Volunteering is a responsible work which requires time, effort, and talent but gives an exciting impressions, helps to meet new people, acquaintances and gives an opportunity to help those in need. Working with an association as a volunteer in the sphere of helping international students is an interesting and inspiring experience. Studying in a foreign country can be difficult and stressful. Coming from abroad with an aim of studying can cause different personal, relationship, psychological, study troubles and distresses. It is easy to make the life of foreign students not so stressful by just helping them avoid all the tense worrying problems. This is a core mission of the association.
Each volunteer works as an organizer. My responsibilities were to arrange students’ get-together and be in control of meetings of students of my group in this association. I tried to coordinate students in the main points during some organized planned activities. Services of our association include working with international students in different aspects, including Michigan ID, finding an apartment out of campus if they want, and discover the community of Ann Arbor. Michigan ID should be got by foreign students, volunteer is to help to apply for the ID, it can be enhanced license or ID card which heightens security. Students are to be informed in the types of document needed to be fulfilled: identity verification, legal presence, and proof of Michigan residency, social security number or letter of ineligibility. Volunteer instructs students of all the details and necessities in getting an ID. It is possible for students to live out of campus. As it is difficult for students to orientate quickly my work as a volunteer is to assist and consult students in the way of finding an appropriate apartment with all the required by each student conditions. The first thing to do is to inform that living off the campus has its pros and cons, freedoms and concerns. The meeting on this subject can be organized and all the advantages and disadvantages discussed. Living outside the campus can be cheaper, students will have more freedom, privacy and personal space, no destruction during studying, preparing of own meals, on the other hand it can be more expensive to live in a private flat, student will have lots of domestic responsibilities and duties. It is also should be decided personally with each student if he wants to live without student society, far away from others or not. Discovering the community of Ann Arbor is important and exciting activity. A trip around the City can be planned including all the sights to see and get acquainted with. Ann Arbor is famous for the professional theatre, arts community, lively downtown, numerous festivals, and historical places. Museums are quite an essential part in discovering a community of the City, including Museum of main Street, Museum of Art, Museum of Dentistry. There are more than 250 different science and technology exhibits to see. I combined a plan of sightseeing activities in the town for my group of students including the most famous and important in discovering the community. Organization of important events is the work the volunteer should devote his time to. Volunteer should encourage international students participate in such kinds of events, thus help them get used to the environment of the university taking part in student’s social life.
Volunteer work with international students presupposes completing of different types of activities and assistance work directed on getting over the difficulties of students in the process of adaptation of them to new environment.
Working as a volunteer is a one’s own free will activity and useful work which develops organizational abilities, allows to expand social life of a student, helps making of new friends, enables a volunteer to collaborate with foreign students, organize, guide and direct the projects, meetings, events, congregations, enables to leadership and helping to those in need. Difficulties of foreign students are of different character. These are stressful situations, connected with the change of living environment, the change of country to study in, difficulties of accommodation to new conditions of life and studying. Volunteering gives an opportunity to find out something new about cultures of other countries.
The vision of this association is working regularly with foreign students on their possible, existing and worrying problems and questions.
I work as an organizer with a big team in association. My sphere of activity includes consulting students on the questions connected with finding of a flat, organization of special events, helping in learning the locality, people and society of Ann Arbor. I advise and consult on various questions, organize meetings, excursions, celebrations and festivals for international students.
Association provides many services: – Michigan ID (Consulting students about the necessity of ID card, requirements on the ways they can get it); – Find a flat out of campus if necessary; – seeing and learning something of the locality, residence and society of Ann Arbor, organizing of important events and international Celebrate. Finding a flat outside campus can be difficult and stressful for students. Thus volunteer association provides services explaining and assisting in searching an apartment. International students can be aware or not about advantages and disadvantages of living in campus. The decision to live in or out of campus is personal and depends on certain preferences of a student. The main is whether a student likes privacy or social life, whether he is able of managing domestic chores and problems or is willing to have somebody organized it. Volunteer is to help students in this decision with the help of consultations.
Learning locality, people and society of Ann Arbor is an important aspect in the work of association for international students. Volunteers provide excursions, meetings, seminars, which expand an outlook of students, help adapt faster and get used to the culture which is different from that of their own. The main aim of expansion of knowledge about culture, society of town is joining and accustoming to students’ life. The work held is of the following kinds: presentations of the history of the city, outstanding people of the city, exhibits in the city, meetings, seminars on the topics connected with social life of Ann Arbor, excursions aim of which is an acquaintance with culture, customs and traditions of the state and the country. Celebration of important events is also organized by volunteers in the association as it improves an atmosphere of communication and brings together students.
All in all, volunteer association provides useful range of services for international students.