- It looks great on your CV
If you’ve just left school or college and you’re looking for something impressive to add to your CV, volunteering abroad is the perfect choice! Employers will like to see that you’ve brave enough to visit another country and take part in an organised programme. It’s also a good way to illustrate what’s important to you, and show that you’re more than willing to try new things. For example, if you teach English abroad, it will be clear on your CV that you’re a great people person who loves helping others. This is a great message to put across right away! Click here for more information on teaching English abroad!
2. You’ll meet amazing new friends
The great thing about choosing a volunteering experience specifically tailored to suit you, is that you’ll meet loads of likeminded people who you’re bound to get on with really well. You’ll spend such a concentrated amount of time with these people, that the chances are they will remain your friends for life. To flick through some photos of and find out more about people who have already done it, click here.
3. You can get a chance to live in a country you’ve never lived in
Do it while you can! Perhaps there is a country that you’ve always thought you would love to visit, or even live there! Hawaii, Peru, New Zealand or Africa… which would you pick? Volunteering abroad gives you the chance to live wherever you like, but for however long you choose. Embrace the freedom of this choice, and enjoy it!
In some opportunities, you have a chance to earn a little bit of extra cash on the side with various internships and job roles that often lead on from initial volunteering. Often, volunteering allows you to build up and make important contacts that can later help you find a paying job in whichever country interests you most. Think of it as a gateway to a profession later in life!
5. You can learn a new skill
While you are there volunteering, you might live with a host family or in a shared house with other volunteers. In your relaxing time, this is the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill from those around you! Perhaps there is an excellent chef amongst you so you can learn to cook, perhaps someone around speaks another language you can learn from, or perhaps you can learn how to do something more practical like how to cut a coconut from a tree or tell which plants are poisonous to eat. The world is your oyster when you’re volunteering, literally!
6. To prepare yourself for your career
If you want to learn some valuable skills for your chosen career, there are often volunteering programmes specifically for you. If you want to study medicine, dentistry, journalism, or veterinary, you’ll be able to find something just right for you. The list doesn’t stop there, have a look for projects centred around your line of work and see what you come up with. You might surprise yourself…
7. So you can learn how another culture lives
If you stop to take the time to pay attention to the others around you, you’ll learn a huge depth of knowledge about how others live. Everything from what they eat in the morning, how they get to work, what they do for fun and what working in another country is really like. Pay special attention to the things you notice that you like, so you can take these practices home when you return at the end of the summer. Volunteering is meant to help build you as a person, so taking something with you that’s important to you is a must.
Try things you’ve never tried before, say yes to everything (while still remaining safe at all times, of course!) and truly immerse yourself in your travelling experience to make sure you get the most out of the trip. Try new foods and listen to traditional music of the place you are visiting too. Ask questions to show an interest and talk to as many different people as you can, you each have a lot you could learn from each other!
9. Teach yourself to cook a new type of cuisine
A fun challenge to set yourself is to master a new type of cuisine when you’re out on your trip. Whether you’re in Thailand, Figi, Brazil or France – there will always be a special dish that the area is famous for. Get in the kitchen and give it a go for yourself, you might be pleasantly surprised!
10. Make a difference in a child’s life
Particularly if you sign up for a teaching abroad programme, or summer sports volunteering in schools, you can help shape a child’s life by teaching them new skills and giving them support. It can be so amazing for a child to meet a person from another country who has come over to help them. This can stay with them for a long time, so be that person to make their summer fantastic.
11. Get away from your home town
How many summers have you had in your hometown or city? A lot, we bet! However much you may love home, spending a summer volunteering abroad will not only give you new experiences and teach you new things, but it will also make you appreciate home so much more when you return. It’s a win-win!
12. Do something different
Even if you have made a plan on what you’re going to do next in life, for example the job you’re aiming for or the place you want to live, volunteering abroad can be your opportunity to do something completely different to that for the summer. You could go and work on marine conservation to save the turtles, or teach basketball to young kids in Africa. Do something different, and fill your life with exciting variety!
13. Help to make a difference in a community
In smaller, less wealthy villages around the world, you will experience a strong sense of community that you may find quite humbling. Your work can help make a difference in a community, for example helping to build a school or play area for the local children.
14. Get fit and active over the summer
Instead of sitting down in front of the TV or your laptop all summer, get outside and get active! Volunteering abroad over the summer will help get you fit and ready for the next stage in your life. You’ll feel energised after keeping moving constantly, and you’ll find you sleep better too with all the exercise. For example, if you take part in a building volunteering project abroad, you’ll get fit and do a good deed at the same time. Click here for more information on construction group volunteering.
15. Will give you a chance to choose your climate
It’s easy to get used to the temperature wherever you’re from. But by volunteering abroad, you get to choose your own climate for the summer. What a treat! Perhaps you’re desperate to escape somewhere sunny and hot, or perhaps you prefer the tropical climates of the amazon.
In a volunteering atmosphere, you’ll not only get to make new friends who have similar interests to you, you’ll also meet some completely different characters too. This is what adds to the fun of the experience! You might meet people from completely different walks of life, and you’ll be able to learn so much from them just by talking.
17. Leave behind your laptop and phone
In our world today, people aged between 18-24 spend around 8 hours a day tuned in to media devices on average. That’s a huge amount of time to be wasting staring at the world through a screen, when we could be getting out there and seeing it for ourselves! Volunteering abroad gives you the perfect opportunity to escape this! You can stay outdoors and get back to nature.
18. Get outdoors
Feel the grass between your fingers, the sand between your toes, the wind through your hair – whatever does it for you! One of the best things about so many of the volunteering opportunities you can find online is that they often involve a lot of time outside in beautiful countries. While it’s still important to remember to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun, being outside can be great for your health and wellbeing.
19. Make amazing new memories
Volunteering over the summer will allow to to create some of the best memories of your life. You’ll be doing new things with new people, in a completely new place! Volunteering abroad is an experience you’ll truly never forget.
20. Teach others a skill you already have, like English
It’s easy to forget that speaking English is a valuable skill, because we do it every day! Passing on this valuable skill is a fantastic thing to do, to help other progress and it’s hugely rewarding. Or perhaps you don’t fancy the idea of teaching English, you could even look into teaching other subjects you may have enjoyed at school, for example maths or geography. Whatever subject you enjoyed most could become a subject another child enjoys most, because of you! Click here to find out more about teaching English abroad.
Sometimes, being in another country and speaking to a whole new range of people can give you a new way of seeing some of the issues going on in the world. You can watch news channels in the country you volunteer in, read the local newspapers and speak to local people to learn how they view world topics. Even if you don’t want to spend your time away discussing politics and world issues, you can still take the time to learn about local news if you’re interested!
22. See things from a more open-minded perspective
Getting out in the world is an amazing way to open up your eyes and see things from a new perspective. It’s very easy to get lost in the town or city you live in, and forget that the world is a big place with lots of different people and atmospheres you can learn to love. Travelling and volunteering is one of the most valuable things you can do, and can make you more open to new ideas and values. You’ll never regret it!
23. Treat it like a project and take lots of photos
If you love taking photos, why not turn your travelling experience into a photo diary or project? You could keep a journal, or if you prefer to work online, create a travelling blog! This way you can log all your favourite memories and flick back through them when you’re home. This is also great if you want to show your friends and family when you get back, to show them where you’ve been and which places you loved the most!
Volunteering abroad is so much fun. You’ll rarely speak to anyone who has an experience that they don’t enjoy. The trick is to do your research, find a project or experience that’s right for you, and get everything organised and booked up before you go. This way you’ll know what to expect, and can avoid being conned into spending more money unnecessarily and can make sure you feel confident in whatever volunteering option you choose. Make a great decision for your future now, and look into some of our options to get you started! Click here for more information.