Heidelberg LifeVoluntary Work
Doing good and profiting from it: There are many reasons to do voluntary work.
Why work on a voluntray basis
As soon as you arrive from abroad to study in Heidelberg, and even before you begin your lectures and courses, you’ll find numerous opportunities to help you get settled into campus and your course of studies, and to get to know other students. The orientation stage for international students, the orientation week in institutes and faculties, the buddy programme, and additional opportunities which are in part designed specifically for new international students, all help you settle in as quickly and smoothly as possible.
But what about life outside of the University? If you’re living in a hall of residence or in a student flatshare, you’ll find that even at home, you’ll mainly have contact with other students.
Volunteering is a good way of meeting people outside of the University. By using your free time to volunteer in an area which interests you, such as sport, conservation, or tuition, you’ll meet people who share similar interests. You’ll also have the opportunity to use your German language skills beyond the university context, and at the same time, do something good for the community!
Voluntary work can also help kick start your career. When bodies are awarding grants, voluntary work is often expected or even required. The network you develop through voluntary work can also prove helpful when you’re looking to enter the job market.
Where Can You Find Voluntary Work?
The town website offers a good overview of the various volunteering opportunities available in Heidelberg. The volunteering database enables you to search for volunteering opportunities and filter results according to categories including your previous experience and town districts.
Things to note
Don’t take too much on! Completing a degree in a foreign country and in a foreign language is a challenge in itself. Give some proper thought to how much time you can realistically invest in volunteer work. Before undertaking any voluntary work with your preferred organisation, make sure to clarify what’s expected - will you be required to volunteer on a regular basis for example, or will you be able to work more flexibly?
Volunteering in the University
Many of the advantages of volunteering within the wider community can also be gained by volunteering as part of student initiatives within the University. There are many ways in which you can get involved in the University, and there are opportunities to suit a range of interests, including student politics. An overview of student-run groups and initiatives can be found in the student council’s “Dschungelbuch”.