Volunteer abroad, Gap year in Montreal


What is a Volunteer Job?

Volunteer service contributes to the well-being of an individual and the community, and is usually coordinated by a non-profit or public sector organization. These positions rarely offer any salary or wage. Volunteering internationally offers a native's perspective into a country, a chance to work with people from around the world, and unparalleled experiences.

Volunteering in Canada

There is a strong volunteer culture in Canada. Over 13 million Canadians contribute 2.1 billion hours a year to volunteer work. Voluntary work can also be desirable if you are unable to gain legal work in Canada. It can provide job skills and offer you connections. For many people looking to immigrate, this is a great way to come to Canada and establish yourself. (If you need an entrance visa, you would still need to apply and be permitted the visa before entering the country. ). Although unpaid, board and lodging may be provided for programs.

Application depends on the organization. Most groups require a formal application, a personal statement, and some kind of deposit. There are periodic deadlines, so check the organization's sites to find out the deadline. Volunteer.ca is a national organization that connects volunteers with opportunities.

Volunteer Bureau of Montréal

The Volunteer Bureau of Montréal (Tel: 514.842.3351) recruits volunteers for more than 700 charitable and non-profit organizations active in many fields for the city. The organization even caters to new immigrants to the country. Full listings of volunteer opportunities in Montréal.

Search for a Volunteer Position


Volunteer Abroad - Canada
The Volunteer Abroad Program is one of the longest running and most affordable international volunteer programs in the world. Since 1998, the Volunteer Abroad Program has coordinated international volunteers working on volunteer projects with small community groups, non-governmental organizations and institutions seeking volunteer assistance.

Edu-inter - International French School in Québec City
The Volunteer and Learn French program is a great opportunity to learn French while serving the local community. By joining French classes with a volunteering project and accommodation with a host family, students live a true immersion experience. The volunteering program is a fantastic complement for short to medium-term study periods, for those who are looking for engagement with the community and for practicing French in an entirely authentic environment.

Volunteers For Peace
VFP offers affordable, short-term voluntary service projects in Canada each summer. These international voluntary service projects are an opportunity to participate in meaningful community service while living and interacting in an intercultural environment. Volunteer projects vary greatly since they arise wherever there is a need in a given community.

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF)
The WWOOF North American program is a network that connects volunteers with hosts. In return for 4-6 hours of labor a day, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic farming and lifestyles. To find out more about the WWOOF program, read the EasyExpat article, "How to WWOOF Around the World".

Visas & Insurance Abroad

Many volunteer programs also handle visa arrangements and include insurance coverage in their program fees or as part of their compensation. If the program does not arrange for visas, ask for a letter of introduction to present along with your application for a visa.

If the program you choose does not include insurance, it is highly recommended that you obtain a travel insurance policy that offers coverage for 24 hour emergency care. Use the Expat-Quotes International Health Insurance Services page to find companies and request free quotes.

You might also look at our other articles on Summer Jobs and Internship abroad on the left column of this page.

Update 21/05/2013


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