Volunteering Abroad is not for the Faint of Heart
Volunteering abroad means leaving behind the comforts of home, entering into an alien culture, and contributing your time and energy to perform good work for strangers. It can be an arduous task, and one that should not be taken lightly. In addition to performing your duties, you function as an unofficial cultural representative and are therefore under constant scrutiny. Your specific responsibilities vary depending on the work you have chosen, but you will always be responsible for adjusting with the new culture and behaving as is appropriate in those surroundings.
Volunteers, both Skilled and Unskilled
When you look for overseas volunteer opportunities you can either seek general opportunities with reputed institutions like the Red Cross, the Peace Corps, or Global Service Corps. Even if you have no skills or academic qualifications beyond a high school education, these institutions can still find work for you. However, if you are a skilled teacher, doctor, or administrator, then you could volunteer abroad through a specific institution such as Doctors without Borders.
Finding the Perfect Volunteer Match for You
When you decide that it is time to take the plunge and volunteer overseas, you need to do a lot of research. First you should think about what country you want to spend time in. This can be based on your ancestry or personal interest in a particular region. You should also consider what kind of work appeals to you, depending on its nature. After identifying what you want to do, you need to find a place to volunteer. Here, the internet is your best tool. Just make sure that whatever volunteer organization you join, it is legitimate.
Volunteer Abroad to Change Your Life
There is nothing better to widen your horizons than spending time living and working in another culture. The world is wide and living out of your comfort zone for a spell will not only test your mental and physical endurance, but will also give you insight into the human condition as a whole when you compare your volunteer culture to your home culture. Therefore, even though volunteering overseas may not help you make big money, and indeed may cost you the price of a plane ticket and lodging, the intangible benefits that you gain will be enormous. The line "overseas volunteer" will also look good on your resume.
To Travel or Not to Travel
Planning a trip around the world may be everyone's dream vacation, but rarely is such an extensive trip within our reach. Considering a volunteer vacation or volunteering as a means of travel is one of the best ways to do meaningful work as it also lets you get a taste of the earth's many cultures.