Traveling to India is a task that can be found in majority of travelers’ bucket list, but to actually make it a successful trip requires some in-depth information. And when the motive of the travel is to volunteer in India, it becomes utmost important to make sure it is a success; as it is not just for that one person who is traveling, but for many those for whom that one person is traveling. Considering the seriousness and importance of a volunteer program, Volunteering India gives you 10 important and useful tips to make sure the efforts do not go in vain.
1. Be Flexible
When you plan to travel abroad to volunteer work under a project, one aspect must be clear in your head that you will have to be extremely flexible with your routine. Although a fixed schedule is assigned to the volunteers, there are times when one has to spend some extra time at the project or go out of their regular work to get things done. One should learn to stay in a share and care environment as well.
2. Be ready to absorb any kind of cultural shock
India is known for its diverse culture and traditions, and a trip to India is a gateway to witness almost all ethnicity present in the world under one roof. While it is only obvious to expect getting cultural shocks at every second corner, a volunteer must anticipate these and be ready to handle them.
3. Try and learn some commonly used Hindi phrases
Imagine an Arab traveler, touring in a Spain, asks for directions from a native in Spanish… interesting indeed! It is always intriguing if we find someone interacting with us in our regional language, and that is exactly what will help you bond with the natives, if you get your hands on some of the commonly used Hindi phrases. Enough of ‘Namaste’; it’s time to learn more!
4. Learn about the history of the country
While volunteering under any of the programs in India, an inside information about the country’s past and timeline events is always helpful. Not only does it works as an ice-breaker during a local get together and useful in enhancing knowledge, but also comes really handy while conducting a lecture for underprivileged children in a local school.
5. Get an overview of the Indian Education system
You don’t have to mug up the entire list of norms and rules scripted for the Indian education system, but a brief understanding of the curriculum and the subjects can really help you design your own class. Knowing what the children have been studying so far and what makes them understand a subject better is really useful.
6. Take excursions to know places
A volunteer works from Monday to Friday for a project and has the weekends off to explore the country. This is the time that can be best utilized by taking a local tour of the city you are placed in or a short excursion to any of the nearby tourist hotspots. This will help you learn about different places in the region, which can be used as an information during your project work.
7. Interact with the natives… as much as possible!
Read as much as you can about India on the internet, from the blogs, through the guidebooks, or any other resource. But, the kind of precise and authentic information that you will get from a local resident about India is unmatched. The real picture about the routine lifestyle of a common man, their daily challenges in life, and how they can only try to overcome them; all this you will know only by communicating with the natives.
8. Know what unites the people of India
It is hard to believe that in a diverse country like India, with people from different ethnic backgrounds, perceptions, and religious beliefs, there can be anything where everyone comes together with one voice. Interestingly, there is not one but two of such important things which brings the entire country together; apart from the feeling of patriotism of course. The sport of cricket and the film industry of Bollywood. Get some idea about these two things, and you immediately become their favorite; no more a tourist.
9. Be proactive in your approach
Before a volunteer begins with their project work in India, a detailed orientation session is conducted by the in-country coordinator to provide all the necessary information about the project and the destination. However, it is entirely up to a volunteer’s discretion how they like to approach the work. For instance, it is not mandatory to conduct a lecture inside the four walls of a classroom, just because that has been the routine. Thinking out of the box is the key.
10. Remember your main objective of traveling to this country
The one thing that will help you dearly in making your volunteering stint in India a success, is to always remember the reason of your visit to India. When you always keep in mind that your prime objective is to volunteer under a project in India and help making a difference in underprivileged lives, you will never get distracted from your goal and the path that you had laid to achieve it.
These were certain tips from Volunteering India that, if utilized properly and religiously, can help strongly in making your volunteering stint to India a success. For more details, queries, and registration process, get in touch with us at [email protected]