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Why You Should Volunteer in your University  Holidays:

So you’ve packed your bags, moved into your new accommodation and the University year has started. You’re just looking over your timetable for the year, when you suddenly notice a 4 month long gap – that’s right, the summer holiday of all summer holidays. It can be hard to know what to do with all of that free time, but don’t worry; here we’ve come up with some reasons as to why you should to volunteer in your University holidays for a life changing experience!

Flickr | Lenny DiFranzaIt’s the longest time off you’ll ever get

Taking a gap year after finishing your A Levels is a popular choice, and for obvious reasons. After the pressure of sixth form life, it makes perfect sense to take a year out to relax and do some travelling, all in preparation of University life. However for several reasons, including academic and financial, taking a gap year is not always an option. But have no fear – as you may or may not know, University life boasts the longest holidays around. With summer holidays being the longest time off you’ll ever get, more students than ever are choosing to take a “mini gap” during University holidays, to do some travelling and get some volunteering experience! The even better news is that Frontier run projects all year round, meaning you could even go in your Christmas or Easter holidays! Check out our projects here.

It will enrich your degree

Companies, whilst are interested in degrees, like to know what you did whilst at University as well as your degree. If you are already studying a degree that directly relates to one of our volunteering projects, such as zoology or marine biology, it is really useful if you can show the ability to apply the skills you are learning in the classroom to the field, and is vital for some courses. Even subjects such as languages and English can be applied to our projects that provide education, and hours spent in a classroom in a developing country over your summer holidays will give your degree a big gold star! However, the course you’re studying doesn’t affect your volunteering capability – anyone is eligible to apply, and the skills you will learn can be applied to any degree!

You’ll be ahead of the game

Although there is no doubt that gaining a University degree is enormously valuable, competition for jobs these days is high, and employers are on the look-out for unique qualities you have on your CV. University is hard work, everybody knows that, and it can be easy to let the holidays fly by with nothing organised. However, gaps on your CV are often questioned, so it looks amazing to have done something worthwhile with your time off such as volunteering on a wildlife project in Costa Rica, or to have taught English in Tanzania and gained a TEFL qualification! Volunteering abroad shows that you have the ability to interact beyond your peer group, as well as showing that you are spontaneous, reliable, and caring. It also gives you the opportunity to explore your career path in a fun and fulfilling environment, or just to do something worthwhile with your free time, offering endless life skills in the process.

Opportunities will arise that you never knew existed

Volunteering abroad is a real networking tool. You will interact with people and communities way outside of your immediate circle of friends, and will make friends who come from all over the world. You will discover jobs and opportunities beyond anything you would have ever imagined, and it could mean the difference between finding your dream job or not! Who knows, you may be an Undergraduate studying Maths, who discovers their passion for marine conservation whilst volunteering in Belize this summer! It is always important to put yourself out there and try new things, and volunteering is the perfect platform for it.

It’s pretty fun, as well

All seriousness aside, it’s a lot of fun! You will make lifelong friends, step out of your comfort zone and spend weeks, or even months, in a breathtakingly beautiful location. After a whole year of having your head in books, studying for exams and working to deadlines, you deserve to have a bit off time off, so why not help the environment at the same time – after all, once you start working full time, it can prove a little more difficult to find 4 months spare to do something as incredible as volunteering.

By Fran Collis - Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs conservationdevelopmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

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