Top Three Peace Corps Alternatives

Volunteer opportunities may be something forced upon students in high school, but for those who partake in these opportunities regularly, it’s easy to know why someone would enjoy it so much. You’re able to give back to the community and see how just a small act of kindness can really help those in need. You are also able to broaden your sense of understanding when it comes to lives other than your own. You can see how other people live, and gain a deeper understanding of yourself. 

For some, however, volunteering at the soup kitchen once a week isn’t enough; these individuals want to go out into the world and make a difference. These people are looking for treks that will take them into a whole new world, and simultaneously allow them to volunteer and connect with those that they are helping. 

Despite a  deep desire to help others, many may not be willing to commit to the two years that is required of them if they decide to join the Peace Corps. It sounds idealistic and awe-inspiring, but it is a very difficult decision to make. Luckily for these folks, there are several options for volunteering programs that include shorter sojourns, and the same lasting effects. 
Projects Abroad, for example, provides a wide range of volunteering opportunities and allows for flexibility with the volunteers. They can volunteer for as short as a week, or as long as six months or for however long they desire. The variety of the programs is endless from teaching to performing arts, to archaeology. There’s something there for everyone to gain from the experience.

Similar to Projects Abroad, United Planet offers both short and long-term projects, giving their volunteers the chance to really make a difference. Something different that they offer is a chance to intern abroad, as well as to volunteer with groups.  A large benefit to working with United Planet is that each program that a volunteer signs up for is specifically catered to their interests and availability. United Planet encourages you to make a difference, while also enjoying yourself. 

Another great option is International Volunteer HQ. This program has considerably cheaper volunteering fees than most other programs, yet they offer a lot of the same variety in types of projects you can take on. You can work in sports, childcare, and even with wildlife. Wherever you think you can help the most, you can be placed in that program with International Volunteer HQ. 

The biggest advantage to any one of these programs is that they offer a much shorter, and perhaps more convenient experience for volunteers. Though they may want to, not everyone can dedicate two years of their lives to volunteer in a different country. These programs are specifically designed to help those people with their dreams of volunteering abroad, and of course, help the people abroad who so desperately need assistance. 
Whatever area you choose, with whatever program you choose, you’ll be given a whole host of skills and experience. You’ll be living with new people, and solving problems every day. It won’t simply be about broadening yourself, but about broadening the minds of those around you, and making a difference for those who need it most. You may just be one person, but it takes a single drop to make a ripple.