Volunteer in United States
What to Know Before Volunteerism in the United States
What to Know Before Volunteer in United States:
The United States is a vast country of almost 4 million mi² (10 million km²), with just as diverse a population as geographical areas. The United States has different topographies ranging from oceans and beaches to countrysides, to mountains. The population is very mixed, with a majority of people based in cities, but because of the humongous area of land, people live on farms as well. With the vast landmass and population, volunteering opportunities abound and can suit anyone looking for any type of opportunities of volunteer in United States.
The United States is the main destination for volunteers from around the world, and understandably so as there is something to fit everyone, whether you want to volunteer on a farm, volunteer in sports or any of the other amazing opportunities abound. Below are some things to consider about volunteer in the United States and to help determine which area is right for your trip to the United States.
Volunteerism in the United States:
Volunteering is an important part of society. Many organizations allow volunteers as young as the age of 14 in the United States. Many adults volunteer as well, as a way to give back to their communities. Many people volunteer outdoors, but there are many opportunities for whatever you prefer. There are opportunities to volunteer with commercial companies, and not for profit organizations. Most American citizens volunteer with non-profit organizations. There are so many ways for Volunteer in United States.
Do: Know English
The main language of the United States is English. It is widely used everywhere. Road signs, menus, flight information, and basically everything in the country are only written in English. Since the population and cultures are so numerous in the United States, there are specific areas of the country where there are higher populations of people that speak languages other than English. Texas, California, and the American Southwest have many Mexican-American citizens, so Spanish is more widely used in those states and that part of the country. So if you are able to speak Spanish better than English, these areas are areas to consider. There is a larger Asian-American population in California, and the Pacific Northwest, so if you speak an Asian or pan-Asian language better than English, you might consider that area. Volunteer in United States will be more effective if you know English well
Do: Use Google Translate
If you are having difficulty conversing with someone, use Google translate as an easy inter-medium to help you communicate. People are very understanding, and as long as you make an attempt to try to speak the language well.
Do: Prepare for all types of weather
With all of the different landscapes of the United States, and it ranging tropical weather, to a frozen tundra above the Arctic Circle, understanding that there is a variety of weather is a must in the United States. In certain times of the year, especially spring and fall, many areas of the country can experience vast differences in weather on a day to day basis, with sunshine one day, rain the next, and freezing snow the next. The southern part of the United States including Florida, Arizona and California are typically warm all year round. Alaska is typically cold all year round. While Volunteer in United States you’ll definitely come across all these weathers.
Do: Use cards instead of cash
Almost every business in the United States accepts bank cards, so there is no need to get cash. You can also purchase a temporary card at grocery stores, which will have a visa or mastercard logo, which you can use just like a normal bank card, so there is no need to carry cash around. Even local farmers markets and small businesses accept cards, so carry a card instead of cash.
Do: Research the best time to exchange money.
The United States uses the the U.S Dollar, abbreviated USD. The USD, is a central currency used in everywhere, because of this, there are currency exchanges at many airports, cruise terminals, and many bank will exchange foreign currency for the dollar. The U.S. Dollar is considered the world currency, so the USD always maintains a relatively high value compared to other countries in the world. This means that you will have to exchange more currency from other countries,= to exchange for one dollar.
Timings and weekends
Do: Find what schedule you will be working when you volunteer.
The United States is varied when it comes to having weekends off. Many jobs allow the people working them to have weekends off, but many jobs have a varied schedule where people will work weekends to keep the business in operation.
Also Read : Volunteer in Canada
Do: Plan out adventures for the time you do have off.
From swimming, to hiking, to watching sports, there are many things to see and do with the time your aren’t working.
Do: Look for an opportunity with housing included
Because of the culture of volunteerism in the United States, many opportunities will include housing with the opportunity. Some will include a shared room with multiple other people in dorm room style buildings, some will include a room of your own in a nice secluded house. If you are unable to find a volunteering opportunity with housing, cost will depend on where you volunteer, and how nice of an accommodation you want.
Don’t: Rule out other options
There are options to sign leases for housing or in apartments if you plan on volunteering for longer periods of time in the United States. AirBnB is also an option as there are massive amounts of AirBnB in many parts of the United States. One common thing in many other countries, that isn’t as reliable in the United States is hostels. Not many United States cities have hostels.
Do: Live close or purchase a car.
The main method of transport in the United States is automobiles. With the humongous land area of the United States, and no national rail infrastructure, most Americans have automobiles they use to transport from place to place. Airplanes are a common form with people who need to travel longer distances in quick amount of time. With a volunteer opportunity in the U.S., it is a recommendation to stay near where you are working if you don’t plan to get a car. If you do purchase or rent a car, visitors to the United States can typically continue using their foreign license for a while as long as it is written in English. However, if this is not the case, you will apply for an International Driving Permit from your country of origin. The permit serves as a translation of your original license so it is important to have them both on you whenever you’re driving. You can use this for up to one year.
Do: Use Uber or Lyft.
Both of these companies are big in bigger cities in the United States.
Don’t: Forget your passport
However you enter the United States, a passport will be required for you to enter the country.
Do: Embrace the cultural diversity
With the United States being very culturally diverse, different areas of the country will have different styles of food. The Southwest will have Mexican inspired American versions of food. While cities by the coasts will rely on seafood dishes. The Midwestern part of the country will rely on farms to provide their food, including crops such as corn and beans. Learn more in your Volunteering in United States motive.
Do: Be open to trying new dishes.
When you travel to the United States, the real purpose of volunteer in United States is to experience a different culture, so be open to trying new dishes.
Do: Prepare for bigger portion sizes:
Restaurants in the United States are notorious for their humongous portion sizes compared to the rest of the world.
Don’t: Rely solely on fast food
Volunteer in United States is always fun as there are plenty of options for any and every type of fast food you could want in the United States, but these typically aren’t as healthy as cooking a meal. Many of these restaurants will have massive calorie counts and will leave you heavier if you eat too much of it.
Do: Dress causally
Dress in whatever makes you comfortable. The United States is a very causally dressed country. Whether you prefer shorts and sandals, or pants and sweaters, the United States is open to however you prefer to dress.
Do: Pack clothing for your location
If you are in a warmer part of the country, pack a bathing suit, sandals and shorts to help you stay cool in the warm weather. If you are in a colder climate, jackets, sweaters, and multiple layers will be needed to keep you warm. Multiple areas will require all of these pieces of clothing as the weather here can change daily as well as based on seasons.
Don’t: Forget your camera
With so many beautiful sights in the United States, a camera should always be packed with your clothing to ensure some amazing pictures are taken.
Do: Pay attention to your surroundings.
Most areas of the United States are safe, but there are certain areas which can be unsafe. In larger cities, these areas can be located right next to affluent areas, so if you notice a change in scenery, be careful.
Do: Try to carry as little cash
Most places in the United States accept cards, which eliminates the need to carry massive amounts of cash.
Don’t: hesitate to say hello
Many areas are very friendly, so if you greet someone with a hello, or a greeted with a hello, don’t hesitate to say it back.
Do: Purchase volunteer health insurance before traveling
The United States takes a very capitalistic approach to healthcare, and doesn’t have an effective national healthcare system. The entire healthcare system is privately owned, and therefore these companies are out to make money, and charge massive amounts of money for a simple medication. So make sure you have good travel health insurance.
Do: Check with the organization to see if they offer insurance.
If they don’t offer it, you will have to purchase your own.
Don’t: hesitate to seek healthcare if you need it.
Plan, Visa and Book :
Do: Have a Volunteer visa before entering the country.
If you’re interested in spending time in the United States as a volunteer, you may be able to apply for a “B-1 Visitor for Business” visa. You can apply for a B-1 visa if you are a member of and committed to a recognized religious or nonprofit charitable organization and will participate in a “voluntary service program” of the organization. Depending upon the “reciprocity agreement” between the United States and your country, the visa may be valid for just a few months or up to ten years.
Information needed to apply for a US Visa are:
- -Your name and date and place of birth
- -Your foreign permanent residence address
- -Name and address of initial destination in the United States (where you will volunteer)
- -Anticipated duration of your assignment.
You will then have to complete an interview at a US consulate. After the visa interview, you should receive your passport back with the visa in a few days or weeks. The processing time will depend upon the particular consulate’s workload.
DECIDING WHERE TO VOLUNTEER:
Use the information above to decide which area of the country you would like to volunteer in, and what type of volunteering you want to do. The opportunities are as vast as the country is, and no matter what kind of volunteering, there is an opportunity for you.
BEST SIGHTS TO SEE
I would like to end with some of the best places to visit in the United States, so you can explore a little bit and have some fun after putting in some hard work.
- Grand Canyon
- Rocky Mountains
- Zion National Park
- Las Vegas
- New York
- Los Angeles
- Washington D.C.