Luckily for me, Bournemouth University offers a ‘placement year’ for my course in Public Relations. When thinking about what area of PR I wanted to work in, I was certain that I would spend the majority of this year working in London (and I did), for a consumer PR agency.
However, I also knew that I also wanted to spend some of this year, abroad, working for an international company or charity. So, that’s when my search began. Initially, I thought about working for a larger company in a foreign land, but realised that if I were to be spending the majority of my year working for mostly profit-lead brands in London, why shouldn’t I see the other side of this vast industry and work for a non-profit charity, one that focuses on more local problems in developing areas.
That’s when I found the Voluntario Global website, and the chance to offer the communication skills I’d already gained in my first two years of study to become a ‘community builder’ in the neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires. It seemed like the perfect opportunity. It didn’t take long to persuade my friend, fellow PR student and adventurer Charlotte to possibly come over to Argentina with me and join me in making a difference. And that was that, it was decided, we were leaving for Buenos Aires in March 2017.
When working overseas for your placement year, not only are you doing something courageous and different but you’re also able to learn about a completely separate culture to your own, a topic which Voluntario Global likes its comms volunteers to delve into and write about. Also, working in a contrasting environment to what you’re used to undoubtedly increases your global awareness and your ability to adapt to varying situations. Your language skills will also improve. Voluntario Global enables its comms volunteers to meet so many new people on all of the different projects and with that comes situations where you’ll find yourselves in conversations, piecing together your broken spanish and trying to communicate with someone who knows no English. You’ll be throwing yourself in at the deep end, but it’s undoubtedly the best way to learn.
From a PR student perspective, Voluntario Global gives you the perfect opportunity to put all of those learnt skills into practice, and the chance to offer your own suggestions and opinions to try and find new ways to attract volunteers, as well as helping out the local communities.
So why not head here and check out the communications projects that VG offers; www.voluntarioglobal.org/en/volunteer-opportunities/writing-communications. Don’t worry about the costs of travelling just yet, and sign yourself up for a new and enriching experience today.