Volunteering is a very popular way to travel, and one of the leading choices made by those on a gap year between college and university. However, no matter whether you decide to volunteer in Guatemala or even down south, in the slums of Brazil, make no mistake – it can sometimes be hard, challenging work! So, why do people do it?
Here are a few of the top reasons to have a go at volunteering yourself.
Travel the World – For Free!
Alright, so it’s not quite a free ticket – most volunteer organisations will expect you to at least pay for your transport out there, but once you’re working you will usually have the price of food, accommodation and travel covered for you. In some places this can amount to a small fortune, so volunteering is a great way to see other countries without breaking the bank.
It’s one thing to visit a foreign nation, and spend your time lounging around in bars, or by the hotel pool… but nothing quite compares to really immersing yourself into that culture, and getting to know the way local people live. Volunteering is one of the best ways you could ever hope to do this, by taking you right to the heart of indigenous communities, and showing you sights that simply don’t feature into the tourist guidebooks.
Perhaps the best thing of all, is the long-lasting sense of achievement that you stand to gain by volunteering abroad. No matter whether you’re conserving natural habits for endangered species, or maybe you decide to volunteer in Costa Rica, teaching English in a rural school – the feeling of having offered real help to some of the people who need it most, is something that is likely to stay with you for the rest of your life!
Another year is just starting and it’s the time of the year when many interested volunteers are planning on what to do and where to go this coming summer. It is really good to plan as early as January if you like to be really prepared for your summer volunteer experience. If you are not yet sure on what program to choose, we would like to recommend five of the most popular summer volunteer programs 2017.
1. Volunteer and Adventure Program
The Volunteer and Adventure Program is a type of program that combines volunteering with travel adventures. One of the best places to go to for this program is Bali, Indonesia where you could enjoy visiting different attractions in Bali and try extreme activities such as white water rafting among others. Volunteer activities may involve teaching, community development, or childcare depending on your volunteer organisation.
2. Volunteer in Summer Camp
Summer camps are really popular among children. It is where they can learn various skills and sports such as archery, swimming, baseball and many others. Many of the summer camps in various countries welcome volunteers who can assist in teaching children different skills and sports or help out in camp chores. Popular summer camps are located in Nepal, Thailand, India and other countries in Asia.
3. Volunteer and Travel Program
If you like to volunteer while exploring a country more this summer, the Volunteer and Travel program may be suitable for you. You could travel to some of the popular and inexpensive destinations such as India, Nepal, Thailand, Peru, Israel and many other destinations. This program provides a good opportunity for a meaningful and memorable travel experience to volunteers.
4. Intercultural Projects
Do you like to be culturally immersed to a new culture? If your answer is no, then try participating in intercultural projects this summer. Various volunteer organizations including Volunteering Solutions offer this project this summer in countries like Peru which is known for its rich culture. Part of this program is exploring different attractions and getting to know more about its culture and people.
5. Social Projects Program
The Social Projects Program is also equally popular during summer. In this program, you can experience working in schools, orphanages, poor communities or care centers while enjoying various activities such as jungle tour, zip lining and others. The most popular destination for this program is Thailand. This program aims to make a significant social impact to the needy people at a short span of time while letting volunteers enjoy a good summer adventure.
This list is not all inclusive. There are many other summer volunteer programs 2017 that you can choose from. It is best to pick your choice earlier so that you can best prepare for your summer activity. Also, you may be able to avail of discounted air fares and discounted volunteer packages if you book as early as January. You may click at the link in the top paragraph of this post for more details about the various summer program options.