Do you know what volunteering abroad involves? Why you should consider volunteering? Which countries you can volunteer in? How you’ll make a lasting difference among communities in developing countries?
Before you choose a program and destination, check out this brief overview of volunteer abroad trips. What can you expect, and why should you consider one in the first place?
What is volunteering abroad?
A volunteer vacation involves traveling abroad to carry out unpaid work, often in a developing country, with the aim of having a positive impact on the people, community and environment.
Nonprofit volunteering organization A Broader View, which has been established for over a decade, was founded on the belief that one person can make a very real difference.
That’s why we offer travelers the opportunity to participate in meaningful, rewarding service work – all while exploring a new country.
Volunteering overseas not only matches skilled and passionate individuals to the communities where they are most needed, but also helps to promote trust and communication between nations.
Who can volunteer abroad?
We welcome people of any age to volunteer with us at A Broader View. Whether you’re a high school student, family, on your gap year or enjoying your retirement, we would love to hear from you.
The only requirements are that you are willing to give your time, skills and energy to improve the lives of people (or animals, if you choose an animal shelter or conservation program) in the impoverished or remote communities we partner with.
Why volunteer abroad?
There are plenty of reasons to consider volunteering abroad. Here are just five:
- 1.- Choose from a diverse range of programs
The type of volunteer work you can do overseas is incredibly diverse, with many different programs to choose from. From premed to conservation work and from teaching English to empowering women in disadvantaged and often patriarchal societies, we have a huge range of exciting projects to get stuck into.
You could volunteer in Africa, helping out in an orphanage in Tanzania, supporting a local grassroots organization in Ghana to raise awareness about HIV and AIDs or promoting solar lantern usage among energy poor communities in remote areas.
We offer the opportunity to volunteer in South America and Central America – perhaps you’re interested in helping with conservation efforts on the Galápagos Islands, joining a team of paramedics in Honduras or learning Spanish in Peru.
Or is volunteering in Asia more your style? How about helping in an elephant sanctuary in India, teaching English in a monastery while immersing yourself in the Nepali language or working with children who have special needs in Vietnam?
With so much to choose from, there truly is something for everyone!
- 2.- Enjoy a completely immersive cultural experience
Volunteering abroad is not only a great way to give something back and take your skills to where they’re most needed, but also a chance to live and work in a foreign country.
This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to live not just abroad, but in a developing country where you will have an experience unlike anything back in your hometown.
We partner with host families in South and Central America, Africa and Asia, which means you’ll have the chance to live with a local family, exposing you to the language, customs and cuisine of the region you choose. It really is the best way to get to know a place and its people.
Please rest assured that our home-stays are handpicked with your security, safety and convenience in mind. Many of our host families are partners with our programs, for example a teacher at one of our schools, or a nurse or doctor at one of our medical placements. You can find out more about accommodation here
Volunteering abroad is rewarding in itself, but even more so if you make the effort to eat local foods, interact with local people, observe local customs and celebrations, and pick up some the local language. At A Broader View, we make it easy!
- 3.- Make a lasting difference in the places that need it most
We send our volunteers to developing countries struggling with poverty, disease and a lack of skilled workers. All of our volunteer programs are handpicked, so you know that you are making a real difference to a community often in desperate need.
Volunteering abroad is a fantastic way to add real purpose to your travels. Many people seek to do this by climbing mountains, starting a photography blog or trekking to Machu Picchu – and while you can do all this (depending on the area you choose, of course!) we give you the chance to improve the lives of others too – while improving your own, and working towards your personal goals.
Our volunteer placements are designed to have a lasting impact – and it works both ways. You will use your skills, energy and commitment to ensure lasting, positive change in a needy community. Plus, your experience will stay with you for many years to come, and maybe even spur you on to commit to other volunteering opportunities in the future.
If you’re concerned about your safety in developing countries, rest assured that your safety is our number one priority. We have a 100% safety record, and have handpicked our programs and host families to ensure you have a safe, fun and fulfilling trip. We regularly check in with our volunteer programs and have very close working relationships with all in-country coordinators and host families.
- 4.- Volunteering abroad is a fantastic way to travel and explore the world
You will have plenty of time to explore your surroundings during your downtime and at weekends.
Depending on your schedule, you can take the time to discover your surroundings during the evenings – or choose to spend it with your host family who will be able to teach you about the food, customs and language of their home country – and at the weekends, which are completely free for you to do as you please!
The weekend is the perfect time to go on day trips or longer overnight excursions, either by yourself, with other volunteers or with locals, such as your host family. Our local coordinators will guide you and find the most reliable and affordable tour agencies to take care of your weekend trips, the agencies usually only take cash.
You could find yourself surfing in Costa Rica, exploring the wilderness in Mongolia or on the lookout for exotic wildlife in Belize – the opportunities are endless! Wherever you go, try to see as much of it as possible, to take full advantage of your time there and immerse yourself in everything your destination has to offer.
If you think you’ll need longer than evenings and weekends to do a region or a country justice, you could arrive a week earlier, dedicate a week after your program to traveling, or break up long periods of continuous travel – a gap year, for example – with volunteer programs.
- 5.- Learn a new language
By living with a host family and volunteering in local establishments, you’ll naturally pick up some of the language, whether you’re surrounded by Spanish speakers in Guatemala or Nepali speakers in Kathmandu, Nepal.
However, you’ll probably end up speaking English during some of your working hours, as you converse with other volunteers. So why not take the opportunity to learn the local language by enrolling in a Language and Cultural Immersion course with A Broader View?
Learn Spanish alongside your chosen volunteer program in Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Chile or Colombia, or learn Nepali in Kathmandu.
Please note that Language Immersion courses are vital for those who are volunteering on certain programs. This includes volunteers in schools, hospitals, orphanages and monasteries in Nepal. Please note that some placements in South and Central America also require a basic level of Spanish, you can also download itranslate apps and learn some basic phrases prior traveling. 96% of all our volunteers have this language barrier and everyone overcomes it.
Immersion courses consist of 20 hours a week of lessons, and 20 hours a week of volunteering, varies from location to location, ask before applying.
We offer our highly regarded Spanish Language Immersion program in nine countries. So, why learn Spanish? Spanish is the second most widely spoken language on the planet, with 437 million people communicating in the language, predominantly across Spain and South America.
Learning Spanish will equip you with useful language skills that could prove invaluable during your time as a volunteer. However, it could also be handy back home too, especially if you live in the US, UK – did you know that the United States actually has more Spanish speakers than Spain?
With 41 million native speakers plus 11 million people who consider themselves bilingual, the US is the world’s second largest Spanish speaking country after Mexico! Check out our Spanish Language Immersion blog here to find out more.
Our Language and Cultural Immersion programs range from one week up to one month. Once your course has ended, you can buy more lessons locally if you wish to continue.
Why volunteer with A Broader View?
Now that you understand the reasons behind volunteering abroad, it’s time to choose a reputable, trustworthy organization that will send you on the trip of a lifetime.
But choosing a volunteer abroad organization is often easier said than done. There’s a lot of choice out there, which is great, but it also means taking the time and effort to research and compare, to ensure you select the best volunteer abroad organization.
A Broader View has been organizing humanitarian programs since 2007. In that time, we have sent thousands of volunteers to over 245 project sites in 25 different countries! The majority of these volunteers have assisted in the daily care, education and health support of disadvantaged families and orphans.
Our volunteers have also aided in the care and rescue of sea turtle and the conservation efforts throughout Latin America, helped to build schools, playgrounds and fresh water wells, participated in community outreach programs to educate about HIV and AIDs, distributed medicine, food, and solar lamps – and so, so much more.
Since 2007, A Broader View has raised and distributed over $4.5 million in donations worldwide (last update). We are truly passionate about what we do, and continue to be a part of the positive change within many communities around the world.
Check out the five star reviews of our programs and services on our Facebook page, and on external review sites like Volunteer Forever, to see why thousands of people have chosen us to support them during their unforgettable experience volunteering overseas.