By Poppy Jones:
With busy work and school revision schedules, students often can push aside the idea of volunteering. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous and often overlooked. So, what better way to use long summer months than by volunteering?
In recent years, charities across the globe have been encouraging students and graduates to join their volunteering programs to help . Here’s why a volunteering experience can help boost a student’s prospects, benefiting their future as well as the future of others.
Volunteers are integral part of any charitable organization and, without them, there would be no charity. Not only can volunteerism benefit an abundance of causes, but it also contributes to boosting students’ and graduates’ prospects once they head into the working world.
Britain’s 15.2 million monthly volunteers donate their time for a multitude of reasons, including the desire to bring about change, to give back to their community and those of others who may be less fortunate, as well as to learn and develop new skills. For students, a stint of volunteering offers numerous benefits for their future career as well as personal development and growth.
Meeting New People
Volunteer experiences provide students with great opportunities to meet new people with similar or contrasting interests, allowing them to feel part of a community. Studies show that 74% of graduates who volunteer develop a wider range of friendships, which is a fundamental social skill — particularly within the working world that you are thrown into quicker than you can take off your gown and mortarboard.
Whatever your degree, volunteering can help you gain hands-on experience of your subject that you cannot get in the classroom. As well as being a bonus in the eyes of employers, practical application through volunteer work will help cement your understanding.
Volunteering Overseas vs Volunteering at Home
When it comes to volunteering, there are countless opportunities, some being to work at home or overseas. Many graduates are drawn to the idea of experiencing new cultures in order to gain a better understanding of the world and its diversity of people.
Popular places with a diversity of cultures that are keen to recruit volunteers are the likes of Cambodia, Ghana, India, Kenya and Tanzania. In these places, volunteers are likely to be given work such as helping to teach children, supporting hospitals, and building schools or animal conservancies.
A significant number of students have opted for more permanent volunteering roles with the aim to help organizations around the world, in which case they need to apply for a Visa specific to the country. Those volunteering in the UK who wish to stay longer need to seek advice from or . It is important to remember that no type of volunteering experience is better than another.
Boosting Your Career Opportunities
Employers now look for more than just a degree: they look for one’s ability to stand out amongst the crowd by showcasing a variety of different skill sets and experiences. Volunteering provides valuable experiences that won’t be acquired in the classroom, so if students start early, they can ensure that their CV (curriculum vitae) will be brimming with sought-after skills that will enable them to stand out.
Things to Keep in Mind
When it comes to choosing the right volunteering experience, it is important that people follow their passions and interests as well as step out of their comfort zone and embrace new (maybe scary) challenges. Look for an experience that will test limits and force you to grow into a better version of yourself — regardless of whether it’s halfway across the world or just across the road.