travel Logistics

It depends on the passport you hold. For Australian, Canadian, EU, Japanese, Singaporean, South African, South Korean and US citizens, you can enter at no charge and receive a tourist stamp in your passport valid for up to 90 days. If you are planning on staying in Morocco for longer than 90 days, we offer you further information in the Preparation Booklet.

Rabat has an airport and most volunteers arrive there by plane from other destinations throughout Morocco and some European cities. We offer you further information about transportation to Rabat in the Preparation Booklet you receive when you become a UBELONG Volunteer.

We recommend that you arrive the Saturday or Sunday before your first Monday. While we do not include your housing and meals before Monday, your UBELONG Mentor can help you make a reservation at a local hostel.

A driver will be waiting for you at the airport to welcome you and bring you to your accommodations.

Yes, you’re welcome to volunteer in multiple of our locations back to back. Just remember that travelling between locations takes a lot of energy and time. You also need time to settle in and get up the learning curve in each location.

So, while you can do back to back placements, we suggest you think it through to make sure you’re not cutting yourself short. Generally, we advise against volunteering in multiple locations back to back if you’re spending less than two weeks in any particular location.

Project

Your orientation begins on your first Monday and is led by our Local Team Leader. Among other things, it includes a crash course in Arabic; an introduction to your host family, including a session about cultural sensitivity and local norms; a discussion about sexual harassment and staying safe in Rabat; and a talk on getting around Rabat to access local services like banks, public phones and taxi stands. Generally, if you are volunteering for less than one month your orientation lasts two days, otherwise it lasts for three.

Yes, the majority of the local team speaks English. However, make sure to check the requirements to participate of each project as certain require Arabic and/or French speaking skills. The requirements can be found under each project’s description in the “project” tab above.

Yes. Once you arrive in Rabat our Local Team Leader can help you sign up for affordable individual or group lessons. French lessons are not available, although the local team will be eager to practice with you if would like.

It depends on the availability of positions and the participation requirements of the project you wish to join. Additionally, remember that it takes time to settle in, get up the learning curve and find your role within a project. As such, unless there are extraordinary circumstances, we expect you to stay in your original project for at least two weeks before requesting a switch.

Yes, but we ask that you limit any financial or material donation to your project to US$20 for every month you spend in the field. We do not want to encourage a culture of dependency whereby volunteers are viewed as a source of money.

Additionally, as an international development organization, we believe the culture of handouts that has been perpetuated by “voluntourism” organizations with no real commitment to making a genuine local impact is unfortunate. Handouts stifle local innovation, self-reliance, and long-term sustainability.

In general, all of the projects run Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday are off, as well as local holidays. Your days off are free, so it’s entirely up to you what to do.

As for the number of hours a day you will spend at your project, every project is different. For every project description under the “project” tab above we offer an approximation of what you can expect.

Finally, remember that in accepting you as a UBELONG Volunteer we expect you to be understanding that local needs are always changing. You may find yourself volunteering either more or less days and hours than you expected, and you must be adaptable and flexible.

As it says in each project description under the “projects” tab above, we require a police background check from every UBELONG Volunteer. Once you apply and are accepted into a project your UBELONG Mentor will ask you for it.

In terms of obtaining one, every country, state and city is different. For example, getting a background check in Washington, DC, where UBELONG was founded, is different than getting one in a neighboring city like Boston or New York. Similarly, countries like Australia and Canada all have their own unique processes.

In general though, it is a relatively easy process that simply requires you to walk into your local police station and ask for one. For volunteers living in the United States we also have a couple helpful tips that we offer you in your Preparation Booklet once you become a UBELONG Volunteer.

Living

In most cases yes and, considering the difficulty of meeting dietary restrictions in the countries UBELONG Volunteers serve in, we believe we do an excellent job. For example, restrictions related to dairy, eggs, gluten, poultry, meat, nuts and shellfish are generally not a problem.

With that said, there are limitations because of the different resources available in the field. For example, if your allergy is very severe, we cannot guarantee cooking environments that are completely free of a particular type of food product, for example peanuts or seafood. Remember, you are travelling to an environment that may not be built to cater to your requirements.

So, if you have a dietary restriction, simply let us know in your application and, if we cannot meet it, we will let you know. You can also contact us before you submit your application and ask us about your particular needs.

Yes. We encourage you to discover different places, experience new cultures, and meet other people. These are fundamental parts of the UBELONG Volunteer Abroad experience, and you should take advantage of your free time in the field.

August is the hottest month with temperatures from 64°F (18°C) to 95°F (35°C). January is the coldest month with temperatures from 46°F (8°C) to 65°F (18°C). Rainfall during the summer months from May to August is minimal, and during the winter months peaks in December with an average 3 inches of rainfall.

No. The UBELONG experience is as much about volunteering on your project, as it is about cross-cultural exchange and community building. A lot of that happens through the housing that we have set up. Additionally, for safety reasons all volunteers must live in vetted housing. As such, for you to become a UBELONG Volunteer you must live in our accommodations. 

Network Opportunities

The United States President’s Volunteer Service Award was created by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to recognize the contributions of American volunteers and encourage others to serve. There are various award levels, depending on the number of hours served.

UBELONG has been certified to give the award to UBELONG Volunteers. UBELONG successfully passed the selection process as a U.S. based international volunteering organization committed to the highest standards.

The award can be bestowed to U.S. citizens, and we award it to UBELONG Volunteers who, upon returning home, share their stories in our Volunteer Abroad news section.

Washington, DC is the most important international volunteering center in the world. Our network is strong and we have unparalleled resources at our fingertips. Most notably, the city is home to influential development organizations, government agencies, embassies, think-tanks and universities. We tap heavily into these networks to help us design safe, affordable, and high-quality programs.

Cost

You are not “paying to volunteer.” Among other services, you are paying for your pre-departure preparation with a UBELONG Mentor, project supervision, housing and meals. Additionally, your fee goes towards the extensive structure we put in place to support you. Offering safe, comfortable and meaningful volunteering experiences in developing countries takes an enormous amount of resources. It does not “just happen.” From large details to ones you will never notice but that are still crucial, we make sure that you can focus on discovering new places and making a difference instead of worrying about logistics.

Additionally, in many cases it is significantly cheaper to join a UBELONG Volunteer Abroad project than traveling alone and trying to plan logistics like airport pickup, housing and meals on your own. Not even counting UBELONG services like pre-departure preparation, project supervision and volunteer flight discounts, it is very difficult to travel on your own and have what we charge you give you the same comfort, security, and support that UBELONG volunteers receive.

UBELONG has revolutionized how people volunteer abroad. A fundamental part of our mission is to offer the highest quality experiences at the lowest possible cost. We are able to do so for two principal reasons:

1. There are very few organizations offering one week to six month international volunteering opportunities. As a result, even those claiming to be nonprofit get away charging exorbitantly high prices. Strong demand and low supply means elevated prices.

We believe that a new approach is needed. We are a social venture, which means we aim to advance our social mission in a sustainable manner instead of widening our profit margins. Moreover, being led by former international volunteers with extensive academic, international development and management experience, we can keep our overhead costs low while focusing on the quality of our programs. We do much more with much less.

2. The resources we have as a US-based organization are unmatchable. We have access to embassies, governmental organizations, NGOs and universities that allow us to build the highest quality programs in the most cost-effective manner. Additionally, considering that the majority of international volunteers come from North America and Europe, our being an American company led by North Americans and Europeans lets us reach volunteers very easily. Instead of spending resources on marketing we can focus on building our programs and supporting our volunteers.

To learn more, we encourage you to read a post by UBELONG Founder Cedric Hodgeman, in which he talks about the affordability of the UBELONG Volunteer Abroad program.