A few months ago, I wrote about WWOOFing (find that article here), a site that connects volunteers with organic farmers throughout the world. Workaway organizes the same volunteer-host exchange, but offers opportunities beyond agriculture. From house painting, gardening, babysitting, cooking, general maintenance, construction, language lessons, and shopping, Workaway has enough variety to satisfy even the pickiest person.
All contact and negotiations are done directly between the volunteer and the host. Hosts can be families, individuals or organizations who have registered with the site, and each host has their own specifications. Since Workaway doesn’t impose a minimum or maximum stay time, you can stay as long as you and your host agree upon (provided your visa doesn’t expire). Your host should welcome you as a member of the family, and in return you’ll want to help out around the house, keep tidy, help with clearing off the table and cooking meals.
Benefits: integration into a foreign culture, learn or practice a language, acquire new skills, contribute to a cause and meet open-minded individuals. Workaway also provides a contact list of other workawayers in your area.
Available countries: over 100 countries on six continents
Cost: 22€, or $30, for a two-year volunteer subscription, and a free subscription for hosts
Compensation: the normal is 5 hours per day, 5 days per week in exchange for room and board, though work schedules vary by host. Accommodations can be anything from tents to bedrooms to couches to caravans, so know your comfort zone and discuss details before committing to a host.
Further reading on Workaway: