Websites like www.goabroad.com and www.transitionsabroad.com throw up a wide spectrum of opportunities for volunteering in Germany: helping out on a family farm in the Alps, restoring a medieval castle in eastern Germany, helping kids or the elderly in Dresden, or teaching English to the long-term unemployed in Berlin are just some of the experiences awaiting those keen to volunteer their time and skills.
Here's a small selection of volunteer organisations:
Conversation Corps (www.geovisions.org) Volunteer 15 hours a week to teach a German family English in exchange for room and board.
Volunteers for Peace (www.vfp.org) USA-based nonprofit offers a potpourri of opportunities, from construction to farm work or social work.
WWOOF (www.wwoof.de) Help out on a small organic farm harvesting, tending animals, bringing in the hay or gardening.
If you’ve ever thought about living and working in Germany, then why not teach English as a foreign language (TEFL)? It could be the key to funding your travels and experiencing new cultures in a totally new way. You don’t need teaching experience or even the ability to speak the local language – although you might learn it while you’re out there.