Posts Tagged Volunteer

Volunteer abroad teaching

Volunteer abroad teaching
A teacher is a person who facilitates education or provides schooling for students. The science of teaching is pedagogy, whereby teachers get professional qualifications for teaching. When you volunteer abroad as a teacher, many organizations provide you with TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certification. This involves 120 hours of learning on how to teach English best in foreign countries at the end of the course you are given a certificate. Most of these programs are flexible and are done to fit your schedule. Apart from getting TEFL there are other language certificates like for French, Spanish and also Italian. But when volunteering abroad as a teacher you don’t need to have these professional qualifications. You don’t need to be trained as a professional teacher; all you need is to be able to speak English fluently. Most of the programs are in third world countries whereby they have problems speaking the language. The local teachers know the language, the grammar and the structural aspects but they lack the right pronunciation and intonation. As English is not their native language they have problems with pronouncing the words properly. As an English speaking foreigner you will be a great asset to the place where you will be working. Usually the volunteer work for 18 to 20 hours a week. Most of the teaching abroad programs are done in classes in some occasions you could be a private tutor helping the kids with their assignments. You could be working in primary, secondary schools or in universities and colleges. The main duties involved in teaching are: Work as a teaching assistant: teaching classes, grading books; Work as a social worker with the Administrator; help in cooking and cleaning; Help in sports activities; and playing with the kids. Lessons Although teaching English is the most popular choice amongst volunteers, there are other subjects that are taught in the schools. These subjects are mainly taught in primary schools to the kids who are in lower grade levels. The subjects include Maths, social sciences, geography, and Arts, music and sports education. The subjects are easy and anyone can teach them. For students who are studying art could teach the higher grade levels on how to present their arts. As well as music, any volunteer who has experience or academic qualification can teach music to the lower grade to the higher grade levels. If you have a passion for sports, or just one sport your skills could be used to teach physical education. Also it could be your opportunity to teach the kids new sports that are played in your home country. Some volunteers combine teaching sports as well as teaching English. Teaching advice On the first day of your class, it could be daunting with all the eager eyes before you, introduce yourself and ask the rest of the class to introduce themselves. This will break the ice and the tension in the class, also find other ways you could involve the students in the class. Try to establish a rapport, and tell the students something about yourself while teaching them the importance of the subject you are teaching. The school you will work in will give you a syllabus in which work with. When preparing your lesson with the syllabus in mind. As your time is limited, planning lessons makes the use of time to be effective. This helps in covering most of the course work in time and helps the students to plan their time as well. There are several teaching techniques you could employ but they need to: encourage contact between teacher and students; encourage active learning; give prompt feedback; emphasize effective time management; and communicate expectations. Lastly as a teacher you should pay attention to the school’s academic and work culture Problems Most of the programs and projects are done in developing countries, and you will be placed in schools which are ill equipped and don’t have the necessary tools. You will be given a chalk board and chalk to use as tools. Most of the text books and reference material will not be available for you to use. This will require you to be creative in your work. With an open mind you can come up with new and creative ways to solve your problems. Another problem is that the students will be excited to meet you since you are from a different culture and may lead them to stray off the topic and ask too many questions about you. Also since you are in a new culture you will have a bit of cultural conflict in the work environment. All in all the students, school and communities are excited about your arrival and the work you are doing. They will help you in any way they can to make your work more fun and as easy as possible.

Volunteer abroad Christmas gifts

Volunteer abroad Christmas gifts

The holiday season is upon us yet again. It’s the season to be merry and jolly. The only time in the year where festive lights are put all over home. The season for drinking eggnog, hanging mistletoes and playing Santa Claus. Christmas is the biggest holiday celebrated in most parts of the world. Christmas means family gathering together, singing and listening to Christmas carols and gift giving. Giving and receiving gifts is the best part of Christmas. Giving gifts to family members is easy. The tricky part is giving gifts to those who are going abroad to volunteer, backpack, work and study. This is because they will need something that is small enough to fit in their bags, and useful to use while they are abroad. Here are a couple of gift ideas to give someone who is going to volunteer abroad;

 

 

Backpacks

 

Every long term traveler needs a backpack.

Volunteers who are abroad will require a good backpack for their journey to the country and to the project location.  A backpack should be comfy, stylish enough, and very sturdy. Other backpack qualities are roomy, ergonomic, air conditioned, well padded, water resistant, should have laptop ports, sound ports, and a waist strap. The well known backpack brands are Eagle Creek, Karrimor, Macpac, The North Face, Osprey, and White Mountain. Cheap backpacks are normally faulty and won’t do any good. The average price of a backpack goes for between $ 150 and $ 200.

 

 

Travel Shoes and socks

 

The volunteers will need a good pair of shoes and socks during their work abroad. The right pair of shoes will carry the volunteer further, faster and safer. The pair of shoes should have the following qualities: they should be comfy, durable, waterproof, not too heavy, good treads, lace hooks and soft soles. Apart from shoes the volunteer should have a pair of flip flops for going to the shower, bathrooms and hot days. A long with a good pair of shoes, they need good quality pairs of socks. The socks should be warm, cushy, cool and comfy. Popular shoe brands are Asolo, Danner, Garmont, and Merrel. The price of shoes varies greatly depending on various attributes and brands.

 

 

Hand Held devices

 

These are great for travelling, especially during long flights, layovers and idle moments. These are also great for those hours doing nothing. There are many devices that are available to buy for example iPod, iPad, gaming devices (PSP, Nintendo DS), mp3 players, and kindles. When choosing the best device to buy consider: the battery life; the storage space, practicality and price. The price of the device depends on brand, memory storage space, quality and popularity.

 

 

Books

 

Books are perfect gifts for travelers. The best books will be the ones that deal with travel for example guidebooks, language books or fictional novels that will inspire the volunteer during their work. Apart from inspiration and education they could also be for entertainment. When choosing a book to buy, get a book that the volunteer loves to read. Example of books that could be bought are: Lonely planet guidebooks, the gap year book, the complete guide to the gap year, How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Abroad, and Green Volunteers: The World Guide to Voluntary Work in Nature Conservation. These books can be easily gotten from Amazon and EBay.

Cameras

 

Every volunteer wants to document their journey and their adventure through photographs and videos. Getting a good camera that would last the period of their work and is of high quality. Good cameras should have: a good megapixel count, image quality, shutter speed, great LCD screens, ergonomic and style. The most common brands are cannons, Sony, Samsung, Nikkon and Kodak. The price varies with the brand and a number of other factors.

 

 

 

 

Volunteer Abroad Scams

Volunteer Abroad Scams
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Volunteers who are abroad like other travelers are bound to fall victim of scams. There are people who are out there looking for ways to take advantage of unsuspecting travelers. They come up with lies and scams to steal money from volunteers who are abroad. As an international volunteer it is wise to be aware of the scams are out there and to avoid them. This article is to help current and potential volunteers to avoid being scammed or taken advantage of while they are abroad. Here are common scams and how to avoid them when the volunteers are going abroad:

Volunteer service organizations

Volunteer service organizations; companies; ethical travel companies; travel agents are all great organizations that help individuals to go to volunteer abroad. They take care of everything for the volunteers, from accommodation, meals to the project they will be working in. For the volunteers who agree to use these organizations should be cautious as there are organizations out there that run scams. These organizations come up with volunteer programs or projects that have no value to the volunteers. They charge volunteers high fees and they leave the volunteer to take care of themselves. The volunteers find themselves in a host country without any support, poor services and dealing with unprofessionalism. To avoid such scams, the volunteers should vet each organization that they choose to use carefully, talk to past volunteers and listen to other peoples recommendations.

Taxi scams

Every traveler has fallen victim to this scam. This scam is common because many of the volunteers are new to the country and they are not aware of the fares. This normally happens when they board a taxi and they are overcharged by the driver. The common lies the taxi driver tells volunteers are the meter is broken; doesnt take the volunteer to his destination claiming that they have forgotten where the place is; and they inflate the taxi fare. To avoid these scams: use a reputable company; use taxi stands; go by the meter; ask a tourist or a hotel, hostel for fares and recommendations; get the price upfront before boarding; and carry small bills. Apart from taxi scams, volunteers might have problems paying for fares in public or private buses. The conductors and the drivers conspire to overcharge the volunteers. To avoid this before the volunteers boards the bus they should find out how much it costs and carry small bills only.

Credit card scams

This happens everywhere but it is more common in Europe. These scams occur when the volunteer swipes his credit card on a tiny machine which records information from the cards magnetic strip. These machines are cheap and easy to buy. With the volunteers information fraudsters or scammers wait for a couple of months and they start swindling money from the volunteers or in some cases they start swindling money as soon as possible. The people who are behind the scams are waiters and shopkeepers. Other ways of credit card scams are through: stolen credit cards, ATMs which swallow credit cards; and fraudulent people who stand by ATMs claiming to be bank officials. To avoid being scammed this way, the volunteers should use credit cards as opposed to debit cards because it is easier to recover the money that has been lost. In addition, the volunteers should immediately report any stolen cards and suspicious activity of their bank accounts.

Negotiate

When the volunteer is about to buy an item they should realize that the seller will try to take advantage for them because they are foreigners. The shopkeepers normally inflate the price up to four times because they know the volunteers do not know the actual price. As a result the volunteers should always haggle or negotiate to get the best price. As a principle the volunteers should ask for a quarter of the asking price this way the seller will know they are not new to that place. Also the volunteer should say they have been to that country a number of times and that they are new to the area.

Volunteer Abroad Organizations

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 organizations 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

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.

Abroader view

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

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 in Singapore with Volunteering Solutions

Volunteer in Singapore with Volunteering Solutions

There are a variety of opportunities available to volunteers who would like to provide their services in Asia. Volunteering Solutions recently added Singapore as new volunteer program destination in Asia. There are many different reasons why volunteers want to help abroad today. Some people simply provide their assistance abroad in order to get a productive vacation in. If this is the type of work you are interested in, you should certainly do your best to select your program carefully. Singapore has many environmental issues, most of which stem from lack of natural water resources, and extensive pollution. At Volunteering Solutions we offer our volunteers opportunities to make contributions to address these problems along with our local partner organizations in Singapore.

Many charities and NGOs work day in day out to fight issues such as poverty, disease and illiteracy and many of them rely on the support of international volunteers.

While your efforts alone aren’t going to change the world but they can certainly make a tangible difference, making volunteer work abroad an incredibly rewarding experience. 

Volunteering Solutions provides special discount for families working together. Many families choose to volunteer while going abroad as a part of the vacations around the world. By including volunteer work in your vacation, you can be productive as you witness new cultures and learn about new ideas and people. Another benefit of volunteering as a family is the fact that minors can volunteer in new and diverse countries when they are accompanied by an adult. By bringing your children along for the adventure of volunteering in countries that desperately need your help, you can build the character of your children while also helping them obtain the experience and skills they will need to become successful later in life.

Though physically small, Singapore is an economic giant. It has been Southeast Asia’s most modern city for over a century. The city blends Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and English cultures and religions. The most exciting aspect of volunteer work abroad in Singapore is the opportunity to travel the famous country and immerse yourself in unfamiliar and exotic cultures. Volunteering Solutions places you at the heart of communities, giving you the chance to live and work alongside local residents and learn their customs and culture.

Volunteering Solutions provides opportunity in 2 different volunteering program options in Singapore, namely: -

1. Volunteer at an Animal Rescue Center
2. Volunteer with Disabled People

Volunteer at an Animal Rescue Center: – This project involves working with the largest wild animal center in Singapore. Volunteers work 5 days per week for around 8 hours per day. The center is short of manpower and is in regular need of volunteers to provide assistance. Volunteers help in following activities: -

I. Foster respect and compassion for all animals.
II. Improve the living conditions and welfare of animals in captivity.
III. Educate people on lifestyle choices which do not involve the abuse of animals and which are environment-friendly.

Volunteer with Disabled People: – Volunteers will work in Cheshire Home which was founded in 1957. The Home aims to provide a “home” in the truest practicable sense for the care, rehabilitation, encouragement, stimulation and happiness of its residents and clients, all of whom are seriously disabled adults of both sexes and various races and creeds, and to give them the chance to live as normal lives as possible. Volunteers will work from 10am to 4.30pm from Monday to Friday. You will be supervised by the volunteer coordinator in the Home.