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.
1. Why Volunteer?
"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.
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 job boards for volunteering positions abroad.