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The basics
Study abroad : Once you arrive

5 Reasons to volunteer while studying abroad

Why is volunteering important for your CV while studying abroad? Here are some skills you can sharpen from taking part in local activities...

volunteering abroad whle you study

Today employers want to see that little bit more from candidates. If you choose to remain in that same country to find a job, you may wish to supplement your international student status with some volunteer work to really stand out. This is sometimes where international students go wrong, because they tend to go back home outside of term and spend time with family during the holidays.


But why does volunteering give you that extra bit of edge once you graduate? Here are some impressive skills that you will acquire from volunteering and make employers want you even more...



Studying abroad is great in terms of helping you adapt to a whole new environment, whilst soaking up the culture and studying what you love. However, what it may not do is help you adapt to the real world of work to prepare you once you graduate. By volunteering abroad, employers will assume you have a great ability in being able to work in any sort of setting and take on a range of tasks with confidence. This will most certainly make a good impression.




Having a clear perception of your personality and understanding your strengths and weaknesses is best achieved when throwing yourself in the deep end. Taking on volunteering is a fantastic example, as the tasks you will undertake will be very demanding and daunting at times, but you will learn so much about yourself and your abilities. This will help you feel ready to walk into a job interview feeling confident in expressing your strengths and being able to provide unique examples.



People skills

Communication and team work – two very important skills in any sort of work environment. You will find that volunteer work mainly consists of working with people on group projects and can be the best way to enhance these people skills. You will endure many highs and lows with your group members which will be intense at times, but this will improve your social development to a whole new level.




Being able to lead a team as well as working with one is a very valuable skill to have too. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to get stuck in and lead team projects when volunteering, so never turn it down. This leadership asset could be the determining factor that sets you apart from other candidates when applying for a job. It will show you are organised and can lead a team with confidence.




Volunteering work can typically involve looking after small children and leading team projects which require huge responsibility. Although it can seem like a scary prospect, get stuck in and enjoy it. You will surprise yourself at how intuitive and responsible you are when given challenging tasks like these. This will pay off in the long run too, as employers will see you as a mature and responsible individual from your practise in tackling strenuous tasks.


This piece is not meant to make you think that studying abroad isn’t beneficial, because it is a wonderful experience. However, ensure you make the most of fantastic opportunities while in another country. Get some work experience down on your CV to enrich your abroad experience.


Get stuck in and enjoy!


This piece has been written by Yasmin Codron, an Online Researcher and Marketing Assistant at Graduate Recruitment Bureau. Her work involves writing insightful, advice based articles for students and graduates. 

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