Volunteer to See the World
“We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll
For a growing number of young people, the need to travel is spilling out of us. Now more than ever younger people feel the need to visit new places, understand other cultures, and gain awareness about the world outside of ourselves. We want to learn new languages, have new experiences, and get lost. More school programs, travel deals, and opportunity for travel is becoming available for these young people to have their need met to see new places and meet new people.
Just as the need for travel is rising in our young people, so is the need to make a difference. The millennial generation has shown to be increasingly involved in global issues, volunteerism, and creating change. Communities have reacted to this need to be involved by creating more opportunity for young people to collaborate in organizations. To combine these two needs: travel and volunteerism, more opportunities are becoming available for this as well. Young people now have the opportunity to see the world, create change, and help their careers and happiness in the process.
Choosing to volunteer as a way to see the world offers a lifestyle that not everyone can handle, but is extremely fulfilling to those that crave travel and want to make a difference every day. Volunteer programs offer terms as short as a few weeks and as long as a few years on location aiding the area you are in. Many high school and college students choose to spend summer breaks joining various volunteer programs to fulfill their need for adventure. The areas that need volunteers are in areas of the world that don’t have as many amenities and conveniences so volunteers must be prepared to be submerged in a lifestyle where the most important aspects are helping their community and making a difference.
Many organizations that aid in the steps to become a volunteer are able to prepare new volunteers on what to expect, how to pack appropriately, what vaccinations or legal paperwork to complete in order to make the process as easy as possible to help people volunteer and to get volunteers to the communities that need help so badly. There are, unfortunately, some volunteer programs that take the idea of “voluntourism” to a new level by scamming prospective volunteers so volunteers are encouraged to do their research and find a volunteer program that is legitimate and won’t take advantage.
Volunteering has always been a great way to enhance your resume. For the young people who are choosing to spend time travelling and volunteering their time, they have a great addition to their resume or college application. Along with spending summer breaks volunteering in order to gain adventure, spending that time volunteering says a lot on a job or college application. Many employers agree that seeing volunteering on a resume enhances them as a possible candidate in their eyes. Similarly, admissions officers also like seeing volunteer programs on applications and encourage students to use their experience in their essays.
Not only is it great to add your experience to a resume or application, but volunteerism can help your future goals in other ways as well. Networking is much more important than a lot of younger people understand early on. Especially if your volunteer opportunity is tied to your major or your career goals, it’s important to create working relationships with the people involved in your volunteer opportunity. You will learn new skills that are transferable and will aid in the professional world. And, if you’d like to move your volunteer status into an employed status, showing initiative and passion in your program could get you a job with your program later in life.
Make a Difference
Making a tangible difference and seeing it every day is something that not many people get in their everyday life. For most people that choose to travel by means of volunteering find that the volunteering aspect takes precedence. It’s amazing to see the world and live in an area so foreign to where you came from but spending their days teaching English, building homes, and providing care to those in need is something that cannot be measured. For most young people who decide to see the world in this way the lessons learned and change within themselves is abundant. The act of making a difference for others really does aid in making a difference within yourself.
For many volunteers heading out to make a difference, the issue becomes expectation. The best thing to remember while volunteering is to trust the people who have been there longer or have more experience. It’s important to not become overwhelmed with the need in the area you are in either. It’s easy for volunteers to become overwhelmed with the need to save the world on their trip. Volunteers definitely make a difference while spending time abroad, but focus on the help that is being provided instead of what is left to be done. Volunteers create change, no matter how big or small it feels.
For the young people craving travel and the need to help the world around them, volunteering abroad is the perfect solution. See the world, offer aid to communities around the globe, and use these experiences to expand your resume. Watch your perspective change with every new city, every community you help, and every smile you create.