With graduation season fast approaching, many college graduates are looking for volunteer opportunities before they begin their journey of finding or starting their career. These opportunities can be to serve others, for personal growth, or to experience different cultures or traditions.
Often referred to as the internal “Peace Corps” for the USA, this huge umbrella organization holds a large number of agencies and thousands of opportunities. Volunteers have a wide variety of services to choose from whether its children and youth, education, health, hunger, or elder care. There’s no fee to participate in this program and AmeriCorps even offers stipends to cover living expenses, health care coverage, and an educational award at the end of service.
The Peace Corps is a branch of the United States government that connects volunteers with international service projects. Areas of work include agriculture, health, community development, education, and more. These service projects can be Asia, Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Mexico. Volunteers interested in serving do have to commit to 27 months of service but receive 2 days of vacation per month of service. There aren’t any fees to participate and, just as AmeriCorps, participants receive stipends to cover living costs, health coverage, and an award of $7,425 after completion of service.
This non-profit organization offers graduates with a 12-month long teaching opportunity in 15 different countries. These volunteers teach English, math, science, computer skills, HIV/AIDS education, and general elementary education. Unlike the two previously mentioned programs, participants are asked to raise funds to assist with paying for program costs but are provided with all materials to raise these funds. WorldTeach offers volunteers room, board, health coverage, and a small stipend for daily living expenses.
The Student Conservation Association
This organization has an internship program that has volunteers hands-on conservation projects lasting from three to ten months. The volunteers for this organization focus on wildfire management and education, environmental education, and trail restoration and maintenance. Volunteers receive a stipend, housing, and medical coverage for the longer term assignments.
Whatever passion drives a graduate towards volunteering, there are ample opportunities available to explore those passions.