Volunteering is a great way to explore the world and make an impact during retirement. Choosing the best volunteer program can be challenging.
Volunteering in Your Sunset Years
Volunteer programs for seniors are a great way to experience foreign countries and lend a helping hand to international aid groups.
Finding the Right Volunteer Opportunity
It’s easy to find causes that would value your help overseas. Many online resources help place prospective volunteers with organizations, but thinking about the best fit for you ahead of time will help you choose an exciting, rewarding experience.
How long do you want to spend abroad? Where do you want to go? What kind of professional experience or talents do you have that might be especially useful to a volunteer organization? Are you comfortable working with volunteers of all ages? Can you work with volunteers with different religious, political and philosophical backgrounds from your own? Considering these questions ahead of time will help you get the most enjoyment out of your volunteer experience.
Popular volunteer organizations include the Peace Corps, United Nations Volunteers and World Teach. Each offers a variety of programs and locations.
Preparing for Your Trip
You should know before you travel what expenses already covered by the organization or your volunteer fee. Some may arrange your transportation, provide housing in the country to which you’re traveling, or even offer a daily or monthly stipend. Other organizations require that you arrange your own travel and housing. Make sure you have adequate access to money for your expenses while you’re overseas, and you should make sure that your long term travel insurance will cover anything that happens on your trip.
If you want time to yourself for sightseeing, you may have to spend some extra time planning. Some volunteer programs have free time in their schedules for enjoying the locale, but others have schedules that are more demanding.
Quite a lot goes into choosing the best volunteer program. Make preparations ahead of time, and your trip is sure to go smoothly.