Where do you want to go for a trip? In modern times it isn’t hard to take a trip. People usually take a trip to sightsee and the period is relatively short. So, you cannot help judging a book by its cover, meaning a short trip doesn’t give you an accurate picture of the places you see. Aren’t you fed up with these short kinds of trips? If so, pay attention to the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms WWOOF. This program allows travelers to grab a better cultural experience and save money.
The WWOOF program requires a traveler to give help doing farm work and in return the traveler receives room and board. The traveler who participates in WWOOF is called a ‘wwoofer’ and the farmer who provides room and board is called a ‘host.’ The system first started in Sussex of the U.K in 1971. A foreign tourist had helped with the organic farm and received room and board at the beginning. Hosts still run organic farms, following the purpose of growing organic food. The nations that have joined the WWOOF have increased to approximately 100 countries with growing interest about it. There are about 70 farms in Korea that operate as hosts.
Here are some advantages of the WWOOF. First, you can feel another life style and have new values. The WWOOF is similar to agritourism where you can enjoy the life of countryside and learn various farming methods. You’ll also have opportunities to attend special events such as parties or festivals if you have a good host. In addition, it’s a useful way to learn a new language because you will be living with a native that speaks another language. Also, you can save money. You don’t pay for food and room so you have less expenses during your stay than if you traveled independent of WWOOF. Another positive thing is there are many different kinds of people that you can meet through this program. You can make friends from several nations and interact with them. You can trust WWOOF. Recently, concerns of exploiting laborers and verbal abuse were raised. To address those concerns, WWOOF has taken steps to ensure those things don’t occur. Hosts are chosen after they have a thorough background check which included feedback from wwooders and government document screening. So, WWOOF takes less of a risk than other programs.
Then, how do you apply for WWOOF? First, you can sign up for the membership of WWOOF online or offline. After selecting a WWOOF site of another country that you want to go, you can apply for membership of WWOOF and purchase a brochure. If that is difficult, you can go to the WWOOF shop in person and purchase a brochure. Afterwards you can complete an application form for WWOOF membership. The brochure shows information about hosts such as farm work, minimum stay periods, dwelling environments, and contact information. So, you should read the brochures carefully and determine where to go. Then, you should contact the host and agree to a schedule, dwelling environment, and so on. You should be issued a tourist visa like a working holiday visa.
There are few things that you need to be aware of. First, WWOOF isn’t a simple trip. You must spend 4-6 hours per day at work. Also it’s unusual for the host to pay the wwoofer. It looks the same as a volunteer activity. Be prepared for a mild discomfort and study language of your host beforehand. It is difficult to live if you can’t communicate with the host, because you must speak the local language there. It is important to make a wise decision about the host you choose. The kind of experience that you’ll have can very and depends on the host. It’s important that you read host’s introduction in the brochure to have an idea what the host will be like.
Knowing a new culture is the best thing about WWOOF. Try WWOOF if you want a challenge, leave a boring life, and gain valuable experience. The door of WWOOF is wide open to people who are full of enthusiasm.