Why not take a holiday to make difference and try some volunteering while you are abroad. Volunteer work abroad can be a life changing experience for both you and the people you will be helping. Giving something back to the community of a place you have visited will leave lasting and rewarding memories.
The Opportunities Are Limitless
The great thing about volunteer work abroad is there are so many different options and locations you are bound to find something close to your heart, something uniquely fulfilling for you. You can find opportunities in working with children, wildlife, building and infrastructure projects and conservation to name but a few categories.
If you are interested in volunteer work abroad, think about what skills you can bring. Are you a teacher who could enrich and educate children or perhaps you have more practical skills that would be useful in construction projects? Even if you are a talented sports person, your coaching skills can be used all around the world.
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Speak To The Experts
If you are serious about volunteer work abroad, perhaps during a gap year, then the best way to get started is to get in touch with the experts. A travel company that specializes in matching volunteers with the perfect volunteering opportunities are the people you need to talk to. They can give plenty of volunteer work options and advise you on safety, cultural and logistical guidelines. They will also be able to ensure you have all the correct Visas and other documentation that may be required to embark on voluntary work abroad.
Read Some Real Life Reviews
If you have find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you, then read some reviews submitted by others who have had the experience before. This will be invaluable to helping you decide if it is the right thing for you. It will not only excite you with stories of real life experiences and relationships developed, but it can prepare you for any difficulties you may experience as well.
Build In Some ‘Me’ Time
Volunteer work abroad is a rewarding experience, but it can also be quite demanding and stressful. You may have to prepare yourself for seeing and living with some difficult situations. Medical volunteering or working closely with vulnerable children and adults can be one of the most rewarding types of volunteering but also a distressing time as you live and work with people suffering from levels of deprivation you have not seen before.
However, knowing you are providing invaluable healthcare, education and more to those who need it most will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Therefore, it is also important for you to schedule in some breaks while volunteering, an opportunity to have a vacation, explore the country you are working in and take stock of your experiences. The very definition of Wellness Travel – “Traveling to improve your overall well-being.” ~ Abundant Journeys
Volunteering will leave you with rich memories and friendships that last a lifetime. You may even find yourself returning to continue your work and catch up with the wonderful people you will meet.
Carol French writes regularly on travel and volunteer work abroad for a range of student, gap year and volunteer work themed websites and blogs. She has a particular interest in teaching and conservation work, with a wealth of experience in traveling and volunteering.