Volunteering abroad is one of the most fulfilling, eye-opening, and life-changing things you can do. Not only do you get to explore a new place and get to know its people better than you ever could simply just travelling, but you will also be giving back in some way. A way that could really make a difference to people's lives. There are plenty of famous and respected folks out there who have championed the idea of volunteering, so if you've been thinking about getting involved in a project abroad, here are 10 reasons why you should stop thinking and just do it.
1| Do Something Altruistic
Altruism is one of those things that not everyone gets to achieve in life. Philanthropy is something that can help you grow as a person - but more importantly, you can give something back to society and help those who are not as fortunate as we are.
"Group J1-003" by Visions Service Adventures is licensed under CC BY 2.0
2| Put Your Skills to the Test
Make the most of the skills you have by putting them to good use. Whether you choose to teach English abroad, help rebuild homes for families in need, or take part in a conservation project, you can really test out your skills and improve your knowledge.
3| Meet New People
From the people you volunteer alongside to the local people of the country you're working in, there will be so many new faces to meet. It's great for making new friends for life.
"Ghana Teaching 2012 by Elizabeth Cloke" by Frontierofficial is licensed under CC BY 2.0
4| Broaden Your Mind
Meeting people from different cultures is a great way of developing compassion and understanding for other human beings. You will learn a lot about the way someone else lives and how they value life. If you want to broaden your mind, make volunteering abroad top of your bucket list.
5| Learn a New Language
If you really want to challenge yourself, put your mind to the ultimate test by learning to speak the language of the country you are staying in. It's very easy to communicate in English anywhere in the world but you can add something great to your CV by learning the lingo and speaking to the locals in their native tongue.
"Modern Languages @ FLCC - Costa Rica 2012" by The Leaf Project is licensed under CC BY 2.0
6|Make Your CV Shine
Taking part in projects abroad can make your CV stand out from the crowd when it comes to securing interviews with job applications. These days, employers are always looking for extra-curricular achievements so you can benefit greatly from a voluntary experience abroad.
7| Sense of Achievement
One of the greatest rewards in life isn't recognition or prizes for working hard; but just a personal sense of achievement. And nothing will make you feel greater than knowing you have given back to the world.
"IMG_2283" by Brian Gratwicke is licensed under CC BY 2.0
8| Develop Social Skills
Many people find that volunteering abroad really helps them to grow and develop as a person - if you have struggled with social skills, volunteering abroad can help you improve these skills, and you will notice a huge difference when you return.
9| See the Results for Yourself
Unlike sponsoring projects abroad or donating money to charity, volunteering allows you to get hands-on so you can see the results with your own eyes. Get immediate rewards from your hard work and see for yourself how much difference one person can make when working with others.
"Life at Baan Yuu Suk" by Children's Organisation of Southeast Asia is licensed under CC BY 2.0
10| Change Your Life Forever
Volunteering is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; develop your skills, meet lifelong friends, improve your self-confidence and help others. So what are you waiting for? Volunteer abroad now and make a change.