If you intend on spending some of your time volunteering abroad, then the following are what you need to know before going through with it:
Thoroughly read through your online briefing because different volunteering programs work for different people. For example, whether or not there is access to television and hot showers, or the areas’ general weather conditions.
Familiarize oneself with the host language. Allocate some time to learn the language prior to traveling, packing a portable two-way dictionary, or downloading a verbal translation application so as to be well versed in communicating basic daily requests.
Pack lightly. Packing only the basics such as underwear and socks saves money on baggage, with the plan being to reinforce your wardrobe with clothes bought from the new country’s stores, which are also often less expensive.
Learn the fundamentals of the regions’ medical system. This is important in the case of medical emergencies so as to know how to contact, set up appointments and pay medical professionals, or even how to acquire prescriptions and purchase essential medicines for common diseases.
Develop a healthy suspicion. The reality is that there exist those that make a living from deceiving and romancing travelers. Thus it is crucial to keep one’s guard up when interacting with random people in the streets or even a friends’ casual acquaintance, especially in larger cities.
Ensure to bring along a camera. There will be numerous precious moments that will need to be accurately remembered and cherished, so familiarizing oneself with a high-quality camera will prove a wise decision in the long term.
Invest in quality shoes. In preparation for any long walks, it is wise to acquire comfortable footwear prior to traveling.
Don’t be afraid to over-budget. This usually comes in handy in the case of medical emergencies or missing your flight home, which would need you to pay a hefty airline fee. Therefore, setting aside an accessible emergency fund before traveling can be very helpful.
Investigate organizations and follow their money trail. Ensure that you have thoroughly investigated whichever organization is chosen to connect potential workers, teachers, and volunteers to overseas foreign placements. This includes the organizations’ mission, where its money goes, and your pay.