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Vanderbilt International Office

Vanderbilt International Office

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International service and volunteer opportunities for students

Nichols Humanitarian Fund

Vanderbilt's Nichols Humanitarian Fund was established in 2006 by the E.C. and Lucile Hamby Nichols Trust. The purpose of the fund is to enable Vanderbilt students to volunteer for local, domestic, or international humanitarian service opportunities. Support is primarily focused on summer projects, or on projects that take place during defined academic breaks. Funds are available for educational and other expenses.


Vanderbilt Initiative for Scholarship and Global Engagement (VISAGE)

The Vanderbilt Initiative for Scholarship and Global Engagement (VISAGE) combines the university’s deep commitments to international study and civic engagement with innovative scholarship and service opportunities abroad. Students have served with community partners and local nonprofit organizations such as Conservation Volunteers Australia, CERES Environmental Park, Monteverde Institute, Manna Project International, and Primeros Pasos Clinic.

Past participants have traveled to Australia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and South Africa to study a variety of topics including: Health, Development, and Culture; Sustainable Water Resource Management; Education, Social Cohesion, and Economic Development; Tourism, Civic Engagement, and Social Corporate Responsibility.


Vanderbilt Office of Active Citizenship and Service (OACS)

In addition to externally managed organizations and sites noted, Vanderbilt University's Office of Active Citizenship and Service (OACS) maintains information and offers resources to those interested in engaging in active citizenship--globally or locally--to students at all levels of study. In addition to the numerous campus-based student service organizations in which one could become involved, staff at the OACS also assist students develop new student organizations and engage with each other in groups and individually.


Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH)

The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health is committed to advancing health and development in resource-limited regions. With projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, our approach is grounded in research, training, and service appropriate to the developing world.

VIGH faculty and staff provide leadership and expertise in the establishment of sustainable, scalable health and development programs through innovative multidisciplinary approaches rooted in strong academic research and training, and pragmatic partnerships.


Additional Resources

Amigos de las Américas
Amigos de las Américas is an international, nonprofit organization that was founded in 1965 and has 40 years of experience in facilitating community development programs. They train and provide opportunities for high school and college students to participate in service projects in Latin America. Requirements: at least two years of Spanish language training are required; US citizenship is not required.
Offers a directory of short-term job, volunteer, and internship experiences in many different countries. The programs have internships in engineering, medicine, non-profit, and business. Most programs do have placement fees associated with them. US citizenship is not required for most of the programs.

Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia HIV Corps
In 2004, the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) started HIV Corps, a program to involve volunteers in international HIV care and prevention initiatives. The program will last 10-12 months (with allowances made for medical school interviews if needed).

Charles Darwin Foundation Volunteer Program
This program lasts a minimum of 6 months and is suited for students who are interested in careers in biology and conservation science. Volunteers will work as assistants in several science, education, and communication projects. They will improve their skills through fieldwork in the Galapagos Islands. There is a fee to participate in this program. Job openings and research opportunities are also posted.

Explorations in Travel
Explorations in Travel provides volunteer work placements for students and adults from all over the world.

Habitat for Humanity International
Since its founding in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built and rehabilitated more than 150,000 houses with families in need, becoming a true world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing. There are various ways to get involved and to do volunteer work worldwide.

Working Abroad offers U.S. citizens the opportunity to work legally while traveling abroad. They offer jobs, international internships, au pair/childcare, volunteer work, informal teaching and farm worker programs in twelve countries around the world (Australia, Costa Rica, France, Germany, England, India, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe).

International Institute for Cooperation and Development
IICD has programs ranging from 6-20 months that serve local people in developing countries (Zambia, Botswana, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, and more). To begin the program, there is a preparation period in Massachusetts and then, in the international period, volunteers work in preventative health, teacher training, HIV/AIDS education, with street children, or the environment. There is a fee to participate in this program.

International Volunteer Programs Association
A search engine for finding international volunteer and internship placements.

Courses, internships, and volunteer work in Spain are available through this program. Basic Spanish recommended.

Peace Corps
For volunteer work abroad. Peace Corps has established partnerships with colleges and universities across the U.S. that offer academic credit and financial incentives to volunteers during or after Peace Corps service. Master's International allows you to incorporate Peace Corps service into a master's degree program at more than 40 colleges and universities.

Rotary Club's Peace and Conflict Resolution Program
Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. If your interest is peace and conflict resolution please consider applying. You must begin the process by applying through your local Rotary Club; membership is required

Transitions Abroad: Work, Study, Travel, Living
A great, extensive resource that anyone interested in going abroad will find useful. International job offers, internships, volunteer work, teaching English abroad and more.

Volunteers for Peace
Links to international volunteer organizations and work camps. Over 3,000 affordable ($250-$500) international volunteer programs in 100+ countries are available. No restrictions regarding citizenship and age.

WorldTeach Volunteer Teacher Program
The WorldTeach program is a 10-12 month commitment as a full-time volunteer teacher. The programs last one year and are available in Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Marshall Islands, Namibia, and Poland. There is a fee to participate in this program.


For a list of international and other scholarship opportunities, visit the Office of Honor Scholarships website.