Where In The World To Volunteer? One of the most popular things to do if you’re a student or on a career break is spend some time volunteering abroad. This gives you a great opportunity to experience a different lifestyle, live abroad for a while and help others.
When you start looking into volunteering abroad, you’ll discover lots of opportunities and places to visit. With such a huge choice, you might find it hard to pick where in the world to go – if this is the case, reading our guide will help you make your decision.
Help pandas in China
If you’re a big wildlife enthusiast like I am, you’ll love the opportunity to help out endangered species. One animal that certainly needs support is the panda, and most people are lucky if they get to see a panda in their lifetime, let alone work closely with them.
You can spend two weeks or more in China and spend most days at a wildlife centre, looking after the friendly creatures. Your work will involve seeing what the panda keepers do to protect the animals, educate tourists who visit the centre and help the staff learn English to improve their communication skills with future visitors.
Teach English in Ecuador
If your interests lie more in working closely with people rather than animals, you can take part in a teaching programme. You’ll find plenty of teaching programmes around the world from Europe to the Far East, but one place that might really pique your interest is Ecuador.
Live in the Amazon rainforest while spending your days teaching young children to speak English and other useful skills that will be beneficial to them when they leave school. It’s a great opportunity to work with children from a rural background, while it also gives you the chance to spend your days off trekking in the jungle and white-water rafting.
Teaching is a very popular thing to do for students volunteering abroad, as it allows them to build their confidence and learn more about working with children – it may also encourage those interested in a career in teaching to pursue this ambition further.
Volunteer at a USA ranch
The reason why people love volunteering so much is because it gives them the chance to try things they’ve never done before, and I’ll bet that working at an American ranch is something you won’t have experienced in the past!
Working in the Rocky Mountains is a fantastic opportunity, as you will get to learn what a real working ranch is like, ride horses in the beautiful countryside, and explore Yellowstone National Park on days off.
You’ll pick up numerous skills, including learning to gather cows while on horseback and finding out how to lasso – although these might not be talents you regularly use when you return home! Working in this environment will provide you with the chance to experience a slower pace of life, relaxing around campfires, getting close to wildlife and spending every day in spectacular natural surroundings.
Get close to lions in Africa
For an activity, all your friends will be amazed by, volunteer at a lion rehabilitation reserve. Getting close to lions isn’t something that many people get to do, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to take part in these conservation projects.
The aim of these programmes is to boost declining wild lion populations on the continent, so you’ll work towards releasing cubs into the wild after being born to captive lions and collecting data on these wild creatures to determine what their main threats are. If you love lions and Africa’s other amazing wildlife – including antelope, elephants, zebras, and cheetahs – this is the programme for you!
Protect Costa Rica’s rainforests
You don’t have to work with animals or children to volunteer abroad though, and you can lend your services to protecting some of the world’s natural habitats. One place that is particularly great for conservation volunteers is Costa Rica, as you have the chance to look after its dwindling rainforests.
As part of volunteer programmes in the Central American country, you can teach schools and communities how they can look after their natural surroundings, construct and maintain trails, and make a record of any changes to the environment.
With so many different options for volunteering abroad, you’re sure to find something that not only suits your interest but will provide you with useful skills and valuable experience that you will appreciate for a long time to come.
Natasha Al-Atassi is student news and travel writer for luxury student accommodation brand Vita Student, collating the latest industry news and property investment advice about students in the UK, the Vita Student Brand and information to help those currently at university. Share your view on “Where In The World To Volunteer?” in the comment section below.