Australian National University
Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology)
I volunteered with SLV.Global in Bali through October and November of 2016. As it was the final pilot placement in Bali, our group was quite small compared to the placements before us.
The placement was challenging, fast-paced and usually very rewarding. The coordinators and mentors with SLV.Global provide guidance and push you to work at your very best for your service users. However, you and your placement group are given your own agency and encouraged to workshop your own ideas. As a result, it was essential and inevitable that you become fast friends and/or colleagues with your group. Working and living overseas was a shock at first but SLV volunteers are briefed and trained for this. Bali is a hot, busy, tropical paradise that is much different to the Western lifestyle you might be accustomed to. In saying that, SLV.Global is very well-respected and welcomed in the communities that they work in. It’s also great to volunteer with a company that works with the local community and doesn’t exploit its un-sustainably. The language barrier may seem daunting at first but you’ll find that it does not truly inhibit your placement (it challenges you to be more creative or learn more of the local language!
On a placement such as this, it’s imperative that you keep an open mind and be very adaptable. Perhaps it was because we were such a small group or because our group was the last of the year but a couple of changes had to be made to our schedules and expectations were not always met. However, every adversity on the placement is a learning opportunity. Sometimes, not a lot of notice can be given about exactly where and when you will be working; this is to protect the integrity and sensitive nature of the work you’ll be doing. Think of these times as surprises and don’t stress. SLV.Global works very hard to provide volunteers with great opportunities. On the whole, I enjoyed my placement in Bali; it was rewarding, informative, and experiential. For me, as a psych grad with almost no hands-on experience in the field, this placement and the other volunteers in my group taught me invaluable skills and knowledge. An SLV.Global placement is a whirlwind; if you throw yourself in and embrace it, you’ll go swimmingly.