Winston Churchill aptly said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
I strongly agree with this quote and believe that it is important to work towards the betterment of the society. Volunteering not only grants us the opportunity to give back to the community, but also helps us grow as a person. The University of Minnesota, rich in its diversity, strives to provide the best platform to showcase the hidden talents of its students. It has several student groups and organizations that help connect students from diverse backgrounds with similar interests. Moreover, it allows its students to gain experience by taking up unpaid volunteer/intern work at organizations to make a difference.
The Community Service-Learning Center and Off Campus Study at the University of Minnesota provides various opportunities to its students to step out of their comfort zones and engage actively on campus. The student Peer Advisers at the office not only serve as a bridge between the different organizations and the students at the U, but also conduct one-on-one appointments with the students to match their interests with the varied volunteering opportunities. In addition to trying to make the volunteering experience as comfortable as possible, the CSLC office also provides special workshops for international students that provide insights into the entire process to apply for volunteering in US. From the background check information to the expectations of a volunteer, these workshops truly act as a “How-To” guide, making the transition for international students to doing community engagement in the US smooth and easy.
Through the Community Engagement Scholars Program, the office provides the students at the U, a unique opportunity to amalgamate academics with community service. Graduating members of this renowned program are recognized by the University with a medal, a notation on the academic transcript, in the college commencement booklet and and a special graduation reception. Furthermore, programs such as National Student Exchange (NSE) and HECUA enrich the students with new experiences and exposures and help them discover their strengths, weaknesses and most importantly, themselves. While HECUA exposes the students to issues centering on social justice, NSE acts like a domestic study away program, wherein students are able to explore and study at one of 200 different schools in North America.
The U has plethora of resources for its students to be more proactive. To make the best out of your four years, make sure you visit the office and learn more about engaging in the community off-campus! Get ready to embark on this learning journey at the University of Minnesota, to dive into the culture of volunteerism!