When we are students, we have a lot of opportunities, such as to take part in different conferences, visit museums, travel and learn new cultures. Most likely, almost every student is concerned mostly with traveling. The most widespread type of students’ traveling is exchange. But where can you find other ways of traveling during your studying? There are 3 main ways: paying for internship in another university or organization, getting a free trip as a prize for contest or participating in the volunteer programs!
It goes without saying that the third way is probably the best: you do not pay for your participation, you do not have to worry about food and a place to stay – you just rely on the organizers. If to speak about remunerations, you will not get money anyway (internship can be paid sometimes, but in most cases – it is not). So, the volunteering way is one of the most popular occupations among students. Here, we gathered the main information about different volunteer programs which can be useful for you.
Why Do Students Volunteering?
It is hard to believe, a lot of people say that it is not good to spend time on free work and it is better to find a normal job. If you are reading this article, you are not one of them. If you want to become a part of the volunteer movement all over the world, this text can be useful for you. And in this article, we will talk about volunteering in other cities and countries, because such activities in your native city will not cause any misunderstandings.
When it comes to the question of why students volunteer, everyone will give a different answer. To begin with, it is the opportunity to see new places, learn about a new culture and become a part of another society. This way, you can bring a part of your lifestyle to some people with completely different opinions about the surrounding world. Then, volunteers do not need to worry about their life conditions, because the organizers provide everything required. Besides, you can meet new people and find friends during a project.
What Are the Duties?
Sometimes, a person who participates in such projects is called a «voluntary servant». But it does not mean that you will prepare food and clean the house for rich people – it is not the purpose of volunteering. As a rule, such projects are connected with problems of society, ecology, politics and other significant issues.
It is a kind of challenge to name the duties of a voluntary servant, as it depends on the future of a particular project. In most cases, volunteers are obliged to work with children, with poor families, in the regions affected by different types of disasters, etc. This is a sociably valuable occupation, so if you participate in a program, it gives you the reasons to be proud of yourself. There are a lot of participants in any project – you will never be alone in your cause.
Combine Your Studying and Volunteering
Plenty of students think that a college will not let them miss classes – but it is a misconception. First of all, most educational establishments are happy to have volunteers among students. Secondly, administration may even suggest you some available projects. Do not be afraid to ask!
Unfortunately, not all kinds of volunteering activity can be a satisfactory reason to miss classes, e.g., participation in a music festival can hardly be called a proper project. Here comes a question: what programs are suitable?
How to Choose a Program?
To begin with, you need to pay attention to the topics you like, because there is no sense to go somewhere, miss classes and leave you family for the sake of something you do not want to do. Besides, the type of the volunteering has to be connected with the direction of your education (in other case, you may just not get the permission from your college). It is very beneficial to do something that can help you stand out in the future – you will be able to use it like the relevant experience in this field when you create your CV. In terms of your current education, the best way to find out which projects are allowed is to go to the college administration and ask them.
Which Details Should You Know?
Of course, it is not enough to choose a project, apply for it and notify the administration in advance. There are plenty of aspects and details you have to consider. The first thing is the required documents – for some projects you need to be a member of a volunteer union, so check it before applying. Second aspect concerns your affairs in the financial field (sometime students with loans for studying are not allowed to move to another country). Then, you should consider the features of the type of a project. For example, if you are unable to stand the sight of any blood, you are probably better off skipping the help in the survivor cities.
There are also some points about your private needs. Do not forget to go through the weather conditions in the region to be able to choose the relevant clothes. It is necessary to find out what you should bring with you (e.g. not all organizers provide gadgets and the easily accessible Internet connection). Pay attention to the equipment you have to bring with you. But in general, those aspects should be agreed upon with your team leaders and supervisors. It is also good to ask about permission to take photos in order to know whether it is necessary to take your camera. And do not forget to check the availability of places to keep your valuable belongings.
How to Prepare Mentally?
Sometimes, it is the most difficult part of the project, especially if it is going to be your first trip as a volunteer. But you do not have to worry – relax, have a good amount of sleep and take advantage of everything! Focus on your desire and motivation and everything will be fine!
If you follow the rules of participation, you can go to the designated area of your project without being worried about any missed classes. In the end of the article, we want to mention that a lot of colleges may require the report about your experience, so be ready to write it!