When you volunteer abroad with AIFS as part of your college experience, you get to know the real people and culture of the place you choose to study abroad. Community engagement and service learning options are a valuable way to put your classroom learning to work in the field, immerse yourself in the energy of life around you, make friends around the world and have fun!
Here are the top five Community Engagement Programs to volunteer and study abroad with AIFS during a Spring semester:
1. Volunteer abroad at the Cannes Film Festival
For students seeking careers in communications, foundation work, public relations or the arts, this is an amazing chance to experience the inner workings of an international festival and witness firsthand all of the glitz and glamour the Cannes Film Festival is known for. Students receive a ‘Cannes cinephile’ pass to see all the films presented, as well as opportunities to gain hands-on experience behind the scenes.
Volunteer opportunities throughout the festival include placement in a production company; office management and marketing support for an international film sales company; hosting a film screening and more. Many students enjoy working the amfAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research) dinner gala, which is a red-carpet event attended by notables and celebrities in the world of fashion, music and business for an important cause.
2. Service Learning and Active Citizenship in Florence, Italy
Students have many options to volunteer time for community engagement while studying abroad in Florence. AIFS provides a Volunteering Program to enrich your personal and professional development with a variety of placement options including schools, hospitals, museums and recreational centers. If you want to earn academic credit as part of your volunteer efforts, students across all majors may combine relevant fieldwork with the Service Learning and Active Citizenship course based on civic engagement, ethical social responsibility and social justice.
3. Volunteer to help the local community in Costa Rica
Enrich your cultural experience in Costa Rica over Spring semester with social projects within the beautiful capital city of San José. Volunteer opportunities include working with children and the elderly. Your AIFS Admissions Officer and Resident Director on location will help you find a placement that meets your skills and interests in helping out and immersing yourself in the pura vida lifestyle of Costa Rica.
4. Help children and the local community in South Africa
In addition to volunteer opportunities in the township of Kayamandi, students studying abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa with AIFS may choose a course of study in service learning, Learning for Sustainable Community Engagement. This is an integrative program to earn academic credit and real-world understanding of urban and community development and improve opportunities and conditions in local communities. Volunteer projects provide plenty of variety for engagement and aim to help school kids in the Lynedoch community.
5. Volunteering and Community Engagement in Australia
AIFS students have incredible opportunities to volunteer as international students at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. Students are provided with information about volunteering as part of social and cultural programing at orientation.
Depending on your education and career goals, volunteer placements may be arranged to help you make friends and professional contacts, learn more about current affairs and issues in the local community and gain practical experience in your chosen field of study. Recent placements include AIFS students volunteering at wildlife parks, music festivals, the Perth Royal Show and more.
Please note: Many AIFS study abroad destinations include options for volunteer and community service.