Skip to main content

20 ways volunteering overseas will change you

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…


You realise that progress is only possible by working together

working together in Papua New Guinea

You may find you have skills you never knew you had

Finding new skills as an overseas volunteer

...Lots of skills you didn't know you had

Volunteers using new skills

You will become more patient. More laid back. Being "on time" may be a bit more subjective.

ICS volunteers in Tanzania

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

Exploring new food as a volunteer

You will also eat some less-than-incredible food, and never want to recreate it

exploring other types of food as a volunteer

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

Volunteering can be exhausting

…and mentally

Volunteering can be emotionally draining

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

conditions of workers are important

In fact, you will probably care less about your personal appearance entirely and care less about what people think of it

Caring less about personal appearence

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

Loving the work you do

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

Becoming a motorcycle fan

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

Motorbike and a shop

You will start up conversations on public transport

Volunteers talking on public transport

Going to bed and getting up with the sun seems very logical

Waking up with the sun

...especially when you wake up to views like this:

Enjoying the view

You will make life-long friends, who live on the other side of the world, but you may still be able to meet up now and then

Volunteers make friends all over the world

Your home may not feel like ‘home’ any longer

Finding a new home as a volunteer

You realise that being a volunteer doesn't necessarily end when your placement does. There are endless opportunities to get involved and support others


...and you will spend a lot of your time convincing others to volunteer

convncing others to volunteer

Are you interested in finding out for yourself what it is like to volunteer? Find out more 

Stay up-to-date with our latest volunteer jobs and other news

Sign up for our newsletter