A Volunteer Abroad program is a great way to explore a new destination, learn about a different culture, and make a difference in the world. But with so many program options available, how do you choose which one is right for you?
- How long do you want to volunteer?
Many volunteers choose shorter-term programs to fit the experience into a gap year, summer break, or during their holiday. Typically, these are one week in duration, which could be unpaid or cost from $1000-$2000 and include accommodation and meals.
If you have more time available, consider a longer-term program like a semester abroad or even an entire year away from home (perfect for recent graduates!). These take place at universities around the globe where students immerse themselves in local culture while still earning credit towards their degree!
You can also volunteer for a month or more in many developing countries, where you’ll have the opportunity to make a real difference by working on long-term development projects. This program is typically quite affordable and often includes meals and accommodation as part of the package price. These programs will cost between $500 and $1000 depending on your location and the provided inclusions.
- What type of volunteer work do you want to do?
Do some research on what types of programs are available in the destination that interests you. Some program areas will be more expensive than others depending on the support offered and your accommodation arrangements. For example, teaching English is a popular choice for volunteers abroad. Still, if you don’t have previous experience or a qualification in ESL (English as a second language), this may not be an option for you due to insurance requirements.
Children’s care is another area where many people choose to volunteer abroad; however, special training may be required before home.
- Do you want to volunteer independently or with a group?
Volunteering in a group can be fun because it allows you to meet like-minded people from all over the world. Groups also have more support abroad. There are often coordinators available if something goes wrong. They may offer orientations on arrival to help volunteers get settled into their new home away from home.
This type of program will be more costly than volunteering independently. However, many programs include free language classes and excursions for participants that don’t need to pay anything extra! If this sounds interesting, consider joining an organized project through your university or another organization offering similar opportunities before setting out by yourself.
- Do you want to pay for your experience upfront or fundraise the money?
There are many ways to raise funds for their volunteer abroad program. Some organizations even offer fundraising support with information on how to get started, but you’ll need enough time before leaving home, so make sure that this is something worth considering!
If fundraising sounds like too much work, then try saving up instead by setting aside some money each month until it adds up over time which may be easier than trying all at once from scratch if you don’t have any extra income coming in right now (such as working part-time jobs).