How volunteering in the US helps to get a job and improve English
Emigrants from the post-Soviet space are often accustomed to believing that volunteering, or, as they say in the West, volunteering implies pure altruism and special self-sacrifice. However, in the United States, the attitude to free work is somewhat different. Volunteering here may be a necessary attribute of a professional internship or an opportunity to gain work experience in a specialty that will help in further employment.
Even if the volunteer activities of Americans are not directly related to their professional skills, candidates are not shy about embellishing their resume with it. The experience of volunteering is always considered a positive characteristic here, since it demonstrates the active social position of a person and his ability to “team work”.
Free work can give special advantages to newly arrived immigrants. This is an opportunity to adapt to the new environment, and a good way to “pull up the language”, and a fast path to socialization, and in some cases the opportunity to acquire basic professional knowledge for free.
But even if you are not ready to devote a large amount of time to free work, there are “one-off” volunteer opportunities that help you just have a good day with interesting people and do something useful. If you do not have a work permit in the US, volunteering can be a good (and absolutely legal) start of a future profession or just a way to take your free time.
If we leave out the professional internship, which is a mandatory attribute of higher education in some areas, volunteer opportunities for immigrants can be divided into several categories.
1. Volunteering in a profession that interests you
Volunteering that will help you acquire basic knowledge in the profession you are interested in. This includes, first of all, various trainings on work with disadvantaged adolescents, victims of crimes, special social groups of people, patients of hospitals and hospices, and so on. It can be both medical or psychological, and legal training, for example, on working with immigrants, with victims of fraud, etc. As a rule, any work with vulnerable groups of the population or access to someone’s confidential information requires prior long-term training sessions (from several weeks to several months), after which you will be required to work the required number of hours with the category of people you work with. were preparing.
The undoubted advantage here is the ability to master at least elementary skills of the new profession relatively quickly and free of charge. Studying in prestigious colleges in the United States, especially in such professions as a doctor, a psychologist or a lawyer, is a rather long and costly process. Even if you already have a similar education at home, it will not be so easy to confirm it in the United States.
In the case of lawyers, for example, because of the difference in legal systems, you will have to learn many things anew. Curricula for the training of doctors and psychologists also differ significantly in the post-Soviet space and in the United States. At the same time, you will not be able to work on a specialty in these areas without an American diploma.
In some cases, trainings offered for volunteers help to provide at least an initial certificate and work experience in the specialty, which can be indispensable if you then want to confirm and supplement your previous education in America or get a new profession. At the same time, since this activity is volunteer, it is, as a rule, possible to combine it with the main work.
The disadvantage of such programs is that they require consistency (in some cases, long training sessions and “working out” the knowledge gained may take about a year). Another drawback can be the psychological burden of working with certain “difficult” categories of the population. But in any case, this is an easier way than getting a full-fledged American education.
Find suitable volunteer opportunities at the website. www.volunteermatch.org/ It is convenient because you can enter not only the territory in which you are looking for volunteer opportunities, but also keywords that define the areas of preferred activity: “children”, “help for the elderly”, “medicine”, “environment” and so on. . Further, studying the fallen applications, you can already go to the organization's website and study the proposed requirements and internship opportunities.
Where to look for volunteer positions
The same principle is built site https://www.idealist.org/ Here you can determine not only the territory, but also choose the required level of education, field of activity, type of organization and functions of your future work. There is and government base volunteer positions. Here, in particular, trainings are offered for first aid and relief during natural disasters.
In addition, different states have their own, separate sites and bases of volunteer opportunities. AT San Francisco Bay Area, for example, is a site Volunteer Information Center. The main type of search here is by business, and it is even possible to find volunteer opportunities abroad. Long-term volunteer projects with the proposed training, as a rule, relate to helping victims of human trafficking, domestic or sexual violence.
В New York there is also a special website - Volunteer of New York. Those interested can choose the exact place where they would like to work, type of activity, indicate the age of volunteers and even choose the most appropriate type of opportunity: evening, one-day or one-hour opportunities, day off opportunities, etc. Separately, you can choose a preference to work with a group of friends or the whole family. For lovers of animals in New York, there is also a separate site - "Best friends», Where you can also find many volunteer opportunities. Separate site exists to work with children and young people, aimed at developing the potential of young people.
Those who wish to volunteer at MiamiIn addition to general databases, special articles can help where the most popular volunteer positions are collected. A selection of such positions, for example, is right on the official website of the state. Here everything is presented, ranging from helping victims of sexual violence to the Tropical Society of Miami - including human rights organizations, working with adolescents, the homeless, animals, and so on.
2. Getting the necessary work experience
If you already have a profession, volunteering can give you the necessary professional experience. Finding such opportunities is easy - just enter the name of your profession in the field for the keywords of the large volunteer opportunities listed above. Most often non-profit organizations are looking for accountants, social workers and lawyers, but from time to time they demand IT-specialists, experts in the promotion of sites on social networks and even athletes - for example, to train teenage sports teams.
3. Meeting new people
Volunteering gives much needed for emigrants possibility of socialization. It is possible that you are not ready to start a large and energy-intensive project, but you want to periodically do good things in the company of good people. The possibilities for this are also great. For example, you can get together on a 2-3 person after filling out the necessary application and a three-hour training. fulfill the most cherished the desire of a terminally ill child, giving him a real miracle (the organization operates throughout the United States).
It can also be volunteering in museums, art galleries, libraries, film festivals, city parks, etc. All this can be easily found by the keywords on the already mentioned sites. www.volunteermatch.org/ or https://www.idealist.org/.
On San Francisco and adjoining territories can, again, help the site Volunteer Information Center. In addition, you can simply offer your services in the library, philharmonic society, city hall and other similar places.
New York site Volunteer of New York, as already mentioned, can help select short-term projects. In addition, in New York there is a website specifically dedicated to the current needs of the community, and it also lists volunteer opportunities.
Another helpful list of volunteer opportunities in Miami is here, and most of it is devoted to construction, work in nature, etc., that is, the most socializing activities.
4. Just a good deal
And finally, volunteering is sometimes just a way spend the day with good doing a good thing and discover something new. Of course, not all states have similar sites in New York with the ability to choose a lesson for a day or an hour. However, the site comes to the rescue Hands on - volunteer calendar, offering specific activities for each day, where volunteer assistance is needed.
For example, Hands On in Bay area represents calendarwhere the day, time and place of the event are clearly indicated, as well as the type of assistance required. The most frequent activities here are cooking for a nursing home or working in a city park. But there are more “exotic” activities, for example, the preparation of kits for safe injections, assistance in the printing studio of the “Center for the Book” and even bicycle repairs. Similar calendars exist for Miami, New York and other cities and states.
In short, those who wish to do useful, but free labor, can choose any occupation they like commensurate with their needs and strengths.
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