If you're taking a volunteer trip in the New Year, Christmas is the ideal opportunity to challenge the traditional form of presents you find under a tree. Rather than receiving that extra box of chocolates that you really didn't need, why not see an extra $15 invested in going towards your volunteer trip?
Here are 6 ways you can save your loved ones from frivolous spending and fast-track your volunteer trip savings:
Sub presents for donations
If gift-giving is a tradition within your family circle, why not ask your loved ones to substitute a present for monetary donations that you can use towards your upcoming international volunteer trip? While IVHQ is committed to providing the world's most affordable volunteer program fees, having further support to help fund your flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations makes saving for your volunteer trip a whole lot easier. Likewise, you'll save your family the hassle of working out what to buy you and instead give them the opportunity to contribute to an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Book for book
Have a funny feeling that you'll land a book from the notorious book-giver in your family this year? Why not put the library card at the back of your wallet to use and suggest a book is purchased for your volunteer placement instead?
If you're planning on volunteering and teaching abroad in the New Year, a TEFL course will gift you with the skills you need to succeed in teaching English abroad. Arming yourself with these skills is a two-way gift - while personally upskilling and building your confidence in teaching English as a foreign language, you can in turn build the confidence of your students in speaking one of the world's most widely-used languages. To support this, IVHQ has partnered with the Center for Communication and English Language Teaching to provide a top tier online TEFL course for a discounted rate of US$399. The 100-hour online course is the perfect gift for a future international volunteer, or anyone wishing to upskill before teaching English abroad. Your résumé will thank you for it too!
You're never too old for crayons, especially when you're volunteering in a school with limited resources. Ask Santa for some art supplies that you can take to your placement (or you could ask for donation money to purchase the supplies in country - that way you're supporting the local economy and your volunteer placement).
Understand the basics of the local language of your volunteer destination, but know you need some further assistance to walk the talk? Let those keen gift-givers know that you're keen on building your knowledge of the language and invest in some language classes to prepare before you depart!
If you're volunteering over Christmas in a community that celebrates a certain red suited, white bearded character, don't underestimate the power of a Santa suit in brightening your students' day...
If you're thinking of volunteering in the New Year but not sure where, check out these top volunteer programs for 2018!