Volunteering abroad offers many great benefits. You can develop confidence, build and learn new skills, experience different cultures, broaden your world view, and change the world in often small but extremely important ways.
We have almost 20 years experience working with volunteers and sending them around the world to work with our charity partners. We've seen first hand the positive difference this can make to not only our partners, but also to the volunteer.
When they return from abroad, volunteers often find out they are far stronger, more resilient, and open-minded than they would ever have thought.
Read on to learn about the top five benefits to volunteering abroad.
5. Experience new cultures
We have a long history of working with charity partners in countries such as Romania and Ghana. One of the first things volunteers will discover is how vastly different life is like in these countries. As well as the different languages spoken, the people act, behave, dress, differently, have hugely differing traditions, and the countryside and cities look far from what you will expect in the UK. This can be disorientating, but we provide orientation sessions to give volunteers the opportunity to learn from other's with first-hand knowledge of working and living in these countries. This allows them to make an informed decision if volunteering abroad is right for them. If a volunteer decides they are happy with going abroad, then they are opening themselves up to some really life-changing experiences!
You can learn a lot about from cultures - not least about yourself. When they return from abroad, volunteers often find out they are far stronger, more resilient, and open-minded than they would ever have thought. They usually make strong bonds with the people they meet abroad, as well as with their fellow volunteers, who are sharing the same experiences with them.
4. Gain new skills
We teach a lot of what we call hard-skills to our volunteers before they are placed abroad. These include peer mentoring, lesson planning, and even construction. In addition to these hard-skills, there are a lot of soft-skills or life-skills that are picked up too. These include the ability to assess situations and make better judgements on actions, often in the heat of the moment! Better time management is also a very important soft-skill that volunteers naturally pick up. Patience, confidence, and team-work are also learned, and these are all extremely important life-skills that you will find you will benefit from day to day when you return home.
We tend to think of positive differences as this huge things, such as ending hunger or poverty. Most of the time, positive differences come in the form of small and simple acts.
3. Make a positive difference to the world
All of us at times feel like making a positive difference is extremely difficult. We tend to think of positive differences as this huge things, such as ending hunger or poverty. Most of the time, positive differences come in the form of small and simple acts. Taking the time to engage with and play with a child who has spent most of their life excluded from society, or just sharing some banter with a person with a severe disability, these acts can make a massive difference to their quality of life. Enough of these small acts stacked on top of each other can be life-changing!
2. It's extremely rewarding and fun
There is not denying it, volunteering abroad is fun. You'll do and experience a lot of incredible things that your mates back home will be extremely jealous of! It's hard work, and at the time you might think ending up stranded in a jungle because the volunteer 4x4 has broken down is terrifying, but you will look back on this as an incredible adventure. It's not often you will get the chance to rub shoulders with exotic animals day-to-day back in Scotland (unless you think of seagulls as exotic animals!). You never know what adventures you'll end up experiencing if you volunteer abroad.
1. You can gain a strong sense of purpose
Many of our volunteers return home with a strong sense of purpose in life. This is something that cannot be taught, it is gained through rich and valuable experiences and adventures abroad. You never know where volunteering will take you. Over the years, so many of our volunteers simply cannot wait to get back out and make a real difference in the world.
If you want to experience these benefits for yourself, get in touch with us today. You never know where volunteering abroad will take you.