Should You Volunteer Abroad or Go For an Internship?

If you are coming upon your gap year, you are probably very excited indeed about the various possibilities that are currently available to you. Going abroad and gaining some experience there is a great way to spend your gap year, but the fact of the matter is that you are going to have to decide between going for an internship or simply volunteering somewhere. There are pros and cons to each kind of approach, both of which have been discussed below. Check out these pros and cons so you can help yourself decide.

If we start off with volunteering, the first thing that you need to understand is that the term “volunteering” is a very broad one. You have probably volunteered before in your life. It is any activity that is done for the sake of the community rather than for personal gain, making it a very selfless act indeed. The fact of the matter is that volunteering is all about boosting the community that you are involved in, so a lot of the volunteering that you are going to do is going to count as charity work.

What are the benefits to this? Well, to start off with you are helping people that are not able to help themselves at that point in time. That being said, you are also going to be learning some very important skills. Volunteering is not all about moving boxes or feeding kids, it can be a highly complex task that would require you to be on your toes at all times and willing to put the effort into ensuring that the task is done in the best way possible. Hence, volunteering can be a great way to help yourself make a generally far more competent human being overall.

Now, if we think about an internship the story is definitely a little different. The word internship probably brings to mind drudgery and the dreaded nine to five schedule that so many of us are afraid we are going to get caught up in. Doing an internship at home is definitely going to be tough and this is an accurate representation of what it would be like, but the fact of the matter is that there are plenty of other ways in which an internship could go if you are doing it abroad instead of at home.

When you do an internship abroad, you essentially start a career for yourself that you can slow work towards turning into your full time occupation. It has a lot of learning experiences as well, but these learning experiences tend to be a lot more focused than they would be if you were simply volunteering. Internships also usually involve a more fixed set of instructions rather than the vague descriptions that volunteering involve.

Overall, whatever you choose between volunteering and interning, you can rest assured that it will be a fulfilling experience that would allow you to grow immensely as a person.

Some of The Best Volunteer Programs You Can Apply For

If you want to spend your free time in a manner that would be as productive as possible, volunteering abroad is something that you should definitely look into. Not only is this the sort of thing that would allow you to make the most of the free time that you have, it will also give you a sense of purpose as you work towards the betterment of your fellow man which is something that far too few people do at this point in time.

However, you can’t just hop on to the first flight you can get. You need to figure out what volunteer programs are genuinely going to be worth your while. After all, you are going to be in a foreign country where you might not know the local language or any of the local customs, so you need to make sure that the program that you have opted for is going to give you all of the support you need. A good way to make sure that you go for a solid program that would give you the kind of support that would allow you to truly excel is to make sure that they give you support before you depart as well as twenty four seven while you are there.

The organization that you are working with should be more than easily reachable too. You need to make sure that you are working for an ethical organization that is genuinely trying to make the world a better place. There are a lot of organizations out there that are not all that genuine in their current goals, and it is important to make sure that you don’t end up working for one of the bad ones because then your volunteer work will end up having a negative impact.

Victoria Falls in Africa is an excellent place to volunteer. For one thing, you get accommodation and meals and all of the support you are going to need. To top it all off, this program is all about creating long term, sustainable change within the area which is something that a lot of organizations fail to do. This is not a program that is meant to generate good press and donations, it is something that is meant to genuinely help the people that need assistance the most.

The Ghana program is also a great example of how volunteer programs can be fun as well as helpful. The team on the ground has been thoroughly trained and has the ability to help you with anything you might need, and you will be amazed at just how welcoming the locals are especially if they find out that you are there to volunteer and help them as much as possible.

Whatever program you go for, just make sure that you are working with an organization that has the best interests of the people at heart rather than earning money through donations and the like.

Short Term Volunteering Tips

Taking some time off does not always have to mean that you lay around doing nothing all day. Indeed, it can be the sort of thing that would allow you to enjoy far more meaningful experiences if you are willing to go for a volunteering vacation. There are plenty of opportunities to take a short vacation abroad and volunteer during it. Such trips can last a wide variety of times as well. For example, you could go for a week long volunteering vacation and you can also go for a longer vacation as well, one that could last up to twenty four weeks! Hence, you have full control over the amount of time you want to spend volunteering, and there are longer stays available as well for people that want to dedicate the maximum amount of time possible towards helping people that are less fortunate than they are.

That being said, there are a few requirements that you are going to have to fulfill before you are allowed to go on a short term volunteering trip to a country that is in desperate need of kind people that are willing to offer their time to help the people of this country live a somewhat better life at the end of the day. Generally, you will have to be a legal adult which means that you are going to have to be older than eighteen. If you are under eighteen, you are probably going to need your parents or guardians sign a letter of consent that would then allow you to go forward in your dreams of becoming a volunteer in a far off country where you will finally be able to do some good in the world.

You also need to bear in mind that certain volunteer programs are going to require you to possess a certain amount of skill in order to let you attend. For example, some programs are going to require people that have some knowledge of medicine, others might require those with a background in architecture. If you don’t possess any such skills yet there are plenty of programs that do not require specialized skills but just need labor that would help get certain projects off the ground, you can be more than helpful in projects such as these.

There are also a few formalities that you need to keep in mind considering the fact that these volunteer programs are going to involve some amount of international travel. You will need a valid travel document such as a passport, and you will also have to ensure that you get a background check done by the police in order to prove that you don’t have any kind of criminal record that would make you a nuisance in the country that you are visiting. Once you have gotten all of this done, there is no end to the good that you will be able to do in the world as long as you try hard enough.