1. Live in a new culture. Volunteering abroad in a foreign country is a first-hand approach to experiencing just a small taste of life this planet has to offer. One of the best parts about being immersed in a new culture is finding how you adapt to new situations. Experience the new smells, sounds, and sights of the world. Even though you might experience culture shock, you'll find yourself better able to endure periods of hardship or loneliness and trusting your gut more. Don't be scared of the unknown. The more open your mind is, the easier the transition.
2. Get away from the NORM. Spend sometime outside of your normal life. The best part about spending time away from the ones you love, is that you begin to appreciate the ones you truly love even more. If you ever feel like you need to reevaluate your friendships or relationship, going away from those people is a great way to do so. Volunteering abroad can be an even more efficient way of doing so, because rather than wallowing in your petty thoughts with infinite time on your hands, you can focus your mind on something important, and use your free time to rethink what is important. You'll see how quick you can weed out the garbage in your life.
3. Live and work off the beaten path. Not only are you experiencing a new culture, but, most likely, you are traveling to a place that is outside of the normal tourist circle. Many volunteering placements are a little further than most tourists trek too. This comes with advantages like the people of the locale not being as jaded by the tourists as in the main hubs. A cross-cultural exchange of ideas is much more likely to occur, with both sides benefiting. It's a win-win situation for all.
4. Learn from the source. Do you want to be able to contribute your voice to relevant humanitarian, political, or environmental issues? Experiencing a topic first hand gives you credibility. You've shown you cared and have worked toward a solution for a problem. You can now contribute your opinions to the conversation from real experience rather than just relying on the latest snippets you got from your favorite night time talk show host.