Volunteering abroad is incredibly beneficial. More people are helped and volunteers undergo a life-changing journey they will never forget.
For one, volunteering abroad allows you to have a learning experience unlike any other. Whether you are on a mission to conserve underwater life or help put a child to school, there’s nothing like traversing foreign lands to make a change.
International volunteers are growing in numbers, and we couldn’t be more excited. If you are looking to become part of a volunteer abroad project, then you’re in the right place.
We will let you in on tips as well as the many benefits of volunteering overseas.
The Joy of Volunteering Abroad
It’s one thing to organize a clothing drive in your school. It’s another to personally deliver them to those who need it. Indeed, volunteering abroad is a unique opportunity to serve others.
Here are the reasons why we encourage everyone to get out of their comfort zone and serve overseas.
1. The sense of giving back
Altruism is in all of us. It may be challenging to make it a priority at first. However, once we make time and a conscious effort to give back, it’s an infectious feeling we encourage everyone to experience.
Giving back is rewarding. It gives our lives meaning and lets us realize that there is more to life than grades, parties or fitting in. When we become part of a volunteer abroad project, we are giving ourselves a chance to make our lives deeper and enriching. We are capable of giving others the chance to live a better life, one that they truly deserve.
2. Improves cultural intelligence
How many times have we been referred to as “ugly Americans”? International volunteering lets us break the stigma and improve our cultural intelligence. It opens our minds to the various, colorful diversity in food, culture, tradition and practices. This makes us more appreciative and understanding of each other’s differences.
Doing this often not only sharpens our minds. It also opens our hearts to the many different ways people behave, worship and lives. No longer are we in a box that short-sighted societies have put us in. After all, the world we live in now could use a little more compassion and empathy.
3. A chance to change the world
Many high school students only perceive volunteering as means to fulfill community service hours. However, it’s so much more than a school requirement. It is a chance for us to change the world. Right now, almost half of the world lives on less than $.250 a day. Plus, nearly 17% of the world’s population is illiterate.
Fortunately, these alarming numbers can be changed for as long as more people volunteer to contribute in their own way. Traveling to poverty-stricken nations will make you realize that there is so much you can do for others.
4. Expanded experience
From learning a new language to honing your palate, volunteering for a service project abroad can expand your experience. It’s a complete immersion in a different culture that was formerly foreign to you. Again, you have a different sense of appreciation to something that was unfamiliar to you before.
Volunteering overseas lets you experience a whole new world. Upon your return, you would have developed an even better taste for everything.
5. Boosting your employment opportunities
Student volunteers are given a great opportunity to make their dreams a reality. Employers love people who are driven and are not afraid to push their limits. Those who live outside their comfort zone in the service of others will be given even better opportunities others could only hope for.
Volunteering as early as now will improve your resume. It increases your chances of landing your dream university or job.
Tips for Volunteering in Service Project Abroad
Is it your first time volunteering in service projects abroad? If you are, then you must be aware of the different risks and
Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Beware of various “volunteering” programs
Sadly, the world of service isn’t free of exploitation. There are certain programs that will trick you into volunteering for free, only to find out there are other “fees” you must pay for.
We highly recommend doing some research and asking thorough questions beforehand. Only work with legitimate service projects for your protection.
2. Learn about the culture before you go
Cultures vary from one country to the next. The last thing you want is to accidentally offend those who are native in the area. That’s why we encourage you to learn about their culture before you go. It not only protects all parties. It also gives you an early appreciation of who they are and what they do.
Little behaviors may make a big difference in a foreign land. So be prepared enough to be taken seriously and properly once you get to your destination.
3. Be realistic on what to accomplish
We can’t help but feel excited now that we have the opportunity to serve overseas. However, a common mistake among first-time international volunteers is they overwhelm themselves. They take on more than they can handle. That’s why they feel stressed and burned out.
Be realistic with your goals. Take it a step at a time. Remember that no matter how little your effort may be, it is making a difference in the greater scheme of things.
Yuda Bands: Service Project Abroad
One of the many organizations that provide service trips is the renowned Yuda Bands organization. For many years, the team has made it their mission to improve the lives of children in developing nations through selling handmade bracelets.
Part of the project is to have students experience what it’s like to be in the forefront of our mission in Guatemala and Zimbabwe. From meeting the people behind it to learning their culture first hand, it’s an experience of a lifetime.
If you are looking to become a volunteer for a service project abroad, then look no further. Yuda Bands is currently offering a service trip to Guatemala and Zimbabwe. You can simply check this link for more information.