Experience service outside the U.S.

Why serve internationally? The combination of service, learning, and culture immersion can be a powerful experience for students. VT Engage carefully selects the community partners students serve with, choosing ones we hope to develop a long-term partnership with. While these are service trips, we consider learning outcomes for student to be just as valuable as the service focus.

VT Engage team members help prepare and educate students before international trips to give them context for each aspect of the trip, particularly the social issues they will encounter. During the trips, student leaders and VT Engage team members help participants process their experiences through nightly reflection sessions.

We currently lead trips to the Dominican Republic and Peru. Applications are required for both trips.

Questions? Contact Eliza Wethey, VT Engage faculty advisor at engage@vt.edu or 540-231-6964.

To learn about all our upcoming trips, join our email list or follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) to keep up to date on all VT Engage happenings.

We want your feedback!

Currently, VT Engage has two international service immersion trips, one to the Dominican Republic and another to Peru. We're considering adding another trip, and want your feedback on what that trip might look like.

We'd love to hear your thoughts via this quick survey! Enter your email at the end if you'd like to be entered into a drawing for VT Engage t-shirt.

Dominican Republic

Winter break trip: January 4 - 12, 2018 

For more than ten years, the Virginia Tech community has partnered with the nonprofit Community Service Alliance (CSA) on various community development initiatives. CSA “empowers local communities in the Dominican Republic to challenge the status quo and improve standards of living” (CSA website.)

Possible service projects include building latrines and water filters for families, working with youth enrichment programs and supporting small women-owned business. On this trip, you will leave with a greater understanding of service in an international setting as well as Dominican life, culture, and nonprofit work. 

Apply by October 1
All undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of year or major are welcome to apply by October 1.

Estimated cost: $1,850 (includes airfare, meals, lodging, and programming.) A limited amount of need-based financial assistance is available. All applicants will be considered.


May 21 - June 10, 2018

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In summer 2018, immerse yourself in a powerful learning and service experience that will take you from the Amazon rainforest to the high Andes.

In the rainforest, we’ll serve with ARCAmazon, which aims to conserve and protect the Amazon by promoting balance between people and nature. Projects may include environmental education, maintaining ARCA's education center, preserving the rainforest through patrolling their conservation area, and other community development projects.

In the Andes’ Sacred Valley, we’ll partner with Llipin Yahuar, which focuses on empowering high Andean communities with vulnerable populations through health, education, and nutrition programs, specifically focused on women and children. Projects may include community development work, and native tree reforestation to restore habitats and increase water resources.

Itinerary in brief
May 21: Depart for Lima, Peru
May 22: Arrival in Lima, Flight to Puerto Maldonado
May 23-30: Service work with ARCAmazon (Amazon Rainforest)
May 31: Return to Puerto Maldonado, Flight to Cusco
June 1: Cusco
June 2-3: Machu Picchu
June 4: Cusco
June 5-8: Service Work with Llipin Yahuar (Sacred Valley)
June 9: Cusco 
June 10: Depart for USA 

Over three weeks, our group will serve with and learn about these two nonprofits, visit Incan sites, connect with new people and more. Join us, and broaden your horizons with this unique international service-learning trip! View photos from our inagural trip, and hear from our students about what they learned.

Apply by December 1
All undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of year or major are invited to apply by December 1.

Estimated cost: 
$2,800 + airfare. A limited amount of need-based financial assistance is available. All applicants are considered. The $2,800 fee includes ground transportation in country, flight from Puerto Maldonado to Cusco, food, lodging, trip to Machu Picchu, and project donation.

Frequently asked questions

  • How much do these trips typically cost? The cost of each trip varies based on the number of participants and location, see below for estimates for upcoming trips. Past volunteers have lowered their expenses via fundraising, but lower costs are dependent on both individual and team fundraising success.

    Dominican Republic
    Estimated program fee is expected to be $1,850 including airfare. The fee of $1,850 includes ground transportation in country, food, lodging, translation services, and programming.

    Estimated program fee is $2,800 + airfare. The $2,800 fee includes includes ground transportation in country, flight from Puerto Maldonado to Cusco, food, lodging, trip to Machu Picchu, and project donation

  • Are there any scholarships available? Yes! There is a limited amount of need-based financial assistance available. All applicants will be considered.

  • Are there any travel requirements needed for these trips? All participants must have a valid passport for international trips. Please be sure to check your passport’s expiration date and renew it ASAP if you are selected to attend. We also suggest that travelers review the CDC’s health information on travel to Peru or the Dominican Republic, and check with their personal physicians on what they should do prior to travel.

Past trips

Curious about our international trips? Read more about past trips and check out videos below to learn more.

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