Intrigued by Asian destinations? How about taking up a volunteering program in one of the countries to make the most of your gap year? Student volunteering programs in Asia are quite popular, and the good thing is you have many choices. In this post, we will discuss the aspects that matter in making a choice.
What are the best destinations for volunteering programs?
Most of it depends on your interest, but you will find such volunteering programs in most countries of Asia, especially Southeast Asia. Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka are popular in general. Consider your preferences and interests before considering the options. Commonly, students work for rural and sustainable development programs, which involves work in far-off areas of the selected country. You can work for important causes like education or may be involved in development of certain local projects.
Cost and basic details
When it comes to student programs, the cost doesn’t typically include the cost of traveling and visa. You have to pay for your flights, so make sure to book tickets in advance. The batches have specific dates, and therefore, you will have to contact the concerned organization beforehand, usually a month ahead. Please note that this is a volunteering program, and therefore, expect nothing but the basic arrangements. Get medications and first aid kit handy, and always have some cash during your travel. Work may take you to the hinterlands of the country, so be prepared to eat local food made with local ingredients. Your stay will be usually shared, but some organizations can arrange additionally if you pay the extra. The duration of volunteering programs varies, but most of them would require a week at the minimum. You can extend your stay after that, if allowed.
Know your organization
Organization offering volunteering programs usually have unique stories and tales to share. Read the Groundrocks story, for example, as how they started getting involved with the local communities. Also, make sure that you book your seat according to the season. Some seasons in Asia are rainy and wet at best.
Volunteering can change your life forever. It is not just about helping people, but more about exploring a new culture while giving back to the community. This is unlike any backpacking trip you would ever take. Of course, be respectful to people, their beliefs and cultures – Asian countries are known for that, and you would want to be a part of it in the most organic and useful way!