Volunteering at university can benefit and enrich your life in many ways. By volunteering we mean an altruistic activity done for the good of the society. It can be help to disabled people, caring about homeless animals, organising social events etc.
Students are offered plenty of possibilities for voluntary activities. However, some students ignore them because of lack of time or because they underestimate the perks such type of work can bring them.
Gain new competencies
Volunteering is doing new things in a fresh working environment. You learn general skills such as goal setting, planning, organising and team work, but also gain specific competencies, e.g how to encounter challenges and take responsibility. Your communication and social skills will be enhanced greatly. And who knows what kind of hidden talents could be discovering then! You might even become so skilled that you will get some money compensation for your work.
Enhance your career
While volunteering, you build networks and communicate with people from different working environments and backgrounds. You get precious insights into a specific career. Volunteering at university stage benefits your life track and makes a good contribution also to your personal development. It enormously raises the chances of your employability: hiring managers prefer job applicants with a volunteer experience over those without it.
Expand new horizons
Volunteering opens new horizons as you might socialise with people from other cultures and explore new places and even get the possibility to travel. For international students it is a good possibility to fit in a local life style or learn a new language etc. Benefit from the deep immersion into new cultures!
While working for your student union you can make impact and change something you feel unsatisfied with. It is your chance to take decisions and improve study environment around you!
Those who do unpaid work gain a sense of satisfaction from their involvement. By helping others, you will get recharged by positive energy and maybe discover a new perspective of life. Make the best of your study time!
Where to find information about volunteering
Be open and active! There are multiple sources of information to get involved. The information about volunteering can be found on the webpages of universities and student unions. The higher education institutions might have special events for students interested in volunteering. E.g University of Eastern Finland (UEF) participated in various campaigns and events with a goal to promote the integration of asylum seekers into Finnish society. (1)
Moreover, you can check the webpages of different volunteering organizations. There are also internet platforms that connect people interested in volunteering worldwide . E.g Volunteer World is the first independent platform that connects volunteers and social projects globally. This platform provides a community marketplace to present, discover, and apply to international volunteer options. Volunteer World aims to provide cost and service transparency of volunteer programs as well as significantly facilitates the search and application process. The portal has more than 1000 registered users and offers about 600 programs in more than 70 countries. You can easily compare the options based on cost, price and purpose. In addition to valuable peers feedback, the website contains a lot of useful information you might need if you going work as a volunteer.
By Anna Korobova