Day 2 - Placement Preparation
Day two of volunteer orientation focuses largely on units designed to help prepare volunteers for what they can expect at their volunteer placement.
Some units provide general tips that past volunteers have found useful in helping them contribute the most value to the organization while working at their volunteer placement. Other units focus on culture shock and other challenges to communication that can impact the effectiveness of international volunteers.
On day two of volunteer orientation we also conduct specific units focused on each volunteer placement category. In these sessions, volunteers who will be working in the same field take part in guided small group discussions regarding the specific challenges and expectations that they may have. These are designed to help volunteers gain an understanding of what they can expect in their work environment to facilitate a smooth transition to their first day on the job.
Fact Vs Belief
This is an interactive activity that helps to demonstrate how our culturally based opinions and prejudice are often difficult to distinguish from facts and objective truths. This activity is a great start to looking at how living and working in a new culture will require the suspension of many of our programmed responses.
A willingness to embrace new ways of viewing the world around us is critical for volunteers to be able to build the relationships they will need to develop to become useful members of the teams of the organizations that they have come to serve.
Our volunteer orientation unit on culture shock looks in detail at the phases of culture shock that volunteers can expect to experience. We have found that by identifying these various stages volunteers are better able to recognize the signs in their behaviour when and if they occur. Particularly if a volunteer is experiencing a hostile phase at their volunteer placement.
These volunteer orientation sessions can help volunteers access if there is a need to pull back and reflect on how and why they are reacting to a given situation in a negative manner. By being able to identify and reflect on these stages, volunteers are more successful at staying open to their new cultural setting and are better able to stay focused on their job as opposed to becoming distracted by their emotional reactions to their new surroundings.
- Healthcare Volunteering
- Childcare Volunteering
- Administrative Volunteering
- Educational Volunteering
- Environmental Volunteering
- Community Development Volunteering
We coordinate weekend excursions for volunteers so that they are able to travel and explore the country. These excursions are an awesome way for volunteers to have some time away from their volunteer placement and explore with other international volunteers. This volunteer orientation session reviews each of the weekend excursions, the costs of these excursions, what is involved and creates sign-up lists for each excursion.