How to Know if you’re Ready to Volunteer Abroad

Written By Alla Levin
November 01, 2019

How to know if you’re ready to Volunteer Abroad

A 2017 John Hopkins University research revealed that there were approximately 970 million international volunteers worldwide, and the number of people volunteering each year is constantly growing.

Germany is one of the most sought-after countries to commit to Projekte fur Freiwilligenarbeit or volunteering projects. Volunteers are then assigned to different fields like education, environment, healthcare, and culture.

Another reason Germany is famous among international volunteers is that the programs in the country open opportunities for project internships abroad. AIESEC, for example, has projects in Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Costa Rica, India, Peru, Morocco, and more.

Applying as a volunteer is also easy as no specific education, experience, or prior knowledge is required. You can be accepted as a volunteer for as long as you’re over 18 but not older than 30 years old. If you want to volunteer abroad, but you’re unsure if it’s for you, ask yourself these questions to see if you’re ready.

What can you offer?

First, ask yourself what you can bring to the table to help the organization’s stated mission. Do you have a unique skill set that can add value to the services offered by the host organization? Being a skilled volunteer is one of the most helpful and efficient ways of doing volunteer work or Projekte fur Freiwilligenarbeit. For instance, the volunteer program that you want to work with teaches English to native non-English speaking language teachers.

Every week, your group runs a workshop for these native teachers who teach in charity-run schools. Apart from that, your group also works with an orphanage that caters to children with special needs. If you’re an autism expert or physiotherapist, you can add value to the group that you volunteer for. Your skills can help you focus your workshop on specific problems these kids and their carers encounter.

However, if you do not have a specific skill you can teach and share, your willingness to help is very much welcome. You can ask what needs to be done, learn it, and show it to the people that you will be volunteering for.

How much time can you share?

After knowing what you can offer, you also need to ask yourself how much time you can share? With your specific skill, maybe you can conduct a short workshop to teach people who need those skills. Though you may not be working directly with the beneficiaries, in most cases, you will train their carers or the organization’s staff.

If you do not have a specific skill set, commit to long-term volunteer work instead. This will enable you to provide value to the organization. The latter will put in a lot of effort and resources to train you, so it will be worth their time if you stay and help them longer.

Volunteer Abroad: How committed are you?

Not all volunteering work is easy. There are even programs wherein you have to cross rivers, climb mountains, or live in impoverished regions of the world. In this case, you must be committed to help and offering volunteer services to support your organization’s cause. So, before you think of volunteering, ask yourself if your resolve and commitment are enough to carry you through these difficult circumstances. Volunteering abroad could be an exciting idea for some, but for others, it’s an effort to touch and save lives. If you believe you’re ready to take on this challenge, look for a volunteer organization with values and advocacies that resonate with yours.

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