I recommend to many people to volunteer abroad for at least 3 months, it’s still the best way to learn about the culture and the country. Well, I was recommending until someone came back to me saying that his family of 4 can’t spend $30,000 in program fees plus the air tickets to go volunteer in Ghana.
I was stunt and googled volunteer abroad to discover that spending 3 month abroad and it’s true that $7,000+ per person seems to be a rule of thumb for a family of 4, this doesn’t include the $2,000 air ticket cost for volunteering in Africa. Total cost close to $40,000 for a family of 4 – giving your time to help is now an expensive adventure.
I have been abroad for 10 years in Africa and 5 in Middle East. I can tell that some people are making a lot of money on the American generosity! Over $7,000 per person for lodging and food in Africa is abusing when you see that projects where you’ll volunteer at provide food and lodging and the fine prints of your Volunteer Abroad agency makes sure that the food is safe and the lodging appropriate – a huge costs for checking on your food no? I hear that insurance for volunteers abroad is expensive which is true but I inquired several companies who gave me quotes around $500 for a family of 4 – these policies include medical evacuation and other force of nature evacuations.
Bottom line, if you want to volunteer abroad do a lot of homework, search for sponsored organizations and local organizations that really need your help and not your savings. Nevertheless I still recommend volunteering abroad to anyone who feels that their free time can be put to good use and if you need information on my favorite organizations, contact me and I will be pleased to send you the information.