8 Steps To Prevent Volunteer Abroad Burnout When Working Under A Program


Traveling to a foreign land for a significant amount of weeks, away from the comfort of home, takes a lot of physical as well as mental workout. Volunteer travel as an addition needs dedication and a willingness to help. A genuine act of altruism is only possible if the interest does not fade away with time. To make  sure that your interest remains intact and contribute significantly in your project, follow the below listed steps.




Additional Step : Research your project beforehand and after arriving as well

Be it the working in an Elephant Camp in Thailand or teaching kids in Peru, VolSol provides various kinds of projects and each one has different requirements and way of functioning. Make sure you do your research. Learning local phrases, keeping a dictionary app, handy notes and other such material can be prepared for the trip. Feel free to consult your project coordinator.

Step 1: Design a daily schedule and follow it as well; religiously

Of course, it will take you couple of initial days to understand the routine work for a day. But, as and when you get a knack of it you must design a schedule for yourself giving yourself ample of space to do extra-curricular activities apart from volunteer work.  

Step 2: Try and make the project work exciting and enjoyable

So you are working under a Teaching program abroad and have to take classes for kids every day. Who said you have to read out chapters from the text-books or solve calculations for them on the board? Take teaching, or whatever be your program, to a new level. Do something innovative, more fun-filled every day. Make learning fun by including play-way methods. Make the open grounds your classroom, or bunk the classes and take the kids out for an ice-cream may be. Add fun to your program.

Step 3: Make friends

While traveling abroad to volunteer under a program, you will get the opportunity to meet a number of new people from different parts of the world. Your fellow volunteer mates, your project coordinator, program participants, and the native families; the entire city will be available to make friends with. Choose the ones you connect well.

Step 4: Choose what you eat and drink, and how much

You are in a new country and trying the level of tolerance of your taste palates is understood. Having said that, you must always keep a check on your dietary habits while volunteering abroad. Take good time to let your gastronomical senses get adapted to the local spices and flavors. Choose wisely the place you eat/drink and, of course, the amount you take in. Also, a very commonly given advice; drink a lot of water and prefer more of liquid diet.

Step 5: Choose what you do after the day’s work

At many of the destinations that Volunteering Solutions provide projects at, the accommodation provided to the volunteers is located in close proximity to the project location. This opens up the window to take a good walk back home after the day’s work while enjoying and familiarizing yourself with the neighborhood. Taking a quiet walk not only calms down your mind, but also provide complete rejuvenation. Once done with the day’s work, choose an activity that will freshen you up and your brain cells in order to avoid stress. Plan your evenings in a way so that you enjoy your destination but are not too fatigued for the next day’s work.

Step 6: A good sleep always help in freshening up the mind

This is a nice follow up for the previous step, and also to end your day well. After a long day’s work, give your body the rest it needs. After all, the adage “early to bed early to rise…” was not for nothing.

Step 7: Make the most of your weekend time

All the volunteer programs offered by Volunteering Solutions run for 4-5 days a week, leaving the weekends off to explore the area. A lot of tourist attractions and hot-spots cover the mainland destination in its close proximity. Alternatively, you can also choose to explore the city by visiting historical monuments and heritage sites; a good way to learn about the history and culture of that country.

Step 8: Don’t rush into things

This may be coming down as the last step, but is one of the most effective and essential ways to avoid volunteer burnout. All the above steps have a reflection of this one step; take things slow and easy. Enjoy every moment of your travel and volunteering.

Volunteering Solutions has placed close to 10,000 volunteers so far under different projects and understands the key for a successful and interesting volunteering trip. Need you like to know more on volunteering abroad and FAQs related to the same, you can speak with our program advisors at [email protected].

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