Welcome back to my blog! This is the first post of my Global Volunteer series where I plan to debunk all the ins and outs of volunteering abroad.
Try not to start reading this post with an immediate eye roll… I know I have a decent amount of subscribers who probably think I am the least consistent human on the planet but what can ya do?
Obviously, it has been a minute since I last posted. A LOT has been going on. When I started my prep for teaching abroad and originally wrote my post “My Prep for Teaching Abroad“, the plan was to go to Madagascar. Unfortunately, I didn’t really comprehend the costs of getting to Madagascar during their peak season. With that being said, I have not given up on my dream! In fact, I leave in a little over a month for my new, undisclosed, volunteer location.
I will be spending a month in easily the most unique place I have ever been and teaching English to young kids as well as doing some environmental conservation work. I would tell you where I am going but I thought maybe the suspense would bring some of you back to my blog. ( I am sneaky, I know.)
The purpose of this post is not to tease you despite the previous paragraph. I actually want to talk a little bit about what going to a developing country for an extensive amount of time actually entails. Had you hit me with all the things I would need to do in preparation for this trip 6 months ago, I admit I might have been discouraged. I am not going to lie, it gets expensive, but the important thing is that it is doable and more than worth it.
In this particular post I want to talk about choosing a location. As I approach my departure date, I plan to post a couple times a week on the steps I took to make this trip happen. On August 1st, I will finally disclose the location of my volunteer trip and hopefully be able to document it in real time.
Where In the World….
If you are interested in volunteering abroad but you don’t know where to go or how to start, this post is for you. Trust me when I tell you there are endless options and it all depends on the type of person you are, which will fit you best. The first step is tricky. you have two options.
Program or Location.
Many people chose a volunteer location based on a program’s location options. For example, maybe you have heard of International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ).
IVHQ offers over 40 destinations and over 200 projects. You can pretty much go anywhere and do just about anything, from construction in Belize to marine conservation in Vietnam. The options are truly endless. Originally, this was the program my boyfriend and I planned to use. After further investigation we decided we didn’t like the idea of locals not running the programs and paying crazy registration fees. But, for the travelers who want the security of English speakers and a large network, this is a great program if you’re willing to pay for it.
Another honorable mention would have to be Grassroots Volunteering .
This is the site my boyfriend, Brady, and I used to set up our volunteer trip. This site is amazing because it features programs that are for communities in need ran by locals. Majority of the programs cost absolutely nothing aside from getting there and even feature accommodation and meals in exchange for your work. Though many of the programs cost nothing at all, those that do require some form of payment are extremely cheap and ultimately benefit the local economy. The website itself is simply the middle man, you will have to contact the program directors directly in order to arrange your stay once you have chosen a program. Much like IVHQ, Grassroots offers a variety of locations as well as projects.
Lastly, there is always the option of setting your sights on a place and investigating what opportunities may be available in that area. Once again, Grassroots would be a great tool if this is your method, you never know what you might find!
Hopefully this was somewhat helpful! Always feel free to comment or ask questions and thank you for reading! xoxo