Europe is one of the smallest continents, yet it is one of the most diverse. There is so much beauty that the continent has to offer. It is home to some of the most developed countries in the world, namely Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France and Switzerland. There are various languages spoken in the continent that one would be surprised to meet people that are perfectly fluent in more than 4 languages.
After all, we Europeans pride ourselves in knowing more than one language unlike the Americans. So, if you are interested in volunteering in Europe, here are 5 practical tips that will come in handy.
- Work within the Culture
Europeans tend to be some of the most liberal people in the world. There is an increasing trend of people focusing more on humanism than religion which is why it is a good idea to be secular or have secular views if you plan on volunteering in Europe. Perhaps, the reason why Europe is so well integrated is due to the fact that the culture is much more secular. This allows for people to look at the similarities that they share with their neighbors, instead of the differences such as religion.
- Try to Learn the Language
Europe is home to some of the most beautiful languages in the world. French, Spanish, Italian and even Swedish are attractive to listen to. Europeans truly value their language and avoid speaking in other languages besides their own, unless they want to help someone with the directions or anything else. If you want to have a great time in Europe, then it is important to learn the language. Besides, learning the language might be the reason why you considered to, volunteer abroad in the first place. Even the slightest effort would be highly appreciated. Learning the basics such as Bonjour and Merci would go a long way.
- Learn More about the Culture Before You Go
Learning about the culture before you go will help you out significantly. For instance, when going to a sauna in Germany or Sweden, you are expected to be nude, unless you want to seem like a prude wearing shorts, while everyone else is naked. The small things matter the most. It shows that you appreciate their culture and are willing to adapt.
- Be Generous
When you volunteer abroad, giving back is one of the goals. So, make the most of it by being generous to everyone you meet. Europe isn’t just rich and wealthy Western Europe. It is also Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and Albania which are considerably poorer as compared to Western Europe. There is still poverty in these countries. So, if you find yourself in Poland, then there would be the sight of street kids and beggars. It can be sad to see such people, which is why it is important to be generous.
- Have Fun
Finally, even though you are there to volunteer, it does not mean that you shouldn’t have fun. Europe is filled with history in every corner that you look. So, try to have fun.