Volunteering your time and energy is a fantastic way to learn and develop useful and marketable skills, meet new people in your field, explore new interests, try out or observe potential jobs and careers, gain experience, give back to your community, and have a great time in the process. Employers and graduate schools alike view the skills and experience gained from volunteering very positively – unpaid experience is still valuable experience.
Choose a Volunteer Work
Consider the following tips when choosing an organization or program:
- Interests: What activities or tasks do you enjoy undertaking? Are the tasks dependent on a particular skill set? Is this a chance to apply academic knowledge?
- Time Commitment: How much time per week you would like to devote to the volunteer work? Is this a one-time or short-term or ongoing project?
- Skills: What skills you would like to develop? Though the work may not be directly related to your study field, consider if you can develop some of these transferrable skills through volunteering - leadership, team work, problem-solving and analysis, project management and organization, interpersonal skill, oral and written communication skills, and knowledge about the organization or the industry.
Volunteering Within and Around McGill
McGill offers many ways for you to get involved and make a difference:
CaPS Peer Educator Program, Community Action Toolkit, Student Associations, Student Life Ambassador Program, Leadership Program Orientation Facilitator, Logistical Volunteer, Health Promotion.
For more information or how to apply:
Volunteering by Interest
You can use the following websites to search for a volunteer opportunity by interest/activity and by location.
- Volunteer Bureau of Montreal
Find a volunteer work in Montreal area.
Volunteer matching tool.
- Charity Village
Volunteer opportunities across Canada.
Volunteer Opportunities worldwide.
- United Nations
Online volunteering with grassroots organizations, international NGOs, local governments.
- More Organizations:
Volunteer - Montreal | Volunteer - Canada
Tips for those who are interested in International Volunteering:
- Areas of Work: Determine whether you want to work with people (e.g. Community development, emergency and relief, education and training, health and nutrition, agriculture and farming) or with environment (e.g. Conservation, wildlife, marine conservation).
- Important Questions: Some important questions to ask when considering volunteering abroad - How much does it cost? Who offers placements? Is my program ethical? For more questions and answers about international volunteering, consult the book "Volunteer: A Traveller's Guide to Making a Difference Around the World" (page 25 - 45). The book is available at CaPS.
- For more tips: Find (or create) your ideal volunteer opportunity | So, you want to volunteer
The Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas
(VPN and individual registration are required)
Visit the resources listed in "PART 2 Acquiring Experiences" and look for "Volunteer Abroad" for opportunities.