Volunteer Abroad in Bali

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A Guide to Volunteering Abroad in Bali

Bali consists of far more than its natural beauty and luxurious amenities. The people are what make this region truly beautiful. The Balinese are generous, caring, and anxious to interact with international volunteers. In this tourist hotspot, many of the villages and impoverished communities get overlooked, and as a result there are various areas in need of attention. For those with a desire to volunteer abroad in a tropical destination, a chance to experience Asian culture and impact an underrepresented community awaits volunteers in Bali. Volunteering in Bali is surely a match made in tropical heaven.

Volunteering in Bali

Community Development. Many volunteers do not have a specific task in mind but rather just a heart to serve. For volunteers who can relate to this, a community development volunteer placement in Bali is a great match. These placements allow volunteers to improve communities in a number of ways. Responsibilities can range from rebuilding houses in impoverished villages to assisting at a local medical clinic to teaching at a local school

All backgrounds are welcome for these projects. A unique characteristic of this type of opportunity is that it sometimes allows volunteers to road trip and experience many communities. A community development opportunity is fantastic for those who classify themselves as versatile, flexible, and passionate.

Orphanage. Children’s homes in Bali are longing for volunteers to come assist with the many precious lives they care for. While no specific background is required, those who have studied or are interested in social services are given precedence. Those who move forward with these types of projects will help fulltime staff manage the daily routine of the children. Volunteers will be responsible for coordinating activities, teaching English, and pouring out love into the children's lives. Orphanage volunteer placements in Bali are highly desired and greatly enjoyed by all who want to volunteer with children.

Wildlife Conservation. The beautiful region of Bali is known for its beaches and natural wonders. Individuals who are considering volunteering in Bali likely have a deep appreciation for nature. Unfortunately, conservation and environmental awareness is not as prevalent in Indonesia as it is in Western nations. 

One unique opportunity for volunteering in Bali is specifically focusing on turtle conservation and protecting their natural habitat. Volunteers will have the opportunity to rehabilitate turtles who have been captured mistakenly by fishers, provide educational opportunities for the community on wildlife conservation, and conduct research projects. Those who desire to hold a career in marine biology or related areas of study will especially enjoy this type of volunteer work in Bali.

Life in Bali

Life in Bali is the perfect blend between exotic and peaceful. Starting and ending days with 

waterfront sunrises and sunsets alone makes volunteering abroad in Bali magnificent. Ubud is the heart of Bali, consisting of shops, cafes, and the region’s richest historical locations. Temples, rice fields, and luxury services, Ubud is a highly desirable location, especially for volunteers to explore in their downtime.

The center of the region is where the adventure lays. From volcanos to mountains, those who volunteer abroad in Bali can find the countries greatest needs and adventures here. With the opportunity to hike peaks, nothing seems impossible through these empowering experiences. Trekking through tea plantations, standing in awe of the region’s breathtaking forests, and searching for the world’s largest lizards are just some of the reasons these outings come so highly recommended.

For those with an urge to catch some of Bali’s famous waves, Balian Beach is the place to go. Surrounded by remarkable landscape and rolling hills, a visit to this beach allows volunteers to experience some much needed recharge and relaxation. 

Museum Puri Lukisan consists of diverse art to provide its visitors with a glimpse into Bali’s history. This peaceful garden attraction is ideal for volunteers wanting to learn more about the region and the people with whom they are interacting with daily.

Locals will be thrilled to share their numerous market outings with foreigners willing to share the adventure. With the surprisingly low cost of living foreigners will have no problem sampling the delectable cuisine. Escargot, fruit smoothies, noodle dishes, and lots of eggs,  Balinese cuisine is fresh, tropical, and sure to satisfy all palates. 

With over 10,000 temples, Bali holds centuries of history and many forms of architecture and art to show for it. Those who volunteer in Bali will have the opportunity to engage in some of the world’s most beautiful sites and communities with the greatest need. The Balinese people are overjoyed and largely accepting of all foreigners who decide to volunteer in their communities.

Accommodations & Visas

The most common accommodation offered to volunteers in Bali is home stays. Homestays are the greatest way to experience a culture and understand idiosyncrasies and differences. Whether placed in the villages or the sea side, local families welcome international volunteers with open arms.

The other common option for volunteers is group living. This allows volunteers to stay in a building close to their volunteer site and in close proximity to other team members. More information can be located on each volunteer organization’s website on whether volunteers are housed in shared apartments, dorm like buildings, or shared home stays.

In order to volunteer in Bali, individuals will need to obtain a visa. Similar to many surrounding nations, Bali’s visa process is everchanging. While many volunteer organizations in Bali will provide visa assistance and the necessary documents, volunteers should submit all paperwork at least three months prior to departure. 

There are two common visas, with either 30 day or 60 day stay allowances. While a 10-day visa is available for incoming volunteers, it comes highly recommended that volunteers apply for a longer period than needed. This allows for emergency circumstances and unexpected travel plans without fees or last minute hassle. Visas are managed by the Indonesian embassy located in each volunteer’s country of origin. Fees are minimal at the time of application, however, fees increase with overextensions.

Benefits & Challenges

  • Appealing, Affordable Location. Volunteering in Bali has many appealing characteristics. The cost of living is low, making a luxurious volunteer experience affordable and thoroughly enjoyable. Aside the tropical temperatures and hospitable locals, one may experience a few challenges while volunteering in Bali. 
  • Modest Culture. As a predominantly Muslim culture, the nation as a whole is largely conservative, which can be a difficult adjustment for Westerners. While certain styles are viewed as trendy, in other countries they may be seen as disgraceful. In order to gain the respect of the locals as a volunteer in Bali, it is crucial to understand what is acceptable and what is disrespectful. Based on the fact that women have a lesser role in Balinese society, there are even basic laws regarding appropriate dress. It is advised that one review these laws and recommendations well in advance before volunteering abroad in Bali.
  • Social Injustices. Bali is a place of natural beauty, yet it also is a region of significant social crises. These social injustices are not hidden, and may come as a shock to incoming volunteers. One may see children in the midst of intense poverty situations Something critical to keep in mind in this time of cultural adjustment is that as a volunteer in Bali you have the opportunity to make a change.
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