Volunteer abroad programs are a great way to get an inside look at another culture while also giving back to the community. But before you go, there are some things you need to know about how these programs operate and what to expect when volunteering in another country.
Here are few tips for volunteer abroad programs that will help your experience be safe, easy, and rewarding.
If you are young, especially if you are a student looking for credit or working toward your degree while overseas, it is important to know what program you will be participating in.
Many volunteer abroad programs combine homestays with volunteer work so that students can live with local families who speak the language and earn their keep through teaching English or other skills.
This can often provide an immersive cultural experience but also has its pitfalls when it comes to an understanding the expectations on both sides.
Ensure that there is clear communication between everyone involved about how long students expect to stay and whether they should help out around the house and take part in activities like tutoring locals or helping at schools within the community.
If not, make sure this is clearly stated at the beginning to avoid misunderstandings later on.
Another important consideration is how long you have been planning to volunteer abroad programs. This can come into play in several ways, from whether or not your visa will be granted if it’s less than three months before you leave to what kind of projects and activities you’ll get access to as those time frames drop lower.
For instance, many schools that offer children’s educational help need volunteers for at least six months because requests often take up to two years to fulfill. If this isn’t something that would work with your timeframe, look elsewhere!
It’s also good practice to know ahead of time where exactly your money is going when signing up for any program – make sure that they’re upfront about how much is for the actual program and any fees associated with it, as well as your living expenses and if possible a rough estimate of what you can expect to receive upon completion.
While some people like to dive into volunteer projects right away when traveling abroad, most programs will set students on an orientation course before sending them out in the field; this helps everyone become accustomed to their new surroundings and gives students time to adjust without feeling too overwhelmed or stressed by everything going on around them.
Depending on where you go, orientations vary from two days (for short-term trips) up to three weeks long! If you choose uniQure, we offer at least one week’s worth of training sessions after the orientation week to get you ready for your placement.
There is also the time spent traveling getting to where you are going, which can vary depending on how far away it is, so many programs will allow students at least one full day of travel after they arrive before sending them out into the field – again, this allows everyone to adjust and prepare themselves better without feeling rushed or stressed by everything that lies ahead.
Don’t forget to check Maximo Nivel! It’s the best.