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Volunteering Overseas on Resume


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Old 25th April 2014, 12:11 PM   #31
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I sincerely hope these huge organisations have the best interest of the disadvantaged people at heart and are not in it to rip people off.
They are more like travel agencies. I'm sure they don't rip anyone off but they just put you somewhere to do some nondescript and pretty useless work for a week or month or two. The real work is done by trained and experienced professionals who have a good understanding of local culture. Enjoy it by all means but see it as some kind of project work carried out in a bubble with no real consequences (unless you do some physical labour and actually produce something tangible).
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Old 25th April 2014, 12:14 PM   #32
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They are more like travel agencies. I'm sure they don't rip anyone off but they just put you somewhere to do some nondescript and pretty useless work for a week or month or two. The real work is done by trained and experienced professionals who have a good understanding of local culture. Enjoy it by all means but see it as some kind of project work carried out in a bubble with no real consequences (unless you do some physical labour and actually produce something tangible).

I wanted to simply spend time with a few orphans and make them smile. Make them happier and improve their day.
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Old 25th April 2014, 12:15 PM   #33
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I wanted to simply spend time with a few orphans and make them smile. Make them happier and improve their day.
I do wonder how good it is for them really to have people going over there bonding with them only to leave again. I suppose only a psychologist could tell you.
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Old 25th April 2014, 12:54 PM   #34
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This thread reminds me a little bit of this article:

The white tourist?s burden | Al Jazeera America


OP, what about teaching English abroad? What about working in an Asian country, I heard they hire English speakers easily?

Personally, if I were the one hiring you. I would like to see that you worked abroad for a year or 6 months instead of volunteering your time and "donating" thousands of dollars....
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Old 25th April 2014, 12:58 PM   #35
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This thread reminds me a little bit of this article:

The white tourist?s burden | Al Jazeera America


OP, what about teaching English abroad? What about working in an Asian country, I heard they hire English speakers easily?

Personally, if I were the one hiring you. I would like to see that you worked abroad for a year or 6 months instead of volunteering your time and "donating" thousands of dollars....
Haha love Al Jazeera.

Agreed. Personally, I take my friends' view that were born in the developing world: never work for free, certainly never pay to work.
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Old 25th April 2014, 1:01 PM   #36
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The idea of paying to work/volunteer is just too weird for me...



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Haha love Al Jazeera.

Agreed. Personally, I take my friends' view that were born in the developing world: never work for free, certainly never pay to work.
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Old 25th April 2014, 1:01 PM   #37
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I did something similar, when I was younger. Went to an asian 3rd world country and spent 6 months volunteering helping to teach English to school kids. I've got two friends who each did something similar - both worked with orphans, one in Russia and one in Nepal.

A few points about these types of projects:

1. Yes it looks great on your CV, people even now in my early 30s bring it up in job interviews. Of course to get the benefit, the trick is not just doing the project, you then have to make sure you have something sensible to say about it in interviews.

2. It may be hard to swallow but the truth is, these projects are generally run mostly to get your money (the project fee) rather than to get your physical help.

Basically, you are paying these people let you play at being a teacher or careworker for a few weeks or a few months, and they let you do that primarily because they need your money for their project. This is especially true if you aren't planning on staying at your project for at least a couple of months - because if you are only there for a short while, by the time they have gotten you up to speed and you actually start to be helpful, you'll be leaving. Short term volunteers are often more of an inconvenience than a help.

Now, the fact these people mostly want your money isn't a bad thing, because the money you pay will probably be going to a really good cause.

But in honesty, if your only motive was to help these people the most you possibly could, it would be better you stay home and just send them your project fee and the money you would have spend on flights and visas. The money that would pay for your flight could pay to employ a local careworker or teacher for far longer than you will be in the country.

The exception to this is if you are volunteering as some type of fully qualified professional (medical doctor, surgeon, veterinarian, for example), because in that case you are supplying specialized skills that the locals need and do not have - which is why projects of that sort usually do not make volunteers pay a project fee, but instead these volunteers may even be paid a small stipend for living costs.

3. You will likely get a lot out of it personally, though. So as a way to help other people while also getting something good out of it for yourself, I'd say go for it. If you go somewhere far off the beaten track, you will probably have a great time and learn a lot too. And like I said, it will look good on your CV.

Good luck!

Last edited by iiiii; 25th April 2014 at 1:59 PM..
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Old 25th April 2014, 2:43 PM   #38
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Any sort of volunteering experience should go on a resume IMO. Not only to show experience, but also to show your dedication to causes you're passionate about.
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Last edited by pink_sugar; 25th April 2014 at 2:45 PM..
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Old 28th April 2014, 1:04 AM   #39
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Any sort of volunteering experience should go on a resume IMO. Not only to show experience, but also to show your dedication to causes you're passionate about.


I already know first hand that it looks good in SOME fields of work.

I am personally aiming to do a masters after my social work honours degree is completed. A higher level of education after my degree PLUS volunteering is what I need. I need to focus on what will gain me a more lucrative career for starters. Along with finishing my degree to the best of my abilities! These come before volunteering....

The volunteering is something I am genuinely "passionate" about since I know full well I cannot make much difference. I am doing it for the tiny bit of difference it could make. I am not entirely comfortable with spending time with orphans as like Emilia or another poster highlighted, what are the psychological implications of leaving them abruptly once they form a bond?

I think "teaching English abroad" would look better in a CV.Which I have already done briefly, I taught 3 pupils basic grammar in Hong Kong and even got nice presents from their parents for helping their children's results. I really enjoyed the teaching English but yeah I realise it is not professionally teaching English like my mum does. My dad also taught English to Business folks and children after his heart attacks since he was too ill for other work. I am also volunteering to tech kids English soon in my own country, so I may follow that trend by doing it overseas also....A lot to consider but teaching English sounds a whole lot more appealing than the other programs you can involve yourself in.

My parents had some cool plans, games and ideas they gave me to legitimate teach the English in a more professional manner, which seemed to work and instil confidence in me, since I used professional programs and ways in which to teach the basic English, the same things/methods my parents used in their more "professional" capacities.

It is only teaching these kids/adults BASIC English mind you in these third world nations. I still want to go into it prepared and doing my very best.

I don't just want to have something I can write on my CV; I want to feel like I have earned it and that my skills and experience were "legit", lolz.

I have a whole year to consider it!

Last edited by Leigh 87; 28th April 2014 at 1:07 AM..
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