There are roughly 50.5 million expats worldwide. According to the Global Expatriates: Size, Segmentation and Forecast for the Worldwide Market report, this figure is expected to increase in the coming years. Saudi Arabia has the most expats. Some of the expat jobs available include teachers, tour guides, marketing specialist, psychologists, photographer, nurses, and chefs. Most expats not only find time to do their jobs, they also volunteer as well. There are a few reasons why volunteering as an expat can make a difference in your life and in other people’s lives.
Learn New Knowledge and Skills
Travelling to a new country, you can discover new knowledge and skills through your interaction with other people who come from different backgrounds. Learning the culture at the host country might be daunting at first, but it can also be pretty exciting. You might discover that there are certain aspects of the culture that you might find interesting and helpful your career. For instance, as a nurse, you might learn new practices based from the culture that will enhance your knowledge and skills as a professional. When you return to your home country, these skills might help in the advancement of your career.
Get to Know Other Individuals and their Culture
As a volunteer abroad, you will find yourself with people from diverse cultures who speak different languages. You can learn a lot from these people as they will teach you about their countries, their culture, and their language. These people can also learn from you as you share your experiences with them. It is important to be open to these diverse interactions to promote lifelong learning as you can learn a lot about different cultures, which might not be the same as reading these information from books or documentaries.
Working with diverse kinds of people will also boost your network. Increasing your connection to people may be helpful in the long-term, especially if you will go and work to other countries. Building relationships with others can help you accomplish your personal and professional goals in the future.
Know and Understand Yourself Better
Volunteering makes a difference to the community you are serving. It also helps you to get to know and understand yourself better. You may realize that you still have a lot to learn in your profession. There will also be challenges along the way that might discourage you to continue with the experience. However, you have to think that you can learn from every aspect of your experience. You may discover your weaknesses and learn how to overcome them. You may also discover your strengths and learn how to use them in different situations.
You will probably choose a volunteer placement with your interests in mind- healthcare, animals, education, etc. but this is not the whole essence of your experience. Expect to discover new interests, new passions while you are abroad. Volunteering will help you grow as a professional and as a person. Remember: Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.
Sally Jackson is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.