At its core, volunteering abroad is donating your time, energy and heart to a place and people that really need your help. Volunteer abroad projects are always located in developing and third world countries around the world to which you will travel and participate in some sort of humanitarian or environmental cause. You might be supporting individuals or entire communities in any number of ways. You can find a huge range or positions, on different types of projects, in locations around the world. You get to choose the exact project that matches your skills and passions. You have the unique experience to learn new skills, gain new experiences and immerse yourself in a brand new culture, all whilst contributing to the improvement of the parts of the world that need it the most.
When you begin your volunteer abroad journey, you will begin by looking at and ultimately selecting from a number of different volunteer projects. You could be doing anything, from working in an orphanage in Costa Rica, to teaching English to Tibetan Monks. There are a number of medical volunteer projects, with roles available for those with or without qualifications and experience. You can even choose between different types of environments whether you want a bustling city or something more rural.
All reputable volunteer abroad destinations establish strong links with the local community. Volunteer abroad organizations work to make sure their actions are all of benefit to the local community. In addition to the main project or project, this means supporting people by housing volunteers with local people and employing locals where possible. Living with local people, instead of in a hotel or hostel, means that you get to experience life as a local, learn the language and experience the way of life first hand. This s far more valuable an experience than just staying in a hotel or similar where you are more of an outsider.
Volunteer abroad projects take place in developing countries where the help is most needed. This does not mean that your safety is in any jeopardy however as volunteer organizations only work in areas where they can establish strong local connections and guarantee the safety of all involved. Volunteer projects take place in Asia, Africa and Latin America in countries such as Costa Rica, Colombia, Kenya, South Africa, India and Thailand.
Living and working in a country will allow you to experience most aspects of a new culture from food, art, religion and daily customs. The nature of volunteering abroad means you will naturally be exposed to the many facets of a country, far more so than you would be as a typical tourist where you tend to only see the surface of a country.
Volunteering abroad will give you access to diverse and interesting locations. There are picturesque beaches, dense rainforest, coral reefs, active volcanoes, snow-capped mountains and much, much more. There are even volunteer abroad projects based in unique destinations such as Tibetan Monasteries in the mountains and stunning turtle-nesting beaches.
Whilst you are usually only required to speak English fluently to volunteer abroad, you will still be exposed to a new language, perhaps even many languages as is the case in some African countries. You could brush up on your high school Spanish in Latin America or learn a brand new language in Africa or Asia. Not only does learning a new language give you access to more opportunities within the destination (locals will be impressed if you can communicate in their own language), but it will also look great on your resume.