volunteer in an orphanage

Everybody has their own reasons for choosing to volunteer abroad. Some people want to travel to exotic locations. Others want to learn a new language. Or there are those who simply want to spend their time doing work that benefits people in need. If you are considering volunteering abroad, you will no doubt have your own reasons for wanting to make the commitment. The truth is, there are countless benefits of volunteering abroad, and countless reasons why you should choose to do it.

This article attempts to break down some of the biggest benefits to volunteering abroad, which is to say the reasons why people choose to participate in volunteer projects abroad. You are probably wondering what your particular role is – what it is that you can give, and what it is that you will gain. After reading through these top ten points, you will have a clearer understanding of why volunteer abroad is a worthwhile life choice. Why do you want to volunteer abroad?

Here are some of the biggest reasons why you should volunteer abroad:

Why volunteer abroad?

Volunteer abroad offers a wide range of projects to help developing countries

No matter what your interests, there is a volunteer abroad program available for you. While the most popular programs are teaching English, building houses, and working in conservation, many organizations remain flexible with the type of work you can do, oftentimes accepting suggestions from volunteers. Whatever work you do, it's important to be open minded and flexible.

Volunteer abroad enables you to interact with the local community

In addition to working alongside local community members and organizations, a good quality volunteer program will encourage total immersion, meaning volunteers may be placed with a host family. When living with a host family, you'll be able to observe the local traditions and customs, eat home cooked meals, and experience the living conditions of that country. This is the best way to get to know a place and its people.

Volunteer abroad mostly works with developing countries

Developing countries need the most help. As a volunteer, you should be willing to accept the conditions of whichever country you're sent to, and dedicate yourself to improving those conditions. If you're worried about issues of safety, know that volunteer opportunities should have solid, well-established connections with host countries, and that they have taken every precaution to ensure volunteers' safety. There are many developing countries that are too dangerous to welcome volunteers, and this is why you will see many volunteer organizations offering opportunities in the same countries. The most common destinations are Ecuador, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, Thailand, China, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya.

Volunteer abroad is an immersion experience

Volunteering abroad is an incredibly rewarding experience, especially if you are immersed in the local culture. Take this opportunity to learn the local language, eat local foods, interact with local community members, observe local customs, traditions, holidays, and celebrations, and just become a part of the community.

Volunteer abroad allows you to travel and explore a foreign country

During their downtime, most volunteers choose to travel and explore their surroundings. You can do this on a daily basis, after your workday is complete, and explore your local surroundings, or you can take time on the weekends to go on longer excursions with other volunteers, locals, or by yourself, to far away places. You can also choose to save your traveling for after your volunteer service is over. There is no limit to the types of beautiful places you'll be able to see as a volunteer. Choose a country that is the most interesting to you, and make a plan to see as much of it as possible!

Volunteer abroad to get a taste of a new language

Being immersed in a foreign country means you'll most likely be exposed to new languages. As volunteers, you'll probably be speaking English during work hours, but you also have a unique opportunity to learn the local language by interacting with locals, talking to your host family, or taking classes. Many volunteer organizations offer orientation programs before volunteers begin their work, which oftentimes involve intensive language training.

Conclusion

Volunteering abroad is a great way to spend your time, energy, and money. Not only will you be helping to develop a country in need, but you'll be receiving a life changing experience in return. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people volunteer abroad and come back to their home countries full of new skills, new friends, and unforgettable memories. Be sure to do research before you go by reading through various websites and becoming familiar with the programs and volunteer reviews.