‘Some of the best things in life are free!’ -Anonymous.
Volunteering your time and effort to help someone free of cost is indeed a noble thing to do. This article will examine the importance of volunteering to work on community projects when studying abroad. We will also look at some of the popular volunteering opportunities that are available and how you can use this experience to land a relevant job on graduating.
What exactly is Volunteering?
To put it simply, students get a chance to work without pay on projects and gain work-experience. These volunteering opportunities can be a two or three-week project in countries like South Korea, Mexico or Cambodia. It could also be regular work on weekends in the local community where the institution is based.
- Teaching English, Mathematics and Science to underprivileged children.
- Assisting medical professionals in relief camps and hospitals in rural areas.
- Assisting staff-members on ecological conservation projects.
- Assisting staff-members on archaeological and geographical surveys.
- Local community projects that involve spending time in caring for the aged and the disabled, data collection and entry work for the local governing body, etc.
- Volunteering instils a sense of self-belief, confidence and independence.
- You get to visit new countries and learn about different cultures and traditions.
- Experience first-hand community involvement
- Develop teamwork and interpersonal skills
- Most volunteering jobs are focused on teaching children; you will be surprised at what young children can teach you.
- You will get a chance to learn a new language.
- Helping others is a special feeling; it cannot be expressed in words; you earn ‘good karma’.
- You will be happy in knowing that you have created a positive impact on someone’s life.
- Valuable work experience on your resume.
Making it Count:
We live in a world where references and connections matter.A testimonial from a senior staff-member on your team or the volunteering service organiser carries a lot of importance. In addition, LinkedIn is playing a major role in how recruiters analyse the qualities and skills of potential employees. If you can get an endorsement on LinkedIN or an official letter describing your efforts, it will help you a lot when you apply for a full-time job once you graduate.
Many students graduate and find employment with the organisation for which they volunteered when they were studying.Volunteering also teaches leadership and team-work skills.These are qualities that all employers look for and will hold you in good stead wherever you go. Students who work on local community development projects get a better understanding of the city that they live.They make friends with the locals and are respected by the community for their good work. This is advantageous when students apply for paid part-time work opportunities.
Some popular agencies, which facilitate volunteering opportunities for students are listed below:
Volunteering to work in new places is like an adventure:
Author, environmentalist and motivational speaker - Frosty Woolridge says -“Adventure offers every human being the ability to live ‘the’ moment of his or her most passionate idea, fantasy or pursuit. It may take form in the arts, acting, sports, travel or other creative endeavours. Once engaged, a person enjoys ‘satori’ or the perfect moment. That instant may last seconds or a lifetime. The key to adventure whether it be painting, dancing, sports or travel: throw yourself into it with rambunctious enthusiasm and zealous energy—which leads toward uncommon passion for living. By following that path, you will attract an amazing life that will imbue your spirit and fulfil your destiny as defined by you alone. In the end, you will savour the sweet taste of life pursuing goals that make you happy, rewarded and complete. As a bonus, you may share your life experiences with other bold and uncommon human beings that laugh at life, compare themselves with no one and enjoy a whale of a ride!” From “How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World”
Did you get a chance to volunteer when you studied abroad? Share your experiences in the ‘Comments’ section below.