Being a volunteer is not an easy job. When you enroll in gap year programs abroad, you will be venturing into a foreign country, away from your family and where you don’t speak their language. Therefore, it is important to take note of a few travel hacks that you can use to ease up the transition and make the best out of your volunteer experience.
It is difficult to pack items when you leave as a volunteer because of the difference in culture and climate. It is therefore important to research the current climate and weather conditions in your intended destination prior to leaving. Therefore, you will be able to pack the right clothing items fit for the climate. Whether you are going to live somewhere near a tropical rainforest or where the sun is beating down on you for several hours a day, the right clothing can make your life a little easier. For example, if you are going to volunteer in Philippines, the country has a tropical weather so expect to wear something light and fresh to cope with the heat.
It is also important to write down a list of the essential items you need. Pack only what you need. Also, do not bring something that you cannot afford to lose, especially something of value.
Study the Language
When you embark on Philippines travel for a volunteer program, there is no need to study the Filipino language so you can speak it fluently. It is enough that you are able to learn how to say the basic or common phrases in the local dialect. Some volunteer programs can provide you with a language study course to help you learn these basic phrases and make communicating with locals easier.
Do Your Homework
Based on the destination and the type of volunteer work you’ll be doing, it is important to do your own research. Your goal is to obtain information related to the work that you are going to do. What type of work has been done on the destination before? How much work needs to be done still?
Do not rely solely on the volunteer organization to provide you with the information you want to know. Keep in mind – they have a lot of coordination to do (depending on the size of the project and the number of volunteers). Therefore, their hands are full already. If you want to maximize your efforts with gap year programs abroad, or with projects dedicated to volunteer Philippines efforts, then you must take a proactive step. More info here Involvement Volunteers International.
The volunteer organization might provide transportation services for volunteers in the area. However, it is also important to study the transportation system in the Philippines, or where you intend to volunteer in. This will make it easier for you to go from one point to another, in case you are lost or you need to explore more areas that need your services or help. Do not allow yourself to be confined by the projects organized for your gap year programs abroad.