Being a volunteer who makes a difference among the people they meet abroad is what most people desire. However, making this dream a reality is the hardest thing most volunteers face. Having a great volunteering experience abroad begins with making emotional, mental and logistical preparations. Most volunteers pay a lot for the change and transformation they impact in others abroad. A recent research revealed that people who use whatever they have to make their volunteer tours successful are special and effective global agents of change. If you want to impact the lives of others through international volunteer programs, here are preparations you first need to make:
Get a passport
It may look obvious but it may be your biggest blow and greatest frustration at the last minute. Just take it! It’s had to make any international volunteer tour without a passport. If you are planning to be an international volunteer in Syrian refugee camps, it is good to apply for your visa or passport six months before the travel day. If you already have a passport, ensure it won’t expire when you are about to fly abroad or while you are abroad. It’s advisable to have at least two blank passport pages for exit and entry stamps.
Get the right vaccines
Being a volunteer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mind about your health. Remember, going to a different country means an entire weather change. Weather change affects different people differently. Visit any of the centers for disease controls and inform them to which country you would be flying to. The medical professionals there would advise you on the vaccines you should take based on the health risks of where you are going. Depending on the period of your volunteer tours, you could be given short-term or long-term vaccines.
Pack smart and light
Don’t just pack what you have in your wardrobe when going for a volunteer program abroad. Be mindful of the dress codes and cultural norms suitable where you are going. If you intend to go to a country known to be “conservative” you would have to buy some traditional clothes in that country. In other countries, you would be good to go with your usual long sleeve shirts and jeans. To be an effective volunteer Philippines has today; you would also need to pack a journal, alarm clock, water bottle and flashlight. Check out Involvement Volunteers International
Set your volunteer work
Know your volunteer area and prepare yourself in that line. Most of those who volunteer in the Philippines to teach prepare songs, crafts, games and other relevant and meaningful activities. Although you could carry some materials from your home country, it would be good to creatively use the materials the locals use there. Some people wait to arrive first and then know the volunteer program they would take. Being flexible and ready to stretch your volunteer wings to any extent is all you need to realize the difference you intend to make.
Nothing aimed at making something comes easy. The preparation you need to make when going for international volunteer tours could be more than the ones you would need to make when going for a well-paying job. Making a difference in others through volunteer programs has a lot of selfless sacrifices to make. Remember, volunteers don’t mind about what they get from their volunteer program, but rather what the needy and less fortunate get from them.