Volunteer in Canada
Join a Dog Sled organization in the Canadian Arctic and take care of amazing White Huskies, assist with Dogsledding and help with the day to day operations at the lodge. Details >
Travel to Vancouver and join our wildlife rehab program in one worlds highest rated cities! You will take care of rescued birds, reptiles and mammals on a daily basis. Details >
This project rescues, rehabilitates and release many species of animals including large mammals like deer and bears With over 460 acres of natural habitat. Details >
Rescue and rehabilitate wildlife at our center in Ontario that takes in injured, orphaned and abandoned wildlife so that they may one day be released back into the Wild! Details >
Volunteer work in Canada
Animal lovers ready to witness nature in all its glory are in for an extraordinary experience. Travel and volunteer in Canada and work for programs dedicated to all types of creatures. Whether you’re a horse lover, excited about working with huskies or prefer exotic animals, you’ll find it in Canada. Are you ready to live off the grid and enjoy the beauty of a remote location? Join forces with other volunteers who share your passion for nature and animals. Work together and protect these vulnerable species from ongoing threats. Volunteer abroad in Canada and experience the life-changing magic of giving back to wildlife and animals.
Canada is an expansive country, well known for its stunning scenery, rugged mountains and scraggly coastal line as well as its friendly, easygoing people. Before going into depth about the various volunteer programs, let’s get to know this massive country a bit better. Sprawled across the North American continent, we tend to forget how incredibly large Canada is. English and French are the official languages for the second largest country in the world. Although this country cherishes its nature, the cities of Canada are also cultural gems offering a very vibrant art and culture scene.
Discover what this country has to offer from an environmental and cultural perspective!
- Canada has the third largest oil reserve in the world, directly behind Saudi Arabia.
- The country is home to over 3000 lakes and the longest coastline of any place in the world.
- Canada is home to the Trans-Canada highway which is over 7604 kilometers long. It is the longest highway in the world.
- The country has one of the lowest population densities in the world, even though it is the second largest country in the world after Russia.
- Canada's government is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy Queen Elizabeth II is their head of state.
Volunteer work in Canada
When you think of volunteering, Canada might not be the first country that springs to mind. We have trouble imagining a well-developed country like Canada needing volunteers. Especially because Canada is an example for other countries in the areas of education, civil liberties, economic freedom and standard of living. It’s important to remember there’s always room for improvement and there are always opportunities to help out and contribute in the world. Canada is known for its pristine nature and wildlife. Volunteers can help its local people take care of its wildlife and other animals.
Canada’s native wildlife includes deers, bears, wolves, raptors, and owls. Each of these species is facing their own difficulties which require a supporting community to maintain their chances of survival. With all volunteer programs in Canada focusing on volunteering with animals, let’s take a closer look at the available international volunteer opportunities.
Canada has a wide range of wildlife that needs rehabilitation. These creatures have been rescued because they are sick, orphaned or injured. Join one of the shelters or rescue centers and provide these creatures with the necessary care as you help out with tasks like feeding and cleaning. Another important task is guiding tourists around the shelter and educating them on the different forms of wildlife and creating awareness around the ongoing threats. These are the different species of Canadian wildlife you’ll be encountering:
- and many more...
If you’re not afraid of spending some time off the grid then a project with Huskies may be just the thing for you! Volunteers who relish winter temperatures can experience the thrill of dog sledding against a backdrop of endless white carpeting and snow-capped forests. If you prefer warmer temperatures, you can volunteer with these friendly creatures year round. Be prepared to rough it, however. You’ll be part of a warm and supportive community but it can be a physically challenging program. These are some of the activities you will be participating in during your stay:
- Feeding, grooming and walking the dogs
- Helping with maintenance around the ranch
- Dog Sledding and snowmobiling
- Clearing and preparing the dog sled tracks
- Cleaning, cooking and other household chores
Volunteers with a soft spot for cats and dogs can volunteer for a shelter or rescue center. These places focus on helping abandoned and abused cats and dogs. Join the enthusiastic volunteer community and help these vulnerable creatures toward a hopeful future. Some of the tasks you’ll be helping with are:
- Health Checks
- Keeping the shelter running
Enjoy the breathtaking surroundings of your destination and take this opportunity to explore the great outdoors.
Horse Rescue and Caretaker
If you’re a horse lover, you’ll be excited about the horse rescue centers in Canada. Besides being an excellent opportunity to work with horses and help vulnerable creatures that have been ill-treated in the past, this is ideal to learn what life on the ranch is like. Join the tight-knit community and get an insight into Canadian culture. Revel in the beauty of your rural surrounding as you surrender to the slower pace of the countryside. Depending on the season, these are some of the chores you’ll be helping with when you decide to join one of the horse rescue centers:
- Cleaning kennels and stables
- Maintenance of the stables
- Walking with the horses
- Food preparation and Feeding of horses and other livestock
- Checking the physical condition of the horses
- Rehabilitation horse
- Vet/Farrier Assistance
- Filling Feed bins and Loading/unloading hay or feed
- Fence repair and Cleaning paddocks (manure pick up)
Cost of living abroad
The suggested budget for your international experience in Canada as a volunteer is between US$ 49 and US$ 136. This is an estimate made considering the local average price of some of the things you may want to buy and services you might need. It gives you an overview of how much things cost in Canada so you can prepare accordingly. Because your accommodation is mostly provided by the organization, your living expenses may be a bit lower than what is suggested below. Once you have contacted the coordinator of the project, you will have a better understanding of the daily expenses and how much you will need to make things work during the volunteer program.
Additional costs you should consider will be:
- program fees
- flight tickets (find cheap flights to Canada)
- travel insurance (find your travel insurance)
- fees for your visa
- personal expenses
Things to know before volunteering in Canada
Before embarking on your international volunteer trip to Canada, there may be a few cultural aspects to take into account. It’s always a good idea to learn about the precautions you might need to take when volunteering abroad. The following list will help you with that:
- Canada is a melting pot of different cultures. It’s normal to hear many different languages when walking on the street.
- Canadians are polite and accepting people who will make you feel welcome.
- The Canadian weather can be extreme. Research in advance what you can expect in the area you’re traveling to. This will help you prepare accordingly for the extreme weather conditions.
- Canadians are very proud of their country’s nature. Be mindful about waste and take care when driving by minding the wildlife crossing. The Wildlife Collision Prevention Program will help you avoid harming any of its precious wildlife.
Safety & Precautions
Canada is a safe country but it doesn’t hurt to read up on the safety advice your government has for tourists. Most projects are in relatively safe areas but it is important to use common sense at all times, especially in major cities.
Here are some free tips you might want to follow during your volunteer work in Canada:
- Keep your personal belongings and important travel documents with you at all times! It also makes sense to bring attested photocopies of these documents, in case you lose them!
- If you are going out, do not take a lot of money, jewelry or other fancy possessions with you.
- If you go to bars, do not leave your drink unattended.
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Canada.
Being a developed country, it’s unlikely that travelers or volunteers will fall ill during their trip and volunteer program in Canada. It is advisable to take the following precautions:
- Plan for how you will get health care during your stay. Get travel insurance and bring along any medicine that you may require.
- Canada can get very hot in the summer, make sure you bring the necessary sunscreen and also extremely cold in the winter. Make sure you bring along the necessary gear to brave the arctic cold!
Knowing what to pack will take away some of the anxiety you may have regarding your adventure abroad. It is always a good idea to ask the project coordinator of the Canadian volunteer opportunities about what volunteers should bring along.
- Make sure to bring essential travel documents, like passport, travel medical insurance information, and visa, Also keep photocopies or scanned copies of these.
- Always carry sunscreen with you and make sure you cover up during the hottest times of the day in summer.
- Keep enough cash with you! A money belt could be a good idea.
- Carry luggage with you that will make your trip easier. Opt for daypacks or backpacks and lightweight bags.
- Pack appropriate clothing and shoes!
- Don't forget to bring locks for hostel lockers and your luggage!
Who can volunteer in Canada?
Different projects require different skills and abilities from their volunteers. You can find the specific requirements for each project on their program page. This is a great opportunity to volunteer for those who aren’t fluent in English to improve their English skills. In the meantime, here are some general requirements that apply to most volunteer opportunities in Canada:
- You need to be at least 18 years old for most of the volunteer projects abroad unless you are volunteering with your parents or a guardian. When in doubt, we advise you to contact the local project manager, as in some projects you can also volunteer from the age of 16 years.
- You need to have English skills to join most volunteer projects.
- Depending on the project you're interested in, you might need to provide a criminal background check and a health declaration before volunteering.
Students who are studying to become a vet or an animal caretaker may be able to use this to gain study credit for their university. Integrate your volunteer experience into an internship and kill 2 birds with 1 stone! This is also an excellent opportunity to find out whether this would be something you would like to do as a job. Gain international work experience abroad and rest assured it will change your future.
How to volunteer in Canada
Are you ready to volunteer in Canada but not quite sure how to get started? Take a look at the following 3 steps that will prepare you for your volunteer work in Canada and an unforgettable adventure abroad:
- Check whether there’s a match between you and the Canadian volunteer opportunity by looking at their requirements.
- Take a look at the location of the project and decide whether it would be a destination you are excited about. It can get extremely hot and cold in some parts of Canada.
- Get in touch with the organization and see whether your expectations and schedule match up. Whether you want to volunteer in Canada for a week or for a longer period of time, check the project descriptions for more details. Some programs will only accept volunteers for a minimum of 4 weeks so be sure to take this into account.
Once this is sorted. Let’s move on to some of the practical steps:
Insurance (Health & travel)
We recommend all our volunteers to get both health and travel insurance. In fact, this is a requirement for most programs abroad. Get in touch with your program contact person in Spain to find out if an insurance plan is already in place for volunteers.
Visa, passport, and documentation
- Look into the visa requirements for your country.
- Make sure you have a valid passport considering the requirements of the immigration department in Canada.
- Prepare the correct documents to fulfill the visa application.
And that’s it! You’re ready for an unforgettable Canadian volunteer adventure abroad. Commit to an exciting program, join its community and get ready to fall in love with Canada’s breathtaking scenery and warm people. Select one of the many Canadian volunteer opportunities and help protect its precious wildlife and environment.