Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to volunteer with UCDVO?

Applications for the current programme are closed. They will reopen in October 2023 for the 2024 Programme Year. 

Can I apply if I have previously participated in the UCDVO Programme?

Yes, volunteers can re-apply for the UCDVO Programme. If you feel you would be a good Team Coordinator having been previously involved in our programme as a General Volunteer, we would encourage you to put yourself forward for these roles also. Student Leaders will be selected within each group, upon project allocation. You can learn more about these roles here.

Do I have to be a UCD student to volunteer with UCDVO?

The UCDVO Programme is open to all UCD students, staff, faculty and alumni. Leadership positions are open to UCD staff members, postgraduates, graduates/development workers/teachers/or those with relevant experience.

Can I participate in the volunteer programme as UCD staff or faculty?

Yes, many UCDVO staff and faculty members have participated in the year-long programme and we welcome and encourage your participation. UCD has an Employee Volunteering Policy which specifically references volunteer work with UCDVO. In addition to the Employee Volunteering Policy, UCDVO was formally selected by UCD Culture & Engagement as one of UCD’s three Charities of Choice.

Can I participate from outside of Ireland?

Unfortunately, it isn't possible to participate in our programme if you're based outside of Ireland. The reason for this is that the majority of the 10-month programme takes place in person, here in UCD. These Global Citizenship Education (GCE) and training days are essential to short-term volunteer projects. 

What is Virtual Volunteering?

Some of our projects are in person, while others are virtual.

Virtual volunteering is voluntary work completed, in whole or in part, over the internet. This may include creating materials and pre-recorded videos and/or interactive live sessions/workshops with partner communities. 

As expert Jayne Cravens says, virtual volunteering is “a very human endeavour” and is “as personal as you make it”. Remote/virtual volunteering has the capacity to be a transformative experience, as does volunteering onsite. There is no doubt they are different. Informal interactions and the learning that comes from that is explicit when working onsite. Here at UCDVO, we believe that it is also possible to create strong connections, engage in meaningful cultural communications while volunteering remotely. 

What’s UCDVO’s experience of Virtual Volunteering?

As a result of Covid-19, UCDVO cancelled all travel and instead re-imagined the programme and adapted it to be delivered remotely. We piloted projects with our overseas partners in India, Tanzania and Uganda. 

Lessons learnt from these pilots ensure that quality continues to underpin our remote volunteering journey. UCDVO aims to create remote volunteering projects that add value and benefit the local communities, are a rich learning experience for volunteers and enable cross-cultural exchange and friendship.

Can I choose which project I want to volunteer with?

Within the application form, you can specify your project preference, as well as your preference to volunteer in person or online. However, it may not be possible to place you on your preferred project and so we encourage applicants to keep an open mind and be as flexible as possible. Learn more about our current partners

When do the projects take place?

Projects are usually four weeks in duration and take place during June, July and August. Dates are confirmed once the dates and specific programmes have been finalised with each overseas partner. You can find approximate project dates for each project on the partner pages.

How much do I have to pay/fundraise?

The fundraising target for volunteers participating in the 2023 programme is €1850 and is paid at scheduled dates identified by UCDVO. See our fundraising page for more details. 

Will I need to be garda-vetted?

Garda vetting is not currently available for international volunteers. However, UCDVO volunteers will be required to obtain a police certificate (at no cost). Details on this process will be explained upon selection to the Programme. 

What commitment do I have to give?

Please see the Programme Dates to get a clear understanding of what's required. There are a number of mandatory days over the course of 10 months which volunteers must commit to in order to retain their place on the programme.

I can’t commit to the full programme, can I still get involved?

Yes, UCDVO offers plenty of opportunities for UCD students, staff, faculty and alumni to get involved throughout the year. There are evening courses, the UCDVO Annual Forum, and UCDVO Film Series to name a few! You can also become a member of the UCDVO Student Society. Find out more about our Global Citizenship and Events.


I have a question that isn’t answered here. May I contact someone?

Email your question to and we will provide you with an answer. If it is a question we have seen before and we think would be useful information for other people, we will consider adding it to our FAQs.