Important tips for Volunteers

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

Important tips for student volunteers going to Student Volunteer Mission :- 1. Choosing an authentic project in Abroad is the first challenge before every first time volunteer. You should plan it in advance. You should know that there are mainly three ways you can volunteer abroad. A.) You can contact any International Voluntary Network like CCIVS, Alliance, SCI, NVDA etc. and look for the full, associate, guest members(charities) list from their homepage and then contact the organization from your own country. This organization can guide and help you to find the authentic placement information and registration with their abroad partner organization as per your choice of country, duration and project of choice. You may need to pay the registration fees (which goes to the organization from your country to organize your trip on your behalf) & participation fees to their partner from the destination country against your shared room, meal, project related support etc. Most of the time you required to cover your flight ticket, visa, medical, insurances, pocket money, registration fee and participation fees from your side. In this way you can get an organization with authentic background, previous volunteers details, training and other visa related documentation (if required). B.) There are many big companies (profit making) whom you can trace easily on Google. Signup any of them and that's it. Most of these companies charges a huge amount for this trip. Very little amount actually reach to the charities where you volunteering in abroad. So choose wisely. C.) Google yourself for charities/NGOs who need volunteers in their own project in your destination country. In this way you can find cheap volunteering abroad opportunities but be careful about fraud and scams. Also safety and security would be another point of concern in this process. You required to search about these organizations reputations, ex volunteers feedback, year of establishment, phone number, home page etc. 2. As soon as you done your registration confirmation you need to book your flight ticket. Sooner is cheaper, so book it as soon as possible. Some country simple tourist visa is OK but there are some where you should have special category visa for Volunteer work. Check it with your organizations and take their advice as they are dealing in this matter on regular basis. Please do not try to be over smart. 3. Your visa may take few days to few weeks depending on the processing speed. Always apply visa in advance. You should have your travel and health insurances done while traveling abroad. It is very important for any fresh volunteers. Many country now a days offering visa on arrival or E-tourist visa, just check it with the destination country embassy portal. Few countries also required applicant to visit in person for visa processing. Just check it. Please remember there are many countries visa issuing date starts counting the day visa issued. So do your plan accordingly . Remember that visa extension might not be an option for many countries. 4. Once visa application done, you should visit your local hospital for required vaccination for the destination country if any (you can also find the list from CDC website). Ask your responsible project manager to give you any further information on this matter. 5. Packing baggage is something which you should be very careful so try to carry only a light backpack which help you to move around without much difficulty. Take light/heavy cloth as per the country of choice, toiletries, Emergency medicine, first aid box, two pair of shoes(one shoe for outings and another pair for inside use), flash light, anti mosquito DEET body spray, light towel (which dries fast), shocks, gloves( if it is required)mobile chargers and Charing changer (US to UK or vice versa), some souvenirs from your country etc. If you are on any medication then take full course with you. If you are diabetes then take your medicine, insulin (also do not forget to inform about your health problems to the program in charge. If you are Allergic to food/dust/animal or anything else, then let it know your project in charge as well in advance. 6. Check your flight date, time, airport name, arrival time, passport, other required docs, money(less cash is always better). Please inform your bank before leaving the country, so your card never get blocked by your bank for use in abroad. 7. If you have multiple flight then be sure to collect luggage (if not it comes directly to your destination country, just check it with your airlines). Do not get sleep in between two flights if you have short transit time , you may loose your flight :) Also remember not to carry (for help) other's luggage while travelling. You should lock your luggage in proper manner. Do not take any drinks or food from any strangers. 8.Once you arrive at the airport, wait for the pickup person who supposed to pickup you from the local Organization of your destination country. If required call them and ask your pickup person name and contact number. As soon as you meet the pickup person greet them with warm heart but never forget to ask politely about their valid Identification card issue by the Organization. 9.If you required to exchange money then do it inside the airport on arrival if possible. Some places might not have any Money Exchange places or ATM machines. 10. Try to get the local sim with internet pack if possible. You may need 1 photo, passport and visa copy, local address, local contact name and contact number. Please take permission from the local organization before using their contact details for your personal use. 11. When you are on a foreign land, respect the law of the country, people, culture, food, dress code, community . Try to learn basic Greetings in local languages and use local dress to build up a better mutually respectful relationship. This would be very helpful while volunteering abroad. 12. It is important to understand that every nation have their own laws and culture so please try to follow as per.... Always keep your passport copy, visa copy, insurances copy with you. Do not required to carry original passport with you all the time, unless otherwise advised by your program in charge. Never show your money in public, be careful about your valuables, do not fight with others or use any bad languages. Volunteering in abroad is a big challenge itself but it can bring you an immense pleasure and hell lot of knowledge that keep helping you in your whole life. You would have always lots of good memories to share with your family and friends. 13. Keep helping other, try to be friendly but not too friendly with strangers. Sometimes it is wiser to take time before making friends in life. Any problem always contact your program manager. For bigger issue contact your sending organization representatives or parents. A volunteer can be very popular who comes to learn not to teach. Be wise and win the heart of others. Let's be Volunteer to bring smile, love and peace around the world. Thanks Debabrata Chakraborty Founding President of SMILE Society, India

#volunteers #students

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