May 2017

Advice

Volunteering Abroad vs. Work Exchange Programs

Volunteering abroad is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason! The benefits of good, well-developed, sustainable volunteering projects are numerous for both the communities involved and the volunteers themselves. Volunteers can develop skills, gain experience and enjoy a fulfilling, often low-cost trip abroad, while communities benefit from skills such as language tuition, public health education and community arts projects.

However, there is another way of gaining such experience abroad — work exchange programs. Through sites such as HelpX, WWOOFing and Workaway, travelers can work approximately twenty-five hours per week in exchange for food and lodgings, a chance to live with a local host, and a cultural exchange. The work can vary, from nanny and housekeeping roles, to hostel and bar work, to education, farming and community based volunteering opportunities.

There are many pros …