5 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad

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”
Proverbs 3:27

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.

5 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad

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.

5 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad

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!

5 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad

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 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad
5 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad
5 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad

 

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!

5 Reasons to Volunteer Abroad

 

I hope these 5 reasons to volunteer abroad help you decide to spend your next vacation volunteering… I promise, it is worth it!

 

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12 Comments

  1. January 27, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    Looks like an amazing experience! I have been traveling for 3 years, not volunteering, but I have similar reasons for why travel is important to me..new cultures, wider perspectives, more awareness, new friends, learn about myself and gain different experiences. Do you have any plans for where you are going next?

  2. January 27, 2016 / 10:05 pm

    This is so cool! Beautiful photos & the kids you work with look adorable 🙂

  3. probearoundtheglobe
    January 27, 2016 / 10:14 pm

    seems like you had an amazing time! Great pictures too

  4. January 27, 2016 / 10:24 pm

    I’m so torn over this subject. I’ve studied tourism with a great focus on alternative tourism, which was mostly volunteer tourism the last few years. I feel like that when you go as a healthcare assistance or as a professional of any kind it is great, and your actually doing something useful. But seriously, what are all those teenyboppers doing there.. I guess it is a great experience for them, but is it also good for the country? I’ve been working on a post on this, but what i said before, I’m torn.. I don’t know if you find it interesting but I copied a small part of the post I’ve been writing.. I’d love to hear your opinion on this part of Voluntourism! PS. I still love this post, it was written very good and I can imagine you’ll be able to get quite a few people to go do this!

    An example of the negative impact alternative tourism makes can be seen in the case of volunteer tourism in Cambodia. Each year hundreds of inexperienced tourists from wealthy countries come to Cambodia to aid the orphans. They either come to teach English, help in construction or just to entertain the children. Consequently there is a low demand for actual professors and constructions workers that live locally. However, the more serious issue and negative impact is that they are creating a demand for more orphans.
    Orphanage business (orphan farms) has become a profitable and easy business for Cambodians. The demand for accessible “vulnerable” children keeps rising, and more children are trafficked. SISHA, a non-profit organisation battles against child trafficking, and corrupt orphanages that use children to collect donations from volunteer tourism, mentions that at least 90% of the orphanages have very poor living conditions and physically abuse children. There is unrest in these villages, good willed westerners are collecting money and helping a poor country develop and believe they are helping children in need. But on the other hand, in doing so they keep children away from their families, tearing apart communities and fuelling a corrupt and criminal industry, which then prevents the country from developing . Good intentions and foreign donors could be damaging a generation of children, instead of helping them.

  5. January 27, 2016 / 10:40 pm

    It looks like you had an incredible time. I would love to do something like this – hopefully next year!

  6. January 28, 2016 / 5:52 am

    Great reasons to volunteer abroad! I would only volunteer if I just paid costs, many ask for so much money upfront.
    I have volunteered teaching English before and I made lifelong friends!

  7. January 28, 2016 / 7:25 am

    Such an inspirational post, Nikki! It looks like you had an amazing time!

  8. January 28, 2016 / 8:35 am

    I love volunteer work. It’s the most difficult, yet rewarding thing! I did a Habitat for Humanity trip and enjoyed your perspective.

  9. January 28, 2016 / 7:46 pm

    I would love to do a voluntourism trip with my family. Something we could all do together. It looks like you had a great experience!

  10. February 1, 2016 / 6:20 am

    I’m all for volunteering abroad too. It’s not for everyone, of course, but you get so much out of it if you’ve git what it takes – some of my best ever travel memories are from my volunteering stints in Uganda and Tanzania. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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