When you decide to take the experience of volunteering abroad, there are a series of things you will learn as part of your story. Here’s a brief list of a few of the lessons you learn while volunteering abroad.
1. You Learn That the World is More Diverse Than You Thought
While being abroad, you are in the position of meeting people from all over the world, and as you get to know them you will learn that there are a lot of different cultures and traditions, and there are many ways to see the world and get things done. You must be respectful of traditions and adjust to the local culture. At first it may be hard and shocking, but as you do, you become a global citizen.
2. You Become More Solution-Oriented
Suppose you are now in an unknown city, and you can’t read because you don’t know the alphabet! This is a real challenge; you are out of your comfort zone! You will have to use creativity to find resources and alternatives ways of resolving problems. But don’t worry, you will always find a right solution.
3. You Will Become More Independent and Confident
Volunteering abroad is a great chance for you to grow as a person. In your free time, you are able to do what you want! You may choose to explore the city alone or eat an unfamiliar meal with new friends. After that, you realize that you can do more things that you ever thought.
4. You Learn How to Manage Yourself
Being in another country by yourself also means that you have to be very responsible with your time and money. Parents are not there to solve your financial problems! You must make a budget and be aware that the money you brought has to last for the entire stay. Also, you have to be on time for your project, and plan your free time so can visit all the tourist attractions you want to see. You are free to use your time as you want so you learn how to manage it productively.
5. You Learn to Embrace Uncertainty
When you volunteer abroad, you know what your project is and you have probably read a bit about the country and city you are visiting, but don’t think you know what to expect. Many unexpected details can come up and potentially catch you by surprise. That’s okay, things happen. If you are the kind of person that expects to control every single detail, you will learn that you can’t control everything and let yourself accept new experiences; experiences that otherwise, never happen and don’t become part of your story.
Visit aiesec.org to learn more about how you can invest in your story.