There is a special feeling and sense of satisfaction that comes with knowing that you are part of something good. This altruistic factor is one of the main reasons why many people choose volunteer work abroad. There is a deep sense of idealism driving many young people to choose volunteer opportunities in many countries around the world. However, this must also be tempered with reason and appreciation of the reality on the ground. Before jumping into every volunteer opportunity to save the world, there are certain important factors that you must put into consideration.
These are particularly important for the anxious volunteers who are going out for the first time and are clueless about what to expect. While this uncertainty is part of the attraction of trying out something new, there are things that you cannot compromise such as your personal safety. Below are the important things to put into consideration before you head out to do some volunteer work abroad:
Do not compromise your safety
Volunteering in Iraq or Syria at the height of ISIS ascent and where many Westerners are a target is certainly not a smart idea. Not every placement program is for everyone. Always put your safety and security first when choosing a volunteer work destination.
The Involvement Volunteers International based in Australia has a range of safe and high impact volunteer opportunities that aspiring volunteers can opt into. These are tailor-made to suit your interest and are fully-serviced. You can find teaching jobs, medical jobs, conservation programs, building communities and much more.
Once you pay a volunteer fee, the volunteer agency will handle all the other minute details of the program including choice of ethical experiences, expert advice for the duration of the volunteer program, visa assistance and even travel insurance. The programs are quite varied. You can volunteer in Fiji, China, Vietnam, Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand. There are also exciting Cambodia volunteering opportunities.
Keep track of the expiration date of your visa
A volunteer position is not a job. It is a short term stint that will expire and then you will be back to your erstwhile state (which drove you into the volunteering program in the first place!). When going into a volunteer position, it is therefore important to look for ways of leveraging this so that you can convert this into a meaningful career. You can network with business leaders and even non-profits working in the area you are volunteering in. This way, you can explore the areas where you can fit in once the volunteer program is complete.
Handle culture shock
It is possible that you are likely to see some extreme cases of poverty that might leave you dazed. Before heading into a volunteer program where you are likely to encounter extreme suffering or culture shock, it is important to do the legwork and learn about this beforehand. This way, you can prepare yourself to handle whatever the experiences will throw at you.
Be realistic about what can you do
Even the US President cannot single handedly change the world! Be realistic about what you can accomplish. It is important to regard your contribution as part of the many little contributions by others which make the world a better place.
Planning to make a difference in the world with a professional and uniquely tailored volunteer program? Check out the services offered by the Involvement Volunteers International at http://www.volunteering.org.au/ and enlist into a responsible and professional volunteer program.