The four phases of the volunteering experience

Are you planning to do a long-term volunteering experience abroad? This article might interest you! We explain the four phases that you might experience living abroad for a year, so you can realize in which phase you are. We hope this is useful! 

Honeymoon phase

You arrive in a new country and everything is exciting! It feels like you are on vacations, but even better, because you know that you’ll be there for a while. You meet new people, socialize, try different meals and discover amazing places. You are in the honeymoon phase of your volunteer experience! This phase can last from two weeks to two months.

Reality phase

The reality phase can be hard. You realize that you never were on vacation and you must work every day: get up earlier than you would like to, prepare the meal the day before, stick to a (low) budget each month and… repeat! Maybe you realize that you don’t get along so well with your flat mates or coworkers and, on the top of that, you miss your family and friends. Welcome to the reality phase! This phase can last from two weeks to three months. It’s good to know that it will pass! 

Daily life phase 

You get used to your new reality! You feel comfortable living abroad in your actual town or city, going to your favorite spots and cafes, learning a new language, planning trips to visit the country with your friends and, just, enjoying your daily life. This phase can last from 4 to 6 months


Time to say goodbye!! Everything is bittersweet in this phase! You know that your volunteering experience is coming to the end and you want to enjoy your last days abroad surrounded by the friends you made during the year. You enjoy every moment more intensively and you start thinking about what’s next in your life. You realize how much you have learned, changed and experienced during this year. Time to go back home!