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The Top 10 ReasonsWhy You Should Help International CountriesIn Need

Reason 1: Volunteering overseas is a great way of making your CV/resume stand out. It showsthat you are willing to step outside your comfort zone to make a difference to thelives of others. Employers appreciate this and they value the life experience, soft skillsand cultural understanding that you will gain through volunteering.

Reason 2: Gain professional orientation/clarification

International volunteering gives you the opportunity to take time out of your regularroutine and think about what it is you really want to do with your life. By volunteeringin an area you are interested in pursuing, you will have the opportunity to solidifyyour goals and career path.

Reason 3: Improve college admission chances

Colleges and universities increasingly look for candidates with life experience andinternational travel experience. They value students who have taken a year out butare increasingly demanding as to how you choose to use your time out.

Reason 4: Improve chances of university/college success

By taking time out to volunteer abroad, you will also increase your chances of successatcollege/university because you will be giving yourself the time to mature and focusyour interests. Time Magazine reported that “Robert Clagett, dean of admissions atMiddlebury, did some number-crunching a few years ago and found that a singlegap semester was the strongest predictor of academic success at his school.”(2010).

Reason 5: Experience improved self-esteem, self-confidence and life satisfaction

By volunteering abroad you will have the opportunity to experience personaldevelopment, which can take the form of improved self-esteem, self-confidence andlife satisfaction (see for example Wearing 2001; McGhee 2002).

Reason 6: Avoid burnout

One of the reasons why universities are so in favor of a year out, is that theyrecognize the need to avoid burnout. “You’ve spent 12 straight years as a student.You have spent the better part of the last year conducting an exhaustive collegesearch, completing your college application and going through a rigorous admissionsprocess.

Reason 7: Gain new knowledge and work experience

Working in another country will provide you with the opportunity to gain knowledge,experience and skills which you may not have been able to acquire at home. Theobvious example is learning a foreign language much faster than you could at homeby immersing yourself into the language and culture.

Reason 8: Learn about the world and different cultures

Volunteering is very different to being a tourist because you will spend a significantamount of time in one place and you will be working on a daily basis with localpeople.

Reason 9: Meet like-minded people

One of the most long-lasting benefits of volunteering is the friendships you willmake. You will meet people from all backgrounds and all walks of life but thechallenges you will overcome together will often create life-long bonds (see forexample McGehee and Santos 2005). This is best explained by volunteers themselves.

Reason 10: Have an incredibly rewarding experience

Perhaps most importantly of all, volunteering overseas gives you the chance to giveback and this can result in an incredible sense of fulfilment. Volunteering also givespurpose to travel and this has been highly documented in a variety of literature.This benefit was identified as the most important by GVN volunteers with 92% of allvolunteers highlighting the opportunity to do something meaningful as a keybenefit from their experience.“When you think you are “giving”… you are actually getting much, much, more inreturn… and it’s something that money cannot buy.” – Margarita L. Austria, Vietnam


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