Sunday, December 5, 2010
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.