Posts Tagged abroad
Volunteer Abroad Career benefits
Many people view volunteering as a waste of time and money. Especially volunteering abroad since there are very few opportunities whereby you can volunteer abroad for free. When you choose to volunteer abroad, you will spend money because most volunteer service organizations charge from as little as $ 1100 to as much as $ 2500 or $ 4500 a month to volunteer. In such instances, instead of using your time to make money you will be spending money. Depending on how you spend your volunteer abroad time, it will not be wasting money. There are many career benefits to volunteering abroad and when done right the money can be seen as an investment. There are many people who stop school to take a gap year; a career break; take a year after high school; and others volunteer at the end of their career. To everyone who volunteers abroad and give out their time and money, they get more back in return as opposed to what they give.
They develop personally as individuals and they add on to their skills. The Career benefits of volunteering abroad include:
When you volunteer abroad there are a host of things in which you learn. Even though your initial plan was for you to have fun there are a host of skills that you can learn while you are abroad. Whichever volunteer abroad work program you decide to do, you are bound to learn new things that will benefit you and your career. During and after your volunteer work abroad you will appreciate your culture, values and habits when you compare with the other cultures. Apart from learning new skills, many people who come out of their volunteer abroad are more focused and are able to choose the appropriate career path. After the work you will know which path to follow in their lives and to a fulfilling career. During your work abroad, you will new people and expand your network. Your will increase your professional network giving you more opportunities when looking for work. Working with different organizations opens up new avenues where you can gain employment. After you finish your education, you don’t normally have professional work experience. When you volunteer you gain professional experience in that field and with the organization. Another benefit of volunteering abroad is exposure, you will learn how other people do things and new ways of solving problems, it will change the way you look at things.
Students who have attained the required GPA and the right SAT scores all want to go to the best colleges and universities. Many students apply to colleges especially Ivy League colleges to proceed with their higher learning. The Colleges and Universities are overwhelmed with applications and find it hard to choose which students to pick due to their limited facilities. As such many students look for giving themselves an edge over other applicants. Some do this by engaging in sports, joining causes and anything that can give them an advantage. The students who have volunteered abroad are better placed to be accepted as opposed to other applicants. This is because Colleges and Universities prefer students who have volunteered abroad because it show they are more mature and they have unique ways of solving problems. Also many higher learning institutions have volunteer abroad programs which they endorse to encourage their students to get a better world view. With their volunteer abroad programs they have study abroad programs in different parts of the world. In institutions like Brown, over a third of the junior class takes the opportunity to complete part of their education outside the United States.
Employees prefer to take up individuals who have a world view and world experience. Especially companies which have many offices around the world prefer people who have world wide experience. For examples multinational companies like oil companies who have offices all over the world would want to hire candidates who have been to different countries. They choose employees who have lived or worked abroad because it is easier for them to adjust to the new living conditions. When you volunteer abroad you learn to live with new people and adapt to their culture. As a volunteer, you learn how to solve problems by thinking out of the box, it broadens your world view and you get to learn a new language. People who have volunteered abroad have a generally increased tolerance towards others and a better understanding of global issues. Being exposed to other cultures may not look like a transferable skill but employer value it because it shows you are used to work with all sorts of people. Employers look for candidates who communicate well with others; value of cross-cultural understanding and have an appreciation for different points of view.
When you take a career break from your work place and choose to volunteer abroad you become a more valued asset to your organization. When you come back after your volunteer work, you become more focused and more passionate about your work. During your volunteer work, you will have gained more skills and abilities for you to use in your work place. Any experience you get abroad make you perform better at work. In the case the company is having problems with money, taking unpaid time off can be an advantage. This way, the company can save money by not paying you in your vacation. This frees up money for the company to help it recover during the time you are away. After your vacation you could go back and work for your company. This can be a win – win situation to you and your employer as when you come back you will be of more value to the company.
An Adventurous Job- Volunteering Abroad
Are you interested in a job with full of adventure and chance to learn new culture? Are you bored of a 9 to 5 sitting job and feeling lack of excitement in life? Are you interested in travelling new parts of world and to live near wildlife? If your answer to these questions in positive then volunteering in abroad is a perfect occupation for you as it gives you lot many chance to learn new culture and explore world. Volunteering abroad is increasing as a career options specially in youth who have interest in social welfare and want to help others. Volunteering programs are usually associated with social causes like rescue work during earthquakes, war, saving the planet, conservation programs for wildlife, educating slum children and much more.
These overseas volunteer programs help you in gaining experience, understanding different communities and their culture, exploring new geographical regions.
This helps in building your social network, keeps to close to nature and also brings a sense of pride.
There are various types of volunteer programs operated by various firms. You can opt to be a part of any wildlife conservation program in Africa or some other region or you can educate children of poor families in under developed countries, or help the need in case of war or any natural disaster. There are lots more ways be participate in volunteer programs. Are you concerned about your resume and thinking that these will not be beneficial for it? Then you are not thinking the other way round. Obviously you can mention all these experience in your resume and sooner or later will find yourself on a serious traveling tour or even have an educational career. By becoming a part of a social welfare society like UNESCO and helping the needy you are paid by government or the society and also get opportunity to explore the off beaten tracks of different countries.
The best thing is to get placed with any agency providing overseas volunteer programs but remember that there are many bogus agencies too that proclaims to the bets but are not even authenticated. So don’t join any agency without proper background check and assuring that they are right to work. Getting references from others is the best way but if you are unable to find any such solid reference then go for proper research to find a suitable agency and try to collect all required information about them before going on any overseas volunteer project. Many authenticated agencies get funds from government and also give required assistance and training before sending you on any project.
Volunteering abroad is a nice career option and is full of adventure and learning. If you are interested in such jobs and in social welfare then go for it. You will find utter satisfaction in yourself.
Volunteer abroad safety tips for female volunteers
Safety is a concern for many people who travel abroad. There is always a risk that something could happen to the traveler while they are abroad. Male volunteers are not safe while they abroad but female volunteers are more at risk than them. Due to their small stature (smaller than the average male) they are more at risk while they are volunteering abroad. Female international volunteers are easier targets than their male counterparts. Being a female volunteer requires them to pay special attention to her and the surroundings. There is a lot to fear while volunteering abroad as a female volunteer but it shouldn’t deter you from leaving home. Here are some tips to help: Dressing While you are abroad try and dress up according to the standards that are there. If you dress inappropriately it is seen as offensive. For example in Muslim and Arab nations, women should cover all parts of their bodies. The women are covered from head to toe. In other places, the cultures are conservative and the women there don’t wear tight fitting clothes and showing cleavage. Before going abroad find out how the local people dress up. To be safe, try wearing loose fitting clothes, long pants and long dresses. Avoid also wearing expensive jewelry and clothing as these attract attention, and you may be robbed of them. Try dressing up like the locals. Fake rings Put on a fake wedding ring that will detract many male suitors. As a female volunteer many men will try and get you. As they may assume that most western foreigners from Europe and the Americas are loose women with questionable morals. To avoid such advances put on wedding ring and if still approached tell them of your happy “marriage” it’s also advisable to carry with you photos of a man. The man could be your brother, friend or cousin to detract their advance. Drinking On the occasions you are invited to a party, or you are in a bar or restaurant, avoid to drink too much. When you are drunk you will become more vulnerable and you will have less control of yourself and your situation. When in bars do not accept drinks that have been opened, ask the waiters or the bar tender to open the bottle when you are seeing. As a rule of thumb don’t accept drinks from stranger that are open. There have been cases where drugs are slipped onto the alcohol then you will black out not remembering what happened during the night. Go out in groups or with somebody with whom you trust and will take care of you when you over indulge. Also when you are having a good time know your alcohol limit and avoid taking drinks you are not used. Stay in touch While you are volunteering abroad always stay in touch with a friend or your family. Email, text, call your family to update them of your whereabouts. Always keep updating them on how you are doing and where you are going. Try to keep them informed with almost everything that is going on. When something happens they will try and help you. Also when you are leaving the volunteer program or volunteer home, always inform them where you are going and when they should expect you back. This way, they will always be somebody who is looking over you. Being alert As a foreigner you will be an easy target for thieves and pickpockets. When you are in large crowds try to be mindful of your things and your surroundings. Get to know the emergency numbers: learn the police, hospital and fire emergency numbers. Try and learn some of the local words just in case you might need some help. In the foreign country mind your body language so as not to send the wrong signals. For example in some cultures women don’t look directly in to the eyes of men. When you do so you may encourage the man to assault your or be rude to you. In such cases try to be mindful and when talking to older men try and looking at the floor and being formal. Periods Menstruation can be an issue while you are abroad, because sometimes you might not be able to access pads and tampons during your girl’s day. Also with menstruation come cramps and body ache making you uncomfortable during that time. To reduce the effects of menstruation visit your General practitioner to give you advice on what to do. Generally many female volunteers carry contraception pills to avoid menstruation. Other solutions are a contraceptive implant, and the coil.
Volunteer abroad Organizations
There are a number of organizations that provide volunteer travel services. These volunteer service organizations could be for profit and not for profit. There is no big difference between the two, unless you live in the USA where your trip could be tax deductable. Most of the organizations provide you with somewhere to work, a school, hospital, or orphanage; and somewhere to stay: a group home, hostel, hotel and a home stay. They arrange everything for you and offer you full support during your stay in the host country. Other organizations offer transport to and from the project location, while some just offer you a place to work while you organize where you will stay. Depending on where you want to go and how much money you have there is a huge list of volunteer travel organizations to choose from. As the industry is fairy new there are no rules or guidelines that govern these organizations in their new industry.
There is also no umbrella body in which these organizations fall under whereby you can check an organization’s credibility or also to complain to. When you are planning your volunteer abroad trip here are a list of volunteer abroad organizations to use:
Volunteer Capital Centre
Volunteer Capital Centre (VCC) is an organization that is based in the UK. They provide quality and affordable volunteer abroad work programs in third world countries. The volunteers will be placed in nonprofit organizations, community based organizations, faith based organizations, and government agencies. They make the process of making volunteering in third world countries a safe and comfortable as possible procedure. They provide their volunteer programs in Africa.
Cross Cultural Solutions
Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) is an international not-for-profit volunteer organization offering short term programs in 12 different countries and 20 different sites ranging from 1 to 12 weeks. CCS is a recognized leader in the field of international volunteering and work with sustainable community initiatives abroad. It is based in USA.
Amizade Places individuals and groups with community projects in ten countries, from Australia and Brazil to Tanzania and the United States. Most service trips are short (about three weeks) but both alternative breaks for college students and long-term projects can be arranged. Volunteers pay for all of their expenses and a percentage of the cost of the project on which they will volunteer. The organization is based in Australia.
A Broader View Volunteers is a 501(c)(3) based non-profit organization based in Pennsylvania. With a love for humankind, and a motivated spirit to help others, A Broader View was created on the belief that one person can make a difference in the lives of others. Our US office is operated by an enthusiastic staff with almost 20 years combined travel and hospitality experience.
BUNAC offers a range of exciting summer camp, work abroad and volunteer abroad programmes. Established in 1962, BUNAC is a non-profit work and travel expert and has been helping young people work and volunteer abroad for 48 years. Popular BUNAC destinations include: USA, Canada, New Zealand, Ghana, Australia, Britain, China, South Africa and many more.
Students Partnership Worldwide
This British organization runs four- to nine-month volunteer programs in India, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. All volunteers receive intensive training (up to six weeks) before working together in teams in rural communities, raising awareness of important health and environmental issues. Participants must be aged 18 to 28 years, and pay fees for each program; SPW offers fundraising advice. The basic cost of a placement ranges from £2900 to £3300, including air fare.
Volunteer Abroad Accommodation
Accommodation, where to stay, makes or breaks a good holiday or stay in a foreign place. Travelers who rush into picking a place to stay normally end up regretting because of not choosing carefully. As an international volunteer going abroad s/he should plan on where they will stay. On choosing on where to stay the volunteer should look into the meals, if they are shared or single rooms, price, services like laundry, WIFI connection, and excursions. International volunteers should look carefully at these factors when choosing a place to stay. The various types of accommodation available are homestays, hostels, hotels, group homes, the project location, couchsurfing, and home exchanges. Each of these options have their advantages and their disadvantages. These places offer:
These are the most comfortable but most expensive places to stay in. Hotels are great as they are a home away from home; the staff makes the volunteer as comfortable as possible. The services offered vary from hotel to hotel. Most hotels are ranked from 2 stars to 5 stars, 5 stars hotels are high end hotel and are very luxurious while 2 stars are not as fancy as 5 star ones. Many hotels have websites that show their rooms and the services they offer to help travelers have a glimpse of what to expect. Budget hotels and motels offer basic services as opposed to luxurious hotels. Hotels are a great option if the volunteers are going to stay for a short period of time, need privacy, new to a country and need a bit of pampering or reminded of home.
Hostels are a common option to backpackers, round the world travelers, gap years, international volunteers and students. Typical hostels are made of single, double, and dorm rooms. The dorm rooms have about 6 bunk beds; the beds normally have a heavy blanket with optional sheets. There is a communal shower, while those who choose private rooms have private showers. Some hostels provide laundry services, WIFI, free breakfast and some have a community kitchen. Most hostels are locked during the day so that they can be cleaned. In the evening some hostels offer social settings, with a bar which serves cheap drinks. The hostels are used to travelers and provide needs that suit travelers. Some hostels dont have curfews but some do. They are a great place to meet other travelers and travel with them. Generally hostels are the cheapest form of accommodation travelers can get but they lack privacy as the travel may share the dorm room with 10 other international volunteers. Some hostels are gender specific and they are for girls only or boys only.
These are normally provided by the volunteer service companies. These are homes that are in the host country whereby all the volunteers will be staying. They are normally single and double rooms. They have a caretaker and chef who will help the volunteers for all their needs. Three meals are provided and they are served at a certain time. Volunteer group homes have someone who will do their laundry in some occasion they provide transportation to and fro the project location. Some homes provide orientation classes to help the volunteer to learn about the host country, the language and currency. The price of group homes vary with the volunteer service organization as the price is included with the volunteer program. They are safe, secure and are great for first time travelers.
These are made available by the volunteers themselves. The property could be house, apartment, flats and townhouses. With this option the volunteers looks for a place to stay and buys furniture for themselves. The apartments are a great option if the volunteer is going to stay for a long period of time. There are great deals out there where by a volunteer could commit themselves for two to three months to paying rent in that place. Renting rules and regulations depend on the landlord/lady and the city. These are good especially if the volunteers are in a group whereby they can save a lot of money by renting their own homes. Older volunteers, boomers, prefer this kind of setting whereby they are able to be comfortable and some could even buy a car.
Other options are available to international volunteers but are not too common. One way is through couch surfing. Couch surfing is whereby the volunteer stay in a persons home and they buy food for a couple of days. There is a network of homes that offer couchsurfing opportunities. This is one of the cheapest ways of traveling as its free. There are rules that go with couchsurfing; the volunteer should know them. Another option is home exchanges whereby the volunteer goes to live in another persons home while the owners are on holiday or are traveling. The volunteers take care of the house and forward mail to the owners.