Travel is one the most exciting experience that someone can have. Even if you travel for vacations or to stay for a long time in a place there is always going to be a feeling of happiness and uncertainty when you decide to change everything that you know and pack to have a new adventure. I believe in the idea to travel with a purpose, I think it is one of the best ways to have an immersion in a new country and get to know their culture. There are programs like Atlas Corps that give this opportunity, however if you are looking for an experience in a different field, here is a list of programs that you can check or recommend to your friends :):
•Acumen Fellowship program: Is a 12 month Fellowship for professionals who are interested to address social issues through leadership and business skills. The Fellowship begins with eight weeks of training in the Acumen New York office. Then each fellow is placed at companies within Acumen´s ecosystem to work in different projects. Since 2006, Acumen has trained 97 Fellows from over 25 countries.
•Ballon Chile: Is a 5 weeks program that brings young professionals to work hand in hand with rural entrepreneurs to help them to develop or improve their business ideas. The program starts with an intensive course of Innovation and Entrepreneurship methodologies, and then the Fellow has the chance to share his knowledge and experience with the local entrepreneurs and work in a variety of projects with them. The program has had Fellows from different countries from Latin America and it´s done in Chile, Mexico and Argentina. I was Fellow of the program in 2013 and it has been one of the greater experiences that I have ever had :).
•Bankers without borders: Is the Grammen Foundation´s volunteer initiative, it was established in 2008 to connect skilled professionals with organizations that work to break the cycle of poverty. The volunteers work in different projects in technical assistance, mentoring and consulting. The plus of this program is that you can work for 1 year immersed in the project or if you only have some hours you can do it online. The Fellowship takes place in Africa (Uganda, Ghana, and Kenya), Latin America (Colombia and Nicaragua), Asia (India and The Philippines), and the Middle East.
•América Solidaria: Is a Chilean NGO that has been working for more than 10 years with the poorest and most underprivileged communities among the countries in the Americas. America Solidaria looks for volunteers to work one year in a variety of projects in the fields of Health, Education and Economic Development.
•UN Volunteers: The program focuses in two areas, Development Assistance and Humanitarian and PeaceKeeping operations. Every year, UN recruits volunteers of around 160 nationalities to serve in 130 countries. UN has different volunteers opportunities too, there are short terms assignments and the UNV´s online Volunteering to collaborate online with a variety of projects.
I hope you can use this information or you can spread it with your friends :).Sometimes it is hard to make the decision to apply to this programs, it takes courage and time to do it however it is worth because at least you try and maybe that opportunity can be one of the best adventure that you are going to have :).