Travel to Volunteer: How to Choose an Organization

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We all have different reasons for traveling. Each of us at some point in our lives, has dreamt of travelling abroad. Some would do it for work and many will do it for pleasure, but others will do it for both.

It is possible that you can enjoy traveling, learning a different culture, and exploring different countries while working. Or simply by volunteering abroad.

What does volunteering abroad means?

Volunteering abroad means that you are motivated to share your time and energy to the work of an organization or organizations that you support. Typically, it is divided into three types which include:

  • Long-Term and Professional Volunteer
    This means that you work full-time overseas and sometimes in different countries, to work on the projects of the company. Most of the time, this could last from one to five years. Majority of the volunteers in this category have relevant work, field experience and specific educational qualifications. The volunteers are also provided with a suitable allowance and other necessities in the area where they are assigned.
  • Short-Term Volunteer Programs
    Volunteers are expected to be with the community and provide services within a few weeks or three months, which is often the longest period for a short-term volunteer work. These programs can be hosted by for-profit and non-profit organizations. Volunteers aren’t required to have experiences about the job.
  • Short-Term and Self-Funded Programs
    These are the types of programs where you fund your own travel, from food to the cost of the project that you want to support. Majority of the people in this type of programs are professionals or students who are taking sabbaticals.

How do I choose an organization?

Now that you know what type of program you want to participate in let’s start with the steps on how to choose the company or institution for you.

It can be an overwhelming step especially if you start looking online. There are thousands of organization you can choose from, but we highly recommend to:

  1. Outline your personal goals.
    Contributing and sharing your time and resources are significant steps to volunteer. However, it’s also important to have an objective goal to ensure that you know where the experiences will lead you. You can aim to learn another language, use your experiences to write a book/essay for your study, or enhance your travel adaptability. Regardless of how big or some your goals are, write it down as it could help you find the right organization.
  2. Choose the volunteer program you want to participate.
    Before choosing an organization, you have first to choose what program you want to share your time, skills, and resources.
  3. Know how much you are willing to spend.
    Work with a company and program that suits your budget, too. Set a high-end and low-end budget to ensure that you get to work with the program that you’re really passionate about.
  4. Learn what others are saying.
    Read the reviews of the organization you’ve chosen. A company that has a proven track record will definitely have a lot of positive and honest reviews online.
  5. Talk to a volunteer.
    We can get a lot of information online. However, first-hand experiences are still the best. Make sure to talk to someone who had volunteered abroad, ask them for advice and insights on how you can go about your plans.
  6. Safe programs.
    Always ensure that you work with a company that rallies for safe programs abroad. Your safety isn’t a joke. Therefore, always ask the company about their communication policies and risk mitigation programs in case of emergencies.

When volunteering, always remember to be part of the positive change that the program does for the community. However, don’t expect these changes to take effect immediately. It takes a lot of time and a larger process to see changes, so take your time.

Think about the journey you’re about to embark on and make your choice. Be involved and start volunteering in foreign communities while enjoying and learning from them. Share experiences, tips, and tricks within a community of backpackers who wants to be part of the change the world needs. Sign up and be a Medipacker now!

About the author: Team Medipacker
Team Medipacker is managing the Medipacker Community. We are the founders of Medipacker

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