What You Need To Know Before You Volunteer Abroad
When it comes to volunteering abroad, this can be one of the most incredible experiences of your life and if you are thinking about applying, or are close to departing there are some essential things you should know before you go.
From knowing how to complete an EHIC renewal application in order to receive free or reduced cost health care across Europe, to ensuring you have effectively pack your case, there’s plenty you can do!
From the reason behind carrying additional money with you throughout your journey to doing your research before you go so you can gain a better understanding of what you are getting yourself into, anyone can volunteer abroad and there are several inspiring reasons why you should jump on-board.
View our list of the top things to consider before applying below.
1. Do Your Research
Before you go volunteering abroad, it is a good idea to do your research prior to when you travel. This way, you can ensure you act appropriately according to the country you are travelling to. Ideally, before you go, you should be aware of what is expected of you during you time as a volunteer which can be found in your volunteer program manual, the language basics of the country you are travelling to and that you’ll need a (very) good pair of comfortable shoes in order to survive the amount of walking you will be doing.
2. Anyone Can Do It!
It’s true! Anyone can volunteer abroad. It doesn’t matter what age you are or if you simply want a meaningful travel experience abroad you can find something suitable for what you wish to achieve. Plus, with no required experience, all it takes to volunteer abroad is the willingness to do so, and you are more than likely to come across a range of characters during your one-in-a-lifetime volunteering abroad experience.
3. Carry Additional Money
Before you go volunteering abroad, you need to consider having some additional money on standby just in case of a crisis, such as missing your flight. Taking additional money with you when you volunteer abroad doesn’t go amiss, and it is inevitable that an unfortunate mishap could leave you out of pocket otherwise. It doesn’t have to be a lot, and you don’t have to have it in cash. As long as it is available, you can feel rest assured for the duration of your trip.
4. Your Goals
Before you go volunteering abroad, we suggest creating a list of goals or a breakdown of what you want to achieve helping others. From learning career changing skills, such as leadership and how to work as part of a team effectively, to the opportunity to travel the world, people volunteer abroad for numerous reasons.
5. How To Pack
When you pack your rucksack to volunteer abroad, you must pack with intention. More often than not, you won’t need much more than a few plain t-shirts, one or two pairs of shorts or long trousers and a pair of trusty trainers. To pack with intention, though, you must check the weather conditions for the period you plan to spend volunteering. This way, if it is forecasted to rain, you can pack a weatherproof jacket to protect yourself from the elements (and can leave your favourite pair of sunglasses at home). Additionally, when you pack to volunteer abroad, it is crucial to ensure your garments are culturally appropriate to avoid looking out of place or even potentially culturally offensive.
There are several things you need to know before you go volunteering abroad. From doing your research to find out what you can expect and what is expected of you to how to pack your rucksack so that you don’t end up packing clothes suitable for an entirely different season, we hope our tips have helped! We wish you the best of luck!