If you'd like to travel and volunteer in a new country, make sure you have a complete travel plan to guide you through your new adventure. Traveling abroad while volunteering is an exciting experience, but it can be challenging for all first-time students.
There are many things to keep in mind and to consider for planning your travel experience the best way, including things to do before you leave. Your goal should be to make sure things are under your control before, during, and after your first volunteering travel venture. If you aim to leave next summer, you are right on time to start preparing for your travel experience in 2022.
Make A List Of What To Do Before You Leave
Volunteering abroad is a precious chance for those who want to try a working experience outside their country. As a student, you would rarely get a salary or a wage for your work, but in turn, board and lodging are provided to you by the company. Also, you'll earn a native-like life experience by working with locals and people from other countries. It's an unparalleled living experience that will get you to the next level of your career as a student. Also, volunteering is a brilliant choice if you can't get a legal job abroad or you just want to gain some skills and first work experiences.
As we've just told you, you should prepare a list of must-do things before you leave. This list will be your guideline vademecum to organize your travel volunteering activities. First of all, include in your list the following points:
- Where to go
Do you already have a clue of where you'd like to go volunteering? There are many countries out there that might look like the best options for you. We suggest you try to conjugate your desire for a vacation abroad with something you are passionate about. For example, soccer fans may love the idea of spending a volunteering vacation in Qatar, which will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. If you love soccer and wish you could learn more about life in the Middle East region, this is a truly golden opportunity to catch immediately. Select one of the Qatar World Cup Stadiums (Al Bayt Stadium, Qatar Foundation Stadium, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Al Thumana Stadium, Lusail Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium, Al Rayyan Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Education City Stadium). While volunteering in one of Qatar's cities that host a 2022 FIFA game, you can get the chance to see or even meet soccer players in person!
- Research about cultural norms
Every country comes with specific norms and social costumes. Take your time to research Qatar's culture (or any other country's culture where you want to go). Expand your research to the specific area where you'll stay and look for reviews by people who have been there before. See also what volunteering activities you can find in the place or city where you'll go to stay. This phase of your research should help you get acclimated to the country's culture and its volunteering environment.
- Have a project insight
Avoid leaving without a clue of what you can do. Volunteering is a significant experience that requires you to outline a working project. What could you do in a foreign country? For example, you may teach your native tongue to local children, may work on a women's empowerment project, may take part in a nature conservation project, and much more. When selecting a volunteering activity, make sure that you can afford it and contribute to it.
- Traveling beyond volunteering
Keep in mind that you are leaving not only for volunteering but also for traveling across that country. Create a daily or weekly plan of all the things you can do during your staying abroad. Find time to spend traveling and visiting new places after working with the other volunteers. Make a list of all the places you'd like to see, then make your math to see how much it will cost you. Today, you can save money for traveling as a volunteer in several smart ways, which will enable you to spend some extra dollars for touring around.
- Learn the right approach
Volunteering also means learning to be open-minded. Talk to everyone, be enthusiastic about meeting new people (it's always a new occasion to learn something new!), try to put as much effort as possible into communicating and cooperating with the other volunteers. Learning depends on how open you are to the world: there's no other secret to know. Another aspect that will boost your volunteering experience is your flexibility. You should be ready to adapt yourself to very different living environments and conditions. Also, consider that real-life situations may widely differ from your expectations, especially if it's your first time leaving for a volunteering journey.
Finally, don't forget to document your experience: take photos, make videos, capture the best moments while you are there, get souvenirs, or create a personal diary for keepsake. In simple words, treasure every new memory of your day-to-day experience: it's a unique experience that comes only once in a lifetime.