There are some tips & tricks (suggestions) which are worth taking into consideration in your volunteering activity. If you were looking for them, great! You have just found them:
- Find right from the beginning ascending organization to guide you through the whole process. Keep in touch with a contact in this organization.
- Look for ESC volunteering groups on social networks. There are many! There you can find a lot of useful information from other volunteers who are preparing or are already on internships.
- Update your CV.
- Update your intention letter for each project. It is obvious when a motivation letter is general, made for any kind of internship and this
- adapts your cover letter for each project. It is obvious when a cover letter is general, made for any type of internship, and this conveys the very idea that there is no specific motivation for the project for which you are applying. Your chances increase with each extra minute spent preparing your application.
- prepare your interview questions. Read about the organization, find out about previous projects, and even ask for the contact details of former/ current volunteers to get a clearer idea of the activity/organization.
- read carefully the contracts involved in volunteering. It is essential to know your rights and obligations.
- participates in any type of training or information sessions offered by the host/ sending organizations.
- be aware that expectations are different from reality. What you imagine is going to happen is most likely very different from what is actually going to happen. Stay adaptable and take things to step by step.
- and now the ideal attitude mix, which is important to take with you: courage, openness, friendship, boldness, patience, listening, empathy, communication, and dialogue - are the basis for creating and strengthening relationships between you and other volunteers, coordinators, etc.
In general, these are the things you should mind while starting an international volunteering project. Nevertheless, having in mind your own experience, you might add more. Remember: international volunteering is about discovery: discovering yourself, others and discovering the large and diverse world we live into.
See how you can continue this process in How to prepare for international volunteering?