You might have the thought of going abroad to travel, study, or work. Sure, you do would like to travel over the world and experience new things. Have you ever think of travel through volunteering? Sometimes people might question on “Why should I go abroad when I could volunteer in my home country” or etc, right? Here are the 3 reasons why…
Challenge And Develop Yourself
You’ll get to experience personal development through a diverse and challenging environment. If let’s say moving out of our homes feels like a challenge, imagine traveling by yourself to a completely unfamiliar country. As scary as it may sound, being in a totally new environment gives young people like us the opportunity to grow into ourselves. You will acquire real-world leadership skills such as communication, critical thinking and adaptability in a challenging cultural environment by working with people from around the world in a project.
Make A Positive Impact On The World
“Never underestimate your ability to make someone else’s life BETTER, even if you never know it” said by Greg Louganis. For those who are driven to make the world a better place, volunteering abroad is a great way to get the most out of your travel experience. All of the projects in Global Volunteer is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. This means that you are contributing in making the world a better place. When you come back from the journey, not only will you have changed the community you are living in, but yourself and the new friends you meet in a way you would never knew.
Learn New Cultures And Make New Friends Across the Borders
During the journey, you don’t just meet people from that country but you meet people from all over the world. Although everyone comes from different backgrounds and speaks different languages, people who go volunteer abroad share common interests, goals, and a longing for change. You’ll start to learn first hand about the different cultures and lifestyles across the globe. You will come back with different perspectives than what you may be accustomed to. Build yourself a wide, international network of friends and contacts.
Tay Yong Kang, a first year student majoring in International Business Management from The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. He went to Mainland of China to volunteer himself in an environmental project called “Green Power Now 3.0”.
Below is a sharing from Tay.
“Global volunteer had allowed me the opportunities to know people around the world, and be a whole-life-friends with them. I meet new friends from Malaysia, Cambodia, Eutopia, Russia and of course China. Everyone is friendly in my project.
My biggest learning throughout the whole experience is to try everything. When you feel hesitate about want to do or don’t want to do, then you should just do it. In this journey, I feel like I have become more independent and extrovert than before. More independent because in such a foreign country, everything I need to handle and solve the problems by myself. While more extrovert because initially I’m not a talkative person, most of the time I remain silent until got people talking to me, but in this journey, I take the initiative to talk with others.
In the conversation, I’ve learn more about how China people’s live. Furthermore, for most of the time, I suggest the places and invite all the people to join with me to explore Chongqing. I play the role of a planner and leader when coming to self-organize activities. I learned a lot of things and more about myself.
Last but not least, I wish to tell other people is that you can re-recognize yourself during the journey. At the same time, you can learn many things and explore a city within the six weeks. This is totally different from just travelling from a place to another. If you have the opportunity, just go ahead and apply for it. Don’t afraid, you will find it meaningful after you experience it.”
Give it a try in volunteering abroad, it is an opportunity of a lifetime and really make a difference! Be the change you want to see in the world. “Just to travel is rather boring, but to travel with a purpose is educational and exciting.”Sargent Shriver
Original story from Tay Yong Kang (Student | University Nottingham, Malaysian Campus)
In AIESEC, we believe in developing leadership through practical experiences in challenging environment, and we do this by delivering cross-cultural exchanges. We have created thousands of stories ever since we started in Malaysia 50 years ago. Here’s just one of them.