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Volunteer Abroad Opportunities that Last a Lifetime

Oct 11, 2007
Are you looking for an occupation where not only do you get to explore many cultures and learn new things, but also glove trot? Have you explored the option of volunteering abroad yet?

Volunteering abroad is rapidly becoming a career option for many youngsters across the globe. Volunteering has always been associated with social causes like rescue work during earthquakes, Tsunami, war, saving the planet, creating eco habitats, educating slum children etc.

What a volunteer can really derive out of an overseas work is experience, understanding the different communities and geographical or demographical requirements. A sense of pride, inspiration and this kind of work is good for character building.

Type of volunteerism: As a volunteer, you can teach English to monks in monasteries in Nepal, care for rare species of birds and other wild life in a nature reserve in Costa Rica or in Kenya. You can do a lot of good through volunteering abroad and reap the benefits too.

You can add this experience in your resume and also get the opportunity to do serious traveling and even pursue an educational career. Most people choose overseas volunteer work because they get to travel to some of the most exotic places as well as off the beaten track destinations.

Whether you are interested in teaching English overseas or want to travel to various destinations across the world, you can find volunteering placements, which will satisfy your requirement. Here are three tips that will help you to find opportunities of volunteering abroad:

Volunteering Abroad with the right agency: Most of the volunteer jobs abroad are overseen and handled by different agencies. There are many online agencies who will proclaim to find you an overseas volunteering work but you need to know that not all of them are authentic.

So you need to be extremely cautious while choosing the placement agency. Always try to get references and conduct a little background check just to be sure. An authentic agency has the capability of finding a placement for you based on your requirement and preferences.

Some agencies also provide extensive training where required and overseas assistance. The agencies will charge you for the placement and don't be surprised because this payment will ensure that you get all the support required overseas.

Volunteer Abroad organizations: Most of the organizations who assist with volunteering abroad have their own website. You may visit any such website and find their requirements, any specialization areas, and the destinations where they need volunteers.

You can directly contact them and find out the details. Some social organizations will pay you a small amount for your work while most of them might not be able to pay you anything at all. Every organization associated with volunteer work will take care of your accommodation, local travel and basic necessities. You will have the advantage of choosing where you want to work and for how long.

One of the famous organizations is the Peace Corps, and they always have a requirement for worldwide volunteers. You need to apply at least nine months in advance but most of the time government agencies lack flexibility.

Another good organization is the International Student Travel Volunteers, Inc. The organization focuses mainly on creating volunteer work opportunities that involves education and conservation.

They also provide financial assistance to volunteers and give them an opportunity to create an enriching experience through overseas cultural and educational programs.

Choosing your Volunteering Destination: Some people are a little nervous about traveling too far off to regions in distant corners of the world. This doesn't mean that you will never get to do volunteer work.

You can always find out a voluntary organization that can place you in nearby countries like Costa Rica or Peru. In these Latin American countries you will still be somewhat geographically close and near big cities with access to the amenities and comfort you would other wise have at home.

you will be well versed with the immediate environment you are working in and at the same time get the necessary exposure and a rewarding experience.
About the Author
Volunteer Abroad expert Alex Landin is a project manager and Volunteer Abroad Opportunities contributor in GlobalCrossRoad.com.
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