Media Volunteer Abroad

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A Guide to Media Volunteer Work Abroad

Have you dreamed about being a journalist on the verge of the next big headline? Have you always wanted to be a part of solving a major global issue? Becoming a media volunteer abroad is your opportunity to tackle global concerns head on! The passion you have for journalism, photography, and videography (why choose one?!) will grow with every project you work on. Enhance your portfolio while tackling burdensome social issues in other parts of the world through media volunteer work. Most importantly, tell stories and recreate settings with every picture you take, video you record, or article you write to share real-life experiences from real-people in foreign countries.

Why Volunteer Abroad in Media

Many grassroots and nonprofit organizations need media volunteers to help them relay their message and create awareness about social and economic issues around the world. If you are a passionate film maker or enjoy capturing a picture that leads to social awareness, then think about all the ways in which you would be able to captivate world audiences with your media work abroad!

As a media volunteer abroad, you can work on meaningful projects while also working on your journalism skills, only an arm's length away from the action. Your personal portfolio will grow with every project, and your unique skills and international experience will be sure to impress future employers in the media field following your time abroad.

Locations

Volunteering abroad can be a chance for you to share your skills and expertise within the media field. When looking for a location for media volunteer work abroad, try to find a project that you are most enthusiastic about. As a media volunteer abroad, your work will represent the issues and concerns that your organization is hoping to portray, so the more passionate you are about the subject, the more your message will shine through each photo or video you create. 

Philippines. Through media volunteer work in the Philippines, you will be able to shed light on the current issues afflicting the people of this Southeast Asian country, such as poverty and malnutrition. Volunteers are often needed in order to support disadvantaged people in local communities as an advocate since many issues go unnoticed. Media volunteers may also be able to work alongside local journalists, allowing you to gain valuable, collaborative experience in the media world. When you aren’t working on the next big project, you can take in the beauty of the Spanish inspired architecture and extensive history. With more than 7,000 islands, you can enjoy the some of the best islands and beaches the Philippines has to offer too.

Iceland. With a focus on environmental initiatives, Iceland has natural beauty that many would like to preserve for future generations. Media volunteer projects are aimed at sending messages to local and international populations through the power of photography. As a media volunteer in Iceland you can take on global environmental issues, such as fresh water supplies and global warming, and inspire others to take better care of our only planet! The local natural beauty is a highly valued part of Icelandic society. From the naturally heated baths and pools to witnessing the Aurora Borealis, it is no wonder that preserving the natural environment is so important to those who visit the beautiful landscape.

Brazil. A healthy society is important to the future developmental goals of Brazil. This is why many media volunteer opportunities are centered on health promotion and education in this South American country. As a media volunteer abroad in Brazil, you can jump on the front lines and into the heart of it, raising awareness on health care issues, such as infant mortality and poor sanitation. While seeing the ecosystem and landscape of Brazil can be quite enchanting, it would be difficult to visit Brazil without watching a soccer match by one of the best soccer teams in the world! Not only does Brazil have access to the rain forest and the Amazon River, they are a nation full of footballers (soccer players - wink!). 

Media Volunteer Opportunities

The purpose of media volunteer work abroad is to shed light on and raise public awareness about socio-economic issues that are major concerns for specific parts of the world. Media volunteer projects are focused on educating the greater population on what problems exist in the world today and what people can do to help resolve them. As a media volunteer abroad, you will have the greatest tool of all at your fingertips, which can really help in portraying real images illustrating global issues to people around the globe.  

Using your camera as a tool, you will be able to support organizations by being a voice for the people. Many of the issues media volunteer opportunities are centered on are well-known global issues, such as access to reliable health care, education, environmental protection, and poverty. Media organizations are usually privately funded, and therefore need you to assist them in their development. Many media volunteer opportunities will focus on having an end goal of receiving more donations that can fully support their programs and initiatives in the local community.

Media volunteer work can last anywhere from one to two weeks to seven to twelve months. Media volunteer opportunities with more flexibility are the placements targeted at professionals, graduates, or retirees, who tend to have an interest in volunteering abroad but may not be able to devote a long period of time overseas. Media volunteers should devote as much time as they are able to, in order to carry on the mission of the organization they work with.

Although having professional experience in photography, videography, or journalistic writing would be helpful when it comes to media volunteer work abroad, experience is not always mandatory. Many of media volunteer opportunities do ask that you have some kind of knowledge before going into media volunteer placements, even if it is just a hobby. Be aware that some programs may also ask that you bring your own equipment. This is a chance for you to really refine your skills by being right in the middle of the action!

Benefits & Challenges

Nothing feels more satisfying than the “click” of the camera as you catch an epic, foreign moment thru your lens. Whether elephants, the smile of a young girl, a greeting at the train station, all of these moments are yours to savor and to capture.

The downside to being in this line of volunteer work is that, as a member of the media, you must learn how to be impartial and open-minded, even when working on incredibly complex issues (much like the ones you’ll likely find abroad). There is no doubt that this may be difficult to do when you are out in the field observing social injustices occurring. 

Become the strong link between local communities and international supporters. You will be observing intercultural issues with the goal of showcasing these problems to a greater audience, with the hope of bringing the world together to resolve it.

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A Guide To
Media Volunteer Work Abroad

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