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Volunteer abroad, Gap year in Colombo

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What is a Volunteer Job?

Volunteer service works for the personal well-being of an individual and of the larger community, as well. Such work projects are usually coordinated by non-profit or public-sector organizations.

These jobs may be unpaid or paid, depending upon the organisation, its nature, and requirements. Volunteering internationally offers the expat-volunteer an opportunity to mix with the natives, a chance to work with people from all over the world, and to garner unparalleled life experiences.

Volunteering in Sri Lanka

Volunteer work may be desirable if you cannot legally work in Sri Lanka, or if you wish to first gain the right skills or experience, prior to taking on a full-time job. Although many voluntary positions might be unpaid, board and lodging are often provided.

Applications must be through the organization, as per their regulatory practices. Most groups require a formal application, a personal statement, and some kind of an advance deposit. There are periodic deadlines, so check out the organization's sites to find out about them.

Volunteer Programs in Sri Lanka

These days there are several voluntary jobs and opportunities available for expats, and even foreign tourists, who wish to be gainfully employed while on holiday. Some of these voluntary works can be applied for and need a small advance payment for your pick up from the airport, accommodation during the stay and food, etc.

For such opportunities, do take a look at the following sites:

The European Voluntary Service (EVS)

The European Voluntary Service is a European Union program that offers young people (between 18 and 25) the opportunity to work as volunteers for six to twelve-month periods in a non-profit project abroad. There are three key partners of an EVS project: the volunteer, the sending organization and the host organization.

The European Commission covers the travel cost for the young, the insurance (health, accident, public liability) and provide a monthly allowance of 140 to 220 Euros.

How to proceed: First of all, find an organization that will give you individual assistance with all the application procedures (you can find contacts through your National Agency, National Coordinator or international volunteer organizations). Start contacting potential host organizations with the help of the sending organization. Persevere in your search and do not lose hope. The difficulty will not be in finding a suitable project, but to find one which will be ready to host you within your time limits. You can have a look at the European database on accredited host organizations and Youth organizations.

Insurance Abroad

Many volunteer programs also handle visa arrangements and include insurance coverage in their program fees or as part of their compensation. If they do not, you need to shop around for rates and coverage. Ask for a letter of introduction and look around for the best rates and coverage. A good place to start looking would be our section on "International Healthcare & Medical Insurance", which gives more information about choices available for you.

To compare travel insurance, check for quotes on Expat-Quotes.

You should also look at our other articles on Summer Jobs and Internship abroad on the left column of this page.

Update 22/07/2018


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Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).