Volunteering abroad offers a unique opportunity.  It is a chance not only to visit a far-off destination, but to live and work among the people who live there.  Moreover, it is a chance to help the people who live there in any number of ways.

How does volunteering help?  First of all, volunteering abroad can help in a very real, very immediate way.  Volunteers are often involved in programs that help with food distribution to those in need.  They are often involved in programs that offer medical treatment and supplies to those who need it most.  Other volunteer opportunities allow volunteers to help rebuild homes that have been destroyed by natural disaster or build new homes for those who have been displaced by a natural or other disaster.  Volunteering abroad allows a person to be on the “front line” of providing desperately needed aid.

There are other ways volunteering abroad can make a difference.  One very important way is through teaching.  There are a number of countries who have a need for educators.  Those who are able to teach primary or secondary school may find a number of opportunities.  From small villages to underfunded city schools, teachers are often in demand.

One specific branch of education where those volunteering abroad may be needed the most is teaching English as a second language.   A working knowledge of English has become an advantage in today’s global society.  For those in foreign countries who want to learn English, perhaps the best way is from a native speaker.  For this reason, those who are willing to volunteer as English teachers may find a number of opportunities to volunteer abroad.   Children and adults are often eager to learn English, and volunteering abroad gives a volunteer the chance to broaden their pupils’ education.

However, volunteering abroad does not just make a change in the life of those helped by the volunteer.  Volunteering abroad offers a host of benefits to the volunteer as well.  One obvious boon to the volunteer is the chance to travel abroad.  The type of travel available to the volunteer is different to that of the casual tourist.  Volunteers are given the opportunity to spend an extended period of time working and living with the native people of their host country.  They are able to learn firsthand about the day to day lifestyle of the nation’s citizens.  They are able to explore the culture of the host nation in depth.  And, perhaps most importantly, they have the opportunity to make lasting friendships with the people that they meet while volunteering abroad.

Volunteers are able to give aid and offer assistance to those in need while they reap the many benefits of the unique experience.  Volunteering abroad is a chance to give while also receiving.