Monthly Archives: January 2012

Is Studying Abroad a Necessity?

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Rick Steves recently posted a piece in USA Today about the global economy and the advantages of having a international perspective. He especially emphasizes the study abroad, between those who want to study abroad and those who are able.

Studying abroad, and I would argue. having a volunteering abroad experience opens the world to a young student. International experiences are not just beneficial for career development or for adding something to a resume; they change you. Unfortunately, life changing experiences are not available to everyone. As Mr. Steve notes. “students for whom foreign travel is not easily affordable are the ones who benefit most from the experience.” More and more organizations, university and people realize this. There have been bills to increase funding, both for volunteer and study abroad opportunities and I know many volunteer organizations have outreach initiatives to reach those less able to pay.

One of my favorite items from the piece is he say, “Travelers learn to celebrate, rather than fear”. That is something that is not as easily taught as it is experienced. It is interesting to ponder what our world would be like if we were all global citizens.


Upcoming Information Sessions and Webinars: CFHI

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There are some great opportunities to find out more about volunteering internationally. This post highlights one of IVPA’s members upcoming webinars. More info opportunities to come!

Child Family Health International (CFHI)

CFHI Staff will be conducting live CFHI Program Information Webinars on Thursday January 19th at 1pm Pacific/ 4pm Eastern, and Wednesday January 25th at 5pm Pacific/ 8pm Eastern.

All interested in learning more about CFHI Global Health Education Programs are invited to call in and follow along online as staff and CFHI alumni talk and take questions about: 

To Participate:

About CFHI:
Child Family Health International (CFHI) offers socially responsible Global Health Education Programs for health sciences students of all levels. Through CFHI participants go on 4-16 week placements alongside local doctors in underserved communities. Participants rotate through local clinics and hospitals, attend medical lectures, and become immersed in the healthcare system of the community.

New Year’s Resolution…Volunteer

By | Tips for Volunteering Abroad, Volunteer opportunities | No Comments

New Years is a time to reflect on the past but also look to the future and make goals. Making New Year’s resolutions often get’s mocked for how quickly resolutions are broken but I welcome the idea of a fresh start. The new year brings a clean slate and the opportunity to ponder what we  want to accomplish and ultimately the type of person we want to be.

Common resolutions include losing weight and quitting smoking but two also frequently cited goals are to take a trip and to volunteer to help others You can combine volunteering and travel by volunteering abroad. There are so many opportunities out there for volunteer travel it can be overwhelming if you are just beginning to navigate your options. Some things to consider include

  • How long can you be away? Is a week more realistic or would you like to spend a month or more abroad? There are opportunities for all different time frames. The longer you are in a location will of course deepen your experience but even with just a week you can have an amazing experience, build cross-cultural bridges and help with the sustainability of a local project.
  • Do you have an special skills? Often if you have training or background in a certain field or profession you can find opportunities to use those skills on a project.
  • Do your research before you go. Research the country you will be traveling to so you better understanding of the culture, history and political environment. You will also want to research the organization you choose to go with. Besides just looking at on organization’s website, you should also call up to talk to a representative, ask to talk to a past volunteer, and ask questions about how long they’ve been operating, how they make their local partners and what is included in the program fee. Other ideas of questions here.

International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) is also a resource for those interested in volunteering since our member organizations all run their own programs (meaning they are not just a placement agency), meet the IVPA Principles and Standards and have been through a rigorous application process.

IVPA’s current member list includes:

American Jewish World Services (AJWS)

American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad (AYUDA)

Amigos de las Americas

Child Family Health International

Cross-Cultural Solutions

Global Citizens Network

Global Service Corps

Globe Aware

Habitat for Humanity

Projects Abroad