Volunteer Capital Centre (VCC)

Welcome to the Volunteer Capital Centre

Monday, April 15, 2013

Deciding to volunteer abroad

Volunteering abroad is an amazing thing to do. Many people want to get up from their home countries to volunteer abroad, not ignoring the people who need help at home but to extend the reach of their services. It’s really an exciting experience for those who to do it as the rewards are amazing. Like everything else in life it is not easy to volunteer abroad because as soon as you decide to do it there is a barrage of information that you are supposed to go through. Also there are pitfalls that one tries to avoid in order to have a pleasurable experience. There are a couple of things that one should look into before they volunteer abroad:

Location is really important as it determines many other factors about volunteering abroad. Picking the right location is also the most difficult as it seems everywhere in the world needs help and the volunteers don’t have enough money to go to all the locations. As such one should look into places where they need most help as well as somewhere they have always wanted to visit. This way apart from helping out they can also fulfil their desire to travel.

There are many volunteers who are touched by a certain cause and would like to be a part of the change while there are others who are not sure where to put their efforts in. the volunteer should soul search in the case they don’t know what they want to do. Also the volunteer project matters a lot as you would want to make sure the program that you are involved in makes a difference in the lives of the local community. Many volunteers sometimes feel that they didn’t put their best effort and time into the program.  In the end they regret why they went abroad. Deciding on what to do should complement the volunteers’ skills or add to it.

When to go abroad is also a deciding factor, many volunteers who are in school, college or University choose to go in the summer as they have 3 months free. There are some who opt for the shorter periods during winter and summer break to travel abroad. Choosing the best time depends on the volunteers’ free time, although one should also consider the time at the volunteer location. The volunteer wouldn’t want to leave home when its summer to find themselves freezing in the winter in places like South Africa. In addition they should try and avoid months when it is heavily raining, monsoon seasons and lastly hurricane seasons. It is sometimes overlooked but in the end it’s a big factor when volunteering abroad.

Lastly choosing a volunteer abroad organization to go with. They are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of volunteer programs which are all over the world and they all provide volunteer abroad programs. When choosing a volunteer organization there are many factors that should be considered, e.g. services offered, costs and the work they do. There are many mainstream organizations that can be found easily on page one of google but they are the ones which are usually the priciest. If the volunteer is on a limited budget they should avoid these ones and take time to research for other affordable organizations which provide the same services.