Is it a good idea to volunteer during my WHV experience?
Technically, most WHV holders can find paid employment. So why would you be interested in volunteering?
- It’s a great way to discover a new culture and meet locals.
- You will learn new skills and gain new insights.
- You can get involved in projects you care about.
- You can find a homey atmosphere away from home.
- You will save money on food and accommodation.
- You will improve your language and communication skills.
Many WHV holders choose to volunteer for a host at the beginning of their trip, especially those who travel alone and haven’t mastered the local language. Becoming a helper means that you won’t have to deal with the logistics of finding a place to stay for a little while, and if being abroad is already overwhelming it helps to fit into an existing “homey” structure. Hosts also tend to forgive poor or average language skills. Unlike in a traditional professional environment, you won’t be expected to “perform” and master the technical terminology.
Of course, you can take up volunteering anytime during your WHV—between two paid contracts, during a road trip, etc. Some WHV holders even choose to focus entirely on HelpX opportunities and travel around the country going from one host to another, only spending money on transportation.
Finally, HelpX is a great way to learn new skills (painting, animal care, planting, construction, carpentry, landscaping, etc.), try news jobs and live a very different life for a little while… which is probably what you were looking for when you applied for your WHV, right?