Voluntourism 101: How College Students Can Give Back During Their Travels

Unlock the power of voluntourism for college students! Learn how to make a meaningful impact while exploring the world.


Traveling can be life-changing for students. Although it costs money, takes time, and can be rather hard to combine with full-time studying, traveling can broaden your horizons and help you become your better self while still in college.

But do you know what can be even more rewarding? Combining traveling and volunteering! What pros and cons does it have? How do you start volunteering while traveling? Read on, and we will give you answers to all these questions.

Voluntourism 101: How College Students Can Give Back During Their Travels

Why Engage in Volunteering While Traveling?

The benefits of traveling in college are pretty clear. But why should you spare your travel time to volunteer? If you have never tried this, you might be surprised by the abundance of benefits that it can offer.

  • First and foremost, volunteering can let you travel to nearly any destination, anywhere in the world.
  • Volunteering can be much more pocket-friendly than simply traveling. Often, pre-organized volunteering programs will provide you with accommodation, a host, food, and other basics, whereas all you need to cover with your budget are extra expenses.
  • Volunteering often lets you explore a new country from an entirely different perspective, including diving into local culture, trying local foods, and communicating with locals.
  • Lastly, volunteering can help you acquire a wide range of new skills, experiences, friends, and memories. It can become an incredibly rewarding experience that brings confidence and uncovers the path to your true self.

Are There Any Drawbacks of Volunteering While Traveling?

Despite a persuasive number of benefits, of course, volunteering abroad can have a few disadvantages. Namely, here are some drawbacks you should be prepared for:

  • It’s a full-time job: Real changes are made through hard work and absolute dedication. So, if you decide to engage in volunteerism, you should be prepared that it will feel like a real, full-time job, which, however, doesn’t pay you.
  • There won’t be much time to relax: Volunteering trips often have rather busy schedules. If you get involved in this adventure, be ready to work for at least 5 or 6 hours a day and have rather restricted time to relax and explore your destination. Moreover, if you pick a program that takes place during the academic year, you must be prepared for it to be hard to combine with your studies. Thus, you might need to hire a professional essay writer online to get your assignments done timely.
  • It can be a real challenge: You can face a lot of difficulties on your path, from having to live with and adjust to your fellow volunteers from all across the globe to finding a way to balance your travel, academic, and volunteer commitments.

As you can see, there really are some drawbacks. Nevertheless, the benefits you can gain should definitely outweigh them.

4 Ways to Give Back During Your Travels

If the potential disadvantages don’t scare you, clearly, volunteering is a great way to give back during your travels and make a positive change in the world.

But how can you do it? In reality, there are many ways to engage in volunteering abroad, and here are some of the top ideas to try.

1. Join a Program

The first and most straightforward way to volunteer while traveling is to join a volunteer abroad program. This way, you will get rid of the necessity of planning your trip and activities and will be able to make a real positive change. At the same time, such programs can cost significantly less than traveling on your own. In fact, there are even free programs to join, which is rather hard.

To join a program, all you need to do is find available opportunities and pick the one that suits you. You can look for programs on sites like Volunteer World, Volunteer HQ, Go Overseas, and others.

2. Give a Day

If you want to have more time for traveling and exploring your destinations but still would like to give back, this is a perfect opportunity. Give a Day Global is an international volunteer-run organization that has operated since 2012. The idea of this platform is brilliant: local organizations and nonprofits post their opportunities on the site, and users can browse relevant one-day volunteering experiences all around the world.

The platform covers plenty of exciting destinations around the world. So, pretty much anywhere you go, you should be able to find some options next to you. The types of opportunities are also different, including wildlife conservation, education, environmental stability, etc.

3. Stay in a Hotel With Heart

Hotels with a Heart is an international initiative aimed at helping children and young people with serious illnesses find accommodation for the duration of their treatment. These hotels often support various social initiatives and strive to make a positive change.

If you stay in a hotel like this during your travels, go to a concierge. Typically, they have a good understanding of local communities and the services volunteers provide to them. They can help you find a suitable opportunity and make a commitment. Some hotels even let you book volunteering experiences in advance of your visit.

4. Check Out Airbnb Experiences

Probably everyone knows Airbnb as a cool app for travelers who want to book accommodation. You may even already know that the app has a separate section called Airbnb Experiences that lets you book various tours and exciting events in your destination. Yet, not everyone knows that you can also find plenty of social impact (aka volunteering) opportunities in Airbnb experiences.

Numerous nonprofits publish cause-aligned experiences on Airbnb. You can check if there are any opportunities in your destination and join them to make a positive change.

In Conclusion

Volunteering abroad is a unique experience that might have some cons. Yet, a wide range of benefits make it worth giving it a try.

After reading this article, you will know about some of the possible ways to serve a good cause while traveling. So don’t wait any longer. Enlist the help of the best paper writing service to put your academic matters on autopilot and plan your cause-aligned adventure.

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