Volunteer work for people from abroad

If you are currently living in Germany (e.g. as an au pair), you can submit a regular application for all voluntary services that take place in Germany. If you do not live in Germany and would like to volunteer in Germany, then you have several options.

During your voluntary service, you will be involved in a project, also known as a “deployment site”, for a period of twelve months. At this deployment site you will support the work of an ijgd partner. These are organisations which are actively involved in social, cultural, monument preservation, political and ecological fields. The ijgd provides you with help and support before and during your voluntary service.

Your voluntary service is an educational year. During the twelve months you will gain lots of practical experience and drive forward your personal development. It is also a great opportunity to improve your German, meet new people and experience everyday life in Germany. 



  • Voluntary service with ijgd usually lasts twelve months.
  • You must be aged between 18 and 30.
  • You will make an agreement with us that describes your rights and responsibilities.  
  • Most programmes begin in August and September. Please note: If you need a visa for Germany, please make sure to apply early!
  • You will work between 30 and 40 hours per week on a charitable project. We call this a “deployment site”.
  • During your voluntary service you will receive a monthly allowance and money towards food costs.
  • You are entitled to take holidays during your voluntary service.
  • The ijgd will arrange health insurance, accident insurance and liability insurance for you.
  • You do not need any particular level of education to participate in a voluntary service programme. Some programmes require language skills.
  • The ijgd and your partner organisation will support you before and during your voluntary service, e.g. during the visa application process.
  • You will be given a contact person at the deployment site who will guide you and provide support throughout your voluntary service.

Please be aware that different conditions may apply to different programmes.

Alongside your voluntary service, the ijgd organises up to 25 seminar days. In these seminars you work together with a group of young people on topics in education, politics, culture, monument perseveration and ecology. The seminars are also a great opportunity to talk with others about your experiences at the deployment site.

Please think about which programme is most suitable for you. Ideally, you should apply to just one programme. Since we receive a large number of applications from abroad, we recommend applying early!

A voluntary service programme can be very useful later on when applying to university or for an apprenticeship. It doesn’t just look good on your CV/resume, but can also help you get a place on your chosen course at university. Some training programmes and university courses accept voluntary service as a pre-study internship or qualifying period where these are required for entry.