1. Learn new skills
Whether you’re in a hospital, a school, a care centre or an outdoor activity centre, volunteering allows you to learn plenty of new skills to help you move towards your future career! It’s a well-known fact that volunteering makes your CV stand out from the rest.
2. Become independent
Travelling on a plane to the other side of the world and immersing yourself in a new culture is a fantastic way to gain some independence! You’ll be learning how to look after your money, cooking for yourself and keeping your living space tidy (and you’ll be well ahead of your peers who have gone to uni)!
3. See a different part of the world
If you want to experience a different country – your Gap Year is the time to do it! Although your volunteer placement will take up a lot of time, your holidays and weekends off work will allow you to travel around to neighbouring cities and countries with your fellow gappers.
4. Challenge yourself
Volunteering overseas isn’t easy. It’s a chance for you to really challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. It is an amazing feeling when you achieve something you never thought you could do.
5. Volunteering is good for your health!
A recent study by the NHS found that volunteering really helps your health and well-being. It increases your self-esteem and confidence, decreases anxiety and gives you a sense of purpose. (If you’re going somewhere warm and sunny – that can help too!)
6. Make new friends
Making lifelong friendships from different cultures and backgrounds is one of the best things about volunteering overseas. Having people you feel close to makes relaxing at the weekends and in the evenings all the more enjoyable!
7. Cultural awareness
Being able to immerse yourself in a different culture is a fantastic quality to have. Volunteering abroad gives you a unique way of experiencing and getting to know another culture and appreciating how people in different countries live.
8. Leadership and responsibility
It’s quite likely that you’ll be thrown in the deep end when you start your volunteering placement and you may have a lot of responsibility – especially when working with children. This is a great way of gaining more confidence in your leadership skills, and will look amazing for future employers!
9. Do something to help others
One of the most important things about volunteering is doing something that will make a real difference. Ok… you might not be saving the world, but being a part of a sustainable volunteering programme really helps individuals to succeed, when they otherwise may not.
10. Have fun!
Volunteering is a really fun thing to do anyway, but if you’re going to give up a year of your life to live in a different country, you’ve got to make the most of amazing opportunities that could come your way! Explore, travel, go on adrenaline-filled adventures, climb a mountain, eat new foods and take lots of photos!
To find out more about the volunteering placements that Lattitude offer, visit http://www.lattitude.org.nz