6 tips from real volunteers to choose volunteer abroad program successfully
There are numerous programs offering opportunities to volunteer abroad. Volunteering is a great way to share your experience and skills with others as well as gaining benefits that will last a lifetime. When choosing a volunteer program, there are several factors that should be considered:
Outline your interests, skills, and career goals. Do you like animals, are you interested in education, do you feel passionately for environmental conservation? Write down what inspires you. Never pick a program based on its popularity, the fact that your friends are going, or because the pictures are pretty. If you do not pick a program and project based on your personal interests, you are bound to be unhappy, making your entire experience unpleasant.
Know where you want to go
If you have an interest in Latin America, look for programs specifically focused on that area. Then match the projects to your interests until you find a program that offers a project suited to you in the area you want to volunteer in.
Limit your search
The number of program out there can be overwhelming. Take your top 5 picks and contact any previous volunteers who have gone through the program.
Find out what kind of in-country support is provided to volunteers. Choose a program that has a local coordinator or director that can be contacted at any time. You never know what kinds of issues may arise in a foreign country and you will feel more comfortable if there is always someone you can call to help you out.
Form your own budget for your trip. Inquire about programs fees and find one that fits along the lines of your budget. See what the fees cover. If you are spending the money on program fees there should be very little you should have to pay for once in country.
Ask how the agency will keep you safe once in country. Inquire about emergency procedures and the project’s proximity to police, hospitals, etc. After considering the above outlined factors, choose your volunteer program. It should have a project that personally interests you, be located somewhere you have a desire to travel to, offer in-country support, fit your budget, and keep you safe. Programs are numerous, however, there is undoubtedly one that will fit your needs.
At the End
Volunteer abroad can be your journey of life time, just another trip or a blunder. Considering the 6 tips is key to any successful volunteer abroad trip. The tips are taken from our volunteers who really find them vital. You’ll be enjoying as well as sharing something to make it meaningful.