Challenges Faced During Volunteering Abroad and How to Overcome Them

Challenges Faced During Volunteering Abroad and How to Overcome Them

Volunteering outside your country is entirely a different experience. It is full of exciting events and adventures but you might face some challenges during your trip.

If you are thinking of volunteering abroad but concerned about potential challenges then do not worry. With some preparation; you can overcome any obstacle. Here are the most common challenges faced by volunteers and tips for overcoming them.

Language barriers

A language barrier is one of your biggest challenges while volunteering abroad. If you don't speak the local language, you cannot communicate with people and understand what's happening around you. To overcome this challenge, try to learn some basic words in the country's local language before you go. You can also carry a phrasebook or dictionary to look up words and phrases. Consider taking some language classes when you arrive at your destination to learn the basics.

Culture shock

Another challenge you may face is culture shock. This can happen when the culture you encounter is very different from your own. To help prevent culture shock, research the country and culture you'll be volunteering in before you go. That way, you'll be prepared for what to expect. If you experience culture shock, try to be open-minded and embrace the differences you encounter.


It's also common to feel homesick while volunteering abroad. To deal with homesickness, stay in touch with your friends and family back home using technology like Skype, Zoom or social media. You can also try finding other volunteers from your own country to connect with while abroad.

Financial challenges

Another challenge you may face while volunteering is financial difficulties. Depending on where you're volunteering, the cost of living can be higher than what you're used to at home. This can be a financial challenge, but there are ways to overcome it. One way to offset the cost of volunteering is to look for scholarships and grants. You can also look into fundraising options. Many platforms allow you to set up a page and raise money for your trip. You can also reach out to family and friends for support. Another way to reduce the cost of volunteering is to choose a less expensive destination. By researching, you can find a destination that fits your budget. The ultimate way to reduce the cost of volunteering is to choose a free program. There are many volunteering abroad opportunities that provide free accommodation, food, and other perks.

Finally, remember that the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others is priceless. The experience of volunteering abroad is something that you will cherish for a lifetime. Despite the potential financial challenges, it is an experience worth the investment.

Adapting to a New Environment

One of the challenges of volunteering abroad is adapting to the new environment. This can be challenging for many reasons, including adjusting to the climate and food. However, there are a few things that you can do to make the transition easier.

First, it is important to be prepared for climate zones. Make sure to pack appropriate clothing and equipment. What you need in the mountains at high altitude is completely different to a beach destination. Second, it is helpful to research the local cuisine in advance and familiarize yourself with some of the staples. By taking these steps, you will be better prepared to overcome any challenges you may face while volunteering abroad.


Volunteering abroad can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it also comes with challenges. By understanding these challenges and how to overcome them, you can make the most of your time volunteering in a new country.

Written by Olivia Hopkins

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