Many people view volunteering as a waste of time and money. Especially volunteering abroad since there are very few opportunities whereby you can volunteer abroad for free. When you choose to volunteer abroad, you will spend money because most volunteer service organizations charge from as little as $ 1100 to as much as $ 2500 or $ 4500 a month to volunteer. In such instances, instead of using your time to make money you will be spending money. Depending on how you spend your volunteer abroad time, it will not be wasting money. There are many career benefits to volunteering abroad and when done right the money can be seen as an investment. There are many people who stop school to take a gap year; a career break; take a year after high school; and others volunteer at the end of their career. To everyone who volunteers abroad and give out their time and money, they get more back in return as opposed to what they give. They develop personally as individuals and they add on to their skills. The Career benefits of volunteering abroad include:
When you volunteer abroad there are a host of things in which you learn. Even though your initial plan was for you to have fun there are a host of skills that you can learn while you are abroad. Whichever volunteer abroad work program you decide to do, you are bound to learn new things that will benefit you and your career. During and after your volunteer work abroad you will appreciate your culture, values and habits when you compare with the other cultures. Apart from learning new skills, many people who come out of their volunteer abroad are more focused and are able to choose the appropriate career path. After the work you will know which path to follow in their lives and to a fulfilling career. During your work abroad, you will new people and expand your network. Your will increase your professional network giving you more opportunities when looking for work. Working with different organizations opens up new avenues where you can gain employment. After you finish your education, you don’t normally have professional work experience. When you volunteer you gain professional experience in that field and with the organization. Another benefit of volunteering abroad is exposure, you will learn how other people do things and new ways of solving problems, it will change the way you look at things.
Students who have attained the required GPA and the right SAT scores all want to go to the best colleges and universities. Many students apply to colleges especially Ivy League colleges to proceed with their higher learning. The Colleges and Universities are overwhelmed with applications and find it hard to choose which students to pick due to their limited facilities. As such many students look for giving themselves an edge over other applicants. Some do this by engaging in sports, joining causes and anything that can give them an advantage. The students who have volunteered abroad are better placed to be accepted as opposed to other applicants. This is because Colleges and Universities prefer students who have volunteered abroad because it show they are more mature and they have unique ways of solving problems. Also many higher learning institutions have volunteer abroad programs which they endorse to encourage their students to get a better world view. With their volunteer abroad programs they have study abroad programs in different parts of the world. In institutions like Brown, over a third of the junior class takes the opportunity to complete part of their education outside the United States.
Employees prefer to take up individuals who have a world view and world experience. Especially companies which have many offices around the world prefer people who have world wide experience. For examples multinational companies like oil companies who have offices all over the world would want to hire candidates who have been to different countries. They choose employees who have lived or worked abroad because it is easier for them to adjust to the new living conditions. When you volunteer abroad you learn to live with new people and adapt to their culture. As a volunteer, you learn how to solve problems by thinking out of the box, it broadens your world view and you get to learn a new language. People who have volunteered abroad have a generally increased tolerance towards others and a better understanding of global issues. Being exposed to other cultures may not look like a transferable skill but employer value it because it shows you are used to work with all sorts of people. Employers look for candidates who communicate well with others; value of cross-cultural understanding and have an appreciation for different points of view.
When you take a career break from your work place and choose to volunteer abroad you become a more valued asset to your organization. When you come back after your volunteer work, you become more focused and more passionate about your work. During your volunteer work, you will have gained more skills and abilities for you to use in your work place. Any experience you get abroad make you perform better at work. In the case the company is having problems with money, taking unpaid time off can be an advantage. This way, the company can save money by not paying you in your vacation. This frees up money for the company to help it recover during the time you are away. After your vacation you could go back and work for your company. This can be a win – win situation to you and your employer as when you come back you will be of more value to the company.
For more information on volunteering in Kenya, Africa visit http://www.volunteercapitalcentre.org