College students have a unique opportunity to merge their education with a meaningful and impactful volunteering experience abroad. Not only do they have the chance to immerse themselves in new cultures and make a positive difference in the world, but they also gain valuable skills that can set them apart in the job market. In this blog post, we will examine the benefits of volunteering abroad for college students and provide examples of volunteer programs that can help maximise the experience.
Benefits of Volunteering Abroad for College Students
- Personal Development: Volunteering abroad gives college students the chance to push their boundaries and challenge themselves in new ways. For example, GVI’s wildlife conservation program in South Africa allows students to work with endangered species and help protect their habitats, providing personal growth and a sense of accomplishment.
- Cultural Understanding: Spending time in another country helps college students understand different perspectives, values, and ways of life. This can broaden their horizons and deepen their appreciation for diversity.
- Career Development: Volunteering abroad provides college students with valuable hands-on experience in a field they are interested in. This can make them more competitive in the job market and help them make connections with professionals in their field.
- Language Learning: Volunteering abroad can also provide an opportunity to practise speaking a foreign language, which can be a valuable skill in the global job market.
- Enhance your resume: Volunteering abroad provides college students with the opportunity to demonstrate their initiative, adaptability, and commitment to making a positive impact on the world. Including volunteer abroad experiences on a resume can help students stand out to potential employers and demonstrate a willingness to embrace new challenges and experiences.
- Align with UN Sustainable Development Goals: Volunteering abroad with organisations like GVI allows college students to directly contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
Tips for Maximising the Volunteering Abroad Experience
- Choose a program that aligns with your passions and abilities: Research and choose a GVI volunteer program that matches your interests, skills, and objectives. This will help ensure that you get the most out of your experience and feel fulfilled in your volunteer work.
- Be ready for challenges: Volunteering abroad can present challenges, such as culture shock, language barriers, and adapting to new living conditions. Be prepared for these challenges and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Take advantage of opportunities to travel and explore: While volunteering, take advantage of opportunities to travel and explore the local area. This will deepen your cultural immersion and give you a more well-rounded experience.
- Keep in touch with family and friends: Staying connected with loved ones can help you feel more grounded and supported while abroad.
- Learn about the local culture: One of the best things about volunteering abroad is the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture and learn about the local way of life.
- Make new friends: Volunteering abroad provides students with the chance to connect with like-minded individuals from around the world.
In addition to individual volunteer abroad opportunities, GVI also offers group programs specifically designed for college students. These programs provide a supportive environment for students to work together towards a common goal and make a difference in the world. Group programs can be especially beneficial for students who are nervous about travelling abroad or who prefer to have the support of a group. These programs provide students with the opportunity to work together, learn from each other, and form lasting relationships with other volunteers from around the world. Additionally, GVI’s group programs are led by experienced team leaders who are dedicated to providing students with a safe and rewarding experience. Whether working individually or as part of a group, GVI offers college students a wealth of opportunities to volunteer abroad and make a positive impact on the world.