This year, I am the Project Lead of INTOgration, a conversation club for non-native English speakers who want to improve their conversational English. Every Wednesday at 5pm I give an hour of my time teaching students about everything from idioms, synonyms to Geordie slang and the true meaning of a “cheeky Nando’s.”
As the Project Lead, I am also responsible for organising volunteers, creating content to teach students and promoting the project. This may sound like too much work to handle, but I dedicate around 5 hours spread throughout the week to INTOgration which is completely manageable.
Most importantly, it doesn’t feel like work. I really enjoy the process of brainstorming ideas for conversation activities, organising teaching content and the most fun part – teaching!
Volunteering has really improved my university experience and I wish I started volunteering sooner. If you find yourself with a few hours to spare at the end of the day, I highly recommend volunteering. Whether you have a fantastic idea for your own volunteering project, you want to support a particular cause or you just want to try a one-off volunteering event, Go Volunteer has plenty of opportunities available.
If you’re still not convinced, here are some reasons why I volunteer:
Meeting new people
University is all about new experiences and new people, right? INTOgration is a group volunteer effort, as are many other volunteering projects on campus so you’ll always have people to keep you company.
Time is invaluable. Just an hour of your time is enough to make a difference in someone else’s life. I’m able to see first-hand how much students improve in their English speaking confidence through INTOgration.
Opportunity to de-stress
As a final year student, my life pretty much revolves around lectures, assignments, and dissertation deadlines. Volunteering gives me a much needed break from the constant academic stress. It’s a chance to recharge your mind by doing something different for an hour a week.
Gain new skills
When I first started volunteering, I didn’t realise how many useful skills I could gain. As a project lead, I have developed leadership skills through setting up and organising the project, communication skills from teaching and social media skills as I manage INTOgration on social media. These are all excellent transferable skills that I have put on my CV and talked about in job interviews.
There’s so much to gain. I strongly encourage everyone to get involved and Go Volunteer!
Check out available volunteering opportunities here.