Everything You Need To Know About Under 18 Volunteer Abroad Programs
Traveling has now become safer than it ever was, and teenagers from all across the world are taking the bold step of stepping out of their comfort zone and traveling abroad to get engaged in philanthropic projects.
At a tender age, it might often be difficult to decide about things and there would be an immense parental concern that might appear to be a hurdle – but if one is sure enough of what he/she wants to achieve from the trip, then things usually do fall in place.
If you are a high school student, and confused about what next to do in life – then you should probably talk to your parents and teachers, and take that major step of volunteer traveling, to discover your passion, know your strengths and limits and also to make a real difference to the society where people need support.
This is your chance to visit a new destination
If you tell your parents that you want to go for a holiday to Thailand with your friends, then they might just say a ‘NO’ without much discussion! But if you say that you want to volunteer with kids in Thailand, then there’s a chance that they would say a ‘Yes’ – and even if they don’t agree right away, you can always tell them why this volunteer trip is important for you and your career. Tell them about the project you want to work for, and what your contribution would mean for the host community. If you decide about the organization with whom you’ll set out for your volunteer trip, then let your parents go through the organization’s website.
Be with the locals and know about their culture, lifestyle and much more
The fact that you are a volunteer and not a tourist makes a lot of difference to how the locals look at you. Being a volunteer, you will spend most of your time with the natives, helping them in whichever way you can and also learning about their culture and customs. There’s a chance for you to learn a new language, and also learn how to prepare the local delicacies. Not just that, but you will get to visit all those places which tourists otherwise miss out!
You will get to meet a lot of people and make friends from all across the world
Your friends in school will definitely get jealous of you once you return back from your trip! A volunteering journey would open the doors for you to meet new people traveling from different parts of the world. Each one of them would have something new to tell you, and this would enrich your way to see things. You’ll make friends out of strangers and then, be in touch with them for the rest of your life! This comes with an added advantage, as you can travel to their country and get free accommodation at their place!
You’ll get to learn a new language
Of course, you can join a course in your own city to learn a foreign language, but it would be never as perfect as learning it in the land itself! Traveling to a new country to volunteer will give you the opportunity to stay in closer proximity with the locals, and in most cases, your host community folks won’t be fluently speaking/understanding English. This would be a chance for you to pick up the fluency of the local dialect and learn the language. Forget about sounding stupid or making mistakes – the locals might laugh a bit but you’ll slowly realize that you are getting more confident by the day. Learning a new language will also add to your CV.
Get drenched in unconditional love
This would probably be the first time when you’ll get to experience unconditional love from people you’ve never known before. Being loved and cared by family and friends is something that all of us usually enjoy – but have you ever thought how it would be like to get hugged by more than 50 kids whom you’ll be parenting on your volunteer trip? You’ll absolutely get drenched with the love you’ll receive, and that would be your best possession. You’ll learn to value human emotions and understand that tangible material objects are actually of no importance in our lives.
You’ll get to know about your strengths and weaknesses
If you have had doubts about how strong you are – then your volunteer trip will clarify everything. To start with, you’ll travel to a place where there might be language issues. You’ll know how much you can communicate with someone, even if you don’t know their language. Second, you’ll have to stay with people from various parts of the world, and you’ll learn how to adjust with people having habits that are totally opposite to yours. Third, your volunteer placement might demand a lot of compassion and dedication, and you’ll get to know how much you are capable of delivering.
You can try out adventure sports at affordable costs
If you are an adventure junkie, and never got to do much because your parents always kept an eye on you – then a volunteer trip would be perfect for you, where you can indulge in trying out new adventure sports. Travel to volunteer in Nepal and go for a trek in the Himalayas, or volunteer in South Africa and experience the thrill of bungee jumping from the highest bungee bridge in the world! And all these will fit your budget as well.
You will have an added advantage when you go for job interviews
Just to tell you the fact, employers always want to hire those who have some work experience and your involvement in any kind of volunteer work will undoubtedly give you some brownie points. Volunteer work will help you to learn how to make the most of the available resources and how to use your time effectively, and that will help you in all spheres of life ahead.
Your age can never be a barrier to starting something new, and there are several organizations having projects that are essentially designed for high school volunteers. If you still haven’t given a thought to this, then now is the time.
Which Volunteering Programs Would Be Perfect For Those Under 18?
Volunteering Solutions understands the fact that in his 21st Century, classroom education & course work are just not enough, and the millennials are enthusiastic enough to try their hands in different things. Hence, we have curated a wide range of amazing volunteering opportunities that include Childcare Programs, Teaching Programs, Travel & Volunteer Programs, Conservation Programs, etc. Volunteer programs for high school students are available in different countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and Latin America. Each of these programs is curated by our team of experts, who have designed them in a way that both the giver and the receiver can get the best out of this entire endeavor.
Here, we have listed some of the most popular programs which one can choose to be a part of:
In case this is your first solo trip abroad, and you are a bit skeptic about it – then we would suggest you to begin with a week’s journey. This would help you to understand how beautiful it is to travel to another part of the world, meet new people and explore new places. At the same time, you’ll get the chance to work for a meaningful program, wither volunteer with children, or maybe get involved in some sort of community development program. These 1 Week Special Programs have been designed essentially for those who wish to experience the goodness of volunteering and make a difference in a short span of time. These programs are available in several countries, including Australia, Kenya, India, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and more. You can choose your favorite destination and set out for that life-changing journey!
For those who wish to spend some more time volunteering and are eager to explore the host country, can opt for the 2 Weeks’ Special Voluntours. Being a part of these amazing volunteer & travel trips, you’ll get to spend adequate time at the project site and learn more about the issues faced by the people of the region. Along with your fellow volunteers, you can find out ways to help them and contribute effectively to make a positive impact. Other than that, you can explore popular places over the weekends, and enjoy to the fullest.
For those who are not confident enough to join a volunteering program right after arriving at a new destination, can opt for the incredible Language and Orientation Programs available in India, Nepal, Peru & Costa Rica. This means, that if you plan to travel to any of these 4 destinations and aren’t sure about how to get started with the whole thing – then you can take your time and get accustomed to the entire situation. Of course, this will also help you to deal with the language barrier & culture shock, give you some time to settle down and sync in, know more about the country’s history & then, once you’re ready to move ahead, you can opt for a volunteering program and get started.
For those who wish to gain some international work experience as well as spread the lights of education, what can be better than volunteering as a teacher? You can choose to Teach English to Buddhist Monks in Thailand, Volunteer at a dedicated Girls’ school in Ghana or Teach English to Spanish speaking students in Peru. Our volunteer teaching programs are available throughout the year, with flexible start dates and program duration and are perfect for High School Students looking for a Winter Break/ Alternative Spring Break opportunity. And the best part is – you don’t need to have a TEFL Certificate to join our teaching programs!
If you love to be with children and wish to volunteer with kids abroad, then we have a plethora of interesting Childcare Programs across 15+ destinations, where you’ll get to spend ample time with the little ones, to share love & care. As a part of it, you’ll be placed at Daycare centers or Childcare homes, where underprivileged kids are mostly sheltered and taken care of. You’ll get to do various work, including teaching & playing with the children, preparing meals for them, keeping them engaged in learning activities, manage their kitchen and also, if needed, help the local staff in administrative work. This will be a great opportunity for you to learn how to work at a different social set up and also hone your managerial skills.
What Are The Basic Requirements to Volunteer For The Under 18 Programs?
Well, these programs are essentially designed for those who are in High School or have just graduated and still living the ‘teen life’, aiming to do something different and meaningful. The basic requirements are as follows:
- For some of the programs, parental consent might be required. Also, for all volunteering programs that are associated with some childcare work, needs a Background Check Report.
- Participants should be open-minded, ready to adapt to situations, enthusiastic and energetic to take up work as and when anything arises.
- Be ready to learn new things, make new friends and use your creativity to make an impact on the project.
Volunteering will always fetch a ‘win-win’ situation – while you will get to learn a lot from your journey, your host community will be benefitted through your actions. For high school students and graduates, it’s advisable to make the most of their breaks and look for an affordable volunteer project abroad, to add some meaning to life and make a difference to the society.
Once you take a trip abroad to volunteer for a project and effectively make some difference to other people’s lives, you’ll start feeling a sense of happiness. Your career choice will be more specific and you can be more focus on life, in general. There’s actually no age to get involved in philanthropic work, but as they say, it’s always good to start early!
So, what are you waiting for?
Think what contribution you want to make and start your hunt, choose your destination and project, convince your parents, plan your journey and ‘Get-Set-Go’. You can also get in touch with us at [email protected] in case you need some more information of wish to consult our Program Advisors.