About Robin Van Auken

Robin Van Auken, CEO of Hands on Heritage, is a writer and researcher, with 35+ years experience interviewing people and telling stories. Her educational background combines advanced degrees in Communications and Anthropology, with a focus on Public and Historical (Military/Industrial Sites) Archaeology. In addition to her work as a journalist, she is the author and co-author of a dozen books on regional history. An adjunct college instructor, she has directed multi-year historical and archaeological projects, working with hundreds of volunteers and temporary staff, and educating thousands of visitors.
Robin is a writer and researcher, with 35+ years experience interviewing people and telling stories. Her educational background combines advanced degrees in Communications and Anthropology, with a focus on Public and Historical (Military/Industrial Sites) Archaeology.

International Development Internships Abroad | International Relations

Take your business degree to the next level and learn how the economy of a foreign country evolves with an internship in International Development. Or, focus on education policies, governance, conservation, science, health, gender equality, or more with a broader internship that allows you to explore ways to improve living conditions, alleviate poverty, and stimulate economic growth. The concept of International Development is so broad that nearly any [...]

2019-04-06T09:11:18-05:00By |

How to get College Credit for an Internship Abroad

Looking to grow personally and professionally with a global experience? Does your college or university offer credit for internships spent abroad? Many higher education institutions have entire departments dedicated to expanding internship, research, and international travel opportunities for their students. Called "enhanced academic experiences," most colleges encourage students to create unique educational portfolios with internships and study abroad trips. But what can you do if your college doesn't [...]

2019-05-10T11:14:16-05:00By |

Leadership Development Abroad: Volunteer & Professional Internships

Rise to your potential with an internship that helps you polish your management style and become a professional leader. Leadership is a skill - it's not a personality trait someone is born with. You can learn how to become a successful leader by improving your ability to communicate well, make better decisions, manage conflict, motivate others, and build a great team. Leading is about collaborating effectively with others [...]

2019-04-06T09:06:43-05:00By |

Volunteer Abroad for Community Service Credit: High School & College Travel

When you volunteer for community service credit, your effort and energy benefit other people. But what tangible benefits do you receive? Community service is a great way to develop new skills, make new friends, and gain experience working on a team. It's also a great way to meet the requirements for graduation from your high school or college. Need a few more reasons? Here are a few important [...]

2019-04-06T09:04:06-05:00By |

Volunteer with Children in Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & more

There's a reason why childcare and childhood education programs are the most popular projects chosen by volunteers who travel abroad - it's the most rewarding. And when you combine a trip to Asia with a volunteer experience with toddlers and tweens, you'll enjoy the best life has to offer - visiting exotic locales and making fantastic new friends. It's true that one person can change the future, and that [...]

2019-04-06T09:03:14-05:00By |

Volunteer Abroad with Pandas & Other Bears

Bears are iconic and have been throughout history, playing a major role in art and mythology. They were traditionally been hunted by humans, often as a challenge to dominate a large, fierce species, or for their rich reserves of meat and fur. Most American children are familiar with the beloved "Teddy Bear," invented to honor U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. The story goes, Roosevelt was on a hunting trip [...]

2019-02-22T16:58:23-05:00By |

Public Health Volunteer Programs & Internships Abroad

If you're interested in a career in public health, pursuing a degree in a related field, or already employed in the public health sector, then you have an idea of how critical its initiatives are. Public health personnel and the volunteers who help them, improve the lives of millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, the average citizen's lifespan has been extended by 30 years! But [...]

2019-02-22T16:57:28-05:00By |

Human Rights & Social Work Internships Abroad: Women’s Support, Law & More

Are you ready to step up for gender equality, education, and basic rights for all? It takes a courageous activist to defend others, especially in countries where basic human rights are mostly ignored. If you feel the call to build hope, wage for peace, and fight the scourge of disease, take a look at an international internship that places you on an impactful program that supports and promotes [...]

2019-04-10T10:14:25-05:00By |

Child-Friendly Volunteer Abroad Programs: Meaningful Trips for Families

Are you time-poor, finding it difficult to juggle work with family life? Do you feel you're on a hamster wheel, running in circles as your day flies by, a whirl of constant motion, from home to school to work to sports or other recreational activities? You conjure visions of a relaxing vacation, imagining yourself on a beach, a cool beverage by your side, while your children frolic in [...]

2019-02-17T15:31:25-05:00By |

TEFL Certification and English Teaching Programs in Latin America

Leverage your native English-speaking skills for the benefit of others with an international career teaching English as a foreign language! The demand for TEFL teachers is an all-time high as nearly 2 billion people worldwide are learning English. This means there are literally thousands of employment opportunities for English teachers, even those without prior teaching experience. Latin America is a great place to launch your English teaching career [...]

2019-02-17T15:31:50-05:00By |

Travel for Self-Improvement: Combine Volunteering with Yoga, Scuba & More

What do you want to learn today? Is there a skill you'd like to improve, an experience you want to gain, or a physical challenge you've been dreaming about? When you take your personal development into your own hands, you become proactive. Rather than waiting for good things to happen to you, you're out there making them happen. When you invest in yourself, you not only change your mind, but [...]

2019-02-17T15:32:16-05:00By |

Amazing Volunteer Programs for Travelers Who Love to Hike, Run, & Swim

Do you have itchy travel feet? Are you more comfortable in boots than sandals? Hikers know that a long, solo walk is the easiest and quickest way to lose yourself and your cares in the beauty of nature. Hiking is great for mood, and this Stanford University study proves that it also decreases your anxiety and improves your memory. Another study found that long walks help battle depression, so if you've [...]

2019-02-17T15:32:44-05:00By |

Adventure and Outdoor Guides Training Abroad

Combine your passion for conservation with the excitement of discovery as an adventure guide - a unique career that promises to keep you outdoors, helping wildlife and introducing visitors to exotic locales! It’s a professional development choice few people think about, but definitely a thrilling one! Imagine sleeping in a tent under a canopy of stars, then waking every morning in the bush, searching for lion tracks or [...]

2019-02-17T15:34:12-05:00By |

Internships that Build a Professional Career: Science, Engineering Opportunities

Don’t visit West Africa for the big game or majestic ruins - instead, focus on the amazing variety of people you’ll meet there, and take time to learn their history, their customs, and share your own. From Nigeria to Senegal, West Africa is home to an estimated 362 million people. It’s an area of many cultures, but they don’t clash. In fact, there are many similarities in dress, [...]

2019-02-17T15:34:51-05:00By |

The Road to Williamsport

Home of the Little League World Series, and So Much More! The road to Williamsport is heavily traveled, despite the fact that this small city in northcentral Pennsylvania is home to only 29,000 people. That's because Williamsport is home to the annual Little League Baseball World Series, which attracts more than 40,000 people to its final game, and millions of viewers to all 32 of its televised games on ESPN [...]

2019-04-24T10:45:37-05:00By |

Stargazing at Cherry Springs State Park

I visited Cherry Springs State Park (Coudersport, PA) once again, this time staying the full night in the campground. The first time I visited was October 2018 with my sisters Susan Ward and Sharon Tracy. We stopped, on a whim, after a day trip to Niagara Falls, Canada side. It was quite a haul, driving to Canada and back, and including a side trip atop a mountain, and [...]

2018-08-05T14:48:32-05:00By |

Volunteer Abroad at a UNESCO World Heritage Site

There are few things that people agree upon, but protecting special places and things is one of them. Deciding exactly what makes a landmark or area important because of its cultural, historical, or scientific significance is the quest of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, also known as UNESCO. Since 1972, UNESCO has been charged with the task of judging whether a place is worthy of its World [...]

2019-02-17T15:38:28-05:00By |

Volunteer with Indigenous & Aboriginal Communities Around the World

Are you fascinated by people, their unique traditions, and exotic cultures? Do you like to try new dishes and new phrases? Or do you find it disconcerting, living like a local? Would you rather stay in a comfortable hotel, dining on familiar food? When you travel abroad you're moving out of your comfort zone and it can be a bit scary. But when you immerse yourself in another [...]

2019-02-17T15:40:14-05:00By |

Travel and Volunteer in Southeast Asia: Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia

Southeast Asia is a favorite corner of the world for globetrotters. Tucked between the Indian and Pacific oceans, and at the intersection of major geological plates, the area is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations despite the fact it regularly endures earthquakes and volcanic activities. Still, visitors can’t resist Southeast Asia’s year-round tropical climate, gorgeous beaches, rich and varied cultural encounters, fabulous food, and low cost of living. [...]

2019-02-17T15:41:30-05:00By |

Archaeological Dig & Excavation Volunteer Programs Around the World

Thinking about traveling abroad? You're not alone. People have been traveling for 2 million years. It began with Homo erectus, walking out of Africa in the early migrations. Then other archaic people followed, like H. heidelbergensis, the likely ancestor of modern humans, around 500,000 years ago. Our ancestors spread to other continents, and along the way, they invented houses and built communities. They invented agriculture and changed the landscape. They invented religions [...]

2019-02-17T15:42:40-05:00By |