Volunteering abroad myths
There many perceived myths that keep potential volunteers from going abroad. The main myths that keep people from volunteering abroad are its too expensive; the volunteers are either too old or too young; the volunteer programs are too long; is it safe and they are making a mistake. Most of the volunteer abroad myths come about because the volunteers are afraid of going alone; they have a limited budget; they are not well informed; a bad experience in the past and a prejudiced opinion. Even though these myths are easily dispelled many people still don’t volunteer abroad. The best way to tackle myths is to get proper information about volunteering abroad. With the information the volunteer will be able to answer any question s/he has about volunteering abroad. Here are some of the volunteering abroad myths that keep volunteers from going abroad and how to dispel them:
It’s too expensive to volunteer abroad
One myth potential volunteers have is that volunteering abroad is for the rich.
They assume the cost of travelling and volunteering abroad is too high for them to afford. Although some volunteer service organizations ask volunteers to pay hefty fees that prohibit volunteering abroad. There are also more affordable volunteer service organizations that volunteers can use. Another thing that keeps volunteering from going abroad is the air fare. To bust this myth, the international volunteers should look for cheaper options. With regards to Volunteer Service Organizations, there are expensive and cheap organizations, the volunteer should research and find the organizations that can fit their budgets. Volunteers should take advantage of budget deals and try to buy air line tickets in advance, and be on the lookout for great deals. Also the travelers who will volunteer independently off volunteer service organizations, have to research the affordable ways of volunteering abroad for example they will have to stay in budget hostels, and keep their expenditure to a minimum. Bearing in mind that costs that the volunteer will incur are the same as the costs they will incur as though they are at home, as in they will still have to pay for rent, food and other expensive items. Most of international volunteers who go abroad are not rich but are average.
It’s not safe to volunteer abroad
Many volunteers fear for their safety while they are abroad. The volunteers fears that they will stand out and will be victims of crime. They also assume that the countries they could go to are dangerous and unsafe. Volunteering in a foreign country is relatively safe as volunteering at home. When the volunteer is abroad, they will safe because many of the local people will go out of their way to help them. Also while the volunteer will be abroad they will be other volunteers who will teach them how to be safe. An individual will never be a hundred percent safe even if they are at home and there are places that are safer than the others. While they are abroad, volunteers should try not to expose themselves to risky situations that would comprise their safety.
Are the volunteers too young or too old?
Another myth that is there is that the volunteers fear that they are too young or too old. Volunteering abroad has no age limits. Both the old and the young can be involved in volunteering abroad. For the younger volunteers, there are some companies that deal with only adults and some that include teenagers and adults. The younger volunteers should look for organizations that accommodate them and avoid the others. For older volunteers, the boomers, they should be involved in volunteer work that they are capable of doing. There are volunteers who are as old as 75 who take part in volunteer work. The boomers should choose volunteer work that will suit them to give back to the society more.
The volunteers will be too lonely
The volunteers fear that they won’t know anyone and might have problems making friends. Volunteers who are planning to go abroad are afraid that they will get home sick and miss their family and friends. It is normal for volunteers to miss home at some point. On the other hand volunteers will meet other volunteers and travelers who are abroad. As such the volunteers will not be lonely, they will also be working closely and in some occasions they will be living with the locals. There will be sometimes where they will be working alone but the volunteers will generally be with other people. To overcome loneliness the volunteers can be in constant communication with their families and they could travel with a friend or a family member.
Chicago Sun-Times Scholarships
Chicago sun-times scholarships are designed to help students interested in journalism and they are funded by Chicago sun-times. Scholarships are given to the students who apply for the program after fulfilling the specific requirements set for this program. If you are a resident of Chicago for last five years or you have recently graduated from one of the Chicago high schools, you can apply for this funding option. However, if you find all this interesting you can gather complete information about the funding options sponsored by Chicago sun-times and then go through them.
Read the requirements along with the guidelines and instructions for the scholarship programs thoroughly so that you get an idea about the program and the facilities it is going to provide if you win the award money. Some of the scholarships are intended to help minority students.
If you belong to any such group, see whether your group is included in the list or not. Do not get disturbed or disheartened when you are searching for scholarships and you get negative results initially. You can narrow down your search and look for some general options also. Contact the financial aid office of your institute and find whether there are financial aid options available or not.
If you are interested in Chicago sun-times scholarships, find the qualifications for the scholarships first. Find the eligibility requirement and fill out the application form only if you find confident about fulfilling the prerequisites. Your application will get accepted only when you fulfill the requirements set for that particular scholarship program. Gather complete information about the scholarship in which you are interested beforehand. Read the instructions thoroughly and understand what the sponsor is trying to ask. Try to impress the panel and get selected for the award money.
When you are applying for scholarships funded by private resources, you should keep in mind that there are various factors that work behind helping you win the award money. One of them is that you need to impress the panel with your qualities and manner of applying too. If you apply for Chicago sun-times scholarships in an organized way you can impress the panel.
Volunteering Abroad And Travel Warnings
Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. ~Author Unknown. Since the beginning of this year, there have been political and natural problems in a number of countries. The problems have been spread throughout the globe. First there was unrest in Ivory Coast due to the elections they had, second were the floods in Australia and Brazil and lately there has been unrest in the Arab nations (Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon). Some of these situations are predictable for example there is bound to be trouble when travelling to a third world country during an election year. It is easy to foresee problems in such scenarios, but there some which take the whole world by surprise. A good example is what is going on in the Arab world where they are fighting for democracy and also the natural disasters in Australia where few knew the floods would bring so much trouble. As a volunteer in a foreign country these problems are compounded in that; the country is no longer safe; communication in to and out of the country could be halted, the internet could be blocked; media black outs and a curfew could be imposed in the said country. When choosing the country to go to care has to be taken to avoid being in such a situation. A couple of tips to help you choosing a country to volunteer in
Travel bans and advisory
Every government tries to protect its citizens by giving out travel advice on countries. In each government there is a foreign affairs arm that looks into what is going on in the world. They get updates from every part of the world. They monitor what goes on in every country and when there is a hint of problems they advice their citizens. On their publications and announcements, they warn their citizens on which countries to avoid. For example there is Know Before You Go campaign, which is from England, Canada has Foreign affairs and International Trade and the USA has Bureau of Consular Affairs. They all have alerts on certain countries and they each have a different valuation of the risk in the countries. Currently there is a general ban on travelling to countries in the red sea region. When picking a country to go to, it is advisable to visit the governments website to see how safe the country you are going to go to is.
Reading and watching news of a country is the best way to be informed. In this day and age there are a lot of sources of News. There is the internet, newspapers, magazines; and televisions all these are sources of News and current events. Although the media channels could be exaggerating what is going on the ground, they are the one of the best sources of information. Keeping abreast with current news of the country will help you to pick the best country to go to. In the news the volunteers will learn about the major things that are happening to the country that they will be going to.
The volunteers who are picking a country which could have security risks, they should have a look at the country profiles. Every country has been listed and there is a measurement to see which country is the safest to travel in. The country profiles are regularly updated and give a sense of how safe the country. The country profiles describe headline facts and figures about the population, capital city, and currency. Then briefly outline the geography and recent history, current politics and economic trends
The volunteers who choose to use volunteer travel organizations are better placed to get information on a country. The volunteer travel organizations have their employees on the ground and they have first hand information on what is going on. With this information they can help to advice you which countries are safe to go to. They will have first hand information from the ground and will inform the volunteers accordingly. The best part of using travel organizations is that in case of an emergency while the volunteer is abroad is that they have contingency plans. They will help you get out of a tricky situation.