Volunteer Work

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.
  • Learn what volunteering is about: Volunteering 101

Articles of Interest


Voluntourism combines vacation travel with volunteering at the destination visited.  Voluntourism programs usually charges participants fees for various services, please review the service offering before signing up. For more info:

Volunteering Websites

You can use the following websites to search for a volunteer opportunity by interest/activity and by location.

International Volunteering

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". The book is available at CaPS.

Articles of Interest

Volunteering Abroad Job Websites

Find an organization

The following resources give you a list of organizations providing international volunteering opportunities:
Please note that CaPS and McGill do not endorse any particular websites/services; the listing is for your information only.

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