Want an ultimate life-changing travel experience? Try volunteering abroad.
Volunteering overseas can have a dramatic impact on your life. It puts you right at the heart of developing communities, giving you the opportunity to learn more about their culture and give back in a meaningful way.
The right volunteering project can help you to learn new skills, enhance your network, make new friends, and even advance your career.
Spending your time and energy helping others can also help to protect your physical and mental health.
Ready to volunteer globally? Here are the 10 benefits of volunteering overseas.
1. Makes You Happier
Multiple studies have shown that helping others creates happiness.
A recent study conducted at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between formal volunteering and self-reported health and happiness. It was found that those who volunteered showed greater happiness and better health.
Volunteering overseas has many avenues for making people happy. First, you get a chance to explore attractive sites in the host country.
You also get opportunities to learn new cultures, meet new people, and have fun with other volunteers.
2. Make New Friends
Want to make new friends? Commit to a shared activity where you’ll meet new faces every day.
And what a better way to achieve this than to volunteer overseas.
Volunteering overseas opens the doors for you to interact with people from diverse backgrounds. It strengthens your ties to the community and expands your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, hobbies, and resources.
So if you’re looking to make new friends or strengthen existing relationships, consider volunteering abroad.
3. Build Strong Bonds
The more you interact with your new colleagues, the more you get to know them.Your shared work and interests will undoubtedly lead to strong bonds and true-hearted friendships that will stand the test of time.
Picture the kind of friendship that will not be shaken by continental barriers. That’s what you get by volunteering overseas.
If you can volunteer abroad with a friend from home or college, the better. Doing so can ease you the challenges of adjusting to the new environment. It can also lead to strengthened relationships and memories that will last a lifetime.
4. Helps to Prevent Anxiety and Depression
In today’s world, anxiety and depression are considered the diseases of the 21st century. Studies show that approximately 44 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders.
Depression is also a major culprit. At any point in time, 3-5% of people suffer from major depression, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
While volunteering abroad may not provide a lifetime cure for anxiety and depression, it can help to counteract the effects of anxiety, anger, and stress.
Nothing relieves stress better than having a meaning connection with people. The mere aspect of interacting and helping other people can have a profound impact on your psychological well being.
5. Grow Your Network
One of the most effective ways to broaden your network is by building meaning connections with others. What a better way to achieve this than by volunteering overseas with people you share common goals and interests with.
Unlike in LinkedIn and other social networks where you connect with people and influencers “virtually”, volunteering abroad gives you the opportunity to network with people you’ve met and worked with.
Through volunteering, you are thus able to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds. This allows you to forge personal as well as professional connections.
6. Promotes Innovative Thinking
When we do the same tasks repeatedly, we program our minds to certain skillsets, and certain ways of doing things. While this style of work is convenient and can boost productivity, it can also squash creativity.
Volunteering overseas, however, is inventive and adventurous at its best. This one of a kind experience lets you step outside your comfort zones to embrace new things, roles, people, and cultures.
The revamps in your routine prepares your mind for a change, which is what you need to bolster creativity and innovative thinking.
7. An Expanded Palate
One advantage of volunteering overseas is that you get a taste of different cuisines.
When you volunteer abroad, you get an opportunity to try out many fruits, vegetables, and meat you’ve never tasted before.
Some foods are nutritious and served up fresher than you’ve never experienced. Others may be awkward, like some species of animals or insects that are not treated as food in your home country.
All in all, you get to learn new recipes, taste many dishes, and learn new ways of doing things.
8. Expand Your Skillset
Whether you’re looking to explore new skills or dive deeper into your area of expertise, volunteering overseas is the perfect way to do so.
Many organizations, like Involvement Volunteers International (IVI), offer skill-based opportunities that match your expertise with non-profit partners that are looking for people like you.
By nurturing your skills in an international environment overseas, you’ll learn skills that will make you more confident in your career. You’ll also have a ton of experience to add to your resume that’ll differentiate you from the rest.
Volunteering abroad will also challenge and change your mindset while giving you global insights into the issues surrounding your career, or line of business.
9. Learn New Language skills
Living and working in a foreign country is hands down the best way to learn a foreign language.
Even if your intent is not to learn a foreign language, total immersion in the culture will give you at least a conversation grasp of the language.
And if your volunteering work involves teaching English, your verbal and written skills are likely to improve as well.
10. Boost Self Confidence
Want to boost your self-confidence? Be a pro at what you do best, and use your skills to do good.
By using your skills and expertise to help others, you’ll develop a sense of accomplishment. Your achievement as a volunteer can also improve your self-esteem and rejuvenate your mood.
The more you feel good about yourself, the better the person you become. Volunteering while seeing the world will impact self-confidence in you while making you more mindful of your life and that of others.
Volunteering Overseas; The Bottom line
Volunteering globally is one of those life-changing experiences that can impact positively on your life as well as have a profound and lasting impact on others.
It will not only let you develop a more global mindset but also change your concept of home too.
So get out there. Give yourself the opportunity to know the world and make a contribution that will change lives.
And when you do that, you’ll be surprised at how your contribution will be beneficial to your personal and professional life.
Ready to become a global volunteer? Get in touch with us today.