Reg Charity 1143560
Thought Piece

What You Take From Volunteering Abroad And What You Give Back

By Rianna
Successfully sending volunteers abroad for 10 years

In recent years, many more people decide to volunteer. It can change your life! Not only does it help you, but you’re also supporting others. Some people may already be aware of the benefits volunteering has on their local community; however, this holds a different value when you venture further out your comfort zone. You may have decided to look into overseas adventures and explore other communities and cultures, so here are three personal benefits of volunteering abroad. 

What You Take Away From A Volunteering Experience 

Strong Bonds

Whether you are travelling alone or with friends, it’s inevitable that you will still develop strong bonds. This is a unique experience that you share with yourself and those around you at that time. These travelling friendships you form and develop are like no other. You all face the same challenges, positive and negative experiences and daily life for the duration of your time there. 

It can be frustrating to think that these friendships may be temporary, however, that’s how the strong bond forms. The intensity of the experience, living with them abroad for a few weeks or more to working with them when you have limited resources really brings people out of their shell. The people you share these times with will get to know a different side of you to those people you have at home and vice versa. You are all witnessing each other in a different environment and how you act and behave in such circumstances is what you can all relate to. It is a valuable learning experience. 

Sense of Accomplishment

Volunteering for charity work offers a different sense of accomplishment. It is like no other. This may be one of the main reasons why more and more people are enticed to try an overseas adventure. There is an intrinsic motivation that fuels you to help others as it provides you with a sense of accomplishment that paid work can’t give. You are receiving no physical or tangible incentive for the work you are doing. 

With so many volunteering programs around now, individuals also have the choice to tailor it to their likes and dislikes as well as how and who they want to help. This strengthens that sense of accomplishment volunteers are able to see the short-term and long-term effects of their support. 

Skills, Knowledge and Experiences

Volunteers often organise their trips months or years before they travel abroad. Even before you set foot in the country you chose, you have already gained many skills, knowledge and experiences. However, it doesn’t stop there, this learning and development continues during the volunteer experience and beyond. 

You learn to research programmes that are available, you learn how to travel and communicate effectively. These are just two of the skills you learn whilst preparing for travelling abroad. However, the skills and knowledge you learn whilst volunteering can also include learning a new language,  picking up on new body language and how to use public transport. You develop a sensitivity to other cultures and their way of life, whilst also learning things about yourself. These are all transferable skills you can take back home with you to help develop your personal and professional growth.

As for experiences, each adventure is different. They will never be alike. From start to end you experience different emotions, memories and relationships with others. This does not stop when your charity work ends. Your experience will shape you as a person, it will have an effect on your perceptions of life and this may influence your future decisions and choices, it is a gift to yourself.  

What You Give Back To The Volunteering Experience 

Many people seek out volunteering experiences to gain for themselves. However, it is good to remind yourself that the work you do is for others also. Volunteering abroad can be challenging and you may be faced with tough obstacles you haven’t come across before. When you’re working hard and forget what true altruism is about, remind yourself of these reasons behind your experience.

Make A Difference

You are making a difference on both a small and larger scale. Think about all the people you are helping directly and indirectly. This is how you are giving back. You have put yourself out there to use your skills and knowledge to do charity work and help others. Whether it be educational, religious or with animals you are making a big difference! 

Help Communities

Volunteering abroad helps communities. When you are embarking on your journey and working to help them you are contributing towards achieving their main goals. For example, if you are helping in a school you are helping the community by allowing more children to access resources and learn. If you are working in a hospital, you are helping the community by offering an extra pair of hands which can go as far as to save lives! 

Support Organisations

When you volunteer with an organisation, you are helping them achieve their goals. By enrolling on their projects, you are supporting their goals in development work in the countries they work at.  

You are helping others by being a part of it! By doing this, you are part of what makes a larger difference in the world by offering your help where it is most needed.

Other Thoughts

We've always got plenty going on, so why not check out some of our other latest news and thoughts? Or perhaps you're ready to gt stuck in yourself? If so, Apply Now to get in touch with one of our specialist trip advisors.