The Pros and Cons of International Volunteering: How to Make an Informed Decision
International volunteering is a form of volunteering which involves people from different countries engaging in a variety of activities to help out local communities and promote global awareness. This can range from teaching English, helping out in orphanages, or working on conservation projects. It is a great way to explore the world, make a difference, and gain new skills.
Exploring the World
International volunteering is a great way to explore different cultures and get to know different parts of the world. Not only will volunteers get to visit new places, but they will also get to meet and interact with local people, which can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Making a Difference
One of the main advantages of international volunteering is that it allows volunteers to make a tangible difference to the communities they are visiting. By helping out in orphanages or conservation projects, volunteers can make a positive impact on people and the environment.
Gaining New Skills
International volunteering is also a great way to gain new skills and develop existing ones. By interacting with different people and working in different environments, volunteers can gain valuable experience and learn how to be flexible and adapt to different cultures.
International volunteering can also provide great networking opportunities. By working with local people and other volunteers, volunteers can get to know more people and build relationships which can be beneficial in the future.
International volunteering is often quite affordable, with programs and organizations offering discounts and scholarships to volunteers. This makes it a great way to explore the world without breaking the bank.
One of the main drawbacks of international volunteering is safety. Volunteers have to be aware of the potential risks of travelling abroad and take appropriate precautions. This includes researching the location and staying up to date with any potential security risks.
Another potential downside of international volunteering is the potential for cultural misunderstandings. Volunteers should be aware of different cultural norms and expectations and be respectful of local customs.
International volunteering can sometimes be difficult to adapt to. Volunteers may have to deal with long working hours, lack of amenities, and language barriers.
Lack of Support
Another problem is the lack of support available. Volunteers may be travelling to unfamiliar places and may not have access to the same support network that they have at home.
Lack of Accommodation
International volunteering can also be difficult due to a lack of accommodation. Many international volunteering programs do not provide accommodation and volunteers may have to find their own.
Researching the Program
Volunteers should do their research before committing to an international volunteering program. This includes researching the country, organization, project, and length of the program.
Volunteers should research the country they are travelling to, including the language, culture, and potential risks.
Volunteers should also research the organization they are volunteering for, including their history, mission, and any reviews or feedback from other volunteers.
Volunteers should research the project they are working on, including the tasks they will be doing, the people they will be working with, and the impact the project will have.
Volunteers should also research the length of the program, including how long they will be away and what the cost of living will be.
Having the Right Expectations
Volunteers should also make sure they have the right expectations for the program. This includes understanding what is expected of them and making sure they are comfortable with the tasks they will be doing.
Finding a Reputable Program
Volunteers should also make sure they find a reputable program. This includes researching the organization and ensuring they are registered and accredited.
Having a Backup Plan
Volunteers should also have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. This includes having an emergency contact and enough money to cover any unexpected costs.
Assessing Comfort Level
Lastly, volunteers should assess their own comfort level. This means considering their physical and mental health, as well as their personal safety.
Volunteers should research different organizations to find the right program for them. This includes looking at different websites and talking to other volunteers.
Volunteers should also research different websites which provide information about international volunteering. This includes looking at reviews, feedback, and advice from other volunteers.
Volunteers should also use social media to connect with other volunteers and ask questions. This includes joining Facebook groups, following Instagram accounts, and reading blogs.
Volunteers should also read books about international volunteering to gain more insight into the experience. This includes books written by other volunteers, as well as books which provide practical advice.
Volunteers should also watch videos about international volunteering. This includes videos made by other volunteers, as well as documentaries and travel shows.
International volunteering is a great way to explore the world, make a difference, and gain new skills. However, it is important for volunteers to make an informed decision and take the necessary precautions. By researching the program, having the right expectations, finding a reputable program, having a backup plan, and assessing their own comfort level, volunteers can ensure that they have a positive experience.
Becker, B. (2019). What is International Volunteering?. Retrieved from https://www.goabroad.com/articles/volunteer-abroad/what-is-international-volunteering
Dormehl, L. (2019). 10 Things to Consider Before Volunteering Abroad. Retrieved from https://www.goabroad.com/articles/volunteer-abroad/10-things-to-consider-before-volunteering-abroad
Go Overseas. (n.d.). International Volunteering: What to Know Before You Go. Retrieved from https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/international-volunteering-what-to-know-before-you-go
International Volunteer HQ. (n.d.). International Volunteering: Pros & Cons. Retrieved from https://www.volunteerhq.org/volunteer-abroad/pros-and-cons-of-volunteering-abroad/
What are the benefits of volunteering?
Volunteering can provide amazing opportunities to learn new skills, enhance your resume, be more active and connected to your community. Plus, it can be a great way to make new friends!
Possible downsides of volunteering
- Compensation. …
- Cost. …
- Personality conflicts. …
- Longer hours. …
- Homesickness. …
- Emotional energy. …
- Lack of structure.
What are the potential benefits of volunteering?
Volunteering can be a great way to gain experience and meet new people. It can be a great way to learn new skills, build your confidence and build new connections in the community. Volunteering also offers a great sense of purpose and satisfaction from helping others in need.
What are the potential consequences of volunteering?
Potential Consequences of Volunteering: 5 Outcomes
- Resources may be redirected to more pressing needs. …
- Intermediary groups help to facilitate placements. …
- Children may experience positive developmental effects. …
- Local economy may benefit from paying work.
What opportunities do you look forward to while living and volunteering overseas?
6 Exciting Opportunities You’ll Experience When Volunteering Abroad
- #1. Learning about a new culture. …
- #2. Making friends from all over the world. …
- #3. Gaining valuable work experience. …
- #4. Becoming more independent. …
- #5. Improving your communication skills. …
- #6. Making a positive impact.
What are the benefits of international volunteering?
Volunteering abroad offers plenty of positive opportunities for personal and professional growth! You can make a meaningful difference in the world, gain new skills and work experience, and experience new cultures and perspectives while creating lasting bonds.