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Volunteering abroad is getting more and more fashionable among college students. Today, thousands of volunteer programs are being implemented worldwide in various fields, and anyone can become a part of the travel experience.
In addition to social benefits, volunteer work will enrich your life and give you specific bonuses for further study and work abroad.
Even though volunteering overseas usually does not provide a salary, which is sometimes vital for college students, you can find the best volunteer abroad programs where organizers pay for accommodation, meals, and even pocket money for volunteers.
And along with spending an unforgettable trip abroad, experiencing your college or university years to the fullest, you can meet many new people, international volunteers, who can become your best friends. Sri Lanka or Costa Rica? If you are a student, you can pick among many volunteer opportunities abroad.
There are many benefits of traveling for students who want to volunteer abroad. The first one is the chance to leave a comfort zone, as volunteer opportunities are spread all around the globe. You can travel, choose as many tours as you want and all these while doing good things.
The second benefit for students is to have a good summer. Many college students decide to go volunteering abroad just when they have holidays. And the best volunteer abroad program is for sure the summer volunteer one. The third benefit is related to communication: as there are many different groups in every program, they often come up with common activities to help each other learn better during trips.
Learn more about opportunities of volunteering abroad that you can join.
What Is Volunteering Abroad?
Volunteering abroad is a socially valuable activity carried out on a voluntary and gratuitous basis. Volunteer work can take many different forms these days. Each volunteer can choose the area and the degree of complexity of the work that suits him.
Here are some examples of volunteer abroad programs for college students :
- tree planting and landscaping
- teaching abroad
- protection of flora and fauna
- assistance in areas affected by cataclysms and natural disasters
- working with small children
- work with refugees
- work with the elderly
- work with socially disadvantaged families
- help in schools, hospitals, boarding schools, social centers, etc.
There are also more highly specialized affordable volunteer programs where college students can participate. For example, university students with an archaeological major will instead join archaeological projects.
College students can be teaching English, or those with exceptional experience can be caring for a particular animal species in nature reserves.
To go abroad for free, you need to visit volunteer centers and leave an application in them. Before sending it, each candidate must fill out a questionnaire.
Considerable attention is paid to the personal qualities of volunteers: friendliness, sociability, and desire to work. After sending the application, you must wait for a response. There are some best volunteer travel options, but each involves many people, and very few places are given out.
Conditions for Participation in Volunteer Abroad Programs
Anyone can become an international volunteer. However, you need to assess your capabilities when choosing a project soberly. There are many applications for vacancies offered in European countries and the USA, especially if they do not require costs.
Therefore, the organizers can refuse a potential participant without explaining the reasons. What are the requirements for volunteers?
1. Age and Educational Qualification
Almost all best volunteer abroad programs, except for college students programs, declare the broadest possible age limits for candidates: from 18 to 99 years old. Of course, in reality, the requirements are more specific. Most often, volunteers are young people 20-35 years old.
But this does not mean that the older generation will not find a place for itself in the volunteer movement. They have projects that require professionalism and experience. Most often, they are long-term. Any college students can search for options on the site.
Some abroad programs favor older people with rich professional experience. For college students, age is not the point. Go ahead if you are part of the studying process and have needed physical abilities.
Though underaged or peer-year students usually cannot be allowed, there are exceptions. In such a case, the main emphasis is not on work but on forming a friendly atmosphere and the education of national tolerance.
There are no strict requirements for the level of education of volunteers in most programs. A project that will be interesting and useful will be found by both the freshman of the university and his teacher.
And simple physical labor, for example, on a farm, is available to everyone. But in programs that involve skilled work, college students will need to present a document on specialized education.
Particular attention is paid to knowledge of English (sometimes another) language. For a volunteer camp, a conversational level will suffice. When serious work is to be done, good command of the language is required. In many volunteer abroad demands the level is specified in the conditions for the participants.
4. Health and Stress
Students as future volunteers should consider that they are not going on vacation. They will sometimes have to work in an unusual, too hot, or very harsh climate and do physical work. Not every city dweller can grow vegetables in Thailand or Costa Rica. This requires good health.
“The volunteer must be prepared for significant physical and moral stress. Some types of work involve strain on the nervous system. For example, being a volunteer at a camp is not as easy as it seems,” – Jane Swift, an expert writer from PapersOwl who specializes in student programs says.
Those who wish will have to find a common language with children brought up in a different environment. It is no less challenging to work with disabled and socially disadvantaged people.
So before choosing a project, evaluate how strong, hardy, and patient you are for the proposed work.
5. Personal Qualities
A volunteer should be a caring, friendly person who quickly adapts to a new environment. Otherwise, his good undertaking is doomed to failure.
Do not forget to add to the main qualities of volunteer friendliness. Independence and responsibility are also valued in the volunteer environment. And, of course, friendliness and indefatigable energy aimed at a good cause will come in handy.
How to Become an International Volunteer Abroad
A college student who wants to become a volunteer must clearly understand the meaning of this movement. It is impossible to devote yourself to serving people if you do not love them. Therefore, misanthropes should stay at home. If the principles of volunteering are clear and close to you, if you have the strength, free time, and a certain amount of money, you need to draw up an action plan to make your dream come true:
- Decide how much time you as a college student are willing to give to the abroad program. The choice of the project depends on it – short-term or long-term.
- Assess your abilities and interests. Decide which programs attract you and which country you, as a college student, volunteer to go to.
- Determine if you have any restrictions or barriers to participation in the program (health, personality traits).
- Answer the question, what do you expect from participation in the project.
- Estimate future expenses, calculate how much money you can spend.
- Start your search for a suitable program yourself on the Internet or contact a specialized agency.
Volunteer Abroad Programs
1. European Voluntary Service
This is a program for college students who have already turned 17 and want to volunteer abroad. All projects take place in Europe. Volunteering is usually a social and cultural activity, and the volunteer needs to know the language of the host country at least at a basic level.
The organization reimburses all costs for paperwork and flight. Accommodation and utilities are also paid, and pocket money is given out.
2. HF Holidays
You will especially like the volunteer programs of this organization if you are a fan of outdoor recreation as an international volunteer. HF Holidays welcomes more than 60,000 guests from abroad each year and more than seven hundred enthusiastic volunteers with no previous experience.
The organization guarantees volunteers decent living conditions, physical training, and flight compensation.
3. UN Volunteers
This global project from the UN is designed in many areas and for students too: community development, environmental protection, program and project development, project management, monitoring, human rights, resettlement, reintegration, repatriation, refugee status determination, child protection, and more. You must be selected to participate in the volunteer program.
4. Sudan Volunteer Program
The most important thing for a successful selection for this program is to speak English at a very high level because the students in such abroad programs will have to teach the language to the people of Sudan. You will have to pay for relocation, paperwork, and membership program fees of £ 80, but you can count on housing and pay for your work.
This should be enough to organize everyday life in South Africa. The host provides volunteers with 20-25 hours of work per week. You will be able to organize the learning process at your discretion and have enough creative freedom.
5. Peace Corps
Peace Corps volunteer abroad programs offer you volunteerism in Africa and Eurasia. Each volunteer receives housing and a scholarship from the organization, which allows them to live on the same level as the citizens of the chosen country. In addition, volunteers are provided with medical care and the right to leave.
During the program, you will be able to acquire skills related to languages, cultures of different peoples, and life safety.
The top 5 volunteer abroad programs for college students are:
- European Volunteer Service
- HF Holidays
- UN Volunteers
- Sudan Volunteer Program
- Peace Corps
Doing Good Deeds is Cool
Volunteering is a good thing in its purest form, and there are volunteer opportunities for college students to start another life and visit the most remote corners of the world. Of course, it is necessary to know the language and work with people to participate in the volunteer programs, but everywhere there is a specificity.
Being part of the abroad programs can make any student feel unique and at the same time belonging to not only a college student’s environment but also to a group of people who are known as an inhabitant of the world.
Planning your next trip?