Collect things: documents!
Documents, money, cards - check if everything was taken from the list, if it is possible to withdraw funds from the card abroad, etc. You must have documents saved online and, of course, offline.
Take personal belongings and clothes based on the climate of the country you are going to. Don't take too much. You will definitely want to buy something on the spot, or you will receive some things as a gift.
At what time of year will you be on the project? Learn about the possibility and cost of sending, transferring things. In some countries, it is cheaper to buy clothes on the spot than to overpay for luggage.
The list of things for an environmental project, such as volunteering in the woods in a Polish national park, will be different from the list for a project in the office of an NGO in Berlin, right?
Prepare a presentation about yourself, your city, country.
Pick up a few photos in advance that reveal you as a person and illustrate what you did before volunteering. It can be a regular presentation, or even a video.
Find cool photos or videos of your city and country that aren't standard on Google search, but really contain interesting things. Select and download the songs you want to share. Create a few slides about native language - give the basic ten words or phrases. Prepare a short quiz based on your presentation with small prizes.
Save all materials on a flash drive, or on a laptop, if you take with you, or in the online cloud service, to always have on hand.
Buy souvenirs and think about recipes.
Regardless of the country or type of project, souvenirs are always appropriate if they are thematic, useful and cause a smile. You don't have to buy something expensive and big. Think about how you will carry it all in your luggage. Our souvenir options:
postcards with the image of the city or country;
magnets or other souvenirs;
small money: coins and banknotes;
stickers (stickers) with the symbols of the country;
sweets: lots of little things to share with others;
guide books about the city or country in English.
Often many volunteer projects involve organizing an international party where you present the dishes and traditions of your country. It is good to have a flag or small flags, elements of clothes. Of course, all this is optional.
Do you know how to cook traditional dishes? If not, practice at home or write down a recipe. In some countries, a regular supermarket may not have well-known ingredients in your country etc.
Prepare a first aid kit and check with doctors at home.
Even if you feel great, you should check your health before the project. Start with the dentist.
The terms of the projects provide for insurance of the country where you are going, but it is better not to get sick, right? Collect a first aid kit at home from the medications you usually use, trying to "cover" various cases: from colds to stomach problems. Pay attention to the expiration date of the drug. Make your volunteering safe.
Are you going to volunteer? Write a contact master file!
Gather in one place all the information you know about the project and where you are going. Leave contacts of people (phones, messengers, mail), specify your new local phone number, addresses of places where you will live, where you will work, contacts of new friends and colleagues, insurance, etc. If something suddenly happens to you, your family will have all the necessary information at hand. Just in case. Of course, all this information is difficult to gather before the trip, but start at home, and already on the spot add.
Take your favorite book!
It sounds trite, but in times of uncertainty in a new place it is appropriate to have something that will bring you back to the moment here and now. Especially if it is a useful book.
Sometimes it is difficult to put everything together and finally START doing it. This also applies to a volunteer project abroad. To keep up and spend time to maximum advantage, there are many techniques and interesting tools for time management and personal effectiveness. I hope this article was a little helpful in planning your volunteering project!