Volunteer abroad: Requirements

Volunteer abroad: Requirements

We mobilize international UN Volunteers at the request of United Nations partner agencies to support their peace and development programmes. International UN Volunteers are entrusted with a wide variety of roles and responsibilities and their duty stations vary from central to remote.

Volunteer assignments require a wide range of professional skills and competencies. Every international UN Volunteer assignment is unique, and has its own specific requirements.

First check whether you meet the minimum requirements below, and if that is the case, then you can register your profile in our Global Talent Pool.

Individual descriptions of assignment

The specific requirements in terms of education, age, professional qualifications and personal competencies are set out in individual descriptions of each assignment.

In keeping with the principles of capacity development, sustainability and results-based management, international UN Volunteer assignments are designed as part of a coherent national United Nations programme framework and UNV Strategic Framework aimed at achieving national humanitarian, peace and development results. The description of each assignment will include an explanation of the linkage between the assignment and the peace and development results.

Interview process

All candidates undergo a competitive interview process. In the interview process, the UNV Field Unit pays particular attention to the candidate’s track record, motivation and attitude towards volunteerism, as well as other personal qualities, such as team spirit and leadership, that are likely to make them successful in their assignments as UN Volunteers. The Host Entity representative will assess the technical skills of the candidate.

Eligibility criteria

Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. UNV Field Units will ensure that advertisements and application forms are accessible to women and minority candidates (e.g. not only through the internet) and that oversight measures support the inclusion of applicants from marginalized groups.

  • Age limits and ranges: To ensure the required level of professional and personal competency, the minimum age of an international UN Volunteer has been set at 18 years of age, with the understanding that candidates must demonstrate the required education level, relevant professional experience and requisite maturity, character and strengths needed for UN Volunteer assignments. The age range for UN Youth Volunteers and UN University Volunteers is 18-26 years, for UN Volunteer specialists it is 27-80 years of age, while for UN Expert Volunteers the age range is 35-80 years.
  • Education requirements: A higher technical diploma, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is required for most assignments (credentials will be requested).
  • Professional experience requirements: Work experience requirements differ depending on the volunteer category and assignment. UN Youth Volunteers and University Volunteers are required to have 0-3 years of experience, UN Volunteer specialists 3-15 years and UN Expert Volunteers 15 years of experience and above. Prior volunteering and/or working experience in a developing country is an asset. Kindly refer to the specific Description of Assignment for details.
  • Language requirements: Good working knowledge of at least one of UNV’s three working languages: English, French or Spanish.
  • Personal competencies: UN Volunteers must demonstrate a strong commitment to the values and principles of volunteering and respect for diversity. They should bring strong interpersonal and organizational skills. UN Volunteers should have the ability and willingness to work in a multicultural environment and to draw upon synergies between proposed solutions and local expertise. They must also be able to adjust to changing, and at times difficult, living and working conditions.