Volunteer Abroad Tips For The Beginners | VolSol Blog

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If you have the will to contribute in the lives of others, travel to far-flung regions and experience their culture and get out of your comfort zone to learn something new then you can be sure that Volunteering abroad is for you. Defined as the commitment of time and energy to promote or improve human quality for the benefit of the society and community, volunteering is indeed a noble act but to significantly impact the lives of people who come from underprivileged backgrounds and align one’s skills with their interest and also the tasks assigned. It’s certainly not easy to find the right volunteering opportunity and this is where we want to step in and give you an idea of how to go about choosing a volunteering project abroad for yourself. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind before you choose the project which matches your criteria :

  1. Identify your aim
  2. Look for the relevant volunteering opportunity
  3. Research about your relevant volunteering project/destination
  4. Connect with fellow volunteers

1. Identify the causes you are passionate about

volunteering with children in India

“Service to a just cause rewards the worker with more real happiness and satisfaction than any other venture of life.” – Carrie Chapman Catt

It is essential that you know where your interests lie. Whether you want to work in an animal conservation project or you want to work on a project involving working with children, it is important to prioritize. If you are a teacher, you could opt for a project that matches your skills, if you want to be a teacher, you should opt for a project that will help you hone your skills. It’s all about aligning your interests and skills while you choose a project for yourself. In case, you are not sure about what you want to do during your volunteering stint abroad,  you could opt for summer volunteering projects that combine several different nature of project work along with traveling and are specially designed for young aspiring volunteers and high schoolies on a gap year. 

2. Look for a relevant volunteering opportunity

teaching volunteering in Tanzania

Volunteering requires patience and determination and if you want to successfully complete your project, be able to contribute into the lives of the people you are working for, understand and adjust with the region’s culture and traditions, develop and hone your skills as you work on the project and most importantly learn from the people and country you’ve visited – it is only then that you’ll be able to make the most of the opportunity that you’ve got. Sounds like a lot to do? Well, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  Reach out to us or search every nook and corner of our website which offers programs all across the globe and in various different streams. Or better still – look up the entire internet and find the right opportunity for yourself. For specific interests and goals, do reach out to the project coordinators before your zero down on the kind of project you want to work in.

3. Research about your volunteering project/destination

volunteer with children

Doing your background research is one of the most crucial parts of your decision making. Read up extensively on the location where you are heading – its history, its present, its future, its social context, its people, its language – the list could go on and on! Let’s say you are heading for a childcare project in Peru, make sure that you work on your Spanish, work on your attitude with kids, read up on creative ways to interact and involve kids and if possible, source the kind of activities which have been done so far. Basically, don’t go in underprepared for the project that you are going to participate in. Additionally, our comprehensive pre-departure information booklet will help you all logistical information you need well in advance.

4. Connect with past/upcoming volunteers

volunteer-work-in-Surin-Thailand

Unless you know how people’s experiences have been, how should one go about doing their work in a project, what are the strengths of a project and what are the weaknesses of the project, what are the precautions to be taken at the location and what are the highlights of the location – You’d be underprepared to participate in the project. For the said reason, it is now extremely essential that you connect with the volunteers who have already volunteered abroad. Additionally, it is also advisable that you connect with people who will be heading to their volunteering abroad project along with you. With the power of social media and our updated database, it’s easy to connect with people who are on the same boat as you, quite literally. You could also explore review videos, Reddit threads, Facebook groups, Instagram pages – basically every possible portal to hear it from the horse’s mouth about their journey and experiences.

Now that you’ve gone through the some of the basic pointers to keep in mind before you begin your volunteering stint abroad as a newbie, it is important to also prepare yourself well in advance before you head your journey. Join our Facebook Group to connect with our past volunteers and you’ll figure how to finally the plunge and head to your trip, much sooner than later.

 


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