To develop self-awareness might seem hard regarding that we tend to believe we are self-aware, we don't usually question ourselves about it. This is interesting because we are always changing, and yet we think we know ourselves. Self-awareness, like other soft skills, is not something you have -or don't have- it's something you learn. But we can't learn it in a book, it comes with practice.
When volunteering, you are always being challenged. And when you get immersed in a new culture, even more. Challenges make us think, when volunteering abroad, we think about others: other cultures, other ways of being. But when we think of others, we also reflect on ourselves, we question our habits, our emotions, and actions. This helps us to know ourselves even more.
At the same time, self-awareness can help you to make your volunteering experience better. If you know yourself, you can more easily identify those aspects that will be more challenging, as well as ask for help or talk about it with the coordinators. Also, self-awareness can help reduce the frustrations and anxiety that can arise when facing something completely new. It can also help you to be aware of your purpose. Setting goals is really important when you decide to volunteer because it can help you and the people in the project work together for them.