As an international student, you’ve got ambitions both in and outside of the classroom. Inside the classroom, you’ll likely want to learn as much as you can and do well in your course. But what about outside the classroom? Are you hoping to help others less fortunate than yourself? Do you want to make new connections and gain practical life experience? Are you looking for ways to make a difference?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, then volunteering could be the perfect fit for you!
Of course, if you’re an international student studying from overseas, volunteering roles in Australia aren’t possible at the moment. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. In fact, there are so many fulfilling ways you can volunteer from the comfort of your own home.
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about volunteering. We'll explain why it's important, its benefits and how you can do it remotely.
Volunteering has a long list of benefits. First, it is great for your mental health. Acts of generosity release ‘feel-good’ chemicals in our brains such as oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. The warm feeling you get from these chemicals is sometimes known as the ‘helper’s high’. Research has found that people who volunteer have better mental wellness. One study found that those who volunteer report higher levels of satisfaction with their lives and health. According to Head to Health, volunteering can also reduce anxiety and depression.
Another perk of volunteering is the social connections you’re able to make. When you volunteer (even online), you’ll meet lots of new people, from supervisors to fellow volunteers. These people will become your support network and provide you with a sense of belonging. Plus, you never know where these relationships could take you. You may end up meeting your new best friend or a future business partner!
Volunteering can also teach you many skills that are valuable in the workforce. The exact skills you’ll learn will depend on your role, but you can be sure they’ll come in handy. Some examples of the skills you may gain include customer service, communications, marketing and sales, adaptability and much more. Volunteering can also help you develop a positive attitude, which is an asset in any workplace, in any industry.
Most importantly, volunteering is an amazing way to give back to the community. Going out of your way to make a difference is one of the most compassionate and empathetic things you can do. This is not only fulfilling for you, it can also help those less fortunate when they need it most.
Where to volunteer online
By now, you’ll understand the benefits of volunteering. But you’re probably wondering where and how you can volunteer in Australia, including from outside of Australia and online. Fortunately, there are many online volunteer roles you can fill from anywhere.
Not sure where to start? We’ve found you some of the best websites featuring online/remote volunteer positions:
● SEEK Volunteer – This volunteer posting platform is an extension of the job marketplace site SEEK. You can search for volunteer positions using filters based on industry, type of work and the required time commitment. You can also use a filter to only see online or remote positions, making it even easier to find the right role for you.
● Volunteering Australia/GoVolunteer – GoVolunteer is an initiative of Volunteering Australia. It is a national database where people can find volunteering opportunities around the country. It also allows you to use an online/remote filter, which makes your search even simpler.
● Vollie – Vollie is a platform that specialises in virtual volunteering. They work to advance volunteering online, from anywhere in the world. When you join this site, you’ll be connected to a network of over 900 not-for-profits, charities and social organisations across 16 countries.
Each Australian state/territory has its own volunteering organisation. These offer both in person and online volunteer positions. Check out the links below.
● NSW Volunteering
● Volunteering Queensland
● Volunteering South Australia & Northern Territory
● Volunteering Tasmania
● Volunteering Victoria
● Volunteering WA
With the help of these resources, your generosity will transcend global borders in ways you may never have imagined.