Global Village

The Global Village program provides opportunities for people of different cultures to live and work together in a spirit of partnership. Team members experience firsthand the burden of substandard housing and learn what Habitat for Humanity International is doing to address the issue and how everyone can help. You will meet and get to know Habitat partner families from all walks of life!

As our understanding of culture expands, we begin to realize that cultural traits are not right or wrong, but are a framework through which we understand the world around us. We are called to minister to others within the context of their individual cultures and likewise, through this unique GV experience, our hosts are called to minister to us. It is our hope that team members will look to the GV work trip as an opportunity to learn and contribute while expanding their knowledge of unfamiliar cultures and developing their own spiritual identity.

This orientation handbook has been developed to help you more thoroughly prepare for your Global Village adventure. It contains background information about Habitat for Humanity and the Global Village program, explains the principles central to Habitat’s mission, and provides details of what to expect and how to prepare.

We suggest that you read this handbook thoroughly and take it with you on the trip. If you have questions, contact your team leader or Global Village coordinator.



What does a Global Village trip look like?

All trips vary based on the country and itinerary, but all of them include a mix of work, rest and free time. It is our desire that these trips not only utilize your skills to build safe, affordable houses in places where they are desperately needed but also give you the opportunity to see another culture up-close and live like a local.

Can anyone volunteer?

Yes, we welcome everyone who wants to contribute to our work, no matter your age, background, sexual orientation, religion, or race. We do not discriminate. Please note, however, that manual labor is a part of the trip, so all participants should be in good health. If you are under 18, please see our minor policy.

I haven’t traveled internationally before. How do I prepare?

Well, the great news is that you don’t need to speak another language or have previous experience to join! You will likely need a passport, but requirements for passports, visas, and vaccines vary by country. Visit Habitat’s volunteer resources section for additional information.

Is volunteering in another country safe?

Habitat has a long history of working in other countries, and volunteer health and safety is our top priority. Our partners in these nations know and live in the area, and help ensure a safe and valuable experience for volunteers year after year. We also regularly follow international travel advisories closely. While we cannot guarantee personal safety, we do everything possible to keep volunteers out of harm’s way, both on and off the work site, and also include travel medical insurance in the trip cost. However, it is up to each individual to assess the host country and trip details for their own comfort level. You must also be willing to follow the Global Village trip guidelines and follow the instructions of trip leaders and in-country connections for the best experience possible.

How much does a Global Village trip cost?

A typical Global Village trip costs between $1,600-2,100 per person.

Costs vary by location, but all fees include a donation to the host community’s Habitat program, in-country transportation, food, accommodations, select activities, and travel medical insurance. Trip costs do not include airfare in and out of the country, activities beyond what is outlined in the trip details, visa and exit fees, any associated vaccines or trip cancellation insurance.

What is included in the trip cost?

The Global Village program works to ensure that trips are well planned and coordinated, safe, and constructive for volunteers. The ultimate purpose of Habitat Global Village trips is to improve the housing conditions of families around the world and provide volunteers with rewarding experiences and cultural exchange opportunities.

Each Global Village volunteer pays a program cost that is used in the following ways:

  • Building Program: A portion of the program cost helps to further Habitat’s homebuilding work by supporting program coordination and local construction.
  • Volunteer Logistics: A portion of the program cost covers logistics, including accommodations, meals, local transportation and some local cultural activities.
  • Volunteer Team Coordination: A portion of the program cost covers on-the-ground trip coordination by a trip leader and the Habitat host program. Expenses may include on-the-ground staff costs, translators, orientation materials, first aid supplies and a team leader’s expenses.
  • Health and Safety: A portion of the cost covers a travel medical insurance policy and assistance in case of crisis for trips outside the United States. All program costs include a minimal contingency fee for emergencies.

The program cost does not include:

  • Participant airfare.
  • Rest and recreation activities beyond local cultural activities.
  • Visa and exit fees (not applicable for all destinations).
  • Trip cancellation insurance.

More information on payment policies

Read more about payment policies, trip cancellation, and tax information.

What is a closed-registration team?

Closed teams are made up of participants who are associated with the same partnering organization—church, school, university, corporation, family, a circle of friends, civic club, associations, HFH affiliate or any other type of already-formed group. The team leader is a member of the partnering organization or group.

What is an open-registration team?

An open team is designed to attract individuals who apply to join a GV team via the GV website where available trips are posted. Open team leaders may not know any of the applicants personally before the trip. At the time they are selected to join an open team, the majority of open team members have not previously met.

 Have Other Questions?

Get in touch with me if you need more information about something or are interested in signing up for a future trip.