How to find a fantastic volunteering placement abroad

| September 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

Volunteering abroad is a once in a lifetime experience that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. The experience can provide you with both personal and career development, whilst positively contributing to the community you volunteer in.

STEPS TO FINDING A PLACEMENT

The prospect of working abroad can be daunting, even to the most experienced traveller. Ensure you carefully select a project most suitable to your skills and desires in order to gain the most out of the experience.

volunteering abroad

volunteering abroad

When looking at how to volunteer abroad, start by considering what you are really passionate about. A correctly selected volunteer placement which focuses on what you are passionate about will allow you to bring energy and enthusiasm to the project. If you have always wanted to help individuals and families affected by AIDS, consider projects that focus on people such as working in an orphanage. If you are passionate about women’s rights, look for programs that supply education in countries where girls are not given the same access to education.

Also think about the places you are passionate about visiting. There are volunteer programs in many countries throughout the world. Picking a continent or country will instantly narrow down your search and will make finding a fantastic volunteering placement a more manageable task. Consider the local culture when you are choosing a place to volunteer, as well as aspects such as crime levels and places of interest that you can visit during your time off. When choosing a destination, consider that many people decide to stay on after their volunteering project and travel around neighbouring countries.

It is important to find a placement that makes best use of your skills. This will allow you to feel you are making a real difference and allow you to develop confidence in your abilities. If you have a particular area of interest or skill, try to incorporate this into your project. For example, if you have experience coaching a sports team, there are many opportunities available that allow you to make best use of these skills on your placement.

If you are a graduate or have experience in the working environment, make the best use of your skills by finding a niche project to assist with. For example, if you have an engineering degree, you could help to design a local bridge for a disadvantaged community. If you are an Occupational Therapist, visit a country where many children are denied the necessary health care and teach children and staff valuable skills that they can continue after you leave.

It is important to thoroughly research organisations that provide volunteering opportunities. Spend some time reading their website and look on forums to find out whether others have had a positive experience with the organisation. Most negative volunteer experiences stem from an organisation or company that did not offer sufficient support or organisation to the volunteer.

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