For a truly different travelling experience, an increasing number of people are enrolling on overseas volunteer programmes. A fantastic way to see the world while helping others, volunteering is also an excellent addition to any CV, which makes it a very popular choice among students and young people. There are numerous organisations offering volunteering opportunities abroad, so it is a question of choosing the right one for you.
What Types Of Volunteer Programmes Are There?
In general, there are four major types of volunteer programmes. Firstly, there are those that are designed to help communities, for example projects to dig wells or build hospitals. Working with children is another popular type of volunteer work, with placements being arranged in schools, orphanages or out of school programmes. Conservation placements assist with the preservation of the natural environment in endangered areas, while projects that work with animals are also very popular, helping with the rescue and rehabilitation of species whose survival is under threat.
Which Countries Offer Volunteer Work?
There are volunteering opportunities all across the world, from the Far East to the African continent. Although many people think that volunteering is all about going to developing countries, in fact there are also placements available in the USA and Europe too. Before choosing a suitable programme for you, it is best to think about where you would like to stay and which countries appeal to you, remembering that you will be living there for an extended period.
How Long Do I Volunteer For?
There are programmes of different lengths available from a range of organisers. Some projects are short, six weeks or less, while others last a year or more. Many people choose to undertake a longer placement for a gap year or sabbatical, while shorter programmes are perfect for a summer break.
What Are The Benefits Of Volunteering?
Apart from looking great on your CV, volunteering is a unique way to see the world. You will spend an extended period living in your chosen country, sometimes with a local host family, getting to know the people and the culture intimately. Volunteering is a completely different experience from simply visiting somewhere on holiday, it is an insight into the way the local people live, their heritage and lifestyles. After your work, you will also be free to get out and visit the attractions in the area, often with the benefit of having a local guide. With more time available to you than you would have on a traditional holiday, you will be able to thoroughly explore the area, from museums and tourist sites to free days out at the beach.
What Do I Need To Remember If I Choose Volunteering?
You need to remember to prepare for all eventualities when you choose volunteering. It is vital to take out Sierra Leone travel insurance or other similar products to protect yourself when travelling.