Five Steps to Volunteering Abroad
If you’ve made the decision to volunteer abroad, there are a few steps you need to take before you get on the place to your volunteer destination. We have listed five steps you should take to help you pick the perfect volunteer abroad program.
1. Figure Yourself Out
After looking inside yourself, you’ve made the choice to volunteer abroad. What a great opportunity to help the world, learn more about yourself, and explore the planet around you. First you need to decide what type of program you want to participate in. What types of things do you like to do? What are you good at? Where do you want to go in the world? What are some activities you would like to accomplish? Do you like art, are you good at gardening, have you always wanted to see Peruvian llamas, or have you always wanted to learn Chinese?
After you’ve gone through and decided what type of program you want to participate in, start your search online.
2. Find a Program
You’ve started your search and now you’re starting to narrow down your choices. Look at the countries you’ve always wanted to visit, match them with the activities you want do and the living situations you feel comfortable with. Talk to you friends and family and ask them what they think about your choice. Get their opinions on what types of programs they think you would be good at, as they know you the best.
Searching online is an easy option to find opportunities and volunteering abroad programs. HelpGoAbroad is an online directory of opportunities to study, teach and volunteer abroad, where you can find different programs to choose from.
Just make sure you are looking at the country and the length of program.
3. Review the Program
Once you’ve found a program, or few, that you are interested in you should look at the reviews others have listed of the program. Try to find some former volunteers who you can actually speak with. You need to also review the costs associated with the program. There is a fee associated with the program, normally, to cover the cost of your accommodations, food and other expenses.
You are supposed to be helping an organization and not be a burden to the community. Make sure that if you are helping a marginalized community, the money actually goes to the members and not to the organization’s bottom line. Ultimately, you just have to trust your gut and go with the program you feel matches your goals best.
4. Program Application
Volunteer programs can’t take all applicants that come their way, as they might be overloaded or have volunteers with skills that don’t match their needs. Many applications require you to list your education, past work experience, skills, desires and even letters of reference. Some require you fill out long forms which help the organization determine what type of person you are and if you’d fit the organization’s image.
To help you with this process, make sure you have appropriate references, social media profiles, and background checks if needed.
5. Before You Leave
There are a few different items you need to check off before getting on the plane. Some programs will help you with these and others will just tell you about them but make sure you keep them in mind, either way.
Make sure you have a valid passport that will be valid for at least six months after you are finished with your program
Along with a passport, some countries require you to have a visa before you enter the country. Some you can get on arrival and some you must obtain before you leave your home country. Do some research and figure it out.
Around the world there are many different diseases you can catch from bugs and animals you encounter. Make sure you consult with your doctor to figure out what is needed before you leave.
Photo Credit: Frankieleon
While you probably have insurance while you are home, not all insurance programs will cover you while you are traveling. Talk to your insurance company and see what is covered and what isn’t. You may need to purchase additional insurance to be completely covered.
Are you interested? Go ahead and take a look at your next challenge volunteering abroad
We hope that you enjoyed the post!
If you're looking for accommodation, remember that in Beroomers we are willing to help you in more than 50 destinations worldwide.