Student Volunteering

Put your skills and creativity to work!

Students Without Borders® (SWB), the student volunteering stream of the Uniterra program, offers many exciting opportunities to contribute to global development efforts. Students and recent graduates are recruited to work with a local partner organization for 3 to 12 months. Many interns fulfill co-op placement requirements or receive academic credits towards their degree or diploma.

To be eligible for a Students Without Borders® (SWB) internship, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a current student or recent graduate of a Canadian university, college or cegep
  • Uniterra assignments require that you hold Canadian citizenship or Permanent Residency in Canada in order to apply. This will be indicated on the assignment description. However, WUSC and CECI do offer international internship opportunities to those who do not meet this requirement, outside of the Uniterra program. Please see our list of assignments or inquire further to

Apply now! The application deadline is indicated on each specific assignment posting. 

Deadline for Fall 2019 assignments is June 9th.

The volunteer cycle

  1. Application

    If you are interested in applying for a SWB assignment, please consult the current list of available opportunities. If you do not see an assignment that fits with your educational background or skill-set, we still encourage you to apply, as other opportunities may be available. The listed assignments represent only some of the skills and knowledge from which our local partner organizations could benefit.

  2. Selection process

    After submitting your application, you will be contacted, and successful candidates will participate in an interview. Following the interview, your application will be further reviewed by members of the Uniterra team in Canada and in the country of assignment, as well as by the local partner organization. The selection process normally takes 3 to 4 weeks from the time of your interview. If you are selected for an assignment, you will be contacted and you will learn much more about the next steps in the process to beginning your SWB assignment!

  3. Outreach

    Once you are selected for a SWB assignment, it is the perfect time to raise awareness about international development, international volunteering and to share with your friends and family information on where you will be volunteering, who you will be working with and the kind of work you will be doing. 

  4. Training

    You will be invited to attend a mandatory Uniterra pre-departure training. The training is an important opportunity to meet other volunteers and staff and to learn more about the Uniterra program's work and your role as a volunteer. Uniterra pre-departure trainings are normally 3 to 5 days in duration, and potential dates will be shared with you during your interview. The Uniterra program covers all direct costs related to the attendance of the training.

  5. Depart for assignment

    Your departure date will be determined based on your own availability and the availability of our local staff and the local partner organization that you will be working with. Typically, SWB departures are in January, May or September, however this can vary by assignment.

  6. Monitoring and evaluation

    As a key contributor to the implementation of Uniterra programming, you will be engaged in monitoring and evaluation reporting activities.

  7. Return to Canada

    After your return to Canada, you will be invited to create your own outreach activities to raise awareness about the importance of international cooperation. You will also be invited to take part in a debriefing of your experience. We look forward to hearing your stories and talking to you about how you can stay engaged in Canada!

How do I apply?

To complete your application, please submit the following documents to

  • Your C.V. or Resume
  • A letter of motivation, describing why you are interested, and why you would be a good candidate (one per assignment)
  • The coordinates of 2 references, one of which should be an academic reference
  • A list of the assignments you are applying to, in order of preference (we recommend a maximum of 3 assignments)

Send all of these documents by email to, and we will get in touch with you shortly!

The deadline to apply for a placement that interests me has passed. Can I still send you my application?

Yes. You can always send us your application to and we will let you know if the assignments you are interested in are still available, if it is not the case we will contact you to see if there are other available assignments that might interest you.

Why are there two different types of assignments with different conditions?

Uniterra assignments are supported by funds received from Global Affairs Canada. These assignments can only be completed by citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

However, anyone who is a student or a recent graduate from a university, a college or a cegep in Canada is eligible to apply for an assignment. SWB offers other opportunities for those who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Please inquire to for more information.

Do I have to cover some fees or costs?

Our programs would not be possible without the financial support of the Government of Canada, our Canadian partners and sponsors, and our volunteers.

All SWB volunteers are expected to make a financial contribution to the Uniterra program. The details of this contribution are outlined on each specific assignment posting, and can be clarified by the SWB team (, or during the interview. 

Otherwise, the Uniterra program covers the costs directly related to your assignment, including international travel, insurance, accommodations, visas, vaccinations, in addition to providing a monthly living allowance towards the cost of other items such as food, local transportation and communications.

What will my accommodation be like?

Accommodations will be consistent with local standards. Our local staff in each country work to ensure that all interns have appropriate, safe and secure accommodations. This may mean a home stay, your own apartment, a youth hostel, or a Uniterra volunteer house. This depends on what is available in your assignment location at the time of your arrival, and on your own comfort.

Can I make stopovers to and/or from the country I will be volunteering in? Can I extend my stay?

Uniterra will issue the airline tickets with no stopovers or extensions built in. Global Affairs Canada, which finances the Uniterra program, does not allow volunteers to travel in advance of their assignment or to extend their stay following the completion of their assignment. For reasons of security and legal responsibility, volunteers cannot make changes to their flight itinerary, even if the volunteer covers the cost of changing their airline tickets. There will be no exceptions to this rule.

Is there an evacuation policy in case of serious problems in the host country?

Yes. We have an office in each of the countries where Uniterra assignments take place. There is an emergency protocol established in each country. Our staff in the host country are responsible for assisting volunteers in case of serious social, medical or environmental problems in the host country.

For more information or any questions relating to this program: