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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Find Walkable Opportunities
By using the map view on volunteer.uc.edu, you can visualize which service opportunities are within a reasonable walking distance.
- Utilize Public Transportation
- Cincinnati Metro, the city-wide bus service, offers ride discounts to UC students. Visit Parking and Transportation's website to learn more and register for the UC/Metro discount program. If you are new to taking public transportation in Cincinnati, Metro's How-to-Ride Guide explains how to get started.
- UC offers 13 routes via a free shuttle service. While these routes do not venture as far off campus, it is worth checking to see if your service site falls along a shuttle route.
- 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 volunteer.uc.edu.