jobs and internships
|WORKING TO PROVIDE FOR UNMET NEEDS
Excerpted from Work Abroad by William Nolting.
With permission from Transitions Abroad
Volunteering abroad is defined not so much by earnings - since volunteer programs may or may not provide some form of reimbursement - as it is
by service; working to provide for unmet needs. Unmet needs may be social - poverty, hunger, etc. - environmental, or educational. Traditionally, volunteering has been seen as helping others. Today, it is more often seen as helping persons or groups achieve their goals as they themselves define them, building local self-reliance. While volunteering means giving of oneself, it also means receiving; friendships, knowledge of oneself, insight into another culture, and the relationship between that society and our own. For some it can be a catalyst towards lifelong work for social change at home or abroad.
"Before making a commitment, it is important to clarify your motives. You may be drawn to voluntary service by a desire to help impoverished
people. You may be interested in learning about another culture and society. You may wish to be part of a process of positive social change. Or you may wish to gain experience which will help you find employment. Each of these motivations will direct you to distinct options for voluntary service." - Alternatives to the Peace Corps
Some Characteristics of Volounteer work.
- Skills required: These run the gamut from unskilled to
professional, in areas such as teaching, business, health sciences,
environment and natural resources, engineering and other technical skill
areas, special education, math and science, and many more.
- Time commitment: From a few weeks to two or three years.
- Pay or cost: A few long-term (two or more years) volunteer programs
cover all expenses plus a stipend. Many provide for room and board but
not for transportation or personal expenses. Some require volunteers to
cover their own expenses. Short-term programs which provide training,
on-site support, and sometimes academic credit usually charge a fee -
but they are generally less expensive than study-only programs or simply
- Location and type of work: You can volunteer virtually everywhere in
the world. In wealthier areas,
volunteering may be the only way for nonspecialists to work for social,
educational, or environmental causes. In most countries with developing
economies, volunteering is often the only work possible for foreigners,
particularly for those seeking their first work experience in these
- Sponsoring organizations: Large international multigovernment
organizations such as the United Nations, smaller non-governmental
organizations (known as NGOs), and religious organizations. The latter
may have either a social-activist or a proselytizing orientation, or in
some cases, both.
Funding Your Experience.
The best way to find funds is to go directly to people or organizations for support. In exchange, the volunteer can provide reports from abroad or
presentations upon return. Possible sources include service clubs, religious organizations, and relatives. Other fund-raising events include raffles, providing services for contributions, etc. Most organizations will assist volunteers with suggestions for raising funds.
Go search our databases for volunteering positions abroad.
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