When you are thinking about volunteering abroad, one of the big reasons would be to help the country in need. However, it isn’t just the nation that is being helped, it’s you as well. Many people who volunteer abroad come back feeling different about their lives; they feel like they have grown beyond the person they were before volunteering.
If you feel stuck in a rut, like you can’t seem to improve beyond your current point or if something just feels like it is missing, volunteering may be able to push you out of this box.
One reason volunteering abroad helps with personal development is teamwork. Unlike at work, where you can often do things by yourself, you have to work as part of a team when volunteering. Feeling your place in the team, communicating with other people and sharing different viewpoints on the world has led to many people developing as a person.
Give Something Back
Volunteering is about being selfless and helping a nation that is crippled by poor crops or a lack of food and resources. Many volunteers report that seeing this life, experiencing the poverty the nation goes through and giving something back to help these people helped them grow into a more emotional and compassionate person. Not only that, but the act of being selfless generally helps personal development.
View New Cultures
When you volunteer abroad, you don’t just see another culture from the outside. You are inundated in their culture, their environment and their everyday experiences. This has helped many volunteers broaden their horizons, and they feel as if they were given access to a whole new world. Some people come back and want to learn more about that culture, while others are changed just by being touched by it.
Sense of Accomplishment
Accomplishment and success can be euphoric, but few people really experience this sense of accomplishment. When you volunteer, you can come back feeling good that you were able to help another nation and its people. Knowing that you were able to help, and knowing how good it feels often makes people want to do this often, even in their own nation.
Most people know what poverty is, and most people know that other nations are suffering. However, knowing and actually seeing it are two completely different things. Seeing the look in their eyes, seeing their clothes and starved bodies can change your perspective on the world forever. Many volunteers report that after they came back, they had a whole new understanding of the human condition.
Some volunteer work can only be accomplished if you are skilled at something, and this gives you the perfect opportunity to either learn a skill or to use the ones you possess.
Personal development comes to people in different ways. Some can gain it from reading a book or going to college, while others have to go out into the world to broaden their horizons. If you don’t feel like the world you live in is offering you enough, then consider volunteering abroad. Use this as a chance to help a nation, and yourself.
Tom writes for a number of businesses including DLPROG the Leadership Development Program based in Australia. To learn more about their work, read their articles about Human Agency visit http://www.dlprog.org.