Make a Difference by Volunteering Abroad

Make a Difference by Volunteering Abroad

There are many ways to spend your retirement years, but how do you make them truly meaningful? If you would like to travel the world, help others, and gain first-person insight into foreign cultures, then volunteering abroad is for you.

Volunteering abroad has become increasingly popular amongst older cohorts. Nearly 290,000 older adults from the U.S. volunteered abroad during 2012 – an increase of more than 60 percent in less than a decade, a recent study found.

The success stories are endless, such as this 81-year old man who completed a 27-month service assignment in Ukraine. Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams asserts that all Americans have the ability to make an impact in developing countries, no matter what stage of life they are in. “Older Americans bring tangible skills, professional development and life experience to their Peace Corps position in a community overseas. I encourage Americans to consider serving with the Peace Corps at any age.”

The best part: in helping those in need, noticeable benefits have been measured in the volunteers themselves! Studies show that volunteering and travel greatly impact cognitive and mental health, giving all the more reason to get involved in this wonderful endeavor. Here are our five favorite resources to help you get started:

Whether you’re passionate about working with children, teaching a language, or servicing the health needs of a poverty-stricken community, the world will be eternally grateful for your service. Make your retirement a time for fresh experiences and exploration by volunteering abroad!

Have you ever volunteered abroad? What was the experience like? What locations would you recommend to other volunteers? Share with the community!

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