Volunteering is an incredibly fufilling and worthwhile experience for the community and the volunteer. All of our projects were established by either the locals or NGO's, ensuring that the time our volunteers spend within the projects will benefit the community in a sustainable way. Not only does the volunteer's work contribute towards the development of a community, but you'll be given the chance to live, work and play with local people from a different culture and gain new skills too.
You'll Be Giving Something Back
Arguably the main 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!
You'll Have Unique Opportunities
As a regular tourist you don’t have the opportunity to see and experience as much of the local culture as those that live in the area. Particularly when it comes to working with animals or on conservation projects, being a volunteer has tremendous advantages. Unless you have a strong animal science background, you are unlikely to find a paid position caring for lion cubs in South Africa or turtles in Costa Rica and you certainly wouldn't get behind the scenes as a visitor! Volunteering abroad offers unique opportunities that are usually off limits to travellers.
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 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.
Many volunteering experiences offer the opportunity to stay with a local family in a home stay, so you will have the chance to really get to know the local people and experience the traditional lifestyle for yourself. Tourists staying for a few days in an average hotel barely scratch the surface but as a volunteer (living and working in the community, talking to locals and staying for months) you will have a real opportunity to experience your chosen destination from within.
Experience Personal Growth
Many people choose to volunteer because of the personal benefits that volunteering has on them as individuals. Indeed, volunteers often say that the experience has made them a better person. In most cases, volunteers become more concerned and aware of the problems facing the world and once they've returned from a trip they are usually more independent, more adventurous and more courageous, especially if it was their first independent trip.
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 Costa Rica! 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.
Learn A Host of New Things
Spending time 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 through. 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!
Friendships, a New Family and Belonging
Making friends with your fellow volunteers is a strong motive for many of those who choose to volunteer abroad. There is an inherent bond of togetherness that comes from being in a foreign environment. Many volunteers make lifelong friendships that come from working through difficulties and exploring new things together.
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!
You Could Learn a Foreign Language?
The best way to develop your language skills is to use it day by day in real life situations, and volunteering provides the perfect opportunity to do this in bucket loads. 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!
Knowing a foreign language is a huge bonus in today’s job market. International communication is of growing importance because of the rapidly expanding global economy. Employers see great value in an ability to communicate, so a person that speaks three languages is much more desirable than a person who can only speak one.
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 and strenuous work at times, but it is also great fun and extremely rewarding.
If you want to kick start your volunteering adventure, have a look around our website to see if there's a project that suits you!