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Top 4 Places to Volunteer to Add Value to Your Study Abroad Application

Posted on Oct 06, 2018
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Almost any guide that tries to point you in the direction of a successful business school application or even a successful career would strongly suggest that you have extra-curricular volunteering activity on your resume. However, many of them fail to address a pertinent question: “What volunteering activities?”.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what volunteering activities you can take up, it is important to know why one must volunteer. This is not merely an act of making it a more lucrative activity for you, but also an exercise in understanding where one can volunteer, based on what reason seems most lucrative to you:
1. Develop leadership qualities
2. Work in and understand the dynamics of a team
3. Great way to start networking
4. Get a chance to work for something greater than yourself (if you volunteer for a cause)
5. Learn more about a relevant area of interest or
These are four pertinent reasons why a volunteering – for a cause or otherwise – might help you out in your career or university ambitions.
Now for the question to be answered:

What Volunteering Activities Should I Take Up?

Here are some of the most popular choices among students:
1. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that work for causes/disaster relief
NGOs are a great place to volunteer for those that wish to add such experience to their resume. This is mainly due to the nature of an NGOs functioning which allows for an environment that puts others before the self and thrives on teamwork and leadership. There are several NGOs around the world that you can volunteer for that are always looking for enthusiastic, motivated volunteers. What’s more, you can also approach several organisations that will match you with an NGO relevant to your interests and concerns.

2.Events/Festivals
An event or festival can be a rather exciting opportunity for the millennial in you to volunteer with. This is mainly due to the dynamic, fast-paced emulation of an organisation that these tend to be, owing to a similar structure of hierarchies. Volunteering for an event or festival also teaches you how the organizing of such medium-large scale events works, including the teamwork that goes into it.

3. Political Campaigns
Politically inclined and looking for a volunteering opportunity? Focussing your efforts at a local political campaign might just be the thing for you. This is for two reasons – firstly, you’ll be working for something you are passionate about. Secondly, and most importantly, you gain tremendously useful experience while being allowed to network. Volunteering for a political campaign is also a great way to kick-start your political career if you are so inclined.

4. Local Libraries
Love books? Maybe you’d enjoy volunteering at a library! This mostly includes helping them organize shelves and helping out visitors find what they require. Volunteering at a library could turn out to be a highly enjoyable task for those that are looking for space away from the fast-paced opportunities that exist otherwise.

How to Find Volunteering Opportunities in Your Locality
Here are 3 most commons ways you can land yourself a volunteering opportunity:

1. Tap Into Your Social Network:
Know what your peers are up to. There might be an opportunity floating right under your nose – maybe someone has started up his own NGO, is working on an event, or knows someone that’s looking for volunteers.

2. Get on an Online Platform:
Often, online job search or volunteer matching services and websites list volunteering opportunities. Get on one of these and get looking today.

3. Watch Out for Special Days/Events During the Year:
Special days, events and seasons such as Christmas, Diwali and so on also bring with them plenty volunteering opportunities as organizations and governmental bodies alike plan special events where extra help is required.

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