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Why Volunteering Abroad Isn't As Awesome As You Think It Is

Five things to consider before volunteering overseas.

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So, kind hearted human; you want to volunteer abroad?

Before you pack your bags and head off on an epic adventure, here are five reasons why volunteering abroad isn't as awesome as you think it is:

1. NGO's, orphanages and volunteering companies aren't always ethical.

Nomadic Matt / Via nomadicmatt.com

Most organizations will charge a volunteering fee to cover administration and staffing costs. But here's the catch; many of these organizations are making a profit from your contribution.

If the health of their community improves and they no longer require volunteers, they lose their business.

Here's a website to help you decide which volunteer positions are right for you.

2. You're doing a job that you wouldn't do at home

Mamamia / Via mamamia.com.au

If you aren't qualified to do it at home, don't do it abroad.

The ultimate goal of volunteering should be to work your way out of a job. By supporting locals to be self-sustaining, you're nurturing their culture, their economy, and their self-worth.

Check out this article for inspiration.

3. You're teaching locals they aren't capable.

Go Overseas / Via gooverseas.com

If you do all the work, you're teaching locals that they aren't capable, intelligent or worthy enough to do it themselves.

Read this to learn who is getting the most out of your volunteer experience.

4. Kids learn to manipulate

Move To Cambodia / Via movetocambodia.com

If you're a child living in a slum with a constant, ever changing flow of foreign volunteers, you'll learn to take advantage.

If you play games, give hugs and sit on volunteers laps, you'll get gifts, school supplies and treats.

It's also worth keeping an eye out for scams outside of your volunteer organization. Here's one of the many ways children are used for profit abroad.

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