“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn” – Benjamin Franklin.
There can be nothing truer than this – and we all would agree on the point that experiencing something makes a mark on our mind and soul, helping us to remember it forever. In today’s date, when the world is taking leaps and jumps towards betterment each day, we, as individuals, also need to focus on ourselves and learn to be more humane. And learning is an integral part of life, it should rather be put up to evolve than restricting ourselves within a mechanical framework.
Volunteering abroad provides countless lessons to learn, here are 7 most important lessons that you can learn from your own experiences.
No matter how much we read (books and internet sources combined) about a different country and its culture, it’s never possible to comprehend and understand unless we travel to that land and live the way the locals do! For example, someone living in France must have heard and read a lot about India, but that person will surely face a culture shock once he/she lands in the country, faces the crowd, tastes the spicy cuisine and feels the warmth of the locals. Every country has its own unique set of culture & traditions, and this is something that will remain with you as one of life’s most prominent learnings. A volunteering experience will help you to take a closer and deeper look into the host country’s history, heritage and everything else!
We understand how important it is for the younger generation to know more than one language, and what can be a better way other than learning it from the natives of the land? Also, the most popular foreign languages that people across the world opt to learn are French, Spanish, Latin, Portuguese etc., but a volunteering journey will help you to learn an offbeat language like Hindi (if you’re in India), Nepali (Nepal), Thai (Thailand), Swahili (Kenya, Tanzania etc.) and much more! While communicating with the locals on a daily basis, you can polish your skills, and this would definitely add some brownie points to your CV, and help you in your career ahead.
It might be hard for a lot of people to understand why to pay for volunteering abroad, but it’s only when you embark on the journey, you’ll get to know that even a small step can make a big difference. To quote a popular saying, “Every drop in the ocean counts”, similarly, even a day’s volunteer work can help someone get shelter or encourage a little one to dream for a better world. You can paint the walls of a rural school in the outskirts of Cape Town (South Africa), or work at a healthcare center in the Philippines and experience the difference all by yourself.
Most of the volunteering programs abroad are provided in developing countries and in areas that aren’t much explored by the tourists, and it is obvious that you’ll find the lifestyle to be something completely different from that of your own land. But that’s the beauty of a volunteering journey, that you get to witness a way of life which you’ve probably never thought about! You’ll get well versed with their daily routines, what they do from morn to night, how they manage their daily chores, what they eat and how they celebrate little joys of life etc. This will also help you to take a sneak peek into their kitchen, and maybe you can learn to cook some authentic delicacies by the time your trip ends!
Most of us are born with special privileges, we have a loving family who cares for us and friends who stand by us through thick and thin. We have all the basic necessities available for us, and some luxuries as well, to indulge now and then! We often tend to think that this is how it is for all the people in the world, but we only understand how wrong we are, when we step out to volunteer for those who aren’t as privileged as we are. In this bigger world, there are people who don’t have a roof over their head, clothes to keep them warm on a freezing winter night, two square meals to satiate their hunger or someone to heal their pain when they are unwell.
A volunteering journey will take you closer to such people, for whom you can be nothing short of a messiah! You can share some love and care, and in return, you’ll gather blessings for life. And to say the least, this entire experience will make you a more humble human being.
The fact that you are traveling to a foreign country for weeks is in itself a huge decision you have made in life, but that is just the first step towards the bigger event. While volunteering abroad, there would be several circumstances in which you’ll have to take quick and stern decisions. Whether it’s about figuring out ways to handle a bunch of adolescents, or how to convince your peers for something that you think is right, or planning an adventurous weekend excursion – your mindfulness and sensibilities will constantly face its highs and lows! However, all these will ultimately help you to learn how to be a sensible decision maker, and prepare you for bigger things in life ahead.
Oh yeah! You’ve always been friends will people you’ve known for life, they are quite similar to you, sharing the same culture and speaking the same language that you do! But now it’s time to befriend some like-minded strangers. During your volunteer trip abroad, you’ll get to meet people from different parts of the world, who’ve traveled miles (just like you!) to make a difference in someone else’s life! You’ll be living with them in the same house, go to work with them, spend weekends with them and before you’d even know, you’ll have some amazing friends for life.
Sometimes, to learn some of the most important lessons of life, you need to move out from the comfort zone and set out for a journey to tickle your soul & consciousness! When you volunteer abroad, you get to witness a different form of life and learn through first-hand experiences. Not only will it help you to be a better human being, but you can also inspire others with the stories of your journey!
So, what are you waiting for? Set out to experience the best that the world has in store for you and make a difference! To know more about the volunteering programs that we offer, you can simply write to us at [email protected] and our expert Program Advisors will get back to you!
Riyanka is a traveler who is keen on exploring different parts of the world. She’s a travel blogger who’s equally passionate about photography. Her quest is to turn all her journeys into beautiful stories. Being a die-hard ‘mountain-aholic‘, her favorite destinations are all around the Himalayas! She can spend days gazing at the snow-capped mountains, binge on Maggi and lemon-honey-ginger tea, and reading Ruskin Bond books.
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