4 Wonderful Opportunities to Volunteer Abroad This Winter Break

The holidays are often associated with giving to the less fortunate. There is no better way to give than by volunteering your skills and talents abroad—it’s an excellent way to broaden your knowledge of the world and get some hands-on experience. Volunteers come away from their trips satisfied that they’ve helped someone and with the knowledge that they’ve been able to make a difference—big or small—in this world.

To find a reputable program, start by checking with your college. Some, such as U.C. San Diego, offer information on volunteer abroad programs. You can also check out the following programs, which offer a variety of winter break volunteer opportunities:

going abroad as a student and using skills and knowlegde abroad

Students Helping Honduras

This small nonprofit, which has been recognized by CNN and Larry King Live for its work, builds schools throughout Honduras and provides scholarships for girls. For this school year, Students Helping Honduras (SHH) is offering four one-week-long trips to Honduras:

  • Dec. 28 to Jan. 4, 2014
  • Jan. 4-11, 2014
  • Jan. 11-18, 2014
  • Jan. 18-25, 2014

Early registration costs $650, while late registration is $750. This does not include airfare, health insurance and an airport exit fee. Volunteers can expect to do manual labor as they work to build schools and villages as well as a lot of personal interaction with the children they will be helping.

Be careful while traveling in Honduras. The Department of State recommends you do not travel alone; stay with your fellow volunteers, as group tours reported fewer criminal incidents than other tourists in Honduras.

Reading suggestion: Tips for Employment in Middle East countries: What You Must Know

United Planet

This 10-year-old international nonprofit believes that bringing people of diverse backgrounds together helps unite the world. One of the trips United Planet offers for this upcoming winter break is to Nepal. Volunteers on this trip will help at a local orphanage in Kathmandu during the week of Dec. 30 to Jan. 8, 2014. You must register before Oct. 31 and be at least 18 years old. The cost is $1,885 and does not include airfare.

Nepal is a small developing nation, and the State Department warns tourists to be vigilant. Only exchange money at banks and hotels, and keep your belongings in your hotel safety deposit box, as there have been incidents of valuables and documents being stolen from hotel rooms. Before leaving for Nepal, look into services that protect against credit fraud and identity theft, in the event that your passport or credit cards are stolen.

Cross-Cultural Solutions

This organization has been operating for more than 18 years and offers a winter break in Morocco during the week of Dec. 21-28. The cost is $2,654, which does not include airfare. If you choose to go on this volunteering mission, you will be working with children and people with disabilities,

While in Morocco, the State Department cautions tourists to be aware of pickpockets and purse snatching. It also warns women not to travel alone in Morocco.

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Chris is a self-employed dad who loves spending time with his daughters and writing about hunting, outdoors and camping.

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