With summer quickly approaching, a lack of a job or vacation plans may have you in a panic. Don’t worry; GoAbroad has you covered! If you’re interested in doing something adventurous and meaningful, take a look at the many volunteer abroad opportunities that are constantly updated and added to on GoAbroad! From working with children to working with sea turtles, you won't be at a loss of options this summer.
Why should you spend your precious summer months volunteering abroad? The benefits are limitless--recent articles from organizations like DiversityAbroad and ProWorld are but a couple of examples that showcase this truth. And after taking a look at the following five reasons from GoAbroad, you should be asking yourself: why not volunteer abroad?
1. Have an Adventure
With summer comes the promise of adventure, excitement and an endless supply of fun to be had. Many of us dream up plans that will make for the summer of a lifetime, but we end up falling into a rut of doing the same thing day after day. Volunteering abroad is one way to save yourself from the monotony that summer can become. Instead of diving into a new television series on Netflix, you could be helping with sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica or building a house in Thailand. No matter what you do or where you go, you’ll be sure to have a summer you won’t soon forget.
2. Learn New Skills
Taking a class or learning guitar over the summer are great ways to take advantage of the extra time on your hands. But going abroad can give you more than the ability to solve matrices or play a C-chord. From work-specific skills like learning how to dress a wound, lay bricks or lead a group of children to general life skills like teamwork, communication and work-ethic, you’ll be hard-pressed not to gain something by volunteering abroad.
3. Meet New People
While spending each day of your summer with the same crew can be fun, why not branch out? Volunteering abroad gives you the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Get a new perspective by chatting with someone from Finland, Argentina and South Africa all in the same day, maybe even at the same time! If you really hit it off, you could even plan to visit your new friend in her home country the following summer.
4. Narrow Down Career Interests
Volunteering is the perfect way to test a career possibility before devoting your life to it. Rather than thinking you want to be a teacher and realizing you have a phobia of sticky fingers after one week in a classroom, test the waters first. With the variety of options volunteering abroad offers, it’ll be easy to find a program that fits in with your career interests. Choose to volunteer with medical programs, conservation projects, childcare facilities or whatever peaks you interest. If you love your time spent volunteering, make a career out of it. If you weren’t that into it, look into other options. It’s a win-win situation.
5. Do Something Meaningful
Volunteering abroad can benefit you in a variety of ways, but don’t forget that the purpose of volunteering is to help others. Instead of spending your time tossing a Frisbee at the beach or mastering Mario Kart, you can do something that will influence the lives of others. Being able to look back at your summer and say, “I built a classroom” or “I made an impact on wildlife conservation” is something you’ll be able to look back on for the rest of your life.
What are some of the other ways that volunteering abroad over the summer can benefit you? Or, if you've already volunteered abroad, how did the experience change your perspective?