Who We Are

Travel With the Best.

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

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

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.

We Believe…

What divides people is no match for what unites us – our humanity.

Human collaboration can change the world for the better.

Volunteering abroad with UBELONG brings people together across borders to create meaningful human relationships, dispel stereotypes, and support advancement in key social and environmental areas.

Our Values

Bottom-up

We understand people know what is best for their own communities. Our volunteer 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 volunteer opportunities 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 volunteering 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 volunteer opportunities emphasize immersion and experiential learning.

People To People

People learn from each other through direct human exchange. We offer volunteer trips 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, UBELONG Volunteer 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 throughout the world. 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 DC networks to design our world-class programs.

WORLD

UBELONG is made up of an international team of world-class professionals 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 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 volunteer trips, 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, UBELONG Volunteer in Laos

Why UBELONG?

Extremely 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.

Real 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.

Great Reviews

Over 5,000 thousand people from around the world have volunteered with UBELONG. The overwhelming majority of them have had incredible, life-changing experiences. When you volunteer with UBELONG you are joining a trusted, US-based organization with a long record of excellence.

World Class Support

We have built a reputation as offering our volunteers hands-on, world-class support. From the moment you join a UBELONG trip, our teams in the United States, Europe and throughout the world offer you personalized attention that is based on care, dedication, and empowering you to be safe, comfortable and in a position to make a real difference.

Extensive Mentorship

UBELONG Volunteers have the opportunity to experience extensive mentorship before, during and after their volunteer placement. UBELONG Volunteers are known for their excellent work ethic, attitude and preparedness, and that has a lot to do with the training they receive from UBELONG.

Powerful 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 volunteer 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

The Finest Team

Our team consists of recognized professionals at the top of their field. Our international volunteer 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.

“It was an excellent opportunity to give something back to society while coming together as a team.”

–Mascha Driessen, Microsoft Sr. Director, UBELONG Volunteer in Portugal

Executive Team

Tammy van Dyke

Tammy van Dyke

President

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Barbara Barbosa

Barbara Barbosa

Head of Impact and Engagement

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Martina Kaser

Martina Kaser

Head of Growth and Outreach

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Volunteer. Discover. Impact.

Join UBELONG. Join the best.

Numbers

  • 4,050,000

    HOURS

    of service to date by our participant

  • 14

    Countries

    where UBELONG offers volunteer trips

  • 28

    On Our Team

    including our local partners

  • 200,000

    Miles

    our team has flown since our launch in 2010 (over 8 times around the world)

  • 21

    Cups of Coffee

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