Most universities and colleges encourage volunteering to help communities - both at home and overseas - as an integral part of student life.
For some students, volunteering may be a service learning component of their studies, particularly those studying for a career in international development. For others, it can help to gain valuable life skills and experience to add to their CV.
Volunteering as a student can be a good way to:
- Make a difference to the local community
- Gain practical/applied experience to complement your more theoretical learning from school
- Learn new skills and put your existing ones to good use
- Meet new people and make new friends
- Have fun
- Get a reference
A career in international development
Most employers will expect candidates applying for a role in international development to have some overseas experience. Many universities can support their students to find placements as a volunteer or an intern to help students gain practical experience and build an awareness of different working practices and cultural differences.
Service learning abroad
Some students may involved in service as an integrated aspect of their course - universities often have established partnerships where students can apply course content to community-based activities.
Studying abroad the right way
Our volunteer checklist can help students make sure that their time spent overseas is to the benefit of all.
Educational institutions taking a stand against orphanage volunteering
In Europe, several universities have pledged to not support volunteering in orphanages overseas.The pledge has been designed as a collaboration between the London School of Economics Volunteer Centre and the ReThink Orphanages coalition. Find out more about the University Pledge and how your university can sign up.
Support for schools, colleges and universities
Three of our partner organisations in Australia - Save the Children Australia, World Challenge and ALTO - have developed a Self Assessment Tool for schools and universities to undertake due diligence on their service, volunteering and community engagement activities overseas.
If your school, college or university currently supports a residential care institution overseas we can help to review this to ensure that efforts are directed towards programs that will help families to stay together. Contact us to find out more.