Iceland is a place of amazement for volunteers of all backgrounds. Iceland’s geography is both unique and formidable, with the fault line that the nation rests on gradually widening – resulting in volcanic activity and earthquakes up and down the divide.
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Bright summer nights, and the mystic and beautiful Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in winter grace volunteers with wonder. 11% of the country is covered by glaciers, including Vatnajökull, the largest in Europe. Icelandic sagas from the 13th century provide a historical record for the country, one of the smallest in terms of population with only 310,000 inhabitants. As a volunteer in Iceland, you may be surprised to find somewhat mild temperatures throughout the year, thanks to the ocean gulfstream.
United Planet is the US and Canadian partner of the International Cultural Youth Exchange, or ICYE. As a volunteer in Iceland, you will be hosted by AUS, ICYE’s Icelandic partner organization. AUS has been organizing home stays and volunteer projects in Iceland for more than fifty years in an effort to promote experiential learning.
Volunteers support local organizations that assist people addicted to alcohol and other substances. The project aims to help people to overcome their addiction and start a new life. It is not only a great opportunity for volunteers to work with people within a different cultural context, but also to give those in the organization the chance to meet other young people.
Volunteers work with people living with physical and mental disabilities and work to give each person the opportunity for personal growth in a creative working environment. Volunteers work closely with local community members as well as with other participants in the project from different cultures and nationalities. It is a great chance to learn more about different ways of life while being a part of local life.
Volunteers work at a local clinic, which emphasizes the learning of preventive measures in order to avoid various illnesses and to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The main role for volunteers is in assisting at the clinic, and tasks can range from work in the greenhouse and assisting in the kitchen to helping patients directly and working in the youth center.
Volunteers assist elderly citizens in a local organization. The main activities consist of building and maintaining the comfortable atmosphere of the institution and looking after the residents. The philosophy of the organization puts special emphasis on providing the best care for the residents and fulfilling the physical, social and spiritual needs of each individual.