Choose a hostel internship!
Want to spend some time in Portugal, Barcelona, England, Scotland, or Prague? These hostel “voluntourism” opportunities let you stay for 6-12 weeks in a European hostel for just $350, while you learn about the hospitality industry from the ground up.
All four of these internships are through GoEco, an agency that connects travelers with paid volunteer opportunities overseas. Voluntourism has its ethical issues — letting untrained, unvetted volunteers buy the opportunity to work with children in schools and orphanages is a particularly thorny area. But working in European hostels is pretty much issue-free!
What will you do?
Calling these opportunities “internships” might be a bit of a stretch. Depending on the hostel, you might help guests at the front desk, take them on excursions, work in the kitchen, serve drinks in the bar, or do what’s called “light cleaning.” Expect to help set up breakfast. It might be best to go in with the assumption that you’ll be scrubbing a toilet or two, mopping some floors, and spending some time with the dishes and laundry.
What do you get?
Europe! You’ll sleep in a dorm and have access to the kitchen to prepare meals. Most hostels include breakfast for their volunteers. You’ll make lots of new friends, and on your days off you’ll be free to explore the city or take side trips. Follow the links below to check the details of each offer.
The following information & images are straight from GoEco. Note that all the listings have age restrictions, with Prague, Edinburgh, and York being open to the most mature travelers (up to age 40 and 50).
A renowned hostel in one of England’s most historic cities offers an opportunity to learn all aspects of the hospitality industry with a three or four month internship. You’ll get a shared room and two meals a day in exchange for your work . More details here.
If Scotland is more your style, check out this opportunity to work and live in the capital city. You’ll work 4-5 days per week in your area of focus within the hospitality industry and have 2-3 days free to explore. More details here.
Join other travel enthusiasts at one of the world’s top hostels! Help organize major city-wide events such as pub crawls and walking tours, giving hostel guests an unforgettable experience. More details here.
This eco-hostel was the first in Barcelona to install solar panels on their roof, saving an abundance of energy each year. Find out what else this hostel is doing to promote eco-tourism this winter! More info here.
Contribute to a progressive hostel and immerse yourself in Prague’s lively culture. Take advantage of the hostel’s prime location and visit the city’s famous sites and attractions. More info here.
Throw in a cheap European flight and long-term travel could be cheaper than staying home!