Global Service Opportunities

Simmons University supports direct, domestic service initiatives through Community Engagement. To learn more about these pre-existing opportunities, learn more about the Student-Led Service Opportunities.

Volunteering Abroad

The Center for Global Education oversees academic, credit bearing international experiences. Simmons students looking to volunteer abroad, may do so independently and on their own accord.

We strongly encourage students to consider and research the following questions as they are selecting an international service learning opportunity:

  • Is this an ethical organization? How does this program engage with the community? Do they ask the community about their needs and build programming accordingly or vice versa? Does the organization permit uncredentialed medical care, orphanage volunteerism, or other activities that are harmful to individuals or communities?

    Such activities as direct engagement with children in residential facilities/orphanages is strongly discouraged, as they generally do more harm than good. There are a variety of other ways to engage with children, including after-school programs or teaching.
  • What is the role of the volunteer position? Will there be volunteer training, or other extensive on the ground volunteer support? Do I have the skills needed for the volunteer work? Does it contribute to a sustainable project that will have long term effect? Do I understand the larger context of this project/ service in this space?

    Understand exactly what the daily tasks are of the opportunity, so you know what to expect upon arrival. This way you will be able to evaluate if you have the proper skills and if this is an organization that is focused on the community, rather on the volunteer experience.
  • What are the costs and fees of this opportunity? Where are the funds going - to the community directly, or to the operations of the organization placing you in the opportunity, or a mix of both?

    Generally there are three types of international volunteering structures: placement companies, which function as travel agents, organizations which work directly with local non profits and direct contact with organizations on your own. The two latter opportunities tend to circulate funds within the community while placement companies use the funds for their operation and profit.
  • How is health, safety and security addressed by the organization? Is there travel health insurance provided or available as part of the fee? How about vaccines and visa processes- are particular vaccines or a visa needed for the program? Is the program location on the no travel/high risk travel list?

The key part of any international experience is understanding the risks and processes in place to mitigate them. Selecting a reputable organization, with a robust pre-departure support and health and safety plan is a large part of that process. Programs should not be selected in countries which are politically/socially unstable.

To learn more about the travel risk rating of a location please visit the U.S Department of State Travel Advisory page and the International SOS Travel Risk Map Tool.

Organizations and Resources

Below you will find international service organizations and resources. Please note that the organizations below are not Simmons programs, and prior to selecting an international service experience students must research each organizations carefully.


The following resources are recommended to look into to continue your search for what type of Global Service Immersion volunteer experience is right for you.


Work the World: Healthcare Voluntary Internships (Nursing Students Only)Several locations
Dzielo Pomocy DzieciomPoland
Mustard Seed CommunitiesSeveral locations
International Partners MissionSeveral locations
Re-Member OrgPine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
Cultural Connections and VolunteersSeveral locations
Be Like BritHaiti
Center for Working FamiliesEcuador
Hand in Hand MinistriesSeveral locations
Public Health BrigadesSeveral locations
Habitat for Humanity InternationalSeveral locations
Chinese Language InstituteChina
The Mirror FoundationThailand