“Why pay to volunteer abroad?” this is a common question asked by those who want to go and volunteer abroad. As a volunteer it means giving your time and energy to some project or to someone for free. Also when you are volunteering it means you are giving up your earning potential by giving your time to work for free. In that same time, you would be making money if you are working for yourself or working for somebody else. With these see reasons it is hard to why you should pay if you are to volunteer abroad. But the thing we normally forget is that we are not paying for the volunteer work. We are paying for the services during our volunteer abroad trip. For example when we are at home we pay for food, rent, transport and other things. Also when we are abroad, we should expect to pay for the same things and some more depending on the level of comfort we expect. When you look at, you will understand why people pay to volunteer abroad. The volunteer abroad cost goes into paying:
The Volunteer service organizations incur a lot of cost when they are providing you with their services. Most of the organizations don’t get government support or support from other organizations to pay for their expenses. They are financed by volunteer contributions. They have a full time staff who are there to look after you in the host country. They give you 24 hour support throughout your stay in the host country. Other costs they incur include website fees, web maintenance, administration, marketing, pamphlets and brochures. The volunteer service organizations look for host countries, and local organizations which have appropriate projects and this is time consuming, requires experience and professional expertise. The local nonprofit organizations in which you will be working in don’t have the resources to accommodate the international volunteers. Also they don’t have resources to market themselves or their programs to volunteers directly.
Food and Accommodation
Accommodation normally varies depending on the one you prefer. Depending on your volunteer service provider you will be staying in either a homestay, hostel, group home or a hotel. The most common are staying in a homestay and group homes. In group homes you will be staying with other volunteers in a home where you will be sharing the rooms. The sitting area and kitchen will be also be shared. The homes have locally trained staff. The meals are normally prepared by a cook and are served three times a day. Depending on the group home you are living in laundry could be free or you will be charged for it. In a homestay, you will be living with a host family. The family will give you a single room or share with a member of family or another volunteer. Many organizations prefer homestays because this is the best for a full cultural experience. Meals will be shared with the family, and they are served three times a day. The meals vary depending on the culture of the family you are living with.
Orientation and training
Many international volunteers are trained before they depart their home countries. The volunteer service organizations set up meetings where they will train the prospective volunteers. Some organizations offer accredited TESL courses to the volunteers who are going to teach English. They also teach about the culture and the language that they will be speaking in the host country. They give instruction on the currency and the exchange rate in the host country. They give out manuals, pamphlets and brochures to help the volunteers to prepare for their work. In the host country, the local staff will train the volunteers on the culture and language. The volunteers are taught a few basic words that they would use when they are there. They are also shown where they could be getting their meals, how the transportation arrangements will be.
There will be somebody to pick you up as soon as you arrive in the host country, and take you to your volunteer placement. There will be someone who will be in charge of your stay. The member of staff will take care of your accommodation and your work program. In the work program, he will handle any problem that you may have during your stay there. The person will be there for you 24/7 during your stay there. In case of an emergency, whether you fall ill or something happens to you, the member of staff will be there to handle everything for you. If you have to go back home early or leave due to something out of your control, you will be helped by the member of staff to arrange your departure.
Other costs not included
There are other costs that the volunteer service organizations don’t include. These costs are meant to be met by the volunteer. Although the organizations can advice the volunteer where to get good deals, the costs are undertaken by the volunteer. These costs include flight fees, visa fees, travel and medical insurance fees, vaccinations, personal spending, laundry, personal drinking water, to and fro the program placement.