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The Gap Year Blog

The Ultimate Guide: Internship Abroad vs Volunteering Abroad

29 May 2019 10:15 AM
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If you’re planning to spend time abroad either before university, in-between school years, or after you’ve graduated  – You might be considering volunteering or interning abroad. Both options can offer amazing personal growth opportunities as well as being memorable and character forming too.

But if you’re not sure which you would be better suited to, volunteering or interning, keep reading our ultimate guide to interning and volunteering abroad below.

What is Volunteering?

First off, it’s good to understand what volunteering actually is, and how it differs from interning. Volunteering projects are unpaid, and the aim is to help and assist communities or projects that need extra support. Most people who choose to take part in volunteering work are driven by their desire to help. Our projects run in 72 countries, so there are opportunities to explore lots of locations around the world.

Our volunteering projects last anywhere from 1 - 30 weeks, and the length will depend on where you go, and what you plan on doing. Our volunteering projects range from environmental responsibility and sustainability, nature / animal conservation, education and teaching, and community support.

At  Frontier, we view our volunteering projects as making a valuable contribution to the world, and being committed to making a positive impact during your time somewhere. You’ll be under supervision during your volunteering position, and our team will be on hand to offer guidance and support too.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

There are so many benefits to volunteering, and it’s a wonderful thing to do on both a personal and professional level. Here are just a few of the reasons people love volunteering:  

      Having a positive impact on local projects and communities

      Meeting people from around the world, both other volunteers and local people

      Getting hands on experience with a variety of work 

      Increasing skills in teamwork and project management

      Personal growth

      The opportunity to travel the world and see / experience new cultures

Where can volunteering take me in the world?

Volunteering can give you the opportunity to travel to many countries all over the world. There may be volunteering opportunities in your hometown, but you’ll also find many volunteering opportunities abroad too. If you choose to volunteer with Frontier, you’ll be happy to know we have volunteering projects in over 72 countries!

Does volunteering help my CV?

Absolutely.

Volunteering gives you incredible professional and life experience to add to your CV - something all employers look for. Volunteering also shows any potential employers that you’re committed to making positive change in the world, and you’ve spent time working with and dedicating time to positive projects.

Are there companies who can help me find volunteering opportunities?

Yes, volunteering is something that we’d recommend seeking help and assistance in organising. At Frontier, we can help you find the right kind of volunteering opportunity for you, which ensures you find the best project for your skills and interests. Our volunteering projects can range from:

      Community Development

      Sports Coaching

      Trekking and Eco-Trails

      Marine Conservation

      Gathering Data & Research

      SCUBA diving

      Teaching English

Some people want their volunteering experience to be mixed with adventure and travel, whereas others will want to be based in one location and get to know local communities and people. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ll help you find the perfect fit so that your experience is perfect for you and one you’ll remember forever.

Is volunteering expensive?

Because volunteering is unpaid work, lots of people assume it’s an experience to take part in. But it doesn’t have to be, and there are many ways you can volunteer on a variety of budgets. The prices for Frontier volunteering experiences go upwards from £150 - with prices varying depending on location, duration and activity.

What is an internship?

An internship is something that you choose to do in order to develop your skills in a certain profession or industry. For example, for people looking to get into teaching - our teaching internships would be thoroughly relevant to their career path. We also offer internships in medical centres and hospitals, which serve as a fantastic experience for those wanting to enter the medical industry. Some of our internship projects also include working towards certain certificates or qualifications.

What are the benefits of an internship?

As we outlined a little bit above, an internship can really help you in learning new skills for particular career paths, which can give you an advantage later on in life, when looking for a job that requires a certain level of experience or hands-on industry knowledge.

An internship is also a fantastic chance to build your confidence and meet new people. Interning is a chance to build your independence, and take a step into the working-world. Most students find that after interning with us, their confidence has increased hugely, and they feel passionate and enthusiastic about starting their professional careers with added knowledge and clarity.

Where can internships take me in the world?

To many countries! Visit our website and the many internship opportunities we offer to get a better idea of where it can take you. Where you want to go will depend on your preferences, but also the kind of work you want to be doing.

Does an internship help my CV?

It absolutely does! An internship with Frontier can really make your CV stand out when you start applying for jobs and graduate schemes. Anyone who has completed an internship will have gained a certain amount of experience within the field, and that’s a great upperhand to have when it comes to applying for competitive job roles.

Committing to an internship, and dedicating time to pursuing your passion and interests also shows that you’re an ambitious and driven person - which are fantastic personality traits to have reflected in your CV.

Are there companies who can help me find internship opportunities?

Yes, here at Frontier we can help you find the ideal internship for you. We have so many choices available to you, many of which will suit you and the skills you want to build upon.


Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!