Studying abroad can be quite challenging. You often find yourself in a whole new environment. Here, you have to meet up with new people, create relationships, and also get to know the city. Also, you have to learn how to handle your studies. Remember that you’re now part of an entirely different system of education. Although the school courses may not be so difficult, the process is still confusing!
So why would you want to ‘destroy’ yourself with a volunteer job? The additional workload is too much! On the contrary, a volunteering opportunity gives you a broader perspective. It turns you into a knowledgeable individual capable of tackling any emerging issue.
Here are some six exciting benefits of choosing to volunteer while studying in a foreign country:
1. You End Up Making Friends
Let’s say you decide to pursue your writing studies in a country such as Japan. You’ll find that the culture there is different from what is in your native land. What then do you do when you’re not attending any classes? In most cases, you end up spending time in the dorm room, waiting for classmates to approach you or meeting random people for drinks at a local bar.
However, once you volunteer, you open the doors for improved social responsibility. You interact with people of similar interests which gives you something important to discuss. Also, by making various contributions to an important cause, you end up building community ties among people who love to support each other.
2. You Gain Awareness
Students from all over the world are criticized for lacking global knowledge. Once they decide to study abroad, they limit their lives to exams, lectures, and parties. Therefore, when someone mentions that they should explore the community, the first thought that comes to mind is visiting nightclubs and bars.
Through volunteering, you move away from such types of stereotypic behavior. Get to know the problems affecting the community, and you’ll help them overcome critical issues!
3. You Might Land a Well-Paying Job!
Volunteering helps you improve your professional connections before you even get into the active job market. Any company with a just cause will make a great resume. Hiring managers today are not so interested in having a student with tremendous writing and academic accomplishments.
Instead, they want people with tremendous problem-solving skills and massive awareness of community values. Such are some of the core competencies which exist through volunteering.
“I can’t say that the level of GPA of a graduate matters when the candidate lacks enough experience.” The statement is according to Red Cross’s Mariliana Rogers. Although academic accomplishments are quite essential, a graduate who handles volunteer work stands at a better position.
4. You Get to Practice the Language in Your New Environment
Several students who study abroad take up an English speaking and essay help writing program which is okay. There is no need to spend several years learning before becoming a student in your chosen country. However, if you find that you’re speaking in only English and going out with other English speaking friends, they there’s a huge problem. You need to experience the full benefits of being abroad!
The best way to improve on your Spanish, German, Russian or any other language is by joining volunteer groups. Yes! It can be challenging and uncomfortable at first, but you’ll adapt quickly and gain more confidence. The natives will usually appreciate your added commitment to learning how to speak in their language.
5. It Frees You From Your Comfort Zone!
Once you decide to study abroad, you get out of your comfort zone and go to an unfamiliar environment. The process calls for you to accept challenges and explore the great discoveries hidden in this world. So, why should you limit your life to staying in classes, studying and wasting time with your classmates?
Once it comes to volunteering, you get to experience and love the rich culture of the natives. You interact, communicate and engage with the locals in their natural environment. Also, you come across different challenges which you’ll assist in solving. Eventually, you’ll expand your limits with each passing second spent in volunteering!
6. You Fight for a Cause That’s Close To Your Heart!
What issues do you feel are negatively affecting the world? They could be saving the endangered turtle species, eliminating poverty, empowering women and getting water for everyone, among many other sensitive issues. Whatever your cause is, you need to start your organization right from the beginning. Interestingly, you may come across a group of people fighting or campaigning for the same cause. You’ll support each other and work towards making the world an even better place!
While choosing a study abroad program, explore different volunteer communities in your preferred country. Some volunteer programs may exist in your course program, or you might find others outside your actual learning curriculum. Whichever means you choose, volunteer opportunities come with several advantages for community engagement while in a foreign country!