May 7th, 2013

Your Volunteer Travel Personality: The Educator

Your Volunteer Travel Personality: The Educator

No two travelers make the exact same journey in the exact same way. That's why, when giving back to local communities around the world, we strive to make our contributions just as personal—and as meaningful. To help you hone in on the volunteer experience that taps into both your skills and your passions, we've created this quiz. Once you've completed it, you can see if you most identify with Mostly As. You should: Teach at schools and work with skills development organizationsTeaching or tutoring overseas is a great fit for you because it allows you to work directly with people at the local, community level. Teaching English is one of the most popular forms of instructing, but there are also opportunities to teach art, science, computers, and other niche skills. If you only have a week or so to volunteer, consider tutoring or working within a local library abroad. Working with children is a very popular volunteer travel option, but also can lead to many negative impacts. Some of the most egregious volunteering issues come from orphanage tourism, and you can learn more at To ensure that you are not fueling more harm than good, it is imperative to both analyze the match between your skills and the volunteer placement, and also to do research on the specific group through which you are giving your time. Any placement with children, which does not require a background check nor require a match between skills and needs is probably a placement you want to reconsider. If you are someone who would love teaching, rather than teaching kids directly, consider a program where you are supporting the education of teachers themselves, as teaching English to teachers will have a longer-term impact than a short stink directly teaching their students.

  • Cross Cultural Solutions is a well-respected volunteer organization that also offers teen volunteer placement. Their education projects work closely with local communities and the organization openly shares how your program fee is used.
  • Grassroots Volunteering is an open, community-sourced database of free and low-cost volunteering opportunities all over the world. The site has extensive listings for teaching, tutoring and education-based roles.

Other Volunteer Personality Results: Mostly Bs: The Agriculturalist Mostly Cs: The Conservationist Mostly Ds: Pro-bono Professional Services

by Shannon ODonnell

Shannon O'Donnell is a long-term traveler who has been on the road since 2008; she travels slowly and supports grassroots tourism along the way. She is an acclaimed travel speaker and works with universities and businesses all over the U.S. to talk about supporting developing countries.

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