Speech-language pathologists have such big hearts. If you’re trying to figure out a way to combine travel and work, then this coukd be your starting off platform. Below, you will find an ever-evolving list of different organisations and programs that might help you to volunteer and work overseas for a short period.
If you know of an organisation that is not currently listed, please comment on this post, and I will happily add to the list. The Facebook group called SLPs Going Abroad might be another online platform to search for and ask fellow SLPs about volunteer opportunities.
PROGRAMS TO RESEARCH
- Therapy Abroad is a group travel program that is mainly geared towards students. Many of their programs go for two weeks.
- Smiles for Speech send SLP teams to help train, collaborate with and support children living in disadvantaged communities. They also distribute therapy materials.
- Yellow House is a community-based organisation in Western Kenya. Yellow House aims to promote the speech therapy profession in East Africa as well as support local communities through education and clinical services. Their website has a volunteer form to complete if you are interested in offering your services.
- Operation Smile is an organisation who enlist volunteers to go on medical missions around the world repairing cleft palates and cleft lips.
- The Trinh Foundation is a voluntary non-profit organisation with long-term objectives of promoting Speech Therapy in Vietnam. They aim to provide clinical skills, curriculum development, and financial support to develop the postgraduate Diploma course into a fulltime undergraduate Degree course in Ho Chi Minh City. Look on their website for opportunities.
- Volunteer BaseCamp list placements that are in need of speech pathology volunteers. The majority of their placements appear to be suited to SLPs who have completed their studies.
- Projects Abroad have made it easier to find out if there are any SLP ventures for you. Their site states that you can ‘intern’ there, or go as a qualified SLP. This program is self-funded by the volunteers, so save your money.
- The Centre for the Rehabilitation for the Paralysed (CRP) in Bangladesh has many skilled allied health professionals volunteer at their centres. They categorise volunteers as short-term or long-term. The site has a lot of information on accommodation, visas, etc. and a list of guidelines.
I wrote a really peronal blog post called the (hard) truths of volunteering as an SLP that you might like to read if you are considering a role overseas. My situation may not apply to you.
*** I have not personally taken a part of any of these programs. The program that took me from Australia to Samoa on a one year assignment was called the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development Program.