Everyone and their mother has asked what you’re doing over the summer, or worse, after graduation. Maybe you’re going to graduate, medical, or law school. Maybe you’re working. Maybe you’re interning or shadowing. Or maybe, you have no fucking idea.
If you’re the latter, and you’re thinking of taking some time off, check out these volunteer abroad programs. We all want to keep doing good after we leave our required collegiate philanthropies behind for the summer or forever (tear), so why not get a head start? Help some people out while figuring yourself out.
This volunteer program focuses on sustainable development projects in Ghana. Thrive Africa’s efforts include building libraries, donating books, planting trees for disaster prevention, and building income generating farms for the caregivers of patients with HIV/AIDS. Volunteers get to perform hands-on work beside community members. With hard work comes some fun too. Volunteers can participate in excursions to national parks, local markets, museums, and, of course, all of the incredible nature and culture of Ghana. Trips range from 2-4 weeks.
GoEco is a travel and planet conservation opportunity for anyone passionate about the earth. It’s basically the Google of eco-volunteering websites. You can select anywhere in the world you want to volunteer, and GeoEco will match you with a reputable program, and off you go.
Global Volunteers is for you if you enjoy working with children. Their goal is to help with child development by providing support that may otherwise be unavailable. Volunteers are paired with a child and may help with tutoring, early childhood education, nutrition and health instruction. Global Volunteers has projects in North, South, and Central America, as well as Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Trips range between 1 and 2 weeks.
Global Vision International is another wide-ranging volunteer group. Similar to GoEco, GVI matches volunteers with programs around the world. GVI supports programs including education, animal conservation, construction, and much more. Programs can run anywhere from a week to a year, great for anyone who wants to take an entire year off to do some good in the world.
IDEX focuses on travel and service in Thailand, India, Vietnam, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Projects are affordable and range from 2 to 4 weeks. Projects include general volunteer and travel programs, teaching programs in Vietnam, and turtle conservation in Sri Lanka. IDEX combines service with responsible eco-tourism, making sure that you’re having fun while doing good.
Fact: No one who has spent time volunteering abroad regrets it. Even if you don’t have some “aha” moment and decide what you’re going to do with your life after the trip, at least you’ve spent your time helping out people in need. It’s crazy just how much genuine, good people from other parts of the world can teach you about yourself. So if you’re still floating around with no future or summer plans, check these out. So many worthy and life-changing programs exist, so just get out there, and get involved. Convince your parents it’s a great idea (it is), go get your vaccines, and help out some deserving people. Plus? Think of the Insta pics. Win-win..
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