Guest Post: 7 Reasons You Need To Volunteer Abroad
If you are coming to the end of your studies, most of you will soon be busy checking job websites, scanning the local papers and trying to find that perfect first position. However, given the tough economic climate, more and more young people are finding it tough to get a job at all – let alone find the perfect one.
With that in mind, here’s seven reasons why we think now’s the right time to volunteer abroad.
1. You Develop As A Person. By far and away the biggest benefit to you by volunteering abroad is that you yourself will develop as a person. You will meet people from across the world you’re unlikely to have met if you’d stayed at home. You’ll develop skills and nurture friendships that will last a lifetime, and once you return you will have stories to tell. Whatever it is you do, you will develop into a more well-rounded person.
2. You See The World. By volunteering abroad you can choose the country which you’ve always dreamed of visiting. You could go to Africa and work in an orphanage, visit India and deliver life-saving medication to slum dwellers or work on a conservation project saving turtles in South America. Whatever you do or wherever you go, seeing majestic mountains or crystal clear seas is by far and away more appealing than a rainy Redditch.
3. You Change Lives. One of the major benefits of volunteering abroad is to change lives. By volunteering abroad the time and effort you give on your project will make a difference to peoples’ lives. For example, if you help dig a well for a water pipe, it could keep a village stocked with clean drinking water for years. Even if your volunteering work is just looking after children, the time you spend volunteering will help – it all adds up.
4. You View A Culture From The Inside. By spending time in a country different from the one you grew up in, you will be given a unique learning experience by interacting with a new culture. You may learn a new language, try new foods, have to dress differently. Wherever it is you go you will view a culture from the inside – helping to challenge proposed “norms” and making you a more well-rounded person.
5. You Meet New People. You will not be alone when you volunteer abroad. For years you have probably surrounded yourself with the same friends and same family members, without branching out and meeting new people. What could be better than jetting off abroad and interacting with people from all four corners of the world? People who work abroad make friends for life – and, with the advent of Facebook, keeping in touch with them and reminiscing about the time you spent together is easier than ever.
6. You Can Influence Your Future Career. You might have spent years studying accountancy. You may know everything there is to know about English Literature. But two weeks spent abroad helping orphans afflicted by AIDS can put it all into perspective. You may come back and decide you don’t want to photocopy spreadsheets or write email marketing newsletters for a company which sells lawnmowers. Volunteering abroad really can influence your future career.
7. You Boost Your CV. But finally, the biggest benefit for volunteering abroad is that it will boost your CV. Jobs nowadays are few and far between. Spend a few weeks abroad making a difference to people’s lives, meeting new people, trying new things and having new experiences and you will have something to put on your CV which stands out. You will not only stand out from the competition when you go for an interview, you’ll be showing prospective employers you’re motivated, you’ve got guts and interpersonal skills far and above your peers.