Something that has crossed everyone’s mind at some point is the thought of volunteering. It could be at a soup kitchen helping to serve others, or it could even be overseas, in a strange new land helping others in a new and foreign culture. While many think about it, only those with the determination to pursue a journey to volunteer abroad have really experienced the world and helped themselves in the process.
Becoming educated about the world
Something often overlooked is just how big the world really is. We travel from work or school to home and take the occasional vacation to see a new place. But, this is only a tiny speck on a large map. We may meet a few thousand people within our city or county, most of whom we can’t even remember. The bottom line is that all these people have one thing in common-once you meet them and get to know them, they become familiar. We know who they are and potentially how they interact with the surrounding society. This is the advantage of volunteering abroad- you learn about new cultures, meet new people, and share knowledge in order to better yourself- and others with your efforts.
A new experience
This brings about the importance of keeping an open mind. New experiences make us better because we are able to learn from them. Volunteers get the most opportune chance to see and experience new and completely different places. Not everywhere in the world has the commodities that we are accustomed to, such as running water and electricity. This type of opportunity allows you to see and understand exactly how other parts of the world function and interact with each other- and with you.
With the lack of commodities, we’re often faced with the absence of one of our most essential abilities- communication. Overseas countries will not often share cellular phone capabilities, creating a communication breakdown with your home country. While sharing the experience of the native culture is good, being able to talk to your loved ones is a must for anyone away from home. Staying connected during your travels is important, so it is up to you to find ways of maintaining contact regularly while abroad. International phone services like Pingo are widely available, and often cost less than a regular phone bill. Calling from an airport, landline, or even a cell phone, if you have one, can help maintain the comfort that any family member needs to hear.
Helping to develop international relationships
Another benefit to volunteer work is somewhat indirect, at least for you. Many nations work together in order to help stimulate a mutually positive relationship, and volunteer projects are amongst those that help the most. Assisting foreign countries is a powerful step toward developing a relationship between your country and the rest of the world. When you volunteer, you aren’t simply helping those around you: the nations you encourage and encounter also benefit and become better because of what you’ve done.
Credits your character
Another benefit to keep in mind is that volunteer work stays with you. While the experience is yours to keep, on paper it becomes a beneficial tool that shows others that you have done what you set out to accomplish. You are willing to go further than most and take chances that many would not make. Whether it’s for a future career, or endorsing your personal life’s achievements in a book, your character has a unique credit that reflects your abilities and actions.
Encountering and encouraging the world
Perhaps the most incredible opportunity a volunteer experiences is that when they encounter the world, they are then able to encourage it. Many locations do not live as comfortably or easily as we are accustomed to, but the one thing that everyone should get is encouragement. The world is a big place, but so many people only encounter a tiny fraction of what it truly is. A volunteer has the ability to enter a different culture, helping to construct, educate, and otherwise assist others. Your experience is their experience.
While all volunteer work is an excellent addition to society, expanding your goals to see new lands and experience new cultures can truly be the first step towards making the world better for everyone, and eventually creating a career choice that helps you. You’ll be able to keep those experiences for the rest of your life, and you can share them with others as well when you get back home.