You’re so ready for your next vacation — ideally in Italy — but want to do more than laze on the beach or munch on gelato all day. You want this trip to have a positive impact not only on your life, but also on others. A-ha! Why not volunteer abroad?! Since you’re fascinated by history and architecture, and have named your kitties Armani, Versace, and Prada, you know there’s only one Italian destination for you: Milan. Pack your bags (don’t forget your shoes!) — it’s time to do some good and volunteer abroad in Milan.
What You Need to Know About Volunteering Abroad in Milan
The fashion capital of the world has so much more to offer than en vogue styles and signature walks. Don’t believe us? Read on:
Popular programs and volunteer project types. The city offers many different types of volunteer opportunities, ensuring that all personalities find their perfect opportunity match. For example, if you have an education degree you might be interested in child care or teaching english. And, if you have a science degree DON’T YOU WORRY, Milan can still be the right option for you. In Milan, there are opportunities to volunteer on environmental projects where you would be working on a farm, garden, or a conservation site. Like I said, the perfect opportunity for everyone.
Short term volunteer programs in Milan. Short term programs, somewhere less than three months (or even a summer!), are perfect for those looking for just a taste of Milan. While you can still contribute to the greater needs of the community within a short period, we always recommend volunteers stay for as long as possible. This allows you to get better acquainted with the culture, yourself in that culture, and the persone you are working with.
Long term volunteer projects in Milan. Long term projects are able to give you a true feel for Milan’s culture. You are able to become part of the community and get accommodated to the daily life of Italy. Of course this option does take a bit more up front planning and saving.
Life in Milan, Italy for International Volunteers
Of course you are in Milan to give back to the the community, but be sure to also take the time to live like the locals and participate in their customs. A great example is nightly apartivo, where restaurants offer large spreads of food for those who purchase a drink. This is a time to catch up with friends and unwind from a long, or fun, day. Take advantage of two world-class soccer teams, Internazionale Milano (Inter Milan) and A.C. Milan, bases in Milan and catch a match. Either of these activities will give you a true Milani experience!
If you have the time, and your volunteer schedule allows, you should also explore the rest of the country and visit the many beautiful cities Italy has to offer. Transportation is often cheap and hostels are plenty, so there really isn’t a good reason not to experience more far-flung Italian destinations. Or heck — go wild and explore the region!
GoAbroad Inside Scoop for Volunteers in Milan, Italy
Pack Light, but pack smart! With airlines charging extra for just about everything, you really want to be sure to keep your baggage under the maximum weight. So regardless of the time of year you decide to volunteer abroad in Milan, keep in mind this simple but golden rule: keep your wardrobe cute but comfy — You will very rarely see someone wearing sweatpants on the streets, so keep comfy not too casual!
Let yourself splurge, and experience the culture! Living in Europe without an income can be rough. Nothing is free and costs add up very quickly, but don’t let that stop you from experiencing the exquisite culture of Italy. Be sure to visit the many vibrant restaurants of Milan and the many museums and theaters that populate the city. These experiences will make up the memories that will last you a lifetime.
Sit down and drink your coffee! You will very rarely, if ever, see someone taking their coffee, or just about anything, to go. In Italy, there’s no other way to enjoy your cappuccino than sitting down and drinking it with some friends or reading the newspaper. An Italian’s cappuccino is sacred.
Who’s ready to eat so much pizza and gelato that they might just not be able to button their pants for their flights back home? Well, that’s exactly what’s waiting for you when you decide to volunteer in Milan. That, and a ton of meaningful work and incredible new relationships.
Get your wine glass ready, because you’ll want it to prepare for your trip while you read more inspirational information in our comprehensive guide on volunteering abroad in Italy.