Interest in volunteering abroad has been growing steadily for many years, with many opportunities located in the Global South. International volunteering allows you to have unmatched, new experiences, learn from other cultures and develop skills such as leadership, teamwork and communication. In order to make a decision about whether you'd like to volunteer internationally, you must consider what your motivations are. In order to assist students in making the decision, the Campus Engage Student Volunteering working group and Comhlámh created the 'Making the Decision' International Volunteering leaflet for all students considering international volunteering.
UCD Volunteers Overseas
UCD Volunteers Overseas (UCDVO -Registered Charity Number 20055776) was founded in 2002 by the late Fr. Tony Coote. Participants in the UCDVO Volunteering and Development Education Programme take part in training days, development education activities and 4 weeks volunteering with a local partner in India, Tanzania or Uganda. Volunteering activities are largely in the area of healthcare, education and community development.
To date, approx 1,500 volunteers have engaged in environmental, educational, healthcare, construction and computer training projects in disadvantaged communities overseas. The work is undertaken in close cooperation with local communities. The majority of volunteers are undergraduate UCD students, but UCD staff and alumni also volunteer. While project time overseas is typically for one month in June/July, volunteers take part in a wider programme which spans an eleven month period from volunteer selection in November to de-briefing the following September. The Programme covers topics such as the sustainable development goals, intercultural learning, ethical volunteering, health and safety, and practical skills training for awareness-raising and campaigns.
The UCDVO Student Society is an active group of returned volunteers whose role is to engage students in raising awareness of development issues, carry out fundraising activities and promote opportunities for students to volunteer on development projects overseas.