Summer volunteer programs can yield SO many benefits! College students looking to gain an internship-like immersive experience during their summer break are especially great fits for summer volunteer programs. College is the time to discover challenges both inside and outside of the classroom, and grow personally and professionally to better understand yourself and what you want out of life. That’s one reason why summer volunteer programs in Hawaii are so sought after! Who wouldn’t want to gain experience and growth while also happening to be in a tropical paradise for the summer?
Here’s 9 Reasons Summer Volunteer Programs Rock
The possibilities with summer volunteer programs are endless! They allow college students to connect with new things and create specialized interpersonal and professional skills that cannot be learned in the classroom. You can typically choose your date, weekly hours, and duration of program, or even jump into an Open Enrollment Group Service Trip with other students from across the world to keep things simple. Here are some top reasons why summer volunteer programs rock:
- Commitment is limited. 1 to 2 months is just enough to get a taste of a new area, without getting homesick. It’s also enough time to “try on” a field or role to build experience and help determine what is and isn’t a fit for you in the future. Summer is the perfect time to try something on without the commitment!
- Receive college credit. If you’re looking summer volunteer programs, make sure you’ve spoken with your college advisor to see if you can get credit for it. Most of the time you can. Sometimes there is even an elective option that provides a stipend for you to complete the program as an internship course!
- Build your resume. Jobs in “the real world” are becoming more and more competitive. Real professional experience and connections are a main factor in helping you to stand out from the crowd. You could spend your summer in your hometown lifeguarding or stay at college and waitress, but is that really going to get you ahead?
- Get training and professional development. Professional skills development and training also help you to grow and build your resume. Both hard (technical) and soft (interpersonal) skills development are important to propel you ahead to reach your goals, and something you’ll undeniably get from participating in summer volunteer programs.
- Explore your goals and interests. Let’s face it – you’re not 100% sure exactly what you want to do when you graduate, right? In all honesty, it takes years of finding your true fit and self-actualization to hone in on a career that fits your goals and interests. Starting to explore now will get you on the path to discovery. Test drive your career options!
- Increase competitiveness for scholarships. Applying for scholarships shouldn’t stop once you start college. It can be an ongoing process throughout your education so that you graduate with as little debt as possible. Demonstrating a commitment to serve others helps to stand out.
- Create amazing new friendships. A great part about these experiences is meeting other students (and residents) from all over the world. Even though you’ll share a short time together, great bonds can be made and future adventures planned.
- See life somewhere new from a local perspective. When you’re volunteering you’ll get more than a typical tourist experience. Others will see that you’re visiting for a positive purpose and share more with you – tips and tricks, secret beaches, local restaurant favs, and other things off the beaten path. You’ll also gain a more genuine understanding what it’s like to live in that area.
- Make a difference. Summer volunteer programs support the creation of a better environment for others, healthier communities and improved economies. The impact you make alone is an incredibly rewarding benefit that you’ll take with you for life.
Remember, summer volunteer programs aren’t the only kind of programs available – programs are also available during other school breaks. Interested in exploring summer volunteer programs on Kauai for yourself? Check out our Open Enrollment Group Service Trip or Internships page for more info.