Volunteering abroad, particularly volunteering on a short-term basis, has long been a subject of discussion in the study abroad community. The practice is on the increase yet questions and controversy abound.
It is helpful to the organizations and people on-site? Does it create dependency on people who have little or no long-term commitment to the community? Or does it provide services and benefits not being provided otherwise? Does it actually help the local community, or merely make the volunteers feel good? This short video below has its own take but is worth watching to help you think through your relationship to local communities and organizations when including volunteering or service-learning on short-term programs abroad.