The UOS Times
Change In The World Begins With You - Volunterring for a More Just and Peaceful World
Malin Michel  |
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[140호] 승인 2016.10.17  
트위터 페이스북 네이버 구글

It is nearly the end of the semester, just two weeks left until semester break starts and you do not have any certain plans how to spend your time. Undoubtedly, everyone needs a time-off from stressful everyday life being a hardworking student. Okay, I guess that fact is not transferable to all of us, but still, you want to enjoy the longed for term break. Things are getting serious when you managed to pull yourself together to do web search for the cheapest all-inclusive tour, city trip or beach holiday. Every year the same thing, same listlessness organizing all this travel stuff, same result ending in more or less satisfying holiday.

Does this procedure remind you of yourself? Could this be you, being kind of bored from annually returning holiday stress? But actually, you would love to experience some new adventures apart from sipping cocktails in the pool bar, relaxing on the beach, being annoyed by growing queues in front of the moderate buffet and you could also imagine to spend your holiday time more advantageously, being more than a tourist - then just do it.

The perfect mixture of beautiful, well-organized, diversified and useful holiday is called volunteering. Broadening your personal, social, academic horizon will be the key part of the volunteer work. Especially volunteering abroad can bring you to the most stunning locations around the whole world, such as, Costa Rica, South Africa, Ghana, Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand, India and many more. To travel the globe, helping people and transforming the world into a better place can make a meaningful difference in your life and changes the way you see other cultures. All while you change the lives of others for the better. “The change we all wish to see will not be realized through big, sweeping acts - not by governments, or armies, or the UN. Instead, lasting change will be achieved through small, personal acts of kindness and selflessness, and through the spreading of tolerance and understanding between people and cultures.” And of course, you do not have to be rich to volunteer and travel the world, the only requirement is that you have to want to help people in need.

Obviously, there are far too many needs, difficulties and harms unequally distributed to people around the world, whispering for any help - maybe yours. So many things need to be done which means for you that no matter what country you want to travel or what kind of work you prefer, there will be a way for you to help. International organizations and foundations like GoEco, CrossCulturalSolutions, United Planet, Better Place or Helping Abroad will help you to find a modified and matched program, such as, volunteer opportunities like health programs, women’s empowerment projects, development and building projects, dignity projects, social work with children, teaching in schools or environmental protection and wildlife projects. Any kind of upcoming issue or barrier before, during or even after your volunteer trip, e.g., the foreign language, the unfamiliar culture, bureaucratic stuff or whatever, will be supported by the organization and of course by the local staff. The local people understand the needs of their communities and will guide you throughout your experience, connect you to sustainable projects and make you feel at home due to their firsthand knowledge and expertise.

If this brief, let me call it, appeal could make you feel curious and thoughtful about the topic of volunteering, then remember it when it comes to the end of the semester and you do not longer want to waste your semester break spending time and money for standard holidays drinking standard cocktails, experiencing standard stuff, being just a standard tourist.

Malin Michel
Exchange Student from TU Dortmund University Dept. of Urban Planning and Design

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