Many of us yearn to travel and see the world. In German, the yearning to visit far-away places in known as “fernweh,” which translates to “farsickness.” Chances are, you’ve sat in class or at work thinking about the interesting places and events you’d like to see. You can combine your intentions to travel with philanthropy, using volunteer opportunities to see the world while making a positive impact on international communities. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you search for volunteer opportunities abroad.
Before you commit a significant amount of time and effort into your upcoming volunteer travels, conduct research on the organizations you’d like to work with. Make sure that they are reputable, and that they are accurately representing their mission and efforts. See if you can find testimonials from other program participants so that you can get a clear idea of what the experience will be like. Don’t be afraid to contact program coordinators and participants to get further information before you make a decision.
Examine Your Assets
Before you fly away to volunteer your time and effort for a charitable cause, make sure that you have enough funds for your flight there and back, along with money for other necessities. You shouldn’t become a financial burden on the organization that is hosting you. If you don’t have the means, you can always start by volunteering domestically. Take steps to ensure that your bills back at home are paid before you leave for your adventure abroad.
Find Causes You Are Passionate About
Volunteering for a cause requires a significant investment of time and effort. You will also likely need to finance your transportation, food, and lodging when you arrive in another country to take part in volunteer efforts. These investments can be much easier to manage if you choose a cause that you are truly passionate about. Think about your academic and activist history – what social issues have you been drawn to in the past? For example, if you have been heavily involved in advocating for women’s rights, you should explore volunteer opportunities that highlight female empowerment. Having a continued interest in certain international issues can help you get through the obstacles you might encounter during your volunteer experiences.
Volunteering abroad can help you quench your thirst for travel. There are a number of international opportunities for volunteers interested in a myriad of causes. Don’t miss out on the chance to instigate positive change abroad.