The purpose of this essay is to show the benefits of volunteering for the international students, not only in an idealistic point of view but also based on research with input from those who experienced or organized a volunteer’s program. Some of the facts in this essay does not necessarily apply to all international students and volunteers.
Considering that an international student is away from his home country, it is familiar to an international student to feel out of place and isolated in the area where the student study. To alter his, the international student, even if not required, turn to a volunteer project. The good thing about it is that there are other benefits that they can get from volunteering aside from moving from homesickness.
The international student tends to become less isolated as he learns to understand the community in which he volunteers (Wight n.p.). A volunteer student has more opportunities to learn the culture of the community and adjust to the way of living and the people around him. The student gets to enjoy and appreciate his new environment and find a new home in the place where he volunteers. Volunteering is also an excellent way for an international student to meet the people around him. He can build camaraderie and lasting friendships with his fellow volunteers and other students. It is normal for a newcomer like an international student not to expect any friendship from the new people he encounters in a volunteer project. However, even before the project comes to an end, the volunteer gets what he did not expect – friendship and companionship. It is because the challenges of a volunteer project push the volunteers to be united and cooperate to accomplish a common goal. That is also why the more involved the international student is in his community, the less chance he would feel isolated.
Being involved in the community is a rewarding experience that develops one’s psychological well-being. Volunteering is an act of contributing time to help others without pay or expectation of any material benefit (Wilson and Musick 141). As the saying goes, it is always better to give than to receive when it comes to volunteering, the giver gains as much as the receiver does. The volunteer experience self-fulfillment in volunteering. In most cases, an international student volunteer finds his purpose in volunteering and gives him direction for the future.
In some cases, depending on his course of study, an international student is required to do a community-based project as part of the curriculum. Volunteer projects for international students add up to their resumes and work experience. International students gain additional experience and skills in the field aside from the academic knowledge in the university where they are enrolled. Moreover, such skills are further enhanced as much as their time spent in volunteering which will give the student an edge for his future career in public service, and other related fields to his volunteer projects. Research shows that students who had volunteer experience were more able to secure employment (Wight n.p.). This rewarding experience is in addition to the academic points that the international student will gain for volunteering which gives him a brighter chance of achieving a higher GPA.
Being involved in a volunteer project is not always promising for an international student at first. However, eventually, as go on with his volunteer job, and as he meets new people and learns about their culture and environment, an international student volunteer will learn to adapt to his new community and to gain new skills and friendship along the way. He may even end up considering the community where he volunteers as his new home.
Wight, Francis. “Volunteering helps international students integrate: Student Volunteering Week 2016.”Times Higher Education, 30 Sept 2015. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/news/world-ranked-universities-most-international-students
Accessed 28 Mar 2019.
Wilson, John and Musick, Marc.The Effects of Volunteering on the Volunteer.Law and
Contemporary Problems, Vol. 62, No. 4, pp. 141-168. 1999. Duke University School of Law. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1192270?read-now=1&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents. Accessed 29 Mar 2019.