A medicine-based volunteer programme is a natural choice for anyone with ambitions to become a doctor or nurse. It will also provide invaluable experience in your personal and professional development, as well as an excellent boost to your CV. But you don't have to be halfway through medical school to choose a medical volunteer programme.
There are placements available for all levels of interest and experience, including care workers, dentistry and nursing. Browse some of the numerous projects available on the Projects Abroad website and learn more about Projects Abroad UK, which offers volunteer projects in Ghana and throughout the world.
Green issues have come to the forefront in recent years. If you're someone who values the protection and upkeep of the world's natural environment, it may be worth looking into one of the many conservation volunteer placements available.
There are opportunities to work in underwater coral reefs and thick jungle rainforests; on the African savannah or the Himalayan mountains. Each gives you the chance to fight on the frontline of environmentalism.
Teaching is a popular choice for volunteers as it’s available in almost every country that welcomes volunteers and, with accepted qualifications like a TEFL, does not even require a second language – just the right attitude.
Teaching is perfect for those who enjoy working with children, who are hardworking and dedicated, and who are sociable and friendly. It's common for deep attachments and lifelong friendships to spark up between teachers and students.
If you like getting your hands dirty, perhaps a volunteering project in construction or building is for you? You don't need any experience (although a bit of DIY knowledge may come in handy along the way) – you'll most likely be trained on your placement. Most important, as with all volunteering, is a can-do attitude and willingness to work hard and long hours.
There are huge numbers of countries who happily accept volunteers to help out in places where the architecture is basic or infrastructure is poor. Building projects are almost always tough and physical, so ensure you're in shape, but the rewards and satisfaction will be immense.