When you volunteer your time and energy, your support and enthusiasm can often have a ripple effect, in that it inspires others to want to participate in the changes you are making. Volunteers bring passion to any cause and they are often the people who can strengthen relationships between policies and communities and create improvement.
Becoming an International Volunteer
If you like helping people and you want to gain some traveling experience, becoming an international volunteer could be just the thing for you. As an international volunteer, you can spend time in different countries and learn about other cultures while working on projects to help the people you are living among. Volunteering overseas can be a very rewarding and often life changing experience. Many volunteers describe how the experience matured them and gave them a whole new outlook on life. If you are thinking about becoming an international volunteer, here are some things to consider.
Where to Go and What to Do
Are you interested in a specific culture or country? The choice is virtually limitless. Volunteer programs exist in just about every country so wherever you want to go you are almost certain to find a volunteer program. There are also many types of international volunteer projects available and you don’t have to be an expert in any field to participate. Here are some examples of international volunteer programs:
- Costa Rica – protecting endangered turtles
- Honduras – childcare and teaching
- Peru – construction and conservation
- Uganda – teaching children
- Ghana – education and environmental projects
- South Africa – teaching and childcare
- New Zealand – environmental projects
- India – working to alleviate poverty
- Cambodia – teaching English
- Thailand – wildlife rescue
- Vietnam – working with orphans
- Philippines – teaching
- South Dakota – working with Lakota youth
There are usually five simple steps to international volunteering:
- Completion of the application form – once this has been reviewed and you have been accepted for a program you will be contacted.
- Application fee – a fee to cover the cost of matching you with a program.
- Information – you will receive an information package letting you known what you need to do to prepare for your trip.
- Program fee – the full program fee covers your flight and accommodation.
- Volunteering – you are not on your own when you arrive in your country of choice. Program managers are with you every step of the way.
How to Find out More
You can find out more about how to volunteer abroad by contacting Global Volunteers. They have been matching individuals with volunteer programs since 1984. They are internationally recognized as a respected non-profit leader. They are dedicated to providing human and economic development, sustained community-based partnerships and short-term assistance on long-term projects.
People choose to volunteer for a number of different reasons. Some enjoy the chance to give something back to the community, others to learn new skills and meet new people. Whatever your reason, you can make a real difference to people’s lives just by giving up a week or two of your time.