For all of the philanthropic world travelers out there who have simply been itching to explore and attend to the lesser known areas of the world, there is just the perfect solution for your generous urge. Volunteering abroad pleases that burning hunger to achieve something bigger than your own self, while also giving you a new, sparkly and warm perception of communities, people and ecosystems that you might only have heard about on those National Geographic documentaries. Wandering around and playing tourist is literally all fun and games until you hear a voice at the back of your head saying that maybe it’s high time you start giving back. Besides, eating out to have three meals every day and sight-seeing, gets old soon.
It’s time to spice up your travels with some nice impactful hard work! This is certainly great for the soul, and this is especially true if you get to scout the Thai Jungles or enjoy your feast on Moroccan couscous during your free time. Everyone can’t really do a two-year assignment, and this is why there are various volunteer projects and programs of every size and shape for the purpose of suiting anyone from their one-week vacations to ambitious doctors. So dive into some eloquent travel this year which will assist make the world you love a much better place. What’s best is that volunteering abroad can actually be a lot more affordable than your basic vacation!
Volunteering for and saving the world might seem a little daunting. Therefore, to help simmer some inspiration up for you, this article has dished out the 10 best places for you to volunteer abroad:
Thailand is an up-and-coming target on many explorers’ radars precisely because of its tropical beaches right out of the postcards and the cheap eats. This region is easily the best place for any philanthropist to volunteer abroad. The flexibility of volunteering in Thailand guarantees that you’ll be able to find many volunteer opportunities to match any taste. You could work with human transferring victims so as to help them in finding a new beginning in life, or even gather your courage to bathe released elephants in the wildlife sanctuaries.
As key tourism material, Thailand provides its volunteers an access to a wide range of activities to indulge in once you’re done putting in hours of hard work. With cheap rates, you can accept your inner shopaholic and foodie, snorkel off the attractive beaches or even take voyages deep into their jungles.
You might want to be on a lookout for deceitful volunteer organizations that are more interested in your money than in leaving a positive influence. With negligent government oversight and a progressively profitable industry, the urge for dishonest middlemen grows.
2. South Africa
Are you still not done deciding where you should volunteer abroad? Don’t worry! You could always join the match in South Africa to protect critically rare animals like members of the Big 5, or offer a helping hand in healthcare clinics so as to help treat widespread diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Wildlife conservation and community work are popular options among volunteer placement choices here in South Africa because of tireless social disparities and wildlife parks. Whether you choose to volunteer in the vast grasslands of Kruger National Park or Cape Town, you’ll find the right volunteer choice that suits you.
Even though South Africa is Africa’s largest economy, it still is quite affordable if you try living like a local and keep away from fancy restaurants while volunteering! There are 11 official languages buzzing around the area, but you’ll discover that English is widely spoken too and this means you won’t have to rely on translators to get work done.
Many underprivileged communities and social disparities can result in culture shock amongst the less experienced travelers. However, choosing to volunteer in such underfunded regions can be an eye-opener that would widen your world viewpoint.
Australia is a top travel destination for everyone but it’s also one of the best places for you to volunteer abroad. You could make many new animal friends as you plunge into the Great Barrier Reef or take just a walk in the Outback. With numerous volunteer opportunities which include embracing koalas, supervising palm-sized sea turtles and even feeding fascinating dolphins, any nature-lover would take the next flight to the Land Down Under.
Australia offers a high standard of living and a well-developed economy that makes it a secure and comfortable destination for people who aren’t ready to entirely rough it. Conversing in the same language as locals opens up communication so you would be able to volunteer more efficiently without translators.
The luxuries of developed countries come with a good cost, and Australia can be quite expensive if you stay in the cities. Besides that, Australia’s distance from any other continent also results in greater airfare costs.
If you’ve ever wanted to see the mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu, while having a greater impact than just spending money on alpaca figurines, you might want to think about volunteering abroad in Peru. Peru is home to an ominously large native population that’s tolerated centuries of persecution, the Land of the Incas welcomes volunteers to help in education, community development projects and health care in underserved communities.
South America is a huge place, which makes travelling to Peru an expensive and long trip away from home. If you really have this urge to travel to Peru and would want to help a sister or brother out, then simply make it a mega-journey.
Some of the popular cities in Peru like Cusco, are located right in the middle of the Andes and this makes altitude sickness which is an unfortunate truth for travelers. To travel to such an altitude, you’ll need to give some days to acclimate, so you must sign up for slightly longer volunteer projects.
Morocco’s mint tea alone is enough to make it one of the best places for you to volunteer abroad. From the muddled, narrow streets of packed bazaars to the distant Berber villages, Morocco is a product of North American, European and Islamic influences crashing over centuries. Volunteer opportunities include helping in the orphanages situated throughout the country or even helping out students in developing their English via teaching volunteer placements.
Morocco is comparatively less expensive than many other destinations. So travelers don’t have to wait just to be able to afford volunteering in Morocco. In fact, you’ll even be able to afford staying around for longer projects.
Female volunteers might suffer from some sexual harassment and unwelcome attention from some Moroccan men, particularly in more inhabited areas where tourists’ attendance is common. It’s best to ignore such behavior and to dress conventionally to avoid attention.
After having tolerated decades of political chaos, Cambodia faces many socio-economic problems even today such as hunger, poverty and human rights desecrations. Voluntary aid plays an essential role in helping enhance living conditions and environmental preservation efforts. One can volunteer by helping educate young Cambodian brains through English teaching, get involved in construction projects or even many other thrilling opportunities in Cambodia!
Cambodia isn’t just a fashionable backpackers’ paradise with popular cheap eats and religious sites but also a nation in honest need of help for development. This is why it is present in the lists of the best places to volunteer abroad.
Travelers might experience a great degree of culture shock at first if not informed beforehand about the country’s history, culture and current state. Poverty and high unemployment are widespread in some regions which seem very different from anything you’re used to.
India has 22 official languages, a rich, intricate history that dates back millennia and catchy songs coming out of Bollywood. So it’s not difficult to understand where the racket over India arises from. Volunteer opportunities working with people in India are present in childcare, health clinics and especially women’s empowerment. A traveler could also volunteer in India by teaching English because of the language’s essential role in education and business.
As an exceptionally diverse country in culture, religion and language, your experience will largely rely on the region you choose to volunteer in. India is loved for all the surprises it has to offer and it’s one of the reasons to be the best place to volunteer abroad.
The late summer months overlap with monsoon season and rising temperatures, which can postpone transportation and create a disagreeable humid environment for outdoor work. If you don’t do so well in humidity, delay your journey to another season.
8. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has sloths running about the place! What could be a better way to live your dreams to see a sloth in reality than by volunteering in Costa Rica? You could volunteer with sloths. You can even search for that pura vida in the jungles of Costa Rica through volunteer projects in tree planting, jaguar conservation and farming.
Costa Rica is a leader in environmental sustainability and it boasts a green, lush future which could lend a hand in improving. Efficient government policies for sustainability and maintenance also make voyage tourism and ecotourism a hit.
The emphasis in Costa Rica for volunteer work is on the wild side, so if a traveler is not about getting their hands dirty, feet wet and hair sweaty, they might want to try another top destination.
9. South Korea
For people who wish for the comfortable lifestyle equipped with WiFi, A/C and 24-hour convenience shops, while still wishing to create a difference in one of the places that offer the best volunteering options abroad, they could start brushing up on their Korean. With a well-developed infrastructure and economy, you won’t have to build homes or hold microfinance workshops for underprivileged communities. Otherwise, volunteer projects in South Korea include English teaching, childcare and agriculture.
South Korea has low crime rate, steady political situation and a well-developed economy. This would leave your family and friends back home with a peace of mind while you’re out making an impact.
However, the drawbacks of volunteering in a well-developed country are that it has few volunteering opportunities present, particularly for international participants that have been held back by language barriers. You could volunteer by improving children’s English or nurturing organic farms but you might discover that your kind intentions might have a greater impact elsewhere.
Ethiopia is an overcrowded, landlocked African country which is believed to have been the longest populated place by humans on Earth. Ethiopia has a popular reputation as the birthplace of coffee because one can’t imagine a world without humanity or our life support these days, that is, coffee. Besides that, Ethiopia has many volunteer opportunities arising from the rural areas to the headquarters of the African Union, Addis Ababa and its capital city. One could volunteer in community development, medicine and working to advance the lives of street children.
Other than Arabic, English is also a widely spoken language in Ethiopia, so one could easily connect with the communities they volunteer with as well as the locals. Communication is the basic fundamental to really appreciate how amazing Ethiopia can be!
You might want to bid farewell at the airport before landing in Ethiopia because it will be difficult to find reliable internet or WiFi in Ethiopia. Trivial crime such as pickpocketing is also common in cities, so you might want to grab some coffees to have a caffeinated eye for potential thieves around!
Volunteering abroad is not only an opportunity for you to stretch out your legs in a distant corner of the world. Your volunteer work can actually have lifetime inferences for international communities by saving lives through sufficient health care or even by funding small businesses. However, it is important to conduct thorough research your volunteer destination and the expectations and goals of the project before setting out to help.