Many people love going abroad to work during a gap year or for the summer, but many of those people arrive and are surprised by things they didn’t even consider. Here are a few things to think about before going to work abroad over the summer.
Not just the country that you will be in, but where the place you are working will be located. Ask yourself what the temperature is like, if you will need to bring extra clothes, and if there are any vaccines you should get before traveling. Keep in the mind the political climate of the country that you are visiting as well.
Also consider where you will be staying and how hard it will be to go other places. It might seem like you want to spend 4 months on a single farm, but in reality most people will want at least a few day trips or to be able to go to a movie or something similar.
Sanitation standards are different in different countries and might come as a shock. Many countries don’t flush toilet paper, use bidets, or have bathrooms that have different types of toilets. If you are worried or disgusted by any of these things you should check into the country you want to visit and see what the standards are. This can also help you not get in trouble if you flush toilet paper in a country with systems that aren’t built to handle that level of bulky waste.
Personal Hygiene Needs
Many countries don’t offer the same personal hygiene items or have them made from different items. This can be shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and many other things as well. For women, many countries don’t use tampons or use much older pad types, making it important to pack your feminine hygiene items before you go.
The biggest consideration should usually be how much of the language you know and how much you want to interact with people. While you will likely learn some words while you are there, expecting to come out of a summer trip fluent is foolish and will set you up for disappointment. If you don’t speak the local language, make sure that someone in your group or where you are staying does in case of an emergency.
How much time off is provided is always going to be important no matter where you go. If you have big plans to travel and take in the scenery, it sucks to find out that you only have one day off a week. Most programs will list the amount of time that you have off and if you want more you can usually e-mail and work out arrangements before you depart. This is also important if you are used to a set schedule and the work you are doing will be different.
Overall going abroad is a great way to meet new people and try new things. A little bit of forethought can make any trip amazing.