Do you want to travel and make a positive impact on the world? This book is designed for you.
How to Be an Amazing Volunteer Overseas will give you essential advice on how to decide what to do and where to go. It will help you to prepare for life in a new country. And most importantly, it will set you up to get the most out of your experience by learning from local leaders and contributing in a meaningful way.
Full of practical tips and personal stories from the author's experience having worked and volunteered in 70 countries, How to Be an Amazing Volunteer has been endorsed by leaders in the international development community, and is a must-read as borders begin to open up post-pandemic, and as purpose-driven Gen-Zers around the world look to broaden their horizons while making a positive impact.
Net proceeds from book sales will go to support education programs in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya and a First Nations community in Canada.
"People who change the world are not necessarily 'special' people. They are everyday people who do not hesitate to respond to outside signals. Volunteering is about discovering what you can do and about getting to a point to take your own first steps. This book chronicles Susan's journey to discover herself - you'll enjoy being a co-traveller with her." - Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2006
"Susan's depth and breadth of real-world experience in overseas work is unmatched. While the book ostensibly is about volunteering, it's really about international assistance, even the paid kind. Every Peace Corps volunteer, every international aid worker, manager, and executive of any kind - from NGO CEOs to World Bank experts - should devour How To Be An Amazing Overseas Volunteer and assign it to their teams. It will be a text in my courses. A game changer!" - Kim Wilson, Sr. Lecturer, Fletcher School, Tufts University
"Invaluable guidance for anyone volunteering locally or internationally. The list of dos and don'ts paired with stories is a great way to share important experience-authentic, not theoretical."-Wanjiku Kibui, Finance and Operations Consultant
"Susan is very frank and gives direct advice. The book is a lesson on understanding humans, on dignity, and on how to treat people that you believe need your help. The depth of her truth forces the reader to reflect on their intentions. You have represented us in the developing world very well." -Sidee Dlamini, Director of Stakeholder Management, African Leadership University
"This is an amazing compilation of information, personal anecdotes, real life lessons, and fun-to-read stories. You have demonstrated that you have to know your privilege to truly set yourself in a position of service to others; that it is working alongside communities and individuals who ultimately teach you more than you could ever teach them." -Elissa McCarter-Borde, CEO, Vitas Group
"Whilst COVID may have delayed some plans for potential volunteers, the human urge to explore and contribute will still be there once the pandemic is over! I certainly plan to reference it when I talk to new potential volunteers and indeed staff who want to take first assignments abroad." -Sanj Srikanthan, CEO, Shelter Box
"I really appreciated the overall tone of respect and deference to the knowledge, experiences, priorities and needs of organizations and/or peoples of the countries that we set out to "help". It is so important to take our cues from them and to position ourselves "in service" to people and communities. Despite today's "wokeness", the international aid industry still suffers from "first worldism" where "developed" countries still play the role of experts advising the "developing" world." -Ghada Jiha, Regional Gender Expert - Middle East, UN World Tourism Organization
"The opportunity to volunteer with global organizations is a privilege to not only give of oneself, but to learn from local leadership and respect the wisdom to be obtained." -Shelly Whitman, Executive Director, The Dallaire Institute
"Anyone who enjoys travel and wants to add value to others' lives will find this a satisfying place to start."
"A useful and anecdotal manual for those who wish to work for international nonprofits."
About the author
Susan E. Gibson began her career as a public school teacher in Alberta and Ontario. She completed a Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies at the University of British Columbia and is now a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Her research interests include the development of social studies curricula, the design of technology-mediated models of teacher professional development, and how best to prepare pre-service teachers for teaching in a digital age.