Volunteering Abroad in Six Steps
In this article, you can find essential tips concerning volunteering abroad
Do you want to volunteer abroad? That's great! And now sit down and cool down, as you have several important decisions to make. First of all, settle on a job you are interested in most, and the type of work you would like to avoid. There is no point in sweating in the name of a lofty idea. If children drive you mad, work with horses or dogs. Nobody needs a sulky volunteer who has no patience.
Now, when you know what you would like to do, there are some more decisions to make. First of all, think about the amount of time you can devote to your work. Think about your obligations at school or university and, if you have to, about the opinion of your parents. Volunteering abroad is not a form of tourism. It is only time frame that is similar, as many volunteering projects are implemented during the holidays. If you have some free time on your hands after school or work and you want to be of help, look for volunteering opportunities in your neighbourhood; you can work in a local shelter or hospital.
Look for an organisation that may need you. Since you sit in front of a computer, tap in www.eurodesk.pl/eurowolontariat. On this website, you can find offers of organisations implementing volunteering projects. Pick the one that is of interest to you and try to find additional information on it. You can visit its website or call it. Maybe you will be invited to an interview. Be ready to answer questions concerning your interests, leisure activities and expectations.
You have found the right organisation? Remember to sign a contract. The fact that you and the organisation just clicked is only a good start. Now it's time to deal with formalities. First of all, ask about a volunteering contract, you cannot make any verbal agreements. Secondly, ask about the things you have to pay for (it is a rare, but it happens), and the things the organisation pays for. Make sure that you will be insured, find out who will provide healthcare and what will happen if you will have to go back home ahead of schedule.
Right, we have taken you in with the healthcare. Just as it is the case with mobility for studies, you have to make provisions for your healthcare on your own, but the good news is that it is easy. All you need is the European Health Insurance Card, you can ask about it in the nearest healthcare agency (NFZ in Poland). You must also remember about other formalities, such as a visa (if applicable) and vaccinations (if you're heading for an exotic country). The organiser may also ask you to present a certificate of clean criminal record.
Are you ready now? Enjoy your trip! As you make your bed so you must lie on it. In other words: you will be pleased if you made the right decision. The percentage of satisfied volunteers is the same, regardless of the fact if they worked with the disabled in Africa or planted trees in Belarus. They all emphasise the fact that they gained self-confidence, courage and mastered teamwork. And the last tip; remember that you are not cheap labour, this is against the rules of volunteering.