The Ultimate Voluntourism Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Voluntourism is a combination of tourism and volunteering, all rolled into one. While there are many proponents, there are also some critics of this increasingly popular activity, who argue that it's more about tourism than volunteering and that it can actually harm the recipient country's economy. Take this quiz to learn more about voluntourism.

What is another name for voluntourism?

Voluntourism is also known as volunteer travel or volunteer vacation.

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What type of people do voluntourism?

All kinds of people do voluntourism, including retired baby boomers and college spring breakers.

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What is the main difference between voluntourism and, say, a mission trip?

Voluntourism is usually short-term, whereas a mission trip or the Peace Corps is for a longer period of time.

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Aside from helping with a particular issue (such as clean-up after a natural disaster), how else does voluntourism benefit another country?

It brings tourists into the country, which boosts the economy.

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When was the U.K.'s Volunteer Service Organization (VSO) founded?

The VSO, which now sends volunteers all over the world, was founded in 1958.

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Until the 1970s, what was the impetus behind the volunteer work being done across the globe?

Until then, activism was the impetus behind a lot of the volunteer work that was being done.

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If you are deemed eligible, what might the organization Travel for Good offer you?

Travel for Good offers grants of up to $5,000 for eligible individuals wanting to do voluntourism.

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Which organization introduced the idea of raising money through tourist dollars?

Earthwatch came up with the idea, offering tourists the chance to watch, then participate in, research projects, archeological digs, etc.

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What age group is suited to voluntourism?

There are family packages that offer the opportunity for the entire family to do voluntourism. There is no single age bracket that is most suitable.

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If you're going on a lengthy voluntourism stint, what do you need to do in advance?

There are a number of things you should do in advance, including those listed here.

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Why shouldn't you pat a child on the head in Thailand?

In Thailand, it is culturally unacceptable to touch someone's head. Learning about different cultures is an important part of the preparation for a voluntourism trip.

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What is the recommendation of Voluntourism.org regarding preparing for your trip?

Voluntourism.org recommends reading up about group dynamics, since you'll be participating as part of a group.

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How should you prepare yourself emotionally for such a trip?

While meditation, yoga and speaking to your therapist might help, it is important to know -- and internalize -- what to expect. You will no doubt see a society with very different living conditions from the one you're coming from.

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On a voluntourism trip, can you do regular sightseeing?

Usually, a voluntourism trip will include time for yourself to sightsee either before the volunteer work begins, afterward or even during part of each day.

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What do critics say about voluntourism?

Critics say that voluntourists are often untrained or unskilled and therefore don't make a significant enough contribution to the cause.

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Does voluntourism have an underlying insinuation that local people aren't good enough to do the job themselves?

Yes, say the critics. Sending people to do the work for others in a foreign country insinuates that locals can't do the job themselves.

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One problem with voluntourism, perhaps due to its relative newness to the market, is that it is:

Voluntourism is currently unregulated. This means that certain things can go awry because organizers are motivated by business considerations, not altruism.

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When you evaluate a voluntourism opportunity, what question should you ask the organizer?

You should ask about support and training. Also ask for a job description, their policies on ecotourism, and similarly important matters.

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Why do some voluntourism organizations discourage contact between the volunteers and the locals?

They do this to avoid the locals feeling exploited or indebted to the volunteers.

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Following the 2004 tsunami, what has angered Kerala locals with regard to voluntourism?

Kerala locals claim that the government diverted redevelopment money to boost tourism by beautifying unaffected areas.

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