There are many benefits to volunteering abroad, not just from a personal perspective but a professional one as well. Not only will you get the opportunity to see more of the world and to help a worthy cause, but you’ll also be learning invaluable life skills that will look great on your CV.
Considering your own volunteering adventure? Here are 5 reasons to give it a go…
1. You might make some new friends
Volunteering trips can be intense, which means that you get to know the people you’re working with extremely well. People that started out as a “bunch of strangers” will quickly become your colleagues, friends, roommates and confidantes as you navigate the world of volunteering together.
However, if you’re unsure as to whether you want to go on your volunteering trip alone, you could always take a friend from home. Having someone familiar close by will help you to ease into your new environment, as well as giving you some much-needed quality time with your friend.
2. Your experience will be unique
There are many different types of volunteering holiday, and an entire planet’s worth of countries to choose from. By completely personalising your trip you can ensure that your experiences will be unique, which will pay dividends when you return home to share your stories with your friends, family, and prospective employers.
3. You’ll feel great about yourself
It’s no secret that volunteering gives people a great sense of accomplishment, and can even have a therapeutic effect for some. If you do decide to try it, you may even discover a passion for helping others that you never knew you had. The newfound confidence you gain from your solo travels will certainly come in handy when applying for jobs post-university, and could even help your volunteering trip evolve into a new career - such as co-ordinating other volunteers or campaign planning.
4. You might learn a new language
Dependent on the country you’re travelling to, you may need to quickly get to grips with communicating in the local language. This can seem overwhelming at first, but making an effort to learn the lingo will quickly earn the respect of your colleagues and the locals, as well as (yes, you’ve guessed it) giving you that something extra to add to your CV.
Even if you’re volunteering to teach English as a foreign language, helping others might even improve your own written and verbal skills as a result.
5. It’s a good opportunity for a technology detox
Whilst the personal and professional benefits of volunteering are clear to see, this doesn’t mean that it’s all hard work. Not only is volunteering extremely rewarding, but it’s also great fun for those that love trying new experiences and meeting others. Which means that, whether it’s because you don’t have any signal or because you’re too busy having fun with your new besties, you probably won’t have much time to check your phone or social media accounts – giving you the opportunity to completely unplug and focus on your adventure.
If you’re thinking about studying or volunteering abroad, speak to a career’s advisor at your university or college.
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