Do I need any skills or qualifications to join the volunteer program?
Volunteering is all about sharing your love and passion to improve the lives of those in need. The most important volunteer abroad skills and qualification is your passion and willingness to help others. However, keep in mind that whether or not you need skills to volunteer abroad really depends on the type of volunteer program you are planning to join. Most general volunteering programs such as working in orphanage and conservation programs will not require any volunteer abroad skills and qualification. However, there are still some areas where a certain level of skills to volunteer abroad are either required or helps in your volunteer abroad experience. In this article, we will discuss the skills needed for major volunteering abroad projects.
Work with children/orphanage
Working in orphanage or with children is one of the most popular volunteer abroad program. Most of the volunteer work with children involves teaching English, helping in home work, cooking food/distributing it, organizing game, drawing signs, and other creative programs. It would be great if you have any specific skills such as drawing or painting to teach the children some soft skills. However, generally no volunteer abroad skills and qualification are needed to work with children. All you need is love and passion!
Teaching English in also a popular volunteer abroad program. In this program, you will mostly teach English in public schools. You can definitely join this program without any volunteer abroad skills and qualification, as long as you are fluent in English. However, you would enjoy this program more with prior teaching experience or training.
Medical / Health Project
Most medical/health programs will require you to have specific skills to volunteer abroad. You will need to at least be a pre-med student so that you would know the basics of healthcare and be able to assist seasoned doctors to treat patients in poor communities. Some programs will allow you to join without any prior experience, however you will mostly be assisting with campaigns and administrative works rather than in providing medical care.
Community Development/Women Empowerment
These programs usually do not require any specific skills to volunteer abroad. All you need is a passion for the cause chosen and the willingness to work hard in improving the lives of underprivileged communities. You should also be a friendly and welcoming person, as these projects involve a lot of close interaction with the locals. You will need to warm up to complete strangers!
Nature or Wildlife Conservation
Nature or wildlife conservation volunteer abroad programs are one of the volunteer abroad projects with no qualifications required. All you need is a love for nature and passion for restoring the natural habitat of endangered species. You need to be willing to get your hands dirty and work very hard, sometimes even late at night and early in the mornings.
Do I need to know the local language?
In most cases, you don’t need to know the local language as English is generally spoken in most project locations. However, knowing the local languages helps you to bond better with your host family and the community you are working with. There are some countries, mostly in Latin America, where you may need to have some basic understanding of Spanish to volunteer. You can always check with the organization on the language requirement before beginning your trip. If your schedule allows it, do take a language course while volunteering abroad!
Do I need to be physically fit?
Volunteer work involves a lot of traveling, and in many cases, travelto very remote places. Hence, it’s important to be in good physical condition, so that you can participate in and enjoy all aspects of your volunteer project. If you have any medical conditions, please check with your organization to see how it will affect your role as a volunteer.
What is the minimum age to volunteer?
Most volunteer abroad organizations require you to be at least 18 years of age. However, there are some high school programs where you can volunteer between the ages of 16-18. Additionally, in some cases, minors can join the project with their parents.
Can any national volunteer?
Yes, there is no nationality barrier to becoming a volunteer in a foreign country. Please just make sure to find out what type of visa you will need for the country you will be volunteering in. All countries have different visa policies. If you are unsure, do contact the organization or local embassy for more information.
We hope you understand that while specific skills and qualifications would be useful for some projects, most volunteer abroad programs do not have this requirement. Anybody can be a volunteer, as long as they are passionate about helping others and are willing to work hard.
Volunteer Abroad 101
- What is Volunteer Abroad?
- Why volunteer abroad?
- Is Volunteering really for Me?
- What is ethical volunteering?
- Volunteer Abroad Complaints
- What are the Most Popular Volunteer Abroad Places?
- How Can You Select the Best Volunteer Abroad Organizations?
- How can you make volunteer abroad experience rewarding?
- Cost/Money Matter
- How can I find free volunteer opportunities abroad?
- Why do I need to pay to volunteer?
- Health and Safety
- Host family
- How to prepare to volunteer abroad?
- Gift for project/host families
- In-country support or when you will be in field
- What is the daily schedule for projects?
- What are popular volunteer abroad project?
- How can you reduce the cost of volunteer abroad?