Volunteer work abroad: 9 reasons to do it!

Why doing volunteer work abroad is an excellent idea!

Are you are considering moving abroad to do volunteer work for a while? We are your biggest fans. Why? Because doing volunteer work for a while is the best thing you can do. Whether it is volunteer work in a hostel, non profit volunteer work, travel volunteer work or missionary volunteer work abroad, it will definitely be an experience of a lifetime. Check out our 9 reasons why below!

1. You can make the world a better place (by doing non profit volunteer work)

It sounds cheesy, but it's true. Because there are many non profit organizations in need of some helping hands to impact people’s lives. And you can use your time to make a difference!

2. Grow in self-knowledge through international volunteer work

Through getting out of your comfort zone, you gain more understanding. Of who you are and of your gifts, strengths and weaknesses. Not to mention of your own culture and background when facing those of others.  The new culture that you live in, the new people that you meet, the challenges that you face by living abroad, the practical work that you do and the cultural differences you need to overcome. They will all mirror you. And this will shape you and help you understand who you are and why you do the things you do.

3. Get international experience through volunteer work abroad

Do you have international ambitions? Then start chasing career opportunities as early as you can. Doing volunteer work abroad is an excellent way to get international experience, expand your network and show you are serious about this. Moreover, volunteering in an international team will help you to learn more about intercultural interaction, about your own culture and how to relate to people from other cultures, backgrounds and mindsets.

4. Spice up your resume or curriculum vitae with non profit volunteer work

Sustainability is of great value for most companies around the globe. Extra-curricular activities on your resume show your future employer that you care about other people. That you care about the world you live in. Your volunteer work experience may open up opportunities for you during your job interviews. Surely you can make bridges to the things that are important to you or how you have grown.

5. Grow your talents

Choosing the right type of volunteering work could help you to grow in your talents and gifts. Or it will help you to learn new things! For example learning a new language, leading a team or teaching. But also more creative skills like writing or photography. Make sure you pick the right volunteer organizations. Without a doubt they can help you grow in the talents you would like to grow in.

6. Improve your communication skills

Through daily interaction with people from all around the world, you will learn the importance of listening to understand the difference between what people are saying and what they actually mean. Besides that, doing volunteer work abroad might open up opportunities to grow as well in other communication skills. For example learning to speak in front of groups, learn or improve new languages, giving feedback, showing empathy or being culturally sensitive.

7. Travel volunteer work: explore a foreign country in a deeper way

Volunteer work abroad gives you the awesome opportunity to experience a foreign country on a completely different level. If you are looking for the best way to travel volunteer work is just what you are looking for. It is fun, refreshing and cheap if all expenses are paid. By using your time off wisely you can explore the country off the beaten track and gain more understanding of the culture, people, habits and history than you could ever do as a tourist!

8. Cheap way to travel - volunteer work abroad with all expenses paid

The title speaks for itself: doing volunteer work abroad can be a perfect way to travel abroad cheap. Especially if you can find yourself opportunities to volunteer work abroad with all expenses paid. So when you search for volunteer organizations, make sure you don't pay to much! Rather try to find yourself cheap travel volunteer work opportunities. Because there are plenty of them out there!

9. International volunteer work - broaden your horizon

Doing volunteer work is very beneficial for getting a broader understanding of the world around you. But doing volunteer abroad will help you to expand this understanding even better. Gain more knowledge and experience on societal, environmental or political topic that has your interest and become an expert yourself by getting involved in a practical way.

Missionary volunteer work in Amsterdam

If you are looking for more than just volunteer work abroad, we would love to tell you more about our organization. We are a volunteer organization in Amsterdam, with two Christian hostels. As the hostels are non-profit, the revenue generated by the hostels supports local charities. These local charities help people in need, like homeless people, poor children, drug addicts, and women who are trapped in prostitution. So doing travel volunteer work becomes really meaningful in this way! Our hostels are a unique place. We often hear this from our guests. But even more often we hear it from our volunteers. Every volunteer in the past fifty years will say without exception that the Shelter was a life-changing experience. To sum up a few reasons:

1. Missionary volunteer work - learn how to reach out to non-believers

By meeting people from all around the world, you will learn the importance of listening to understand. At the Shelter you learn to reach out to guests in a personal way. You connect to guests on their level. Moreover you will learn how to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in a kind, creative and understandable way.

2. Missionary volunteer work - Grow in faith

You easily deepen your faith while living in a Christian community. For example through our Ministry Training Program, small group sessions and serving God practically in your daily work.

3. Volunteer work abroad - Step out of your comfort zone

You will have the chance to develop your confidence and personality. You are going to do things you have never done before. Step out of your comfort zone by living and working in an international community. And, of course, by sharing your faith with non-believers. How? Check here how we reach out to our non-believing guests!

4. Personal development

During your time at the Shelter you will be challenged to learn more about God and about yourself. You will gain more understanding of who you are, why you do the things you do and what your gifts, strengths and weaknesses are.

5. International volunteer work - Get international experience

Whilst volunteering at the Shelter not only will your language skills improve, but you will also learn more about inter-cultural interaction. You will also gain new experience and perspective by serving in a hostel and by living and working together with people from other cultures in an international community. You will learn more about your own culture and how to relate to people from other cultures, backgrounds and mindsets.


"It is true. Even now, eight years after volunteering in the Youth Hostel Ministry, my most regular social contacts are people from my team back then. Some of my closest friends I met during my time of volunteering at the Shelter."

Marco (30, Germany)

6. Build friendships for life

You might think it is difficult to form deep long-lasting friendships in such a diverse, international community. However, our shared faith in Jesus forms the basis of our relationships with others. So despite coming from different backgrounds, our faith and work at the Shelter hostels enables us to share on a deep level. Also living so close to each other, it is no surprise that friendships come so naturally. Given these points, getting to know each other in a deeper level becomes easy. Living in community is allowing us to understand and respect each others boundaries and habits. Being surrounded by people also means a secure support to talk to and pray with. Lastly, our house parents create a safe environment to be open and resolve any conflicts in a Christ-like way.7. Improve your communication and leadership skills

7. Improve and develop your communication skills

The hostels offer a great opportunity to grow in your communication skills. Learn to speak in front of groups during the activities we organize. Or improve your listening skills in the one-on-one conversations with guests. Or take the chance to grow in leadership, by leading a small group, supervising our teams of cleaners and hosting evangelical activities.

8. International volunteer work - Improve your languages

Improve your English or other second languages by living and working in an international environment and daily interacting with people from all over the globe.

9. Travel volunteer work - Explore Amsterdam

Enjoy living and working in Amsterdam. During your Shelter time you will have more than enough time to explore the city and the Dutch culture.

Interested in Christian volunteer opportunities?

Join our international volunteering team! Meet new people, live in an international Christian community, experience diverse cultures and share the gospel within a safe environment? Apply today to volunteer at our ministry! Consider to do a gap year at the Shelter or join us for a few months.

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

In order to join our team, we are looking for people in the age of 18 to 30 that:

  • are serious about following Jesus in their daily life
  • have a heart for evangelism
  • are willing to serve in a practical way
  • desire to learn more about the Bible, ministry and a Christian lifestyle
  • are willing to live in an international Christian community
  • speak and understand English well enough to have conversations

Do you meet these requirements? Great! Apply today to become part of our ministry team.