A lot of us are ready to take up volunteering work abroad. They wish to at the same time experience a new culture and live that experience as they offer these services. They, however, need to prepare for such a change in their lives if they are to make the most of it.
You need to start by looking at the things that matter to you. It helps a great deal to work on a project that shall bring the changes in line with a cause you believe in. Your search for a suitable organization should have that as the primary criteria.
It helps to find out all you can about the area you shall be based. You will come across a lot of rumors and myths about certain places in the world. This will likely be in contrast to what you experience once you land there. It however helps to read more cultural, socio-economic and political facts about the destination.
You need to then look at the skills you possess, in relation to the country. You need to be in a position to offer services that are needed in that region. Anything less and both parties shall be disappointed. You should only proceed if what you have to offer is necessary there. This shall prevent you from wasting so much time and resources if you decide to quit in the middle of it.
There is also a need to think of your future career prospects. You will put down the details of such work in our resume. You will gain more if it works that shall help boost your resume, not just to show you can volunteer.
You also need to be ready to finish something you started. You should instil some sense of balance to work involved, if you are to do it well throughout. You need to live your life there in a manner that shall allow you to develop the energy needed to keep doing it. Find out if there shall be sightseeing, visiting the region, free weekends, and such activities in between.
It is even better when you and a friend or colleague happen to be there together volunteering. You shall serve as your support system. You do not have to do the same volunteer work, as long as you are regularly near each other.
You need to take time to measure and manage your expectations. You should not rely on your imagination for what shall happen when you are there. What you find there is the only thing you can be certain of. Go ready to work the moment you arrive. You should expect there to be a culture shock when you get there, and be ready to deal with it.