International Volunteering

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International Volunteering


What is international volunteering?


International volunteering offers students a unique opportunity to develop their professional skills while contributing to meaningful projects around the world. Unlike charity work, which can be carried out locally and often without long-term commitments, international volunteering is usually structured and can require a long-term commitment. These programmes provide an enriching experience, a chance to gain personal maturity and a global perspective on global issues.

Is international volunteering for you?

International volunteering is open to everyone, although each project may have specific criteria such as age, level of study or particular skills. Louvain Coopération projects, for example, are often open to university students and researchers keen to apply their theoretical knowledge in a practical, international context.


International volunteering with Louvain Coopération is not just a travel opportunity; it's an immersion in projects that require collaboration, respect and commitment to local communities. Each volunteer returns with a transformed view of the world, lasting memories and often a new direction for their personal and professional ambitions.

Get involved in Meaningful Projects

At Louvain Coopération, our volunteers are immersed in projects that touch on fundamental aspects of community development, from public health to sustainable agriculture. Working in projects such as IngénieuxSud or SusTech4Benin not only allows you to contribute to the well-being of local populations but also to learn in a practical and immersive way.

Testimoniis from Volunteers

Stories from our former volunteers, such as Maud in Benin, a graduate in international relations, and Jeanne in Cambodia, a graduate in population and development, illustrate the profound impact that international volunteering can have on the lives of students and communities. These experiences show not only the personal and professional development of volunteers, but also the lasting contributions they make to their partner communities. The experiences of our volunteers are testimony to the profound impact of our programmes. Stories of success, personal and professional growth abound, such as those of Emilie, former Solidarity Student and Olivier, agronomist, which illustrate the commitment and passion that characterise Louvain Coopération volunteers.

Experiences of citizenship, such as volunteering or Erasmus exchanges, are enriching both personally and professionally. However, making the most of them in a job search context remains a challenge. Global STEPS, a tool developed by Louvain Coopération, makes it possible to quantify and demonstrate the value of these experiences.

It has long been difficult to 'sell' these citizenship experiences to potential employers, due to their subjective nature. Global STEPS changes this by providing a quantifiable assessment of the skills acquired. So, just as you can indicate a language level on a CV, it is now possible to measure the transversal and civic skills acquired through volunteering experiences.

This online tool offers a self-assessment of seven citizenship skills. Once the test has been completed, the results are presented in a professional manner and a certificate is issued, along with advice on how to improve your skills. The test can be repeated to track progress.

Formative experiences

Volunteering and global citizenship experiences contribute significantly to personal and skills development. Young people who have taken part in these programmes show a marked improvement in skills such as intercultural collaboration, leadership and initiative.

To maximise the impact of Global STEPS, widespread adoption of this tool is crucial. The more it is used, the more it will become an asset recognised by employers.

Funded by the Erasmus+ programme, launched by the European Commission, Global STEPS is the result of a partnership between Louvain Coopération and several organisations from different countries. This initiative is in line with the values of Louvain Coopération, which aims to combine education and solidarity for progress.

Louvain Coopération adheres to a philosophy of close and respectful co-construction with local communities. This guides all our international projects. Our organisation does not simply send volunteers abroad for the simple act of volunteering.

Louvain Coopération engages volunteers in projects where their presence provides significant added value and meets concrete needs: technical support, training, research...

Philosophy of co-construction

Louvain Coopération firmly believes in the importance of building projects with communities, not for them. This approach ensures that our initiatives support local priorities and build community capacity, while avoiding the pitfalls of "voluntourism". Our volunteers are therefore active partners, working hand-in-hand with local people, learning from their experiences and sharing mutually beneficial skills.

Diversity of projects and global presence

Louvain Coopération is active in several countries, mainly in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Our main countries of activity include Benin, Togo, Madagascar, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bolivia, Peru and Cambodia, where we work closely with communities to identify their needs and co-create sustainable solutions. Our projects are diverse and set up to meet the unique challenges of each country.

For example:

  • Agroecology: We deploy projects that promote sustainable, environmentally friendly farming practices, supporting food security and climate resilience in rural communities.
  • Local entrepreneurship: We provide technical and management training and project monitoring to women and men who want to start an economic activity to improve their income.

Louvain Coopération is committed to making international volunteering a path of mutual development and intercultural respect, where benefits are shared and projects are sustainably anchored in local dynamics. Each volunteering mission is an opportunity to build together, learn from each other, and make a tangible difference in the world.

Most internships and volunteering in South Projects take place in the field. However, it is sometimes possible to work with the Southern Projects team at headquarters in Belgium. Internship topics are varied, including studies on the realities experienced by populations, surveys to measure the impact of our actions, and work on improving production systems or analysing promising economic sectors.

After the internship, the intern undertakes to help raise awareness among the Belgian public. The duration of this commitment is defined according to each person's availability.

For more information about our volunteering projects, selection criteria and how to apply, please visit Jobs and Internships.


Join Louvain Coopération


How to apply?

The application process for a volunteering project at Louvain Coopération is simple and transparent. Interested candidates should follow the steps outlined on our Jobs and Internships page, where they will find all the information they need to submit their application.


Volunteering with Louvain Coopération

For those ready to take the plunge into an enriching volunteering experience, Louvain Coopération offers a variety of programmes tailored to different profiles and objectives. Visit our website for more details on each initiative.

Taking the step


Programme types



Internships are aimed at current students who are required to complete an internship, thesis or doctoral work as part of their course. Interns must be students at a school in Belgium, regardless of their nationality. Louvain Coopération offers cover through Work Accident Insurance (and local travel) and Civil Liability Insurance, but does not award any remuneration or grant and does not contribute to any costs (transport, travel insurance, accommodation, food, visa).



Volunteering is aimed at young graduates, students (outside the curriculum), the unemployed, pensioners, and those wishing to become more professional or take part in our projects on a voluntary basis. Volunteers in Belgium must be resident in Belgium with a residence permit. Use of French is essential, while English is required in Cambodia and Spanish in Andean America.


Student Job

In some cases, we may also be looking for students for certain short-term tasks. Their remuneration is that of a student job.







International volunteering, unlike paid positions, generally does not offer a salary. However, living expenses such as accommodation and meals are sometimes covered by grants. Specific conditions may vary from one programme to another, so it's important to check with the organisation responsible.

International volunteering offers many benefits, such as acquiring new skills, international work experience, broadening global perspectives, and contributing to projects that directly benefit local communities. It's a chance to enjoy a unique experience while making a significant difference.

Any commitment presents challenges; volunteering is not exempt from these. Challenges can include adapting to a new culture, navigating sometimes difficult working environments, and managing distance from family and friends. However, the personal and professional benefits of these experiences are often considered to far outweigh these obstacles.

Volunteering is often limited by the length of the project, the resources available, and sometimes the language or professional skills required. At Louvain Coopération, we strive to prepare our volunteers as well as possible, providing them with the tools and support they need to maximise their impact and experience.

Charity work is often local and does not require long-term commitments, whereas volunteering is generally more structured and may require commitments of several months or years, often internationally. Volunteering may also involve specific training linked to the project or area of intervention.

Many associations around the world are actively looking for volunteers. Louvain Coopération works with various local and international partners, ensuring that volunteers find assignments that match their skills and passions. To find out what opportunities are available, visit our section Jobs and Internships.