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10 Things You Thought You Knew About Volunteering Abroad

10 Things You Thought You Knew About Volunteering Abroad

Author -  Shelby Cooper

It's time to plan an adventure overseas but you're not the type of person to just book a hotel and "see the sights". 

 

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering.png

You're on a budget and are unsure if you will be traveling alone or with friends. So you jump on Google and stumble across this volunteer adventure thing... 


If you still want to see the sites but also want to immerse yourself in the culture and do something positive with your time then volunteering might be for you. 

 

Keep reading and find out the most common misconceptions people tend to have when it comes to volunteer adventures.  

 

 

1. It’s dangerous!

International Working Holidays 650w - IWH--14.png

It’s one of the safest/easiest ways to travel. You are picked up from the airport and are hosted by locals. Not to mention that you will be with other volunteers from all over the world. 

 

 

2. You have to be qualified to go. 

International Working Holidays-2.png

Pretty much anyone can do it. For most volunteer trips, you just need the right attitude. For most projects, you’ll need to be 18 but there is no upper age limit. If you have certain skills that can be utilised, that’s awesome! Otherwise you will be trained when you’re there. Some might require you to write a cover letter explaining your motivations for wanting to be involved. Most of the time you can go with a friend but most people are there by themselves! YAY new friends.  

 

 

3. It’s free to volunteer.

International Working Holidays-3.png

Sorry - but if you're "volunteering" then you need to cover the costs of yourself being there at all. 

These incredible people who start up these projects need funding for their programmes and need to eat themselves! Bringing in volunteers helps to pay for their expenses and amazing work they do. When you pay to go - it needs to be able to cover the costs of hosting volunteers like yourselves otherwise they would just have local volunteers do it. Their way of saying thank you for their contribution is allowing you to be part of the incredible work they do - and it’s usually not exactly slave labour. You’ll learn heaps about something that you are passionate about no doubt. Usually people pay to visit and merely spectate on the place where you get to be immersed completely in. 

 

 

4. It’s expensive to volunteer. 

International Working Holidays-4.png

Well, to be fair, it’s still cheaper than traveling as a backpacker. Think about the amount of money you spend getting around on taxis, buses, subways etc., the amount of money you spend on food, accommodation and activities. Most places will include your transfers, meals and accommodation once you’re there so anything else you have saved will be spending money. 

 

 

5. There won’t be people my age to hang out with. 

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering-friends.png

Whether or not you think you’re too old or too young - you’ll be hanging out with like minded people from all over the world! Plus you probably won’t actually be the oldest or youngest person there, and if you are, embrace it and enjoy learning about what brought other people to making the decision to volunteer half way across the world. 

 

 

6. Living conditions will be rough

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering-accommodation.png

Accommodation can be pretty darn nice! But it depends on where you go. From luxury permanent tents to bunk beds to resort style rooms which are serviced daily (yes I’m serious). It varies. 

 

 

7. The food will be gross

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering-meals.jpg

Again, it varies. You can expect to be taking turns cooking the meals each night or having it served to you from a chef. Either way, you’ll be fed and will get to experience the local food as well!  

 

 

8. You won’t get to see the country, do anything touristy or learn anything about the culture as you’ll be working the entire time. 

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering-touristy.png

Not true! This is the way you can live like a local and get off the beaten track. You’ll have free time to explore and will be shown the best places that only the locals know about as well as doing the classic tourist activities. They get that you’ve come from far away and they want to show off their country! 

 

 

9. It’s not going to help me with my career

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering-career.png

Definitely wrong again - you can get involved with something to help make your decision if this is the sort of thing you want to do for the rest of your life! Plus employers like to see well rounded, philanthropic people. In some cases you might be given a certificate at the end in recognition of your work or you might even sit an exam if you’ve been doing a course. 

 

 

10. All volunteer programmes are legit

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering-safe.png

Unfortunately, in the age of the internet, anyone can share information or convince you of something that isn’t real or true. It’s important to do research on volunteer projects before you commit to going. Make sure that someone will actually be there to pick you up on the other side! Plus make sure that you are working with a responsible programme which is ethical towards it’s wildlife and supports it’s community. 

However, if there's something that you're not sure about, make sure you ask and find out why before making any assumptions. 

 

 

Still confused? Just make sure you do some research and talk to someone who knows what you're in for before making the decision to volunteer. It might be the best decision of your life! 

10 Things You Thought You Knew About Volunteering Abroad

Find out the most common misconceptions people tend to have when it comes to volunteer adventures.

It's time to plan an adventure overseas but you're not the type of person to just book a hotel and "see the sights". 

 

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering.png

You're on a budget and are unsure if you will be traveling alone or with friends. So you jump on Google and stumble across this volunteer adventure thing... 


If you still want to see the sites but also want to immerse yourself in the culture and do something positive with your time then volunteering might be for you. 

 

Keep reading and find out the most common misconceptions people tend to have when it comes to volunteer adventures.  

 

 

1. It’s dangerous!

International Working Holidays 650w - IWH--14.png

It’s one of the safest/easiest ways to travel. You are picked up from the airport and are hosted by locals. Not to mention that you will be with other volunteers from all over the world. 

 

 

2. You have to be qualified to go. 

International Working Holidays-2.png

Pretty much anyone can do it. For most volunteer trips, you just need the right attitude. For most projects, you’ll need to be 18 but there is no upper age limit. If you have certain skills that can be utilised, that’s awesome! Otherwise you will be trained when you’re there. Some might require you to write a cover letter explaining your motivations for wanting to be involved. Most of the time you can go with a friend but most people are there by themselves! YAY new friends.  

 

 

3. It’s free to volunteer.

International Working Holidays-3.png

Sorry - but if you're "volunteering" then you need to cover the costs of yourself being there at all. 

These incredible people who start up these projects need funding for their programmes and need to eat themselves! Bringing in volunteers helps to pay for their expenses and amazing work they do. When you pay to go - it needs to be able to cover the costs of hosting volunteers like yourselves otherwise they would just have local volunteers do it. Their way of saying thank you for their contribution is allowing you to be part of the incredible work they do - and it’s usually not exactly slave labour. You’ll learn heaps about something that you are passionate about no doubt. Usually people pay to visit and merely spectate on the place where you get to be immersed completely in. 

 

 

4. It’s expensive to volunteer. 

International Working Holidays-4.png

Well, to be fair, it’s still cheaper than traveling as a backpacker. Think about the amount of money you spend getting around on taxis, buses, subways etc., the amount of money you spend on food, accommodation and activities. Most places will include your transfers, meals and accommodation once you’re there so anything else you have saved will be spending money. 

 

 

5. There won’t be people my age to hang out with. 

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering-friends.png

Whether or not you think you’re too old or too young - you’ll be hanging out with like minded people from all over the world! Plus you probably won’t actually be the oldest or youngest person there, and if you are, embrace it and enjoy learning about what brought other people to making the decision to volunteer half way across the world. 

 

 

6. Living conditions will be rough

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering-accommodation.png

Accommodation can be pretty darn nice! But it depends on where you go. From luxury permanent tents to bunk beds to resort style rooms which are serviced daily (yes I’m serious). It varies. 

 

 

7. The food will be gross

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering-meals.jpg

Again, it varies. You can expect to be taking turns cooking the meals each night or having it served to you from a chef. Either way, you’ll be fed and will get to experience the local food as well!  

 

 

8. You won’t get to see the country, do anything touristy or learn anything about the culture as you’ll be working the entire time. 

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering-touristy.png

Not true! This is the way you can live like a local and get off the beaten track. You’ll have free time to explore and will be shown the best places that only the locals know about as well as doing the classic tourist activities. They get that you’ve come from far away and they want to show off their country! 

 

 

9. It’s not going to help me with my career

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering-career.png

Definitely wrong again - you can get involved with something to help make your decision if this is the sort of thing you want to do for the rest of your life! Plus employers like to see well rounded, philanthropic people. In some cases you might be given a certificate at the end in recognition of your work or you might even sit an exam if you’ve been doing a course. 

 

 

10. All volunteer programmes are legit

iwh-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-volunteering-safe.png

Unfortunately, in the age of the internet, anyone can share information or convince you of something that isn’t real or true. It’s important to do research on volunteer projects before you commit to going. Make sure that someone will actually be there to pick you up on the other side! Plus make sure that you are working with a responsible programme which is ethical towards it’s wildlife and supports it’s community. 

However, if there's something that you're not sure about, make sure you ask and find out why before making any assumptions. 

 

 

Still confused? Just make sure you do some research and talk to someone who knows what you're in for before making the decision to volunteer. It might be the best decision of your life! 

10 Things You Thought You Knew About Volunteering Abroad

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