Here are 5 reasons to volunteer abroad on your next trip…
1. To help others
Isn’t this the reason why you signed up to volunteer abroad? Helping others is the main and most important reason as to why one volunteers abroad. When studying abroad in Tanzania, we were given a bible verse to follow during our stay…
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act”
If you are able to volunteer… Why not? Maybe you aren’t able to volunteer abroad, but there are always local volunteer options no matter where you live. Volunteering abroad was personally the best option for me because I could afford it, I wanted to meet new people and make new friends, I wanted to explore a new culture, I wanted more experience in nursing and healthcare, and most importantly, I wanted to help others.
One of the places that we volunteered was a small Maasai village near Kilimanjaro airport. We spent 3 days at O’Brien School for the Maasai working with local doctors to diagnose and treat individuals that often do not receive any healthcare. Our travel group was the first group to ever visit this village and provide health care and the leaders of the group thanked us time and time again for caring about them.
2. To make new friends
Making new friends and meeting new people while abroad is the best! You are able to learn about other cultures, other backgrounds, and other people’s way of life. I have many rafikis (Swahili for friends) from Tanzania that I will always remember and hold close to my heart. I also had the opportunity to meet other people from all over the US, people who had the same interests as me. That was, of course, helping others. Finally, I was able to make new friends from my own school. These are people that I have gone to school with for one or two years. I didn’t know them before the trip, but now they will always be an important part of my life.
It’s amazing how people can come together for the greater good of others.
3. To learn more about yourself
This is a common reason as to why many people go abroad and it may seem kind of cliché, but traveling and volunteering abroad really does help one learn about themselves. For me, I was reinforced that I was going into the right field, nursing. I also learned that I love to travel. Which brings me to the next topic, learning about a new culture and part of the world.
Look at these sweet, sweet children. Them alone are 5 reasons to volunteer abroad… but let’s continue on our list!
4. To learn more about a new culture and explore a new part of the world
I absolutely love learning about new cultures, ways of life, and exploring a new part of the world. Volunteering abroad gives you a chance to do that. I was able to learn new languages, try new foods, meet new people, and discover a new culture. I was able to explore Tanzania; we hiked to a waterfall, learned about the Maasai and their way of life, and went on a safari to Tarangire National Park.
5. To gain experience in a certain area of interest
Learning how to care for other people has been a very important part of my life for some time now, and becomes more important everyday as I continue my nursing education. Traveling to Tanzania to volunteer with nursing and public health provided me with more experience in nursing and how to care for others. There are so many different volunteer opportunities, find one that suits your interest!
I hope these 5 reasons to volunteer abroad help you decide to spend your next vacation volunteering… I promise, it is worth it!