Congratulations, you’ve done it! You’ve decided to volunteer abroad! You’ve got your
programme picked out, your dates chosen, and you’re ready to hit the road and get to work. So
now you just wait for the day you head to the airport, right? Actually, you still have a few steps
ahead of you. But don’t stress, we’re here to help! Here’s your unofficial checklist of things to
do before going to volunteer abroad (we recommend going in chronological order).
1. Getting your Visa
Hopefully this is something that’s already crossed your mind, and it’s even better if this is
something you’ve started working on! Getting a visa can be a slightly tedious process and can
take some time, so the earlier you get this done the better. No one wants to be in the panicked
state of still being without a visa two days before their flight.
While each country has specific steps to obtaining a visa, one can generally expect to pay a fee,
include several documents, such as a current passport and passport sized photos, and dates of the
proposed trip. Luckily for UK volunteers, we already put together a guide for getting your visa
for South Africa, Ghana, or India. However, if you’re from another country, an internet search
and a call to your country’s embassy should give you the proper information to getting your visa
Alright, your visa application is in process and you’re patiently awaiting its arrival. In all this
spare time, you should consider fundraising for your trip abroad. Volunteering abroad can
become a bit costly, especially once the flight is factored in, so fundraising is a great way to help
pay for your trip. People are generally quite willing to donate to charitable causes, especially if
you show them how important of a cause it is. Additionally, your friends, family, and community
will likely be happy to help pitch in to help send you off to do amazing things around the globe.
There’s no limit to the ideas you can come up with to fundraise. From bake sales to sponsored
runs, find what works best for you to pull at the heartstrings of people you know and even
strangers to get them to donate to your trip. We even put together some ideas for you to help get
you started with brainstorming.
3. Take a Trip to your GP
You want to make sure you’re good and healthy before your trip abroad. Before your trip, make
an appointment with your GP to make sure everything checks out alright. Many countries require
vaccines, so be sure to check with your doctor and get all the necessary vaccines as well. They
may also provide additional medication, such as malaria pills, which may be needed during your
trip. Finally, they can give you good tips on how to stay healthy while abroad, such as how often
to apply sunscreen and what foods to avoid to lower your chances of food poisoning.
The time is finally here. Visa in hand, funds raised, and doctor’s appointment checked off,
you’re ready to head abroad! The only thing left to do is pack, which can be a bit more daunting
than it sounds. Regardless of where you’re heading off to, there’s a couple of things we
recommend bringing with you:
And with that, you’re ready to go! You’re bags are packed and all that’s left to do is catch your
flight. We wish you the absolute best of luck on your trip and know it will be an absolutely