Choosing the Unpaid Option – Volunteering Abroad

Many people emigrate abroad each year in order to find paid employment. Some people are reassigned to a new position in their job, and others work in a self-employed role.

But there is one other possibility which should not be discounted entirely: voluntary work.

Volunteers © by vastateparksstaff

You may snub your nose at this option at first. After all, if you are earning money at home then why would you want to give up your pay completely? However, there are benefits for this option which may make it appealing to you.

An Incredible Experience

Part of the reason for going abroad in the first place is the experience. Some people move for financial reasons or to improve their work expectations. But for many, the experience comes first.

When you volunteer you could end up working in some truly amazing places around the world, places which other people would never get the opportunity to see by simply visiting the country.

On top of that, you can spend all your time doing something which you genuinely enjoy and believe in, making it a very special experience.

Board & Lodging

One of the biggest problems that puts people off volunteering is that it is unpaid. However, unless you want to go abroad to increase your income, volunteering may not be such a bad option.

On many placements, you are welcomed into the project free of charge, and whilst you are working you may receive free food and accommodation which can help to keep your costs down considerably compared to the money you would have to spend if you were working.

Do Something Good

With volunteering you can leave something behind when you head back to your home country. Rather than just being a transitory visitor, the work you carry out whilst there will really benefit your host country in some way and this can help to make you feel like the whole experience was more worthwhile.

Is Voluntary Work Abroad Right for You?

The above benefits of voluntary work mean that it should not be dismissed out of hand without giving it some consideration. If your main motive is to simply live abroad and experience something new then it could well prove to be a good option.

Of course, there is the other option of both volunteering and working abroad where you could combine your voluntary work with an online job or teaching English and get the best of both worlds.

Have you signed up as a member of LWA yet? Keep up to date with our favourite resources for starting a new life abroad. 

1 Comment

  1. JQuin
    February 24, 2012

    I’ve actually met a lot of interesting people in my volunteering job here in Ireland– the key is finding the right placement. It might take a while to find a suitable position.
    It has got me paid work ( not to do with the volunteering job), as I met some really good contacts there which translated into friendship as well.


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