Before you leave home to help and change humanity, there are a few things you should know before you volunteer overseas.
Here are things to check to make sure you don’t get caught unexpectedly. For inexperienced travelers, these are very important and should not be taken lightly. As a seasoned traveler, you know some of these tips but also need to be reminded of the basics.
What to Know Before Volunteering Abroad: Questions to Ask
Here’s what you should know before volunteering abroad, including the important questions to ask when deciding what kind of volunteering abroad to do.
Don’t forget to take out voluntary international travel insurance!
1. How much time do you have to volunteer or travel?
Many volunteers do not plan their time well before setting off on their trip. Some schedule too little time and feel ineffective. Or the feeling that its effect wasn’t what it should be.
Some volunteers are people who work and use their vacation time to go. Depending on your employer and how much time they give you. You should plan your time well so that you can leave as soon as possible and be back early too. So that you don’t get burned out when you go to work. The vacation should also be too short for you to leave an impression. Gap-year travelers are the lucky ones here as they have no time limit. And you can start and end a project.
2. What kind of work would you like to do?
Many companies have great volunteer programs and projects. The packages available are good too, but the programs are mostly generalized to the public. There is a list and a whole range of programs, but when you decide on something you want to make sure you like what you are going to do and that you are good at it.
The work you choose to do should be something you enjoy doing and it should showcase your strengths. For example, if you enjoy playing with children, then the work at the orphanage will be good for you. Even if you are used to teaching your colleagues, teaching is a matter of course for you.
Check out our Guide to Volunteering Abroad for more information on the types of volunteer programs abroad you can undertake and how to choose a program.
3. What kind of work would you rather avoid?
As in the previous paragraph, this is very important. You don’t want to feel stressed or overworked on your vacation. Sometimes when you decide on a program there are also tasks that you want to avoid.
For example, if you work in an orphanage and you are asked to wash clothes and you are not satisfied with it. You should speak to the organization you are using to make sure you are avoiding things that you are not familiar with.
If the work you have selected has certain areas that you disagree with, explain to them that you cannot Most companies will work with you and change based on your preferences.
4. What skills and talents can you bring to the group?
One of the hardest questions to answer is what are your talents? Most of us don’t know what we can do. There are few of us who are lucky enough to know our talents early on. If you’re in the first group, use a series of guided questions to find the things to bring into the volunteer program.
Look for things that you enjoy doing. For example, if you enjoy playing video games, that doesn’t mean you can’t help with your skills. This means that you can come up with games that people enjoy, like Monopoly, Chess, or Scrabble.
5. Which places are you most interested in?
Many organizations offer a variety of locations. The problem arises when you are overwhelmed with the choices and not sure where to go. In some cases you will have the option of which continent to apply for your volunteer trip to or where to start your year abroad. In some you can choose to be in the cities or in the countryside.
You should look at your options and find the ones that work better for you. For example, if you choose to live in rural areas in a third world country. You will find the conditions there are simple, no running water or electricity.
Global Work and Travel offers volunteer opportunities in South Africa, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Thailand, Peru, Nepal, Myanmar, Namibia, Ecuador and Argentina.
Related reading: Reasons to volunteer in Cambodia