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By Anu Aryal

University of Washington Masters of Public Health student, Anu Aryal, writes about the benefits and challenges of being an international volunteer. Prior to attending UW, Anu worked at an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) supporting local partner NGOs in implementing health and sanitation projects in rural Southwestern Nepal. During those two-and a-half years of public health work in her home country, she worked with many groups of foreign volunteers. Time and again, common tensions and misunderstandings surfaced related to language, cultural norms and interactions with local workers. In this op-ed she shares 5 tips to build richer, more reciprocal and meaningful experiences between foreign volunteer and local experts. 

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Anu Aryal is an MPH student at the University of Washington Department of Global Health

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