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Does volunteering abroad improve your CV? watch

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    Since trying to find a paid job clearly isn't working, I thought I'd save the little bit I have to do some volunteer work abroad to help me in the job market/give me a break from this economy.

    Thing is, I earn very little so I can manage to save about £600 in 3 months. Is this enough to volunteer for min. 1 month? I don't care where I go, but I want to volunteer with street kids/women/justice/democracy that sort of thing, as that's the sort of job I want here in the UK.

    I figure that won't even cover flights to Africa/Asia/Middle East so I'm probably looking at Europe, but I can't seem to find any cheap volunteering :confused:

    Do you think £600 is enough to go abroad for 1-3 months or not?
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    £600 isn't much to cover flights, housing and living costs. Obviously going to Europe is cheaper in terms of flights, but will be more expensive when you get there, the cost of living will be higher. Of course as a UK citizen you have the right to work in Europe, so you might be able to get part-time work there too, although it's worth bearing in mind that many places in Europe have higher levels of unemployment than the UK.

    In terms of your CV, it can help if you can show that the skills are really relevant to what you want to do. I wonder if it might be worthwhile looking into volunteering the UK as well?
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    £600 for 3 months? I can't imagine that lasting more than one month.
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    lattitude.org.uk offer bursaries but i'm not sure how far in advance you have to apply. If you want to start it now you could just look for stuff here on do-it.org
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    (Original post by Free.Help)
    Since trying to find a paid job clearly isn't working, I thought I'd save the little bit I have to do some volunteer work abroad to help me in the job market/give me a break from this economy.

    Thing is, I earn very little so I can manage to save about £600 in 3 months. Is this enough to volunteer for min. 1 month? I don't care where I go, but I want to volunteer with street kids/women/justice/democracy that sort of thing, as that's the sort of job I want here in the UK.

    I figure that won't even cover flights to Africa/Asia/Middle East so I'm probably looking at Europe, but I can't seem to find any cheap volunteering :confused:

    Do you think £600 is enough to go abroad for 1-3 months or not?
    I have always planned to volunteer abroad at some point, and stumbled across this article the other day. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22294205 It's really interesting (as are the comments below it) - raises some important issues to think about before you jet off abroad somewhere to volunteer!

    The money you spend to go and volunteer (usually £900 +) would be better spent if you took an organised holiday to the country and spent the money in the local economy. Much more beneficial than using it to either set up schemes they will struggle to sustain, or to do for free jobs they could do themselves to earn money. There are also lots of problems with many of the organisations running these volunteer trips.

    Obviously, there are some really great organisations about who DO help local economies in poor countries, but you reeeeaaally have to do your research.

    There are lots and lots of really worthwhile causes here in the UK, so you could consider doing volunteer work for one of them, instead. Financially more convenient for you, will still look great on your CV, will still be a rewarding experience, etc.

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    I've got some part time work now so I can save about £1000 now. And I do TONS of volunteering in the UK, i just need a break and to travel while improving my CV.
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    (Original post by Free.Help)
    Since trying to find a paid job clearly isn't working, I thought I'd save the little bit I have to do some volunteer work abroad to help me in the job market/give me a break from this economy.

    Thing is, I earn very little so I can manage to save about £600 in 3 months. Is this enough to volunteer for min. 1 month? I don't care where I go, but I want to volunteer with street kids/women/justice/democracy that sort of thing, as that's the sort of job I want here in the UK.

    I figure that won't even cover flights to Africa/Asia/Middle East so I'm probably looking at Europe, but I can't seem to find any cheap volunteering :confused:

    Do you think £600 is enough to go abroad for 1-3 months or not?
    Don't look for volunteering agencies. Just search for some charities that need a hand and contact them directly and see if they need any help (the majority will).

    I volunteered with an animal rescue charity in Spain a year ago and they provided accommodation on the compound. The entire trip costed no more than £150 for two weeks.

    I am sure if you do some research you can find some street/homeless charities all over Europe that would be grateful for a volunteer and may provide basic accommodation as well.
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    Have you thought about workaway.info? They should have something to match your interests and as there are no fees and accomodation is provided your only expenses would be travel, food and spending money.
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    Nobody has questioned whether volunteering abroad will actually help OP get a job when they return...


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    (Original post by LexiswasmyNexis)
    Nobody has questioned whether volunteering abroad will actually help OP get a job when they return...


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    The reality is that depends on what sort of volunteering the OP wants to do, and what field they want to get into. If it's relevant, it may, but otherwise it may have no impact.
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    (Original post by Free.Help)
    Since trying to find a paid job clearly isn't working, I thought I'd save the little bit I have to do some volunteer work abroad to help me in the job market/give me a break from this economy.

    Thing is, I earn very little so I can manage to save about £600 in 3 months. Is this enough to volunteer for min. 1 month? I don't care where I go, but I want to volunteer with street kids/women/justice/democracy that sort of thing, as that's the sort of job I want here in the UK.

    I figure that won't even cover flights to Africa/Asia/Middle East so I'm probably looking at Europe, but I can't seem to find any cheap volunteering :confused:

    Do you think £600 is enough to go abroad for 1-3 months or not?
    Try applying for International Citizen Service. (http://www.ics-uk.org.uk/about/). As it has government funding, you have to raise £800 to go (maybe more if your parents are high-earners). You go away for 12 weeks, and they allocate you a country and project.
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    I worked abroad for a year and it hasn't had any positive impact on my job search. It won't do unless it's relevant i.e. in terms of speaking a required foreign language, a job which involves travel. Otherwise it will be a waste of saved money if that's the only reason you're doing it. Plus paying for a volunteer scheme with hard-earned money seems like a massive rip off imo.
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    (Original post by Nomes89)
    I worked abroad for a year and it hasn't had any positive impact on my job search. It won't do unless it's relevant i.e. in terms of speaking a required foreign language, a job which involves travel. Otherwise it will be a waste of saved money if that's the only reason you're doing it. Plus paying for a volunteer scheme with hard-earned money seems like a massive rip off imo.
    May I ask why you feel paying to volunteer is a massive rip off? Just that I'm on my gap year and considering doing so over the summer.
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    (Original post by James941)
    May I ask why you feel paying to volunteer is a massive rip off? Just that I'm on my gap year and considering doing so over the summer.
    Paying for the privilege of working for free? Just doesn't make any financial sense to me plus the experience increase job prospects as much as people hope. I did a year abroad and looked at so many types of these programmes (not just for volunteering) and in the end I approached companies myself and put up ads on local 'gumtree' style sites advertising to teach english and managed to get a job at a translation school as well as regular 'clients' of my own. I was glad I didn't fork out so much money on these 'volunteer' and 'teach abroad' programmes.
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    (Original post by James941)
    May I ask why you feel paying to volunteer is a massive rip off? Just that I'm on my gap year and considering doing so over the summer.
    Think you answered your own question. Not only do you not get paid, you are actually paying somebody to use your skills and labour. This "paid volunteering" is one of the weirdest and stupidest trends I have seen in years. Most of the projects are pointless or unsustainable and money just disappears into back pockets at every stage.
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    (Original post by Hedgeman49)
    Think you answered your own question. Not only do you not get paid, you are actually paying somebody to use your skills and labour. This "paid volunteering" is one of the weirdest and stupidest trends I have seen in years. Most of the projects are pointless or unsustainable and money just disappears into back pockets at every stage.
    I guess it depends on how much value is attached to money. I'd much rather spend £500 on 4 weeks in Peru rather than a Macbook, an Ipod, or general material possession or acts of frivolous spending. I don't care if I'm paying someone to use my skills or labour. In return, I get the opportunity to experience a new culture, see a new part of the world, become more confident, gain a new sense of perspective etc. That is all worth way more than £500 pounds. It is possible to not pay to volunteer, but these organisation (the good ones) provide accommodation, food, support etc, so in essence 'actually paying to volunteer can prove somewhat cheaper than just roaming around aimlessly in a country for six weeks, where costs are likely to fluctuate. Do you really think, 'volunteering' is any worse than 'gap yah' jaunts around SE Asia, where middle class Brits fail to immerse with the natives, don't speak a word of Thai, and interact purely with foreigners. At least with volunteering, you're doing something productive if only for a short while.. There are many projects which are not pointless or unsustainable. £500 is really not a great deal at this stage of my life, when I consider the big picture. £500 would typically be spent on a load of junk after payday. There''s either that or just saving for a rainy day which is pointless imo at this stage of my life.

    It's not actually any different to things like Camp America, but that is not scrutinised in the same manner. Maybe,, it's not the best thing to do for graduates seeking employment, but I don't think it's a particularly bad thing to do for gap year students like myself.

    EDIT: I really do not see how I previously answered my own question..
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    (Original post by James941)
    I guess it depends on how much value is attached to money. I'd much rather spend £500 on 4 weeks in Peru rather than a Macbook, an Ipod, or general material possession or acts of frivolous spending.
    That's all well and good but in the context of this thread where the OP has saved this money and can't really afford to spend it on something frivolous whether that be a Macbook or a 'cultural experience', it is not a good idea to pay to volunteer. She also wants to do it to improve her job prospects which I doubt it will.
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    Thanks for the replies. I really hope I can find somewhere that's cheap, I'll have a look at the suggestions thanks!

    And in regards to helping me find a job when I return, I don't expect it to help much, even though I'll be volunteering in the same field I want to work in i.e. homeless/poor/justice/refugee etc. However I just need to have abit of a break from job hunting and anything that will help me find a job even a little bit is worth it...
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    (Original post by Free.Help)
    Since trying to find a paid job clearly isn't working, I thought I'd save the little bit I have to do some volunteer work abroad to help me in the job market/give me a break from this economy.

    Thing is, I earn very little so I can manage to save about £600 in 3 months. Is this enough to volunteer for min. 1 month? I don't care where I go, but I want to volunteer with street kids/women/justice/democracy that sort of thing, as that's the sort of job I want here in the UK.

    I figure that won't even cover flights to Africa/Asia/Middle East so I'm probably looking at Europe, but I can't seem to find any cheap volunteering :confused:

    Do you think £600 is enough to go abroad for 1-3 months or not?

    I have thought about this myself because i am unemployed ,there is a charity in london my cousin went too that pays for your flight ticket to africa and other countries you just have to work there for 6months for voluntary ,i think its a good reference for your cv but the economy is failing now there is no jobs so even with the reference i dont think you will get work after.


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    (Original post by James941)
    I guess it depends on how much value is attached to money. I'd much rather spend £500 on 4 weeks in Peru rather than a Macbook, an Ipod, or general material possession or acts of frivolous spending. I don't care if I'm paying someone to use my skills or labour. In return, I get the opportunity to experience a new culture, see a new part of the world, become more confident, gain a new sense of perspective etc. That is all worth way more than £500 pounds. It is possible to not pay to volunteer, but these organisation (the good ones) provide accommodation, food, support etc, so in essence 'actually paying to volunteer can prove somewhat cheaper than just roaming around aimlessly in a country for six weeks, where costs are likely to fluctuate. Do you really think, 'volunteering' is any worse than 'gap yah' jaunts around SE Asia, where middle class Brits fail to immerse with the natives, don't speak a word of Thai, and interact purely with foreigners. At least with volunteering, you're doing something productive if only for a short while.. There are many projects which are not pointless or unsustainable. £500 is really not a great deal at this stage of my life, when I consider the big picture. £500 would typically be spent on a load of junk after payday. There''s either that or just saving for a rainy day which is pointless imo at this stage of my life.

    It's not actually any different to things like Camp America, but that is not scrutinised in the same manner. Maybe,, it's not the best thing to do for graduates seeking employment, but I don't think it's a particularly bad thing to do for gap year students like myself.

    EDIT: I really do not see how I previously answered my own question..
    Bit off topic but it's easy to set a volunteering placement up on your own- the £500 just goes to 'administration costs' for some gap year company and the type of volunteering you'd do in those kinds of situations might not necessarily be the best option if you actually want to do good in country.

    I don't know if you're thinking of going to Peru or it was just an example, but http://www.volunteersouthamerica.net/ has lots of free volunteering placements which you organise directly with the charity. I saved my friend £500 by recommending her that site last year.

    I'm not a HR person and literally have no idea what runs through the strang breed's minds. But I would imagine volunteering abroad would be useful in demonstrating initivative as a compentency. Also if it's relevent to what you want to do as a career it might help, and you can take 'transferable skills' from anything. Although I have quite a lot of volunteering experience and it hasn't helped me in my job hunt so far...
 
 
 
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