International Student Guide to Volunteering

In the United States, volunteering is an unpaid experience with a non-profit organization or government agency that meets a community need. For many volunteer opportunities, you do not need to have previous work experience and most visa holders can volunteer even if they are not allowed to work for pay in the US.

  • Explore New Hobbies
    You may decide to use volunteerism as an outlet for discovering a new interest or passion outside of your academic pursuits. 
  • Gain Professional Experience
    Volunteering can offer you the opportunity to work in new and unfamiliar professional environments. The time you spend gaining valuable skills and making connections can help you greatly in your future career.
  • Form Lasting Friendships
    Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. It strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.
  • Earn Service Hours for a Scholarship
    Volunteerism is a requirement for some scholarships here at UC. If you are unsure if your scholarship requires service hours, visit Financial Aid's scholarship resources or contact Student Financial Aid at

UC students should use to search for volunteer opportunities and to track service hours.

  • Find Walkable Opportunities
    By using the map view on, you can visualize which service opportunities are within a reasonable walking distance.
  • Utilize Public Transportation
  • Bearcat Buddies
    Bearcat Buddies is a weekly tutoring opportunity that provides students with transportation to and from the school they are serving in. Bearcat Buddies primarily work with students in Kindergarten through 6th grade, for an hour per week during the Fall and Spring semesters. Tutoring sessions range from 8:00am - 5:00pm, Tuesday-Friday. If you are interested in becoming a tutor, you can pre-register for Fall 2023 now.
  • Virtual Volunteerism
    If transportation constraints leave you unable to travel to a service opportunity, consider virtual volunteerism. Click here for a filtered search of virtual needs on