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Why Volunteer in Asia and Australasia?

Posted: 25th August 2016 09:08

Boasting the biggest populace of any area on the planet (with 60% accounting for Asia alone), Asia and Australasia offer countless opportunities for prospective volunteers.  A world of exotic destinations, vibrant cultures and unique peoples, the continents offer a variety of roles to suit all personal interests and ambitions – be it protecting animals in Australia, teaching monks in Thailand or caring for orphans in India. 

The landscapes of Asia and Australasia are unmatched; from the mist cloaked mountains of the Himalayas to the verdant jungles of Bengal, Asia is incredibly diverse and a cultural melting pot that spans ancient China, ultramodern Japan and Aboriginal Australia.  There is certainly no shortage of cultural enrichment.  Civilisation in these continents can be sparse, as in small Australian towns in the mighty wilderness of the outback, or thunderously dense in sprawling futuristic centres such as Tokyo.  Yet, like all nations across the globe, Asia and Australasia has its challenges and you can be part of the solution.  There are many reasons as to why these continents in particular offer an unforgettable volunteering experience. 

A Whole New World

Perhaps one of Asia and Australasia’s biggest draws for prospective volunteers is its fantastically diverse and exotic landscapes and cultures.  Perfect for those looking to leap headlong into a new adventure away from the comforts of home, these continents offer some of the most striking locations on Earth.  They also boast strong customs, cuisines and religious beliefs which make for an utterly fascinating journey.  Even the relatively Westernised Australasia has a strong sense of island paradise, its golden sands and virulent surf making for perfect surroundings on a volunteer experience. 

East is East

The sheer magnitude of the continents makes for some enthralling and stark cultural clashes as the distinctive personality of each destination shows that even if countries border each other, they can have extraordinarily different cultures.  Asia is home to such disparate cultures such as Indian, Chinese and Thai, whilst Australasia offers ancient cultures including the Australian Aborigines and Maori in New Zealand.  One of the prime appeals of the Asian continent is that it is distinctly unfettered by the Western world, retaining its own unique personality.  Australasia is less unfiltered but, there are still impressive cultural blends, such as Indo-Fijian culture. 

Save the (Natural) World

With huge biodiversity, it is unsurprising that Asia and Australasia offer a vast assortment of volunteering opportunities across environmental fields.  These continents are home to some of the most endangered species on Earth, including the snow leopard, green turtle, lar gibbon and the Chinese Pangolin, as well as hundreds of rare flora and fauna.  Volunteers can walk with nature’s giants on Asia’s mainland, or try their hand at marine biology on one of the Australasian islands for example.  Budding biologists, conservationists and activists can expect to study and raise awareness regarding climate change, deforestation and hunting. 

Build Better Communities

Across certain areas of the continents, there are communities who need skilled and passionate farm-hands, carers and teachers to work alongside them to improve their community and train the next generation.  Communities in need can arise as a result of fast-emerging townships, population booms, lack of resources, tourism or natural disasters.  The altruistic benefits of working in unity with a community to improve their quality of life are obvious, but the development you will undergo will set you up for life; both personally and career-wise. 

A Linguistic Journey

In particular, a major advantage of applying for a volunteering role in Asia is the opportunity to learn a new language.  With Chinese, Japanese and Hindi among the highest spoken languages in the world, the chance to develop your linguistic skills should be a major consideration; especially as its benefits will reach far beyond being able to ask where the nearest restaurant is!  Your employability prospects will benefit greatly, particularly as businesses look to shift to the East.  Even if you already understand an Asian language, experiencing the dialect of the streets will enable you to cultivate the ability to speak like a local rather than a tourist. 

Career Opportunities

Although a volunteering experience will always be beneficial to your CV, volunteering in Asia or Australasia can yield unique opportunities that other destinations cannot match.  Media intern volunteer roles have become increasingly prevalent in Australasia’s outlying regions, such as small rural townships or satellite islands, as these areas require journalists and media professionals.  These opportunities are distinct as they offer the chance to break out of your comfort zone and gain firsthand experience in your chosen field.  Volunteering in another country also enables you to increase your chances of securing a job in overseas countries. 

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