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The high cost of volunteering overseas

With an increasing number of people exploring the world through volunteering, it’s important to remember that you will have to save some money in order to finance your stay. The costs will vary from project to project; so carry out some research before you sign up.

Volunteer organisations vary

Volunteer organisations offer different benefits for their staff. Some organisations will cover your healthcare. Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) is one example, others can’t afford this expense and it’s up to you to make sure that you are protected.

Some health insurance organisations have special healthcare plans that will look after your medical problems overseas and cater for Non Government Organisations’ (NGOs,) even if your volunteer project is based in a remote region. 270913picture008

Always read the small print

When you are considering volunteering, you may be surprised at the costs involved. Most projects will ask you to contribute anything up to a couple of thousand pounds, and then you will be expected to pay for your own flights and transportation.

Global Vision International will expect you to contribute $1,352 for a week’s experience and you can join projects in Costa Rica, South Africa and Thailand. You will get food and accommodation but your health insurance isn’t covered.

Always see what your fee covers and ask the volunteer organisation if you are in any doubt.

Be prepared for your volunteer project

Be prepared to pay for your own vaccinations and make sure that you look on your government’s website for the relevant information. You should also have enough money to cover any unexpected expense.

You may have opted for a long-term placement, but have to leave due to an emergency back home. If possible, you should at least, set aside finance for a sudden airfare. Make sure that you research the country that you will be working in and aren’t surprised by any unforeseen upheavals.

Volunteering is rewarding

Despite the financial costs, volunteering is rewarding. You will find a project that will suit your specific interests, whether it’s helping a construction project in Uganda or a wildlife scheme in Thailand. You can either use the experience for your CV or just expand your knowledge of the world by working in another culture. Whatever you decide to do, your help is vital.

Kids in West Africa


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