Many students look forward to a relaxing or fun spring break. But there’s more than one way to have a fulfilling vacation— volunteering during spring break is a great decision for students seeking substantial and positive experiences!
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As a college student, you’ll find that volunteer work can be personally satisfying as well as professionally valuable. Volunteering allows you to serve others while also giving you a chance to work in a field you’re passionate about or interested in pursuing after graduation.
During your time off from school, you can make a positive impact on others and your own future by volunteering locally or globally. There are numerous volunteer opportunities available during spring break, as long as you know where to look for them.
Whether it’s in your school’s city or your hometown neighborhood, you can easily find volunteer options at the local level. Not only is local volunteer work more affordable than traveling during spring break, it also offers the potential to make an incredible impact on your immediate surroundings.
Various local private and public institutions—from your own college to museums to hospitals—have community service programs for college students. Whatever field or topic you’re interested in, chances are there is a local volunteer position that meets your interests.
If you don’t have a specific field in mind, consider what you’re passionate about and what skills you have to offer others. For instance, if you care about literacy, you can volunteer as a reading tutor at your local library. If you’re invested in politics or social justice, look for community-based non-profits to work with. Or if you love animals, you can contact a nearby animal shelter. Sites like VolunteerMatch and HandsOn Network can also you find the best position for you. As long as you want to help and are open to new challenges, then local groups will be eager to have you volunteer with them.
Volunteers Needed Nationwide
For those students who wish to travel to gain a better understanding of their country, there are many national volunteer programs to choose from this spring break. The non-profit group United Way offers several volunteer opportunities nationwide. Its spring 2015 projects include post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding projects in New Orleans, helping reduce homelessness in Baltimore, as well as advocating for women’s rights in Washington D.C.
Organizations like Habitat for Humanity and The Sierra Club also have vital national initiatives. Habitat for Humanity helps build shelters in low-income communities, while The Sierra Club does environmental work that helps clean up our planet. There are many important and exciting volunteer opportunities that will allow you to contribute to your country.
Global Volunteer Programs
Students looking for a big adventure this spring break may want to consider going abroad to volunteer. You can find a globally recognized organization on these international volunteer networks: Global Citizens Networks, International Student Volunteers, and Earthwatch Institute.
If you decide to volunteer out of state or out of the country, you may be able to get funding for your efforts. Be sure to check with your college’s volunteer office, your academic advisor, and the group you’re volunteering for regarding necessary financial and travel information.
[Why you should consider Spring Break volunteer opportunities.]
The true compensation for volunteering is the knowledge and satisfaction you’ll gain from your work. When you volunteer for a cause you believe in, you’ll gain powerful insight about your own capabilities, in addition to a fresh perspective about the world we share.
Javaher Nooryani is a writer and editor based in Denver, CO. She has a BA in American Literature & Culture from UCLA and a Masters in English & American Literature from NYU. As a former private tutor and college prep advisor, Javaher is passionate about higher education and is happy to share her knowledge on CollegeFocus, a website that helps students deal with the challenges of college.
Meta description: Learn how to have an alternative Spring Break vacation by volunteering.