University Relations

Community Engagement for International Students

What is Volunteering?
In the US, volunteering is an unpaid experience with a non-profit organization or government agency that meets a community need. It is very common for people to volunteer in the US. In fact, 35% of Minnesotans report that they volunteer. 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.

What Kind of Volunteering Can International Students Do?
There are many ways that UofM students can volunteer in the Twin Cities community. Here are just a few examples:
  • Tutoring in schools
  • Visiting the elderly
  • Serving meals at a homeless shelter
  • Research projects
  • Advocate for public policy

Why Volunteer?

  • If you are unsure about what to major in, you can explore different subjects and careers by volunteering
  • Learn a new skill such as teaching or mentoring
  • Practice your English language skills
  • Boost your resume! You should list your volunteer experiences on your resume.
  • Learn about social issues in the US
  • Meet other students who are interested in the same things as you

Resources and More Information about Volunteering
We've partnered with ISSS through the student services fee so that we can better support international students. We've created a moodle course to address some of the concerns that come up in volunteering such as transportation, connecting with organizations, and CPT. There are different modules that address topics related to volunteering. You can go through the modules in order, or just click on the one that you're interested in.

Get Started with Volunteering!

Check out Shamni's volunteer experience.