Lesson 2: Saying goodbye and preparing for coming back home

Lesson 2 Chapter 1

tips from former volunteers about saying goodbye

  • Make your last day a positive one! Try to do something active (with the children) and make your goodbye a good day.
  • If you would like to give something to the children or people at your project to show your appreciation, you should make it feel fair to everybody. Do not give someone a small present and someone else a very big present.
  • Make sure you tell everybody on time that you are leaving, so that everybody is prepared and aware of this. If you are working with children you can make a countdown calendar to make it visual for them.
  • Try not to be too emotional when saying goodbye, especially when you are around children. Keep in mind that on most projects they are used to the fact that volunteers come and go.
  • Think of which ways of saying goodbye fit into their culture. Do not assume that the way of saying goodbye that you are used to, is also a good way to say goodbye in another culture.   

Tips from former volunteers about preparing for coming back home

    Think of which goals you had in the beginning and which goals gave you the most energy. Focus on these things during your last days.
  • Take time to think of how you want to say goodbye and which people you would like to see, or places you would like to visit once more before you go.
    Embrace the time you have already had and make sure you make the best of your last days.
    Make time to pack your bags, try not to do it last-minute. You might regret leaving in a rush, when you are back home. 
  • Make pictures or videos of your daily activities, for example your breakfast, the road to your project, the people you spent a lot of time with. 

Next lesson: What can you experience when you come back to your own country?