By: Karoline Lund Johansen
Volunteering. You might have thought about it, you might have never even considered it, but everyone who has already done it will agree that it’s an experience you will not get anywhere else. So what is it about volunteering that makes it so special? Here are 6 reasons why you should volunteer with AIESEC!
1. Step out of your comfort zone
Neal D. Walsch said; “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. Your most amazing experiences and mind-blowing discoveries will only come when you dare to challenge yourself and take a chance. Living in a totally strange culture will not always be easy, this is why it’s such an amazing and memorable experience!
2. Discover a different culture like you’ve never done before
You may be a traveler who has been all over the world, or you may have never set your foot outside the borders of your own country. Regardless you will never experience a country and it’s culture as when you are living and working in it. By participating in the community you learn to live their culture, not just to watch it! This way you get a unique understanding of how their culture works.
3. Get friends for life
For many people the scariest part of volunteering is to travel to a place where they don’t know anyone. However, this is the exact reason why you will get friendships that will last for a lifetime. When you have no choice but to make new friends, you will connect and open up to others in a whole different way. As a volunteer you will not only get the chance to connect with the locals, but also with the other volunteers you are working with. By going to this one place, you can end up with friends from all over the world!
4. Gain Perspective
By stepping out of your daily routines, your community and country you might learn some things you would never know without distancing yourself from them. It will be easier to see what doesn’t work and needs to be changed, but also what works really well and can be implemented in other places. Working abroad is also a good way to get a new perspective and ideas on how to tackle issues you have at home. For example, by working with a gender equality project in Bangladesh, you might learn new techniques to continue working towards gender equality in Norway!
5. Find yourself
It has nearly become a cliché that young people travel the world to “find” themselves and discover what they want to do with their lives. However there is something behind it! You will most likely not go out in the world and get a revelation that tells you exactly what to do with your life. Yet by going abroad, learning new skills and by being challenged, you might discover a new passion, and become more self aware about your strengths and weaknesses.
6. Give your CV a pop!
Today’s job market is very competitive. A bachelor degree in it self is not very outstanding, some times even a master degree might not be very different from the mass. By having a volunteer experience on your application you show that you have traveled and seen the world not just as tourist. You show you are independent and solution oriented as you managed to adapt to a new culture. It also shows that you are daring and wiling to push yourself out of your comfort zone. A relevant volunteering experience makes you stand out from the crowd!
There are so many organizations you can volunteer with. The question is how to choose the right one? AIESEC doesn’t only want you to have an amazing experience, but wants to help our volunteers to develop on a personal level. We want you to become a world citizen that thinks globally, to become more independent, self aware, solution oriented and good at empowering others around you. We will be there for you throughout your project, to give you support whenever you need it.
Find your next adventure at www.aiesec.org