3 Important Things You Should Do Before Volunteering Abroad

In today’s world, a number of people volunteering abroad continuously increasing. There are many reasons for this tendency. Some of them would like to have a unique experience, some want to make a real contribution to the world, some of them are just see volunteering as an affordable way of travel. The reasons for volunteering differs from person to person. It doesn’t matter which initial thought in your mind because at the end of this journey you will recognize that volunteering abroad will bring many benefits to your life and your self-development.

Volunteering is doing something meaningful for others. It requires that you leave your comfort zone. You have to be sure about it because otherwise, it won’t be a nice experience for you. You should prepare yourself physically but most importantly mentally. Then you can start thinking about the country you would like to go, the job you will work as a volunteer, which project you have to choose, etc.

If you completed the thinking phase and ready to take an action it is time to go one step further. Let’s assume you decided to be a volunteer abroad, and you are clear about it, then there are things to do for the preparation phase. These are critical things that every volunteer nominee should know and do. As Abroaderview, we will be supporting you during all these steps but first here is brief information about the things you must do.

1.Travel and Health Insurance 

Most of the time, volunteering projects are located in undeveloped countries. Unfortunately, third world countries have some unsolved health issues. We will be speaking about those in details in the vaccinations part but it is one of the reasons why you should have travel insurance. Secondly, most of the time there is no problem during a trip abroad but it is better to take precaution. If something happens to you, having travel insurance is very important. As Abroaderview we hope and try to do our best to create a safe trip for you but anyways it is always good to have a backup. Therefore, travel and health insurance is a must before joining volunteer programs.

It is important that you get your travel insurance right. Therefore we offer different insurance types according to your needs. So, let’s talk about what do you need to be covered for. Firstly and most importantly some medical emergencies may occur. Rather then that, your passport or other documents may be stolen. You can lose your language and your staff. There can be some unforeseen occasions. If something happens like this, it may ruin your whole trip. Therefore, it is good to have travel and health insurance. If you have the right insurance, it will help you a lot during an unwanted situation.

As Abroaderview, we suggest top travel insurance types for the people who will do volunteering abroad. First one is a volunteer card. IVC volunteer card is very beneficial and preferred by our volunteers. If you are going to involve a non-profit volunteer organization abroad then you can apply for this insurance. However, there is one thing you should be careful about. You should show a return ticket during application. If you do not have exact days then the insurance only covers only the travel at the destination. It doesn’t cover the trip itself. So, if you have a scheduled return date, you can show your documents and get your volunteer insurance card for the entire journey.

Second popular insurance is Trawick International. It is a successful provider. Their main focus is students, teachers, etc however they provide medical coverage for all who will go abroad for volunteering. Especially for students, they are trying to create low price and easily affordable but high-quality insurance programs. They are trying to offer economic but well-developed protection. It is a good attitude and as Abroaderview we really support it by heart.

Third and one of the well-known insurance programs is ISICare. It is actually not only insurance. It offers all the other benefits of ISIC (International Student Identity Card) benefits. Medical insurance, Mental Illness Overage, Dental Coverage, emergency reunion…. There are many things that ISICare offers. They have 7/24 assistance worldwide so if anything happens you can reach them easily.

Another one is iNext travel card. This company serves both supplemental and comprehensive insurance options. Anyone who is older than 13 years old can use iNext card. You can also use your card as an international ID.  Furthermore, you can get various travel discounts with this card.

The other ones we can suggest are Money Supermarket, Banner and Australian company World Nomads. You can always get some advice from Abroaderview’s team to decide the suitable insurance for you. We will try to help you to find the best service with the minimum budget. So that you will be comfortable during your trip and you don’t need to worry about anything.

2. Volunteer Background Checks

As Abroaderview (ABV) we require a background check. The reason is to guarantee the safety of both our volunteers and local partners in other countries. Some of Abroaderview volunteer jobs are located in the schools or requires interaction with children. Therefore, we have to make a detailed research before sending volunteers to other countries. Without a background check, it is not possible that you attend a volunteer program. Volunteer background checks are an essential part of ABV volunteer travel guideline and ABV children protection agreement.

It is needed that you give enough importance and time for this document. Processing time and procedure differ from country to country. Therefore, you have the learn your duties properly. For details, you can always contact with ABV advisors. But first, it is better to check the Abroaderview web site for the detailed information.

During the volunteer background check, your criminal history will be investigated. If there is any serious criminal record in your past, you won’t be allowed to join Abroaderview volunteer programs. Your background check documents should be in English. If your mother tongue is different and you are given the document in another language, then you will need a professional translation which will be approved by a notary. Abroaderview can help you with this process if you need help. Just contact us for your questions and concerns.

Countries and cities have different rules for background checks. Sometimes a document given by online application is enough. Sometimes you need to go to the police office.Therefore, start this procedure as much as early as you can. So you will get to documents without having stress.

To sum up, it is a must that you have a criminal background check for everybody’s safety. Don’t forget this step while preparing for volunteering abroad.

3. Vaccinations

If you decided to be a volunteer abroad and trying to decide your destination, one of the first things that you should consider is the required vaccinations. For each country the precautions you must take are different. Therefore, you should search for the health circumstances with details and learn the things you have to do properly. Then if you can decide your destination. There are some countries like Tanzania which requires more vaccinations. For example, Honduras requires less. So, if you don’t like to have many vaccinations you can choose a country which is safer in terms of diseases.

Having the right vaccinations is very important. Also, the timing has a big importance. If you need help, Abroaderview will help you with these details. We have years of experience and will give you the most accurate information about these critical topics.  You can get in touch with us whenever you like and we will be here for you.

So, let have a deeper look at why you need vaccinations. In some countries, waterborne and airborne diseases may be a threat to you. On the other hand, you may be exposed to wild animals. Your health is important than anything. Therefore, vaccinations are critical for your safety. It is also forbidden to enter some countries without some vaccinations. Especially the countries who have yellow fever won’t allow you to enter their lands without having proper vaccination.

If you are visiting a country for the first time, all circumstances are new for you. Cuisine, water, insects are some of the things that will affect your life in that country. Your body is not used everything.

The season you travel, the job you will have, your current health state is very important to decide the proper vaccinations. You can discuss it with your doctor and take action accordingly.

The countries that the Abroaderview has volunteer positions are usually located in undeveloped countries. Let’s talk about a bit more about which vaccination you will need in which country. In Asia, Abroaderview has volunteering opportunities in Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, India, Mongolia, etc. In those regions typhoid and hepatitis are the first concerns. You have to do vaccinations for those. Also it is better you take precaution for chickenpox and flu shot.

If we look at each country separately, In Nepal, hepatic, typhoid, tetanus are the important vaccinations. Vietnam and Cambodia have the same requirements. For India, may be tetanus is not a must.

In Africa it is more complicated. There is more risk than many countries in other continents. Abroaderview has positions in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa. Each region has its own risks. In Kenya, Yellow fever, typhoid, hepatit vaccinations are must. For Tanzania and Ghana Rabies vaccination should be added to this list. Whereas in South Africa, typhoid an hepatitis are enough. So, first decide your volunteering destination and then, search for the requirements.

To conclude, volunteering abroad is a life changing experience, but requires lots of search and there are certain preparations that a volunteer should do before the trip. If you complete those tasks, you will much more comfortable and safe during your trip. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to ask for some advice from Abroaderview. We are always here for you to plan an unforgettable experience for you. After then, just enjoy your trip and your amazing volunteering experience...

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