What are the language requirements to serve as a UN Volunteer?

Tips on how candidates can create a strong profile and increase their chances of becoming a UN Volunteer!

UNV is eager on attracting candidates that can speak at least one of those languages:ย  English, French and Spanish. If you are interested to serve as an International Volunteer, it’s really important that you reflect well on your language skills. For example, if an organization is looking for candidates to serve as a project officer in a French-speaking country it is obvious that they will require the candidate to speak fluent French.

[What is UNV? Click here to find out]

The importance of knowing English very well

The candidates will have to deal with the local authorities and the population, this is why it is very important that they master the local languages. It is very likely that the volunteer will be asked to have a working knowledge and a lot of fluency in English. Why would you need to speak English, for example, in a French-speaking country? One good reason would be that the volunteers often need to write reports for the headquarters of the host agency where English is the working language. This can apply in other contexts whether it is an Arabic speaking country or a Russian speaking country.

If the volunteer candidates will serve in their own countries, it is important they also have knowledge of local languages or dialects. This would be definitely an asset!

Improving your language skills is extremely important! It will give you the best chances!

Three tips to apply as suggested by Delphine – UNV recruiters (see video below)
  • 1) Be Consistent

Don’t write your CV in different languages. When you complete your profile is important to only choose one language to ensure consistency. Also, remember you can register your profile in the UNV talent pool, in English, Spanish or French. If you fill it in French, you will be considered mostly for programs in French-speaking countries.

If you are interested in a volunteer experience abroad, in a country different than yours, it is recommendable to fill your CV in English.

  • 2) Carefully reflect your language skills

If you overestimate your knowledge of a language, remember that during the interview you will be put to test. If your skills don’t match with what you declared in your CV, you might find yourself in a very difficult and embarrassing situation.


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  • 3) Provide evidence

If you indicate in your profile that you are fluent in one language, other than in your mother tongue, but there is no evidence that you have studied or worked in that specific country, it could be difficult for the recruiters to understand if you are really good at that specific language. Therefore provide some sort of evidence in the form of life/past experiences. For more information check this video:

So, in short, if you speak multiple languages, register in the UNV talent Pool.

If you are already registered, just go back to your profile and make sure that you have reflected your skills correctly! UNV is waiting for you!


Official UN website: https://www.unv.org/

Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/unvolunteers



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Author: Voluntouring staff

Become a volun-tourist! Discover the opportunities to volunteer and travel meaningfully around the world! We add new opportunities every day: www.voluntouring.org Follow our updates on Facebook!

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