There have been recent discussions and articles around who actually benefits more when people volunteer abroad: the community or the volunteer. Some people likely start their volunteer trip thinking they are going to show up and save the world simply by being an educated foreigner. This approach is naive, and rarely helps anyone. There are so many examples of volunteers applying their short term solutions to long term problems because their volunteer stay was only temporary. Some volunteers also think donating money or handing out things for free is a sustainable way to help. This just teaches a community to depend on foreign handouts rather figuring out how to solve problems.
In this guide, we hope to dispel some common myths and answer any questions you might have while deciding if volunteering is right for you.