25.05.2019
Article Article Medium

How to become an international volunteer

You can go abroad and get a language practice almost for free

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Many people dream to visit another country and join its culture, especially those who study a foreign language. But what if there is no money for a trip abroad? You can use an international volunteer program and in return receive practice of live communication with native speakers – such opportunities are provided by work of the volunteer. There are two ways to become a volunteer abroad.

The first way. Travel to a foreign country as a volunteer will help intermediary agencies.

International volunteer camp

Volunteers do not only physical work. They can teach children a foreign language or help the homeless

Each camp has its own theme. Some invite volunteers to clean the forest, others – to help the homeless, and others – to participate in the filming of the host country. Often it is spelled out possible work for volunteers in the description of the camp. The main task is to read everything carefully and choose the place where, in your opinion, you can fully reveal yourself. Organizers from one camp invite 10-20 people, they work together about 4-6 hours a day, and the rest of the time can be spent as they prefer. Usually the volunteer program lasts from one to three weeks, but you can find longer projects (for several months or more).

There are almost no age restrictions. Someone requires only adult volunteers, someone needs teenagers – in this case, the project will be marked Teen camp. There are also family camps where volunteers with children are invited. In order to take part in the volunteer program, you must apply on the website of the Russian sending organization (Sphere, Chipmunk, World4you), do not have outstanding criminal records and bad habits such as drug addiction and alcoholism.

The volunteer will live and eat in the camp free of charge, yet the tickets and visa will have to be paid for themselves. In addition, you must pay a fee for participation (about 5-7 thousand rubles for short programs). Many people claim it is embarrassed. But, as it is explained by the organizators, the money goes to the maintenance of the sending company (office rent, payment for the Internet, phones, electricity, etc.), and is a guarantee that the volunteer will get a place in the camp.  A month before the trip the participant receives a route, information about what to take with them, and contacts of the camp leader.

European Solidarity Corps (ESC)

The logo of the European corps of solidarity

Another program that allows young people aged from 18 to 30 years to go abroad as a volunteer. The European Union has been implementing it for 20 years. Conditions of participation are similar to the requirements of the International volunteer camp: a volunteer can participate in the project from two weeks to a year, must work from 30 to 38 hours a week and have a basic knowledge of English.

The company compensates all expenses: tickets, accommodation, food and transport. In addition, it provides the opportunity to attend language courses and go to two volunteer training. So, constant communication in a foreign language is exactly provided!

The second way. You can search for a volunteer program on your own, without intermediaries.  This is the most difficult and often unsafe way. But with the self-selection of the program, the participant will not have to pay the fee required by the Agency. However, in this case, no one will guarantee that the conditions of staying abroad as a volunteer will meet your expectations.

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