A volunteer abroad program can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but there are also a few things to avoid to ensure your time is well spent. Here are the top few mistakes to avoid while being in a volunteer abroad program:
- Not doing your research
Before you decide to Volunteer Abroad, it’s important to do your research and ensure the program is a good fit for you. There are a lot of programs out there, so take the time to find one that aligns with your interests and goals.
- Not being prepared
One of the biggest mistakes people make when volunteering abroad is not being properly prepared. Make sure you know what to expect before you go and pack accordingly. You’ll also want to have a plan in place for how you will communicate with loved ones back home while you’re away.
- Going into it blindly
Another mistake people often make going into their volunteer experience blindly. Make sure you have a clear idea of what the program expects of you and what you can expect from the program. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that your experience is as positive as possible.
- Not being culturally aware
One of the most important things to remember when volunteering abroad is to be culturally aware. Remember that you are a guest in this country and respect the local customs and traditions. Be open-minded and humble and ask permission before taking photos or engaging with locals.
- Not budgeting properly
It’s important to set aside enough money to cover your expenses while you’re volunteering abroad. Make sure you have enough saved up to cover airfare, room and board, and any other unexpected costs that may come up.
- Expecting too much/too little from the experience
Another mistake people often make expecting too much or too little from their volunteer experience. Don’t expect to change the world, but do try and make a positive impact in whatever community you’re working with. And remember, the experience is just as valuable for you as it is for the community you’re helping.
- Not being aware of your surroundings
Make sure you are aware of your surroundings at all times and take precautions to keep yourself safe. Be cautious when traveling alone, and avoid going out after dark. If something feels unsafe, trust your gut and leave the area immediately.
- Not staying in touch with friends and family back home
One of the best things about volunteer abroad programs is that they provide an opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. But it’s important to stay in touch with friends and family back home, too. It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re away from familiar surroundings for an extended period. Check-in with your loved ones regularly, so they know that you are safe and well-cared-for while abroad.
- Not making the most of your time
The last thing you want is to look back on your volunteer abroad experience and wish you had done more. Make an effort to get out and explore whenever possible, try new things, and meet local people. You never know when you’ll have another opportunity like this again!