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13 Reasons Why Volunteering Abroad Will Be The Making Of You

You will learn invaluable skills, make new besties, and find a brand-new self-confidence. Not bad, eh?

1. It will probably be the most challenging thing you have ever done.


The harder the challenge, the bigger the reward. Volunteering abroad can be difficult, but you will learn invaluable skills for the rest of your life.

2. You will start learning a foreign language.


Live with the locals to speak like a local. Volunteering abroad is one of the best ways to grasp a foreign language.

3. You will try local delicacies.


Hungry for some fried tarantula? Some local delicacies will test how gutsy you really are! But don’t fret... Many traditional dishes will introduce you to a new world of culinary delights.

4. You will make friends for life.

Andrew Aitchison/ICS / Via

Take it from a volunteer:

"When I heard that my counterpart Grant was from Scotland I was worried about the accent ... He will say a word and drop the last letter and he doesn’t pronounce his ‘Ts’. But meeting Grant, it was like we’d known each other for years – just like we’d been friends for a long time.”Desmond, volunteering in Ghana

Bromance is in the air!

5. You will be proven wrong.


Forget what you think you know! Volunteering abroad amongst a new culture will mean learning how to adapt your way of thinking. What is acceptable here in the UK might not be acceptable elsewhere in the world!

6. You will become part of another family.

Courtesy of Peter Caton/VSO / Via

“My host family were amazing – I was surrounded by generosity and kindness for three months. They shared so much with us from day one, introducing us to their extended family, their neighbours and inviting us to friends’ engagement parties.”Lydia, volunteering in Cambodia


7. You will make a real difference.

Courtesy of ICS / Via

"ICS changes the lives of the communities that the projects are taking place in, as well as the individuals who participate in the programme.”Kennedy, volunteering in Tanzania

Good work, Kennedy!

8. Which will make you feel prouder than ever before.

Courtesy of Andrew Aitchison/ICS / Via

Well done, you.

9. And it will inspire you to make a real difference at home.

Courtesy of ICS / Via

“I am now an active member of my community in a way that I wasn’t before. Having volunteered in [a local project called] the Lighthouse I am now so much more aware of the problems faced by my community, that I cannot ignore them as I did previously.”Andrew, volunteering in Rwanda

10. So you can teach others what you have learned.


Spread that fountain of knowledge!

11. Which will give you the confidence to believe in yourself...


"Every experience is a good one and even if it seems tough at the time, it will give you the confidence and knowledge to feel more comfortable in future.”Joe, volunteering in Ghana

12. ...and believe in others.

Courtesy of ICS / Via

Because that’s what volunteering is all about.

13. And it could be the making of you.


“Living in an entirely new country for just under three months really broadened my mind and exposed me to new experiences. ICS isn't a holiday and at times was hard work, but looking back it really was the making of me.”Joe, volunteering in Ghana

So are you up to the test? ICS offers 3-month placements across Africa, Asia and Latin America for UK 18 – 25 year olds. ICS is funded by the UK Government so you don't need cash, skills or qualifications to take part – just the ambition to make a difference. Become a volunteer today.