Perceived Effects of International Volunteering: Reports from Alumni

In an era of rapid globalization, individuals frequently travel overseas to volunteer in distant communities. Despite unprecedented growth, however, little is known about the impacts of international volunteering. This lack of knowledge is amplified by the expansion of diverse types of programs and organizations sending volunteers overseas. Across these different types, the expressed outcomes are often the same. However, it is most likely in practice that the different program types produce different outcomes.

As the field continues to grow, it is important to learn the most effective ways for producing the intended outcomes. This knowledge can contribute to enhancement of program effectiveness as well as efficiency. It is anticipated that differential outcomes may result from differences in volunteer and program attributes.

This report examines how two different models of international volunteering may contribute to certain volunteer outcomes as reported by volunteer alumni. The focus is on self-reported volunteer outcomes only. In future reports, we will address outcomes for the organizations and host communities.

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