There is no doubt, volunteering anywhere, at any time, is an exceptionally valuable activity. The skills, experience and activities you undertake will help to shape you as an individual and your future and provide vital support to those who benefit from the projects you are volunteering on.
Overseas volunteering takes you even further, outside of your comfort zone and requires you to test a few more skills.
It’s no secret that getting into employment has become increasingly competitive, therefore demonstrating your skills in action, can have a massive impact on your future employability.
So how does volunteering overseas benefit your future?
At Camps International we believe that overseas volunteering boosts our volunteers futures because:
1 – They are prepared to step outside their comfort zone
From the moment they start looking at destinations to travel to, that comfort zone is being stretched. Then booking the trip, the flights and stepping foot on the plane – more often than not on their own, is pushing it further and further. They travel to countries they’ve never been to before, to a completely different culture, language and lifestyle – taking it all in their stride.
2 – They are more confident and independent
To a certain extent, people who take a gap trip have no choice but to become more independent – they travel on their own, away from their friends and family, having to make and own their decisions. They need to be confident in their choices and what they want.
It’s a great opportunity for them to learn more about who they are and what they want to be. They become more self-aware and comfortable with where they fit into the world.
3 – They are more disciplined and dedicated
The majority of people who take trips have funded their own places or fundraised to secure the money for their trips. They make sacrifices to ensure they save the pennies and pounds required to pay for their trip, turning down extravagance to ensure they reach that goal of travelling abroad.
The commitment and dedication shown to their goal or supporting other people and challenging themselves is impressive. Not wavering, just believing.
4 – They learn to negotiate
Whether these skills are learned when booking their trips, or extra add-ons, or when bartering with someone in a local market, negotiation skills are powerful ones for any employee to have. To be confident and sometimes cheeky, knowing when to push and when to accept you’ve done a great deal. Listening, watching and thinking on their feet.
5 – They know how to budget effectively
Before and during any trip you have to very quickly learn to budget. How are you going to pay for your trip? How are you going to raise the money? How many hours at work do you need to do? What can you generate from fundraising? How much do you need for visas, kit, living expenses whilst on your trip? What’s your contingency plan? Do you want to add in any extras?
This understanding and ownership of a budget is an awesome life skill to learn, let alone a useful one for every company in a wide variety of roles.
6 – They become excellent problem solvers
When they are mid way through a project, with the local community depending on them to help build their school, kindergarten, community centre, house, toilets or help bring water into their community – their ability to work round little hiccups along the way becomes second nature.
It’s often far too easy to ask for help and accept that someone in your immediate circle will help. However, when you’re in the middle of a community where they have no running water, let alone access to Google or a massive supermarket that stocks everything – thinking on your feet, coming up with different and creative solutions becomes part of the norm.
Adapting knowledge and experiences to help other people solve real world problems is an exceptional talent and gift.
7 – They are not afraid of change
If nothing around is a certainty, from hot or running water, to there being power one moment and gone the next, to there being changes in itineraries due to weather or a changing local priorities, change simply becomes part of the journey. They therefore learn to accept and adapt, rolling with whatever the situation is and working on the best possible outcome.
8 – They see the world as bigger than themselves
The moment they step outside their usual day to day life, their usual circle of people and into another country and continent, travelling for hours to get to their chosen destination, they start realising how big and amazing our world is. They also start to realise that they are one person in this very big world.
Through volunteering on projects they very quickly realise how much impact one person can have on the lives of tens, hundreds or thousands of people, now and for years to come.
9 – The develop entrepreneurial skills
One precious element a lot of the people travelling with us get is the opportunity to collaborate with inspirational, forward thinking people within the developing world. They have the opportunity to work with, learn from and share knowledge with these people who are launching or running their own small business initiatives which can transform their families’ future.
Whether someone travels for weeks, months or takes a whole year or more to experience what our world has to offer and help to change people’s lives, we believe this is not only a life-changing experience for them, but that everything they experience has a value to help them build, grow and enhance the companies they go on to work for.
Travellers, overseas volunteers, we salute you, everything you achieve before, during and after your trip. You leave a lasting impact on everyone you come into contact with and we image they leave a fairly firm one on you too.
Since we started running overseas volunteering trips in 2002, over 22,000 volunteers have helped us complete over 230 projects in rural parts of Africa, Asia and South America, helping to positively impact on the lives of over 103,000 people.
To start your journey and find out more about how you can gain all these amazing skills and experiences, request your free brochure and the team will contact you shortly.