Doing community service abroad can be an eye-opening experience that exposes one to other cultures, languages, and ways of life.
Wherever you volunteer, it instills a sense of “giving back”. People in foreign cultures, especially that of ‘poor’ countries, understand and appreciate the sacrifice that volunteers make to help make a difference in their lives.
When volunteering overseas, the act of giving is more profound, especially if it is in a small community.
By contributing to an area of need, the volunteer can be exposed to several benefits that can impact their lives in very positive ways. One of the biggest benefactors of community service volunteering abroad is teenagers.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of community service abroad for teenagers.
Community service can be just as fun!
Teenagers who volunteer abroad gain benefits ranging from increased self-esteem to acquiring valuable job skills.
Most teens might not know that volunteering during their teen years can have tremendous benefits. So the thought of participating in community service during Spring Break might not seem like a cool one.
We all know that teens love to have fun. And, though it might not sound as cool as typical fun activities, community volunteering can be lots of fun too.
If you believe young people can’t have fun while doing community service, think again. Watch the video above to see and hear how Maple Grove Senior High School students enjoyed their experience painting and landscaping the Keith Goldson Health Centre Manning’s Hill, St Andrew, Jamaica.
The group of 24 students thoroughly enjoyed their project. But most importantly, they found out that community service abroad can be meaningful work, way more than just helping neighbors out with the groceries or babysitting for free.
In the words of the great Mahatma Gandhi – “The best way to find one’s self is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
A key takeaway from the video is Elizabeth mentioning how the experience allowed her to learn about herself, her fellow volunteers, the community, and the people.
Parents will love to know that community service abroad projects can increase their teenagers’ sense of self and help them develop social responsibility and a heart for “giving back” and helping others.
Bond with your fellow Volunteers
Don’t connect with your peers?
Well, of course, you will have the opportunity to make a difference to the community. But you will also get the chance to nurture relationships with your peers. Alaina mentioned in the video how important it was to bond with her schoolmates.
Emily expanded on its importance when she mentioned how the project allowed the group to uniquely bond together.
Boost Your Resume
College Application – The benefits of community service volunteering is felt in the professional world as well. It can also be a critical component of a successful university/college application.
It is an essential way for students to explore their interests and demonstrate to colleges what they are about.
Additionally, it helps students stand out among other applicants. Service work is often a leading decision-making factor outside of a student’s grades. University/College Admissions Officers are more likely to choose students who volunteer as they are deemed to be more rounded.
Job Application – Community service in a foreign country is a huge boost on a resume for landing a job. Employers are keen on applicants and workers who demonstrate an ability to think outside and understand how to live in a globalized world.
The added benefits of teamwork, foreign language knowledge, and plain old hard work can also add to the volunteer’s resume. Since business is now global, being exposed to a different culture, people, and environment, the volunteer is armed with useful and potentially actionable information.
Increases Social Responsibility
If you are a parent of a wayward child, give them the opportunity to become better global citizens and serve the world outside of themselves. The experience of undertaking “feel good” projects that genuinely make a difference can boost a young person’s self-esteem, motivate them to make better choices, and instill a lifelong interest in giving back.
With the Jamaica Volunteer Programs’ community service abroad projects, they will get opportunities to help develop poor communities while building relationships and “social connectedness” with locals, peers, and activists sharing a cause.
As team leader of the Maple Grove group, Matt highlighted in the video that students will experience all the benefits above as well as enjoy the beautiful landscape and culture of Jamaica.
If you have ever dreamt of volunteering abroad, now is the time to start planning. Go here to get all the details and expand your world to become a Global Citizen.
Ready to start your volunteer journey but not sure where to start? Get this MUST see checklist before volunteering abroad.
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