Volunteers travel abroad to make a contribution to important community projects and through the two-way exchange of ideas, perspectives and skills, often discover it has a profound and lasting impact on their lives.
Every volunteer is feeling differently after his first volunteering experience abroad. After your first volunteering abroad period you will search for more. It’s one of those ultimate life changing travel experiences. In this article you will find out more about the benefits of volunteering abroad and at the end of the article you can find the latest calls which will help you decide where to go next!
You develop a more global mindset
As many youths are traveling internationally for the first time, it is inevitable that volunteering abroad will challenge and change your mindset, while developing your global cultural awareness. One of the most common pieces of advice that experienced volunteers share with future volunteers is to travel with an open mind. Your volunteer experience will come with its rewards and challenges, so if you come with an open mind, a willingness to learn and put yourself out of your comfort zone, you will be in the best position to make a valuable contribution to your host community, and get the most out of your experience as an international volunteer. It’s an approach that will hold you in good stead for the rest of your life.
You become more patient
Patience and a willingness to learn are two of the most important traits of an international volunteer. There’s no denying the mutually-beneficial learning exchange that develops between you and your host community; however, you will quickly discover that patience is a necessity to facilitate this – especially when you’re working with language barriers. Volunteers have the ability to develop their intercultural communication skills (and in turn their patience) through interactions with volunteers from other countries, as well as the communities in which they work. These relationships allow you to return home with an enhanced intercultural understanding and the ability to adapt your communication style to engage with new groups of people – a trait that can support you in many aspects of life.
You change your career path
If you are lacking motivation in your studies or work, seeking a new career direction, or simply needing to take a break, international travel is a powerful way to escape the daily grind, rejuvenate, and gain exposure to fresh sources of inspiration to guide the next stages of your career. Whether it be through the people you meet, the cultures you engage with, or a new method of doing something, travel opens your mind to alternative ways of thinking that can support both your professional and personal development. Volunteering abroad takes this to the next level. While being immersed in endless sources of inspiration to challenge your thinking, you, in turn, have the opportunity to develop your existing skills, pick up new ones, or even discover a passion or career path that you would like to explore further. It’s not uncommon to meet a volunteer who decides to switch study or career paths following their volunteer experience, or someone who is volunteering after graduation before deciding what to do next.
You grow more confident
Whether that be confidence in traveling solo, speaking another language, perfecting a particular skill, or developing your intercultural communication, there’s no denying that your confidence will be boosted through your volunteer experience. In turn, you can return home feeling confident that you have made a contribution to a community that values your support.
If some of these benefits make you ready to apply and have your first volunteering experience abroad, check the links below and find the latest open calls for you and your friends!