Tips to Preparing Yourself to Volunteer Abroad

Published on February 7 2014

10Making the decision to work abroad as a volunteer one is one that brings many benefits to a person. It is however a challenging endeavor and you need to adequately prepare yourself for it. Keep in mind that volunteer projects are not like taking a vacation. There is no room service and housekeeping, and you will have to devote a sizable chunk of your time to actually working for the local community. Just like with vacationing however you will need to put in your own money to support your living expenses and travel. When you have decided on which project to undertake, be it building eco friendly homes, or working in a volunteer orphanage Costa Rica, you will need to prepare yourself adequately.

Study up Depending on the country you are travelling to and the kind of project you are going to participate in, it can be very helpful to study up on related issues. For instance when travelling to a Spanish speaking country, it can be very helpful to attend some language classes or use study language videos and books beforehand. Even learning the basics will help you interact more easily with locals. The longer you stay in the country, the better your speaking ability will become. If you plan on working in an orphanage, taking up first aid courses can also be helpful.

Check visa requirements The organization through which you will volunteer will likely provide you with package information on what kind of visa requirements you will have to fulfill. From medical jabs to tourist permits, you will find different countries have different requirements to be fulfilled. Ensure that you check on them well ahead of time to ready accordingly.

Finances Volunteering abroad can be fairly expensive. Besides the fact that most reputable facilitating organizations will need to pay to cover your living expenses, you will also have to cater to your own flight and other transport costs. Make sure to determine what kind of budget you will need before you confirm your spot. Also remember to factor in the cost of insurance, especially travel insurance and medical cover. These are essential to ensure you can bear up when unexpected occurrence happen.

Travel arrangements It is recommended that you find out from the volunteer organization if they have a travel consultant you can work with toe arrange for your travel plans. In this way you may likely travel together with others form the same region and can be assured of someone picking you up at arrivals. A travel consultant can also likely help you in finding the most affordable deals that will minimize your expected costs.

Besides looking into financial and logistical issues when taking up such opportunities, you also need to ready yourself mentally for the drastic change. Culture shock is a real thing and you need to prepare yourself mentally for what you will encounter. Immersing yourself fully in the local community will be quite different from what you are likely accustomed to so have a positive attitude. When you are open to new experiences you will find it easier to adjust and better enjoy this unique opportunity to better yourself and the lives of others. Visit volunteer teaching English in Costa Rica for more information.



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