Volunteering abroad is an incredibly fulfilling and worthwhile experience for the community and the volunteer. All of our projects were either established by the locals or NGO's, ensuring that the time our volunteers spend within the projects will benefit the community in a sustainable manner.
Not sure what volunteering is all about? Check out our top 20 reasons to pack up and go...
1) You'll Be Giving Something Back
A prominent reason why people volunteer is because they want to do something good for others. We work with communities based all over the world focusing on the areas of development, childcare, wildlife and conservation. We're sure there's an i-to-i project to suit you!
2) You'll Have Unique Opportunities
Volunteering abroad offers unique opportunities that are usually off limits to travellers. When it comes to working with animals or on conservation projects being a volunteer has some fantastic advantages; unless you have a strong animal biology background you're unlikely to find a paid position where you'll be able to look after lion cubs in South Africa or turtles in Costa Rica and you certainly wouldn't get behind the scenes if you were just a visitor!
3) Use Your Skills to Benefit Others
Use your strengths to help others! Bring the skills you'd use during your 9-5 to the table and if you're at school and have bundles of enthuasiasm - ideal. Some of our projects do require a specific skill set but in general all we ask for is the want to succeed and make a difference!
4) See a New Culture from the Inside
One of the greatest benefits of volunteering abroad is being able to spend an extended period of time in a new country. It's a truly unique learning experience that will see you interacting with new cultures, trying out loads of awesome new food, speaking new languages and meeting new people. As a volunteer you will get a glimpse of the local culture, allowing you to become a traveller, rather than a tourist.
5) Experience Personal Growth
Many volunteers come back from their experience and say they've evolved as a person. In most cases volunteers become more concerned and aware of the problems facing the world and once they've returned from a trip are usually more independent, more adventurous and more courageous - especially if it was their first independent trip.
6) Stand Out
If you're looking to stand out from the crowd, volunteering is a great talking point in all forms of life - from future interviews with new employers to life stories down the pub!
7) Recognition, A Sense of Achievement and Feedback
Recognition of your efforts is another thing that keeps volunteers coming back again and again. Telling someone that they are doing a good job inspires confidence and pride, and it's always great to see when you've completed building a house in Costa Rica for example, or helped save turtles in Sri Lanka! It reminds you that the work you are doing is important and that you are making a difference. All of our volunteering projects are aware of this and are genuinely grateful for the time and effort that i-to-i volunteers contribute to their cause.
8) Learn New Things
Spending some time out abroad allows you to learn about interesting cultural differences, like what Brazilians eat for breakfast or how South Africans greet their friends! The world is filled with unique experiences but it's easy to miss them if you're just passing by; try your hand at salsa, explore local customs and see if you can learn a little bit of the local lingo. It's all part of the experience!
9) Friendships, a New Family and Belonging
Making friends with other volunteers is a strong motive for many of those who choose to volunteer abroad. Many volunteers make lifelong friendships that come from working through difficulties and exploring new things together.
10) Skills and Experience
Want to gain a whole new host of skills? By getting stuck in on one of our volunteering projects you'll be picking up loads of handy new skill sets as you go, especially if you're helping out on a project which is a little out of your comfort zone!
11) You Could Learn a Foreign Language
The best way to develop your language skills is to use it day to day in real life situations, and volunteering provides the perfect opportunity to do this. You don’t get very far practicing Spanish three hours a week if when you speak English for the other 165 hours of the week, but when spending a significant amount of time abroad you will be speaking a foreign language twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. You could be a language genius in no time! (If you'd like to partner learning a language with a project you could go to Costa Rica?)
12) See the Difference You've Made
Stand back and take a look. Pausing to take a moment to see what you've achieved during your time away is an incredible experience!
13) Do something out of your comfort zone
Life is about challenging yourself, so why don't you try something a little different to what you're used to?
14) It'll Be Bags of Fun!
Whilst you're embarking on your volunteering journey, you're going to have loads of fun! Volunteer work can be hard work, but it is also great fun and extremely rewarding.
15) Build Your CV
During your time away you'll find out so much about yourself. You'll learn new skills and build on your current experience, and all of the above is great for padding out your CV.
16) Spend Quality Time Away From The Norm
Getting bored of your current 9-5? Take a break and volunteer. Not only will you be doing something worthwhile, but you'll get the chance to get focused about where you want your life to go and you'll have plenty of chances to explore and see a new land too!
17) Help the Enviornment
Do your bit to help the environment and take up your position as a conservation volunteer! You could lend a hand in New Zealand to Belize to Costa Rica, from marine to ecological.
18) Gain Confidence
Volunteering within a new community is sure to make sure confidence soar. Get stuck in and speak to the locals, make friends with your new volunteering friends and most importantly - throw yourself in the deep end!
19) See and Do More
If you're looking to tick those countries off your bucket list, then volunteering is a great way to see a country from the inside and actually get to grips with that place. By the time you've volunteered within a couple of communities you'll be clocking up the volunteer hours in no time! The best thing is that everybody can make a difference.
20) Prepare for your life to change!
Most of our volunteers will come back and comment on how they see the world differently after their time away with us. Will you be one of them?
So what are you waiting for? Check out our full range of volunteer projects and take that first step on the road to the experience of a lifetime!