Volunteering abroad and its contributions to personal growth

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By: Anteneh Tesfaye

Arriving in another country, meeting a new culture, and finding yourself as you serve others, this is all part of the volunteering abroad experience. Making a heart connection with the needs of others and being able to fill those needs is both gratifying and exhilarating. It is truly a life changing experience.
The benefits of volunteering abroad are sometimes inexpressible. Of course it feels good to be valued, and as a volunteer you can contribute using your unique skills, get new experience, and perspective. But the benefit of Volunteering is also great for your personal growth. It rewards you with more than what you have given. We separated a few benefits for your personal growth that you can get from volunteering.

1- Self-confidence
Young people can benefit from volunteering abroad in terms of enhanced confidence and self-esteem through skills development. Volunteering is very rewarding and it makes you to feel confident of what you are doing since people always appreciate it your deeds and even encourage you to do more. All this lift your mood and helps you to be more confident.

2- Gain a new perspective of the world
Going abroad for volunteering will expose you to completely different environment than what you used to. It will show you how life can be different. Seeing this other side of life will help you to be a person with well rounded perspective of the world.

3- Happiness

“The highest of distinctions is service to others.”—King George IV.
Volunteering abroad will give you a chance to help and impact others. It feels good to make a positive change in someone else’s life. The time you will be spending with fellow volunteers, AIESECers and the beneficiaries creates bonds. The social bonds created during volunteering contribute directly to feelings of belonging and makes you happier not to forget the long life friendship you will gain.


4- Social skills

Whether you are an outgoing or shy person you will get to develop your communication, and social skills by meeting and communicating with different people from the country where you are at, or from different parts of the world who are working with you.

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5- Reduces Depression
Volunteering also helps to reduce depression, improve your mental health and help you live longer too. According to  an Every day health article, volunteering is also good because makes you do an activity, build social connections, and it also makes you feel good.

6- Sense of purpose
By volunteering abroad you will help others and make a difference on something, and someone other than yourself. It gives you something meaningful to do, and it is empowering to be doing something that really matters.


7- Health

Surprisingly volunteering also has a health benefits. “There’s a growing body of research showing that volunteering is associated with better physical and mental health outcomes,” says Eric S. Kim, a research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. A study he co-authored, published in Social Science and Medicine earlier this year, found that volunteers were more likely to use preventive health care services. For instance, people who volunteered were 47% more likely to get cholesterol checks and 30% more likely to get flu shots than those who did not volunteer. An annual flu shot appears to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke by about one-third over the following year.

AIESEC provides thousands of opportunities to volunteers abroad for young people. Volunteer abroad and live the most amazing 6 weeks of your life.

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