Tools and resources to help you volunteer your skills around the world
The following resources can help you plan and execute a successful, sustainable international volunteering trip.
Volunteering overseas is a truly remarkable experience that will have a profound effect on you, and the people around you. Through this personal voyage it is worth taking the time to reflect on why you are doing this and what kind of impact you want to make. The MovingWorlds Training covers:
- The State of Global Development and How You Can Help
- Preparing Yourself for an International Volunteering Experience
- Experteering Best Practices
- Cultural Sensitivity and Communication
- Tips and Resources for a Productive Planning Process
- How to get the most out of your experience
Finding a Project
Finding an international volunteering project can be a difficult task. In order to have a successful trip, it is necessary for you to find a hosting organization that is safe and legitimate, AND that has a project (AKA project) that truly meets your skills so you can make a sustainable impact. Here is a short video with 9 practical tips to make a responsible choice when choosing a hosting organization (made by our friends at Learning Service ).
- Ensure that you, the volunteer, aren’t taking up local jobs
- Assess the longevity of the impact you will make with your work
- Ensure goals are locally driven
- Consider sustainability of the work
- Question childcare organizations that accepting unvetted volunteers
- Research the organization’s management and transparency
- Consider the implications of foreign volunteers
- Question organizations taking unqualified volunteers- assist in a project, don’t lead
- Consider the burden a host organization has from hosting a volunteer
Interested in volunteering your skills overseas?Search for Projects on MovingWorlds
Looking for something else?
No time to volunteer?
Want long, long-term opportunities?
Want to volunteer with the United Nations?
Want to learn more about skilled volunteering?
Planning a High-impact Trip
Once you have selected the project and hosting organization to volunteer at, it is essential to start planning your project with your host organization in order to ensure that you can communicate and have a clear understanding of your work together. This is possibly the most important part of your whole volunteering process (and of course the most time consuming part, but definitely worth it).
If you need help with this planning process you can utilize the MovingWorlds Experteer Planning Guide. The Planning Guide helps you and your hosting organization establish the:
- Scope of your project
- Your role
- Project sustainability plan
- Definition of success
- On site logistics
Use Our Process for a High-impact TripFollow the MovingWorlds 5-Step Matching Process
Use Our Experteering Planning GuideDownload Our Experteering Planning Guide
Experteering Best Practices
For many, volunteering overseas is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. These tips will help you make the most of your experience. Watch this video 'Being a Valuable International Volunteer' A short clip with 6 practical tips on how to be the best international volunteer you can be.
- Bring a positive attitude
- Ensure matching expectations between you and your host organization
- Embrace a culture of sharing
- Do what’s important, not interesting
- Keep an open mind
- Make learning and sharing a lifetime commitment
Learn More About Being a Valuable Volunteer
When you go volunteering overseas, your safety should be a top concern for you and your hosting organization. Use our 'Complete Checklist for International Volunteering', which includes all the information you need to be prepared for a productive, and safe trip, in addition to information to prepare your host organization for your visit. This checklist includes
- Health and Safety Information
- In Case of Emergency Contact and Logistics Preparation
- Legal Matters Information
- Travel Tips on things such as money transfer and a comprehensive packing list
- Preparing your personal matters
Guides to Volunteering Overseas
It takes preparation to be a successful volunteer abroad. And, depending on where you go, there are regionally and culturally specific insights that will help you make a real impact and have a high quality experience. Things like the current economic status of the region, communication styles of its people, and technology and business trends in the area inform the types of volunteer projects you are most likely to find -- and give you more information to be a quality Experteer. To help you prepare, review our Ultimate Guide to Volunteering Your Skills Abroad and make sure to read our region-specific guides by clicking on the map below.
Additional Volunteering Resources
As you start preparing for an International Volunteering project and trip, there are plenty of books, videos, courses, and other resources that you might find helpful, interesting, and inspiring. View our list of additional resources that will empower you with the skills, mindset, and confidence to make an impact, and learn a lot in the process. Our complete list of skills to help you be a better changemaker includes:
- Personal readiness
- Cultural sensitivity
- Leadership skills
- Social entrepreneurship
- and more!