Volunteering abroad is a good way to see the world while also doing your bit for the people in it. You get the satisfaction of helping others, and the feeling this brings is something that is hard to do justice with mere words. You also get to see a country you may have never seen before. You can explore the local culture, see amazing sights, and meet lovely people. However, while volunteering overseas is an incredible experience, it is also a new one and there are numerous surprises along the way. Read on to discover more about some of the things that people wish they knew before volunteering abroad.
Not every volunteer program is right for everyone
There are many different volunteer programs available. If you are going to volunteer overseas, you need to make sure that you carefully assess all of the options so that you can choose a program that fits in with your needs and expectations. Some programs enable you to be more independent, for example, whereas others provide a 24-hour support network.
You will learn plenty of things about yourself
There is no better learning experience than volunteering around the world. You will learn things about yourself that you never knew. You will discover sides of your personality that you did not even know were there to begin with. You will come back home feeling like a new person with a new appreciation for things. You will learn to be happy with the things that you once took for granted before or failed to see any satisfaction in.
You can’t change the world
Yes, we all want to change the world. Yes, we all want to scoop up those children that are in poverty and give them a better life. The harsh reality is that we cannot. But it is important to remember that it is people like you that are changing the world for some people. Your efforts make a massive difference, so try to keep perspective and don’t let the huge and impossible task at hand let you overlook all of the good you are doing.
The culture shock is real
A lot of people will tell you to be prepared for the ‘culture shock’ and that things are going to be bad. But you will still be shocked by just how bad they are. Yes, you may have read about famine and poverty. However, you never really know what it is like until you experience it first-hand, and it will hit you hard.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding some of the important things that you need to know before you volunteer abroad. If you are going to volunteer at another destination, it is vital to be prepared. Make sure you check out the different programs that are available so you can choose one that will guarantee you have a successful experience.