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Volunteering abroad is a fantastic way to learn about another culture, make new friends and help others. But before you sign up for your dream trip, research the country where you’ll be volunteering. Make sure you’re doing it with a reputable organization and avoid any scams that may exist out there. Consider the cost of volunteering and whether there are opportunities back home for similar work that might not require such an investment of time and money from your family or friends.

Thoroughly research the country where you’d like to volunteer.

It is important to do your research before you pack your bags and head off to volunteer abroad. You want to make sure that the country where you are going has a healthy economy, a well-functioning healthcare system, and is safe for tourists. If you have never been outside of North America or Europe before, some things might surprise you about life in another part of the world. For example:

In many developing countries like Cambodia or Guatemala City where I volunteered there are no street lights at night so it can be very dark when walking home alone at night. In addition, it may not be as easy as finding food when walking around looking for something quick to eat because few businesses will stay open very late into the evening so most restaurants/cafes close between 10 pm-11 pm depending on their clientele base (which usually consists mostly of locals). Also don’t expect American fast food chains such as Mcdonald’s or Burger King since they aren’t available in most places outside developed nations like Canada, the US, etc!

Make sure you’re volunteering with a reputable organization.

young volunteers planting trees in green park together
  • Make sure you’re volunteering with a reputable organization.
  • Look for a non-profit organization. They are generally more trustworthy than for-profit companies, and if they don’t have to make money from the work you do, they’ll be able to afford to pay you more and treat you better.
  • Look for an organization that has been around for a while. This shows that it’s been successful at attracting volunteers in the past and can continue doing so in the future. If it’s been around for several years, there probably isn’t much risk of them going out of business anytime soon either!
  • Look for an organization that has a strong reputation within their industry (e.g., animal welfare). This shows that other people who work in animal welfare have recognized their contributions positively over time, which is usually indicative of good treatment of volunteers (and animals!).

Consider the cost of volunteering abroad.

There are many reasons to volunteer abroad, but before you pack your bags and head out the door, there are a few things you should consider. The cost of volunteering abroad will depend on where you’re going and what organization you’re volunteering with.

The cost of airfare will vary depending on where in the world you want to go. Some countries can be as cheap as $100 round trip while others can reach into the thousands.

You’ll also need somewhere to live while volunteering abroad so be sure to factor housing costs into your budget (especially if it involves more than one person). Depending on how long your trip is, these expenses could add up quickly!

It’s also important not to forget about the food! Some organizations may provide breakfast or lunch for their volunteers but most groups require participants to bring their snacks during work hours or pay extra fees for meals outside of work hours

Think about what skills you can bring to the table.

Volunteer with garbage outdoors

Consider what skills you can bring to the table. You may be only volunteering for a few weeks, but your time must be well spent. Think about what skills you have and what skills you might learn while abroad.

What kinds of tasks can you do? Do you have any professional certifications or licenses? What are some areas where your background and experience could contribute to the local community?

What kind of training would help develop a skill set that will benefit this project or organization? Can they provide training during your stay there (or will they reimburse your travel costs if necessary)?

What role would best suit your interests, strengths, and knowledge—and how can this be incorporated into the volunteer opportunity at hand?

Think about how long you’d like to volunteer.

It’s important to think about how long you’d like to volunteer. Will your trip be for one week, two weeks, or a month? Keep in mind that the longer the stay, the more impact your volunteering will have on your career and family life. The longer you’re gone from home, the more difficult it’ll be to maintain communication with friends and family members back home.

If this is something that concerns you (and it should!), there are some great solutions out there that can help you keep up with people while traveling abroad!

Consider the impact volunteering abroad might have on your life back home.

Volunteers distributing blankets and other donations to refugees on the Ukrainian border
  • Consider the impact volunteering abroad might have on your life back home.
  • Volunteering abroad can be a stressful experience. You will likely be away from family and friends, working long hours in challenging conditions, and potentially living in an unfamiliar culture. It is important to consider how these factors will affect you emotionally and physically before committing to a position away from home for an extended period.
  • If you have children at home, think about how volunteering abroad could affect them as well. Children are often the most affected when parents separate, so if this is something that worries you then consider other options for traveling or volunteering instead of going overseas alone; this could include taking trips with friends or family members instead of traveling solo.

Be aware of the language requirements for your trip.

How much of the local language do you need to know? This is a question that should not be taken lightly. You may want to learn some words and phrases, but it’s more than likely that you’ll need to speak the local language fluently. If your trip doesn’t require this level of proficiency, then make sure you’re able to communicate with locals using whatever methods work best for you.

Be prepared for culture shock.

If you’ve been dreaming of a foreign adventure, it’s time to start preparing. One important thing to remember when volunteering abroad is that it may take some adjustment. You’re going to be in a different environment, experiencing life in a new culture, and speaking a different language!

While these changes can be exciting, they can also create feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. The good news is that most volunteers who experience culture shock quickly adapt to their new surroundings with little difficulty.

Give yourself enough time to prepare for your trip.

Prepare yourself for a long trip. You must have enough time to prepare for your excursion. This includes getting used to the culture, environment, and food of your destination country. You also need to learn a bit about the language spoken in that country so that you can communicate with the people there.

Let your friends and family know how they can support you as you prepare for this amazing experience!

You might want to let your friends and family know where you are going, how long you’ll be gone, and how they can support you.

  • Tell them the name of the organization or organization’s headquarters
  • Let them know about any safety precautions that need to be taken
  • Give them an idea of what kind of work you plan on doing abroad

Volunteering in another country can be a great way to learn about another culture and help others, but it’s important to do it right!

Volunteer at the hospital
Volunteer at the hospital

Volunteering in another country can be a great way to learn about another culture and help others, but it’s important to do it right! Read on for 10 things you must know before packing your bags and volunteering abroad.

  • Be aware of the culture shock. You may find yourself constantly surrounded by people who speak different languages, eat foods that you don’t recognize, or have very different ways of thinking than you’re used to. This can lead to feelings of homesickness and loneliness. To help with this problem, try talking with other volunteers or host families about their lives back home. They will probably be happy to share stories about their friends or family members who live in other countries so that when you go home from your trip, they’ll already have some idea of what it’s like there!
  • Be prepared for the language barrier. If English is spoken at all where you’re going, chances are good that only one person will know how well (or badly) their second language communicates ideas clearly; most likely that person will not be someone who works directly with children—and therefore might not always understand why something doesn’t work properly until after something else does work properly instead! Make sure everyone understands each other well enough by making sure there aren’t any misunderstandings before moving forward with plans; otherwise everyone might end up feeling frustrated later on down the road when things don’t go exactly according to plan due largely because someone wasn’t clear enough during earlier conversations…”


We hope this article has helped you find the answers to these questions. We know that volunteering abroad can be an amazing experience, but it’s important to do it right! Our final piece of advice is just to remember that you’re not alone: many people have gone through what you’re going through now and have found success in their endeavors. So don’t be afraid of taking on this challenge—just put in the hard work and make sure you’re prepared for whatever comes next!