International Volunteer Programs: The Best Way to Volunteer and to Travel
If you are looking for international volunteer programs, you are on the right track.
International volunteer programs are the best way to travel.
And the best way to volunteer.
And the best way to have an absolutely amazing experience – whether you are spending a gap year on a budget; going on a quest for adventure; or exploring the world while doing your bit to make it a better place.
It is ideal for soul searchers, altruists and adventurers, combining itchy feet and helping hands in a way that benefits all concerned.
Best Way to Travel
The gladdest moment in human life is a departure into unknown lands. – Sir Richard Burton
If you want to travel beyond the usual tourist destinations and experience a truly rewarding and meaningful trip, there is no better way to do so than through an international volunteer program.
These programs are a great way to travel cost-effectively and deeply, allowing you to really immerse yourself in the communities and cultures you visit and to experience a deeper connection with new people and new places. You see parts of the world hidden from the tourist trail and really experience other cultures.
It is also a great way to make global friendships – not only with locals in the country you are visiting, but also with other volunteers from all over the world.
Many participants in international volunteer programs are most excited about the cross-cultural learning that is an inevitable part of being immersed in a different culture, and about how the experience transforms their lives – in terms of how they interact with the world, how they travel and how they give in the future.
The host countries, communities and projects also benefit from the inflow of tourist spend that international volunteers bring to their local economies in terms of accommodation, meals, outings and the like. In addition, volunteers contribute countless man-hours, skills and energy to projects that aim to build a better world, whether working with children, wildlife or the environment.
Best Way to Volunteer
Volunteering is an act of heroism on a grand scale. And it matters profoundly. It does more than help people beat the odds; it changes the odds. – William J. Clinton
Among the most selfless and fulfilling life experiences you can have, international volunteering is something everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime. International volunteer programs allow you to volunteer in another country and have one of the most rewarding and meaningful travel experiences possible, immersing yourself in the community and offering your time, skills, and energy to make a difference.
You may have computer skills, language, business skills, leadership skills or organizational skills that are crucial for the operation of voluntary organizations overseas. Or you may just have the time and passion to help make a real change. Either way, the vast majority of charities and non-profit organisations need more hands and more funds to continue the work they do and volunteers play a crucial role in getting the work done. In addition, part of the package fees for many international volunteer programmes go towards community development, making a positive impact.
Best gap year
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Gandhi
Participating in an international volunteer programme will certainly push you beyond your comfort zone and expose you to the “real” world, while also giving you the opportunity of a lifetime to make unforgettable memories, meet new friends, and do your bit to make the world a better place.
International volunteering will also boost your application to colleges and universities – giving your application a unique combination of self-reliance, altruism and international experience that stands out from the normal; presenting a more rounded and dynamic profile and adding another dimension of experience, particularly if your volunteer activities are relevant to the academic program applied for.
Similarly, a volunteer experience will add a unique dimension to any job application – demonstrating both experience in a working environment and evidence of your stated motivations, skills and commitment. There are international voluntary programmes in the fields of conservation, animal care, teaching, healthcare, journalism, sports, community development, childcare, human rights and many other areas. Alongside new skills to list on your application, an international volunteer experience will reflect worldliness, maturity, self-reliance, risk-taking and compassion on your job application.
Choosing the right international volunteer program
Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you. – John C. Maxwell
International volunteer programs are really the smartest choice if you want to volunteer, to travel, and to spend a gap year that could change your life.
Fortunately, there are thousands of different international volunteer programmes in countries around the world to choose from. These international volunteer programmes are usually offered through charities and organisations. Some focus on wildlife conservation and environmental projects and others entail working with animals and people or building houses. There are programmes as short as one week, and others as long as a year. Accommodation could be with a host family or in a hostel with other volunteers. Conservation projects in remote locations may offer bungalows or even a tented camp as accommodation for volunteers. Most international volunteer programmes include accommodation and meals, but other costs such as airfare, visas and outings are covered by the volunteers.
So, how would you make a smart decision about which of the many international volunteer programs is the right one for you?
Over the last decade, Volunteer Southern Africa has enjoyed providing amazing, impactful volunteer opportunities to more than 9,500 volunteers from 25 different countries. It is our mission is to recruit, host and look after international volunteers during their stay. More than 850 of our volunteers loved the experience so much that they return again and again. Over so many years, we have ironed out snags and built the best experience possible for our volunteers – with your safety always being our top priority.
Based on our experience, we have refined the following criteria to pick the best volunteer programs:
* First and foremost, the safety and security of each volunteer;
* The quality of the facility including comfortable and safe accommodation; meals; Wi-Fi and laundry
* A full package including airport transfers and 24-hour emergency support
* The opportunity for living and interacting with the environment and locals in some of the most beautiful places in the world
* A range of fun outings, excursions and adventure experiences to enjoy
* The opportunity to gain new skills and experience
* Ethical projects that make a positive impact, so our volunteers can experience the joy of making a real and lasting difference.
Our team has worked hard with our international volunteer program partners to develop ethical programs that offer a premium experience.
Choosing a Volunteer Southern Africa volunteer program ensures that your volunteering efforts make a real impact, allow you to travel safely in the best, most beautiful parts of Africa, while gaining invaluable life skills, making memories to last a lifetime and having an amazing, unforgettable experience.