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19 ways volunteering overseas will change you

VSO/Teresa Menka

Volunteering overseas is one of the most rewarding things you can do. It will change the way you see the world.  Here are just a few ways it can leave its mark…


1. You may find you have skills you never knew you had.

Finding new skills as an overseas volunteer


2. You will build your confidence. 

Volunteers using new skills


3. You realise that progress is only possible by working together.

working together in Papua New Guinea


4. You will become more patient. More laid back. Being "on time" may become more subjective.

ICS volunteers in Tanzania


5. You will eat some of the most incredible food - but never be able to re-create it.

Exploring new food as a volunteer


6. You may try some food that you will never wish to recreate! 

exploring other types of food as a volunteer


7. You will realise there is a whole new level of exhaustion. Both physically...

Volunteering can be exhausting


8. …and mentally.

Volunteering can be emotionally draining


9. You care less about the labels on your clothes and care more about who made them and under what conditions.

conditions of workers are important


10. ...In fact, you will probably care less about your personal appearance entirely. You'll also care less about what people think.

Caring less about personal appearence


11. What you do, opposed to what you earn, may become more important to you.

Loving the work you do


12.  You may become a very adept motorcyclist, and even develop a life-long interest.

Becoming a motorcycle fan


13. ...and you may reconsider just what a motorbike can be used for.

Motorbike and a shop


14. You may find you regularly start up conversations with strangers on public transport.

Volunteers talking on public transport


15. You get used to going to bed and getting up with the sun.

Waking up with the sun


16. ...Especially when you wake up to views like this:

Enjoying the view


17. You will make life-long friends.

Volunteers make friends all over the world


18. Your home may not feel like ‘home’ any more.

Finding a new home as a volunteer


19. You'll spend a lot of time convincing others to volunteer. 

convncing others to volunteer

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