Sometimes it feels like no one will give you experience until you already have experience – that’s where volunteer work comes in.
However, navigating the landscape for volunteering opportunities in a new country can be daunting. Here’s a guide for international students seeking to find and secure volunteer positions in Australia.
Stay active in your search
Opportunities for volunteering are scattered across different platforms, making it crucial to stay vigilant in your search. Follow organisations that interest you on social media platforms to receive updates about volunteer roles. Regularly check their websites or consider reaching out directly to inquire about volunteering opportunities. Perseverance is key – keep checking in with organisations you’d like to volunteer with and don’t get discouraged if opportunities don’t appear immediately.
Leverage your institution
Your university or educational institution can be an excellent resource for finding volunteer opportunities. Regularly check your university’s career website, student union, and clubs and societies pages. Universities often provide a variety of volunteering options, such as:
- Mentoring or providing peer support to fellow students.
- Assisting at events (like Orientation week).
- Contributing to the school magazine (with writing, distribution, marketing) or other clubs and societies.
- Tutoring other students.
- Working in the library or student help centre.
- Run for student leadership positions – just like former international student and ‘New Australian of the Year’ Gary Lee .
Search official websites regularly
Australia boasts a number of state and national websites that regularly post volunteering opportunities. Here are some online boards to explore volunteering roles near you:
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
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.
Keep your options open
Don’t limit your search to roles directly related to your field of study. Consider roles that offer transferable experience, such as customer or client interaction. Here are some areas to consider for volunteering:
- Animal welfare
- Conservation and environment
- Humanitarian organisations
- Libraries and museums
- Political campaigns
- Retirement homes
- Local sports teams/centres
- Disability Service
- Emergency Response
Discover the top 10 places to volunteer in Australia for some ideas!
Venturing into the world of volunteering can be an enriching experience. Good luck in your search for volunteer work in Australia! For more tips on job hunting and studying in Australia, explore our employment section.