Sometimes it feels like no one will give you experience until you already have experience – that’s where volunteer work comes in.
But, for international students in a new country, it can be hard to know where to look for volunteer work.
Here are 5 things you can do that will help you find, and land volunteer experience.
1. Be vigilant
Places that offer volunteer experience are scattered all over, so the trick is to follow them on social media for notifications, check their websites regularly or contact them directly and ask if they’re looking for volunteers.
Don’t give up too soon – opportunities will present themselves if you stay connected and keep checking in with places you’d like to volunteer.
2. Ask at your Institution
Check and follow your university’s career website, student union and clubs and societies pages. There are many volunteer opportunities you can get through uni, for example, you can:
- Mentor or offer peer support to other students
- Assist at events (like O-week)
- Help the school magazine (with writing, distributing, marketing) or other clubs and societies
- Tutor other students
- Work in the library or student help centre
- Run for student leadership positions – just like a former international student and ‘New Australian of the Year’ Gary Lee .
3. Search official website regularly
There are quite a few state and national websites that post volunteering opportunities. Take a browse through some of these online boards and see what’s available near you.
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
Northern Territory & South Australia
4. Keep a short resume handy
Volunteer opportunities are taken fast and sometimes you’ll need to hand in a resume to be considered.
Have a one-page resume handy so that you can quickly adjust it to suit the position and send it to them as soon as you see an opening.
5. Keep your options open
Don’t discount places that aren’t directly related to what you want to do. Look for places that offer transferable experience (such as interacting with customers/clients). There’s a huge range of areas you can volunteer. Use this list to get you thinking:
- Animal welfare
- Conservation and environment
- Humanitarian organisations
- Libraries and museums
- Political campaigns
- Retirement homes
- Local sports teams/centres
- Disability Service
- Emergency Response
Good luck finding volunteer work! For more tips on job hunting and studying, check out our employment section.