The experience of volunteering can also be an opportunity to learn a new language!

Being a Worldpacker in a hostel could be all you need to learn another language! Worldpackers are travelers focused on having an unique experience, getting to know a local culture and make anywhere in the world your home. It’s what 25-year-old Sylvia Bisetto did, on a volunteering experience in Brazil.

Driven by a desire to change her lifestyle and learn a new language, Sylvia started working part time in Ô de Casa hostel in São Paulo, Brazil. What began as something she enjoyed doing over the weekends, soon led her to a moment of epiphany – she was passionate about traveling.

Within a few months, Sylvia quit her day job as an administrative assistant and became a full time staff member at Ô de Casa. She discovered that it’s possible to develop new skills and have amazing experiences meeting people from all over the world, even inside her own native Brazil.

“I’m now part of the full time staff team at Ô de Casa Hostel, but I have a flexible work schedule, which gives me the time to travel. People often think traveling is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. This year I discovered Worldpackers, which helped me to volunteer where I am today, in Morro do São Paulo, Bahia. Finding a hostel where I travel by using my skills has never been easier”.

In Bahia Sylvia exchanges her skills for accommodation. It means she has the time to visit the state’s wonderful beaches and waterfalls! Before working and volunteering in hostels, Sylvia’s English was rather limited. She was able to converse, but her reading and writing skills weren’t great. “I listened to music in English and read as much I could, which helped, but I wanted more”, she says. And volunteering in a hostel is what took her English language skills to another level.


“Interacting with international guests on a daily basis not only improved my understanding of the language, but it also made me more confident”, beams Sylvia.

Can you imagine a better way to learn a new language rather than by chatting with people from other cultures and nationalities? We certainly don’t! And who better to judge your progress than the very host who took you in? Ô de Casa hostel owner, Marina readily admits:

“When Sylvia first arrived her English wasn’t great, but she got on really well with our guests. She took them out to the best parties and created a really positive vibe in the hostel. And when she volunteers in other hostels during the low season in São Paulo, she always gives me tips and ideas on how we can improve our services at Ô de Casa hostel”.

Helping out in a hostel for Sylvia involves doing a little bit of everything. “My job involves promoting parties, managing food stocks, decorating, hiring Djs, designing flyers, taking care of the hostel social media channels, dealing with bookings and making the guests feel at home”, she says. It seems that no day is the same for Sylvia and you know what they say, variety is the spice of life! As you can see, the Worldpackers way of life is about traveling, collaborating and learning. So what are you waiting for? Dream big, think of a place you’d like to travel to and find the perfect host.

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