Here’s 11 Ultimate Benefits of Volunteering Abroad
You can learn a lot from volunteering abroad and experiencing new cultures and ways of life. When you get back home, those lessons translate into skills and experience that benefit you personally and professionally.
- New friendships
If you’re travelling with someone from home, volunteering together will hugely develop your friendship and is a good way to adjust to new environments.
- Strong bonds
It may sound obvious but you will really get to know the people you work with every day. Your shared work and situation will lead to some unique and unlikely friendships with strong bonds for life.
Volunteering on a worthwhile project can offer a rare sense of accomplishment: unlike the office jobs that so many people work day-to-day, you’ll know that your work is helping change people’s lives for the better. It’s common for volunteers to discover a new hobby, a passion for volunteering itself, or even to move into paid work in the charity sector.
- Cultural sensitivity
Volunteers are taught about body language, gestures and conversational customs that may differ between their home country and the country in which they are volunteering, to avoid the risk of accidentally causing offense. The lessons are fascinating and often humbling, leading volunteers to reflect on how their behaviour comes across to others in daily life.
- Unique experience
Volunteering in small communities is a great way to get away from the tourist trail and meet locals. Though volunteering abroad is popular, chances are very few people have done exactly the same volunteer work as you, and even then no two volunteers will have exactly the same experience.
It’s not all hard work! Volunteering is important and rewarding, but it’s also about trying new experiences, meeting people, and just having fun!
The current job market is challenging, with tens or sometimes hundreds of people applying for the same job or placement. Volunteering will give you valuable and unusual experience to add to your CV or resume to help you stand out from the crowd.
Not only does volunteering provide the hands-on practical experience that employers value, it is also an opportunity to meet people of all ages and backgrounds from all around the world and forge professional as well as personal connections.
- Language skills
Living and working in another country is hands down the best way to learn the language: hearing it spoken around you and using it yourself all the time.
Another key skill you’ll develop is teamwork. Making your project a success will involve working closely with a diverse range of people, both locals and other volunteers, many of whom you might otherwise never interact with.
As a volunteer, you will almost always be put in a position of management. Whether this is for a small group of people or a whole team, being able to manage effectively will push your career prospects one step further.