Volunteering abroad is increasingly popular amongst high school graduates and university students. It is an extraordinary opportunity to learn about a new culture, gain new skills, and help those in need. Additionally, it’s a great way to boost up your resume to make it stand out from the pile.
The time that you spend abroad is as much about your own experience as it is about the experience of the community that you are working with. There are thousands of options for you to choose from and there isn’t a perfect system for picking the right placement.
Here are a few things to consider to help you choose your perfect volunteer project:
Your Day-to-Day Work
There are hundreds of opportunities for you to choose from, and what may work for someone may not work for you. When selecting your project it’s important that you keep your interests and goals in mind.
Think about your career prospects, or the areas you would like to learn more about. Consider whether you like working with other people, or on your own. Do you see yourself working outside or would you rather stay in an office?
Keep in mind that this is how you are going to spend every day while abroad, so make sure you pick something fun and exciting.
Where in the World?
Is there a particular region of the world you are interested in exploring? Now is your chance!
Think about the culture, the people, the language, the food, the landscapes… Would you like to live in the city or in the jungle? Maybe by the beach? You want to make sure you choose a country you are passionate about, so take some time to evaluate your options.
It’s a good idea to do some research on the country you are thinking about to make sure you set your expectations accordingly.
The Right Timing
Make sure you have enough time to learn as much as you can and make a tangible difference in the community where you are serving. Plan ahead to ensure your desired project is feasible for your available time frame. And also check what the weather will be like during your time abroad so you come prepared.
Fees and Funds
Choose the project that’s right for your budget. It’s a good idea to look for scholarships or grants in your school, or sponsors in your community. Many volunteers fundraise for their trips through various events.
Again, planning ahead will be key, but it’s just as important to make your fundraisers fun and to inspire your community with your cause.
The Perfect Partner
This is perhaps the most important step of all. It is vital that you volunteer with an organization that offers you support and safety throughout your project. You want to make sure they are a reliable organization with a solid commitment to contribute.
Do some research, talk to anyone you know who has volunteered abroad before, read reviews, and don’t be shy when it comes to contacting different organizations directly.
How ULS Can Help
If you’re traveling overseas as a student volunteer ULS can help with all your translation needs. From birth certificates and passports to program applications and resumes, we provide professional, certified translation services in more than 200 languages.
About Projects Abroad: With 25 years of experience, Projects Abroad is one of the most established volunteering organizations in the world. They offer unparalleled support with over 600 trained staff around the world available to you 24/7. You can choose a project you are passionate about with hundreds of options in 30 destinations. As all projects run year round, you can choose your own start date and duration, making it easier to fit your project in your busy schedule.