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How to Volunteer Abroad

The world’s your oyster if you want to volunteer abroad. You can follow an existing passion, or try your hand at something new. Among the many volunteering opportunities available in Europe are projects helping in community centres and hostels; assisting with conservation programs; and supporting teaching staff at summer camps.

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, from gap year adventurers to retirees not yet ready to put their feet up. Equally as diverse is the range of organisations offering opportunities. The international volunteering industry is huge, and inevitably there are some organisations that are less scrupulous than others.

The key to choosing the right post is lots of research. If you find a project you like the sound of, find out as much as you can about the company behind it. Check online reviews and forums. Try to speak directly to people who have worked on that placement before you – any decent organisation should be pleased to connect you to previous volunteers.

Questions you must find the answers to include:
1. Is the placement ethical?
2. How do you select your volunteers?
3. How will my placement benefit people?
4. Am I the best person to do a good job here?
5. If I am paying a fee, where does my money go?
6. Will there be any training on offer?
7. Can I realistically give up the time needed to volunteer responsibly?
8. What does this community expect of me? What will I do?
9. Is there a local partner organisation managing the project on the ground?
10. In what ways is the local community involved
11. What happens when I leave?
12. What is the long-term plan of the project?

With the best will in the world, you can find yourself being an added burden in a chaotic situation unless you enter into a program that is well suited to your skills and strengths, structured and organised, and run by a respected body. Once you’ve done your research thoroughly, the last piece of advice is to think with your head and not your heart.

Entered-into responsibly, volunteering abroad is one of the most rewarding and memorable things you can do with your time. Enjoy the experience!

PSS is a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. Whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

For other useful articles and tips on moving to new countries and life as an expat, please like https://www.facebook.com/pssinternationalremovals and follow https://twitter.com/PSSRemovals.

Published November 1st, 2017 by PSS International Removals
Posted to Expat Blog

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