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The benefits of volunteering
The benefits of volunteering
Volunteering abroad might sound intimidating to some, but it can be a truly rewarding experience that opens up new possibilities. Here are our top five reasons why we think you should try it!
Make a difference
Volunteering overseas can be a great way of making a positive impact while supporting a cause that’s important to you. If you’re passionate about nature, you could volunteer by cleaning up beaches or national parks. If you love animals, you might like to volunteer at an animal conservation centre. Or, if you enjoy working with children, you could volunteer in a school or youth centre. There are countless ways that you can make a difference during your travels. Just make sure you do your research before you go to ensure your support will be sustainable and have a lasting positive impact on the community.
Boost your employability
While it may not be your main reason for volunteering abroad, the experience you gain will make a great addition to your CV. It will show that you’re willing to try new things and that you’re not afraid of hard work and commitment. Participating in meaningful volunteer work abroad will not only make you more noticeable on paper, but can also be a great topic for discussion with prospective employers at a job interview.
Learn something new
Depending on where you go and what you do, you’re sure to pick up some new skills by volunteering abroad. This might be something specific like cooking, teaching, building or survival skills, but there are also transferable skills you will develop while there, like problem-solving, teamwork and effective communication. Volunteering abroad is also the perfect opportunity to learn a new language, as you’ll be surrounded by native speakers and likely find yourself using it all the time.
Meet new people
As we already mentioned, volunteering abroad can be scary – especially on your own – but it’s a really easy way to meet new people. You’ll find all sorts of interesting people from across the globe. If you want to meet people with your interests from day one, why not participate in a group volunteering scheme? You’ll be able to collaborate with other volunteers and share unforgettable experiences, which often creates a real sense of community and permanent friendships.
See the world
If you’re thinking of going travelling anyway, why not include volunteering into your travel itinerary? There’s no better way to discover a new culture and experience a different way of living. What’s more, it can be surprisingly affordable. Although volunteering is unpaid, some organisations and schemes will offer accommodation or meals at a low cost in return for your work. You may also be able to fund your volunteering trip through a grant or fundraising, allowing you to keep costs to a minimum if you’re on a tight budget.
So, what are you waiting for? Start thinking about how you could get involved in volunteering abroad today!
Article produced in partnership with EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal.
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"Focus on…" articles are intended to provide users of the EURES portal with information on current topics and trends and to stimulate discussion and debate. They do not necessarily reflect the view of the European Commission.