There are many valuable and inspiring benefits to volunteering abroad. You can experience life in a different and fascinating culture while helping local residents who have need of your skills. While mastering a new language, you can share interesting facts and intriguing aspects of your own culture with others.
You can spend time immersed in a major community health and wellness or arts-related project in another country. Your choice for volunteering may be to join a nutritional aid program in a drought-stricken locale. You can help regrow forests destroyed by fire or provide support for an ocean-life preservation project in a coastal region during volunteer work abroad.
One of the most urgently needed types of volunteers around the globe today is medical professionals with support staff. Especially in poverty-stricken or disaster areas, these volunteers can be vital to the success of major programs. Even individuals seeking volunteer work abroad for the thrills of adventure find that the true reward comes from helping others.
Ten Inspiring and Rewarding Benefits of Volunteer Work Abroad
Ten enlightening, inspiring and rewarding benefits of volunteer work abroad that will last for a lifetime include the following:
1. Forming Lasting International Friendships
Whenever you travel abroad, you meet new people and become friendly with them. Yet if you do volunteer work in another country, you can form lasting friendships with your coworkers. By working together on a daily basis, you get much better acquainted, forming strong bonds that can last for years.
Community work and charity projects abroad can involve hard work without an abundance of resources. It can become a challenging experience that requires sharing knowledge, ideas and ingenuity with other volunteers. This collaborative volunteering effort often leads to strong friendships that prevail despite long-distance communicating from different home countries. If you and a hometown friend join the same volunteer work abroad program, your friendship is sure to gain greater meaning.
2. Gaining Valuable Knowledge and Appreciation of Other Cultures
Volunteering abroad gives you unique insights into another culture. As a working volunteer in another country, you gain unique knowledge and understanding of diverse aspects of another country’s lifestyles. You learn and appreciate another language, respecting the differences from your own native tongue in polite or casual conversation. You learn the accepted use of common gestures and body language in the country and locale where you are volunteering.
By learning about the valued customs and behavior in your new location. You become more sensitive to how your own words and actions affect others. Acquiring a genuine respect for the common practices and ways of life in another country also reinforces your appreciation of your own culture. You develop a strong desire to act in a respectful manner around your new friends, acquaintances and surroundings.
3. Benefiting from a Rich, Meaningful Work Experience
Not only will you benefit personally from your time spent volunteering abroad. You will also gain priceless advantages from an enriching, meaningful work experience in another part of the world. In today’s competitive job market, your international volunteer work can help you win a new job placement back home.
When you include your volunteer work abroad on your résumé or CV, your applications will stand out. Even when you apply for highly competitive jobs, your international experience can give you an edge over your competitors. A study conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service revealed interesting results. It showed that unemployed people who volunteered (2002—2012) had a 27% greater likelihood of finding employment than other applicants.
4. Seeking Advantages from a Global Networking Opportunity
By participating in international volunteering work, you gain valuable networking advantages that can benefit your career. You can meet individuals and groups of people from around the globe in your volunteer program and location. This enables you to make lasting personal and professional friends and connections.
Your participation in volunteer work abroad projects supplies you with hands-on experience in a practical, organized situation that employers consider valuable. When you excel in a volunteer work program abroad, it proves to potential employers that you can cope with diversity. These HR directors and company leaders appreciate your ability to adapt to a totally new work environment and perform well.
5. Acquiring Teamwork Skills While Volunteering
Another great advantage of participating in overseas volunteering is that you develop teamwork skills. Since most international volunteering projects require working daily with a diverse group of people, good teamwork is essential. Most of these volunteer work abroad programs involve working with volunteers from multiple countries as well as local residents.
In this type of international volunteering situation, you must be open to adapting to a specified manner and method of working. You must share ideas and insights, listen to others and then collaborate according to an agreed plan. Your success and good record throughout your volunteer work abroad program show employers that you have major skills and experience. Your performance reveals your strong ability to communicate, collaborate and complete projects.
6. Gaining and Developing Valuable Management Skills
Especially when you work volunteering for charities in other countries, you are likely to be placed in a supervisory or management position. Because these volunteer work abroad program are often not too large, participants with strong interest and potential are often promoted quickly. Volunteers who travel from other international locations to take part in a charitable project are often seen as strongly motivated.
Based on their efforts and global travel to be part of a volunteer program, these individuals are selected to develop management skills. These skills can be used throughout a lifetime in many different industries and employment situations. Company HR directors and smaller business owners in the U.S. may give strong attention to these volunteer work abroad credentials. As an applicant with global volunteering management experience, you may have a definite advantage when seeking employment.
7. Developing and Strengthening Diverse Language Skills
Most people agree that living in another country and working with the local residents is the ideal way to learn a new language. When you hear the language spoken around you every day while volunteering, you naturally begin using it. Even by speaking in simple, commonly used words and phrases, you soon find yourself gaining a larger vocabulary and better verbal skills.
You will soon start to think in this new language, even before your thoughts materialize in English. If English happens to be your second language, the new language that you are learning may dominate in your thoughts. If you are teaching English as part of your volunteer work, you will overcome any careless habits. Automatically, you will brush up on rules of grammar and usage that you may have forgotten over time.
8. Mastering Negotiating Skills
An important part of global volunteering is acting with tact and diplomacy. Whether you are a beginner on a volunteer work abroad project or an experienced participant, settling any differences while working is essential. Once you develop the ability to discuss, negotiate and collaborate cooperatively on all aspects of a project, you will succeed. You will be a valuable asset and member of the team.
Good negotiating skills are also vital to your project’s smooth operation and success if you are placed in a leadership position. In a management role, you will most likely need to negotiate and settle differences with other local volunteer team leaders. With strong preparation for resolving issues and differences within your own team or involving other volunteer work abroad programs, you can lead successfully.
9. Traveling More Creatively
After living abroad and participating as a volunteer worker for charity or a local community program, you will travel more creatively. Rather than relying on travel agents, travel excursion groups or company-sponsored trips, you can plan your own travels. Instead of taking trips to “desirable vacation destinations,” you will structure your traveling to include fascinating countries and locales.
Your travel choices will be to international ports, cities and regions with history and culture that you want to explore. In addition, you will plan your traveling schedule to allow you to stay for a while in the locations that you visit. As you gain experience as a volunteer work abroad participant, you will take special interest in learning the local language somewhat. Just using short, commonly spoken phrases while there will reward you with a stronger affinity with the people, language and culture surrounding you.
10. Gaining Greater Language Proficiency
Perhaps your goal is to become fluent and proficient in speaking and writing one or more new languages. If so, working as a volunteer work abroad participant is a great way to begin. In fact, after learning a second language, many individuals who volunteer internationally discover that learning additional languages is significantly easier.
If your goal is to pursue a career as a physician assistant (PA) or a doctor, multiple language proficiency is valuable. It can enable you to take part in international projects during your education and afterward. Throughout your career, fluency in other languages can be a great advantage in communicating with patients from other countries. It can also benefit your communications with other PAs, physicians and healthcare workers from international locations.
If you plan to apply for entrance to medical school or to a physician assistant educational program, consult the experts of International Medical Aid (IMA). Founded by Johns Hopkins alumni, this organization offers an innovative approach that is process driven. Its purpose is to aid students in becoming top-caliber professional healthcare providers. IMA offers exemplary healthcare internship programs and medical school admissions consulting services.
These services provide prospective candidates with a valuable and detailed view of the overall admissions process for these professional programs. Expertly directed hands-on practice for the admissions process is also provided for participants. Contact the experienced professionals of IMA today for further information. Benefit from their expertise and guidance in applying for and gaining entrance to an optimal quality medical school or PA educational program. You can reach the expert IMA team today by visiting the organization’s website at medicalaid.org.