VSA’s UniVol programme is a collaboration between VSA and Otago, Victoria, Massey and Auckland universities. The programme, which has been operating since 2007, provides great opportunities for selected candidates to volunteer overseas while contributing to capacity building and international development. It also provides amazing personal and professional development opportunities for selected candidates. 

The UniVol programme gives graduates a unique opportunity to expand their horizons through volunteering – living and working with partners in the wider Pacific for the experience of a lifetime – transforming their lives as well as the lives of others. 

UniVol volunteers work alongside a local counterpart for 10 months to share your knowledge and skills. All of VSA’s volunteer assignments are locally identified and are designed to support the local needs of our partner organisations. UniVols work in a variety of roles, which include youth work, marketing and communications, administration, IT and computer training, hospitality and tourism, sports development, vet assistance and monitoring and evaluation. 

Due to the wide range of assignments available on the UniVol Programme, VSA will consider applications from different academic disciplines and backgrounds. 

If you’re adventurous at heart, a resilient problem solver and comfortable collaborating with a broad range of people, we’d like to hear from you. 


You will be eligible if you are:

  • enrolled in your final year of university studies (bachelor degree or higher) in either Development Studies, Geography, Marketing, Communications or related disciplines at the following participating universities: Otago, Victoria, and Massey. We will also be accepting applications from students at the School of Social Sciences, University of Auckland. 
  • a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident 
  • aged 30 years or under 

Please note: partners or dependent children cannot accompany UniVols on assignment.


UniVol 2022 

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on VSA’s work and based on continued restrictions and uncertainties both within New Zealand and across the wider Pacific, we have temporarily put our recruitment of  UniVols on hold.  

A decision about whether to hold a UniVol application round will be made in September 2021. 


Find out more:

To find out more see our FAQs 

Contact us by clicking here


UniVol stories - Transforming your life and the lives of others

Laura Todd - Grants and Project Assistant, Bougainville 

Alexandra Linnell - Roving Academic Support Coordinator/ Student Learning Support Coordinator, Papua New Guinea

Issy Hall - Youth Development Assistant (Health), Cook Islands

Lauren Griffin - Tourism Assistant, Samoa

Kate Kan-Shaw - VSA volunteer in Samoa

On Assignment with VSA: Hugo Egan in Timor-Leste

Why I Volunteer - Thoraya Abdul-Rassol's blogs 

Thoraya's Barefaced Story - NZ Festival

Finn Egan's takeover and Instagram video

Bougainville Chocolate Festival 2018 

Kayt Bornnimann's takeover and Facebook video 

Bougainville UniVols

10 years of UniVols 

Celebrating Student Volunteer Week 

Bougainville Safe House Study 


More about volunteering

International Volunteer Day 2019

International Volunteers Day 2019 - Kiribati

United Nations announces critical volunteering action plan


VSA features in The Spinoff:

A genuine difference

We need to talk about voluntourism