What is it Like To Be An ‘Under 18’ Volunteer Abroad

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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 to philanthropic projects.

At a tender age, it might often be difficult to decide about things and there would be 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.

high school volunteer abroad

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 volunteer 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.

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!

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.

So, what are you 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’.


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