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Volunteering Opportunities on Campus

on Wed, 10/28/2015 - 11:26
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Volunteering to some people is giving your own time and energy to help someone, and not get a single cent in return; to this they say, ‘What’s the point in that?’ However, that is far from the case. Volunteering is an exceptional addition to any Curriculum Vitae. You’re not just a student who recently got a nice degree from a University, you're someone who has adaptable and transferrable skills, someone who has earned a bit more life experience than the next degree holder who is waiting to walk in after you are finished your job interview. It is a way to make friends through mutual interests, whether that be your love of sport and running free coaching sessions, or a desire to help the homeless because you're passionate about helping the less fortunate. Whatever you're into, you’ll meet like-minded people who could turn out to be some of your lifelong friends.

The University also acknowledges the volunteering you do with the ALIVE Certificate. This prestigious award separates you from the rest of the crowd, not only in work related situations, but just proving your general ‘soundness’.Wilston S. Churchill put it well when he said,‘We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give’ So don't just live or exist. Do something good, give back to your community, and create a life out of what you can offer to others. Leave your mark. Make a difference.

The NUI Galway ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering is a Presidential Award recognising all extra-curricular activities of all NUIG students. To congratulate and recognise students that volunteer, the President of NUIG, James Brown awards the ALIVE Cert to students that give their time to communities, whether that be the NUIG community, the Galway city community, your hometown or indeed international communities. The ALIVE Cert has 3 main aims; First and foremost, the university wants to reward the effort that students put into societies, sports clubs, campaigns, committees, community volunteering, mentoring, being a class rep, the student radio and newspaper, and everything else that isn't degree related! Secondly, employers note that students have a lot of great experience but don't know how to talk about it in interviews and application forms, so the ALIVE Cert acts as a great platform in which students can showcase their achievements through volunteering. Finally, the cert is an opportunity for you to reflect on your volunteering, academic degree, and individual role and contribution to society. NUIG has developed the ALIVE cert for volunteering, which gives the University a chance to tell them what you have been doing and get the recognition you deserve! The ALIVE Cert for Volunteering represents the volunteering, training, and reflection you have undertaken. The certificate is awarded annually in March at the ALIVE Certificate Ceremony by our Universities' President. Everyone is welcome to the annual event, students, staff, and community organisations, all to celebrate volunteering! Each student is presented with their certificate at the ceremony. You can apply online for the ALIVE Cert at All you need to do is answer a few questions about your volunteering.  To qualify, you need to be an active volunteer for at least one semester. You can volunteer in Galway, in your hometown, or internationally during the summer months. ALL volunteering is recognised!

A fun way to volunteer on campus is through the Student Connect Mentoring programme. At the end of this year you can apply to be a mentor to incoming first years in 2016/17. The programme allows you to give back to the college communtiy by helping new students to get their bearings and get the most they can out of NUIG campus life. It is also an opportunity to make new friends and get to know your college better. If you would like to know more about the programme you can ask your mentor or have a look under the Contact heading on this site.

There are lots of opportunities to volunteer with societies every year. Slainte Soc, for example, holds the Teddy Bear Hospital every year for National school children. This is a really fun event to get involved with, even if it's only for an hour or two. Of course other societies will have volunteering oppertunities that you should keep an eye out for too! Volunteering with societies is great - you'll probably already know other people helping out with the event and if you don't, it's a great chance to meet some new people.

A great way to get involved in college life is to volunteer with the students union. Cat ( one of the mentors) is involved with the student union welfare crew and says its the perfect opportunity to help others and your self . The volunteer group in the SU help with anything from handing out condoms to spreading the word about diffrent campaigns. The crew it's self meets every Tuesday but don't worry if you'd like to get involved but can't make it. If you'd like to learn more you can email Jimmy McGovern a message at 

There may also be the oppertuintiy to volunteer in the area of you degree or in and area you would like to learn more about. Cell EXPLORERS is a fantastic science outreach program which allows volunteers to share their love of science by demonstrating at open days, school visits and festival workshops. This program helps to get children excited about science and open to the possibility of a broad range of careers within this field in the future. Zara (one of the mentors) is involved with Cell EXPLORERS this year as part of her degree and she along with some other students are working on different resources that will be used in workshops to teach a younger audience about different scientific topics in a fun, interactive way. The great thing about Cell EXPLORERS is that you can commit to as much or as little time as you like and they will work around your schedule and you may also be a suitable candidate for an ALIVE certificate and earn Cell EXPLORERS open badges. If you wish to get involved or learn more you can check out http:/!volunteers/c1axe