Why You Should Volunteer Abroad
It’s been exactly over a month ago since I left to go to Argentina this summer. I came back just a few weeks ago with an adopted dog which was in no way in my plans. However, that’s what happens sometimes while traveling and I am absolutely in love with her. Now, that I am back to work this week and more settled, it’s time to share my experience with anyone who is interested in volunteering abroad! Finding the right volunteer program could be daunting and overwhelming. However, with all the resources online there are many ways to be able to research the best program abroad. While there are sometimes way too many to really distinguish which is right for you, it’s still possible to be able to figure out the right one.
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Volunteering abroad is an experience that one won’t forget. When you are able to give back to others around the world, it not only makes the world a better place but you honestly will feel a whole new experience that you never felt before. There could be many reasons to volunteer abroad. Whichever reason you choose, when you go abroad, it is an experience that will help you grow and become a different person.
Picking a place to volunteer can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many places around the world to volunteer. From Spain, Australia, South America, Central America and even in the United States, there are so many places!
Here are 4 reasons why you should go volunteer abroad..
Volunteering gives you exposure
You can volunteer domestically. I like to volunteer in my own country; I even gave up almost a year called “Service Year” to give back to low income communities in Miami, Florida. However, volunteering abroad is a whole new and totally different experience. You are exposed to a new culture, language, customs, food and even people and places. There are going to be things that are different from what you are accustomed to. However, this is an opportunity to grow from your comfort zone. You might probably be confused on how to approach it but this is a time to learn. Ask questions, observe and learn from a culture that’s different from yours. When you go abroad, you get to also meet different kinds of people. Many people that you meet will be able to teach you something. I have learned a lot from talking to others who had a different language, age and culture from me. That is something you will be able to look back at and be grateful that you were exposed to it.
Growing out from your comfort zone
I am always advocating to grow from your comfort zone. Why? There is something so beautiful about discovering parts of yourself that you never thought existed. When you are abroad, you get to face head on things you are not comfortable with. Whether it’s asking for directions, to ordering a meal in a new language to even going to new places with people who you never thought you’d meet, you will be growing out from your comfort zone. It’s one of the greatest feelings to be able to discover the best parts of you all while trying new things.
You’re giving back
What is a better way to say it? The world needs you. Think about how privileged many of us are. We may not have the biggest house, the best car, or a million dollars. However, you don’t need that. Think about how healthy you are and waking up to another day of life. That is something you cannot put a price on. There is a spectrum of being privileged. Reflect on how you can give back to those that are less fortunate of you. Think about how giving back to others in this world will make you feel. It is rewarding to give back on this earth and it is another reason why you should go volunteer abroad.
You will get to travel
More often than not you will be able to travel around and see new places. At the time I was in Argentina volunteering, I was also managing to adopt a homeless dog. I wasn’t able to travel as much as I’d like but that’s an exception. When you are abroad, there are many people who will be interested in exploring new places just like you. Therefore you most likely will be in a group of other people exploring the same places You most likely won’t be alone unless you choose to be (which is cool too but remember you are limiting yourself in growth). You may be able to travel to the mountains, ride a horse down a hill, eat some interested lamb or meal, skydive or even see how the locals celebrate their holiday. When abroad, you will have many chances to try new things and go explore places that were off your radar.
Overall, volunteering abroad is something beautiful and life changing. You are making a difference in another community and possibly another life. Although you may not think you have made a difference, you have. It may be small or big but in the grand scheme of things, there is a difference being made. There are several other reasons people go volunteer abroad and these are just a few. In reality, it’s up to you. There are many places to choose from and there are plenty of resources out there to help guide you. Listen to your gut, choose a project you are interested in learning about and go do it. There is something out there for everybody!