In Canada, a myriad of people often volunteer, especially, most students have to do it in order to gain experience to advance their careers. Some students must do so in order to graduate from school. In contrast, volunteering is not as common in Japan. I had never volunteered before I moved to Canada, but now that I’m here, I’ve mostly been making posters for Instagram and editing videos as a volunteer. Participating in volunteer work has given me four benefits. Using my experience as an international student, I will explain why volunteering is important to them.
1. Gain Professional Experience through Volunteering
You should not assume that volunteer work is very basic or unprofessional just because it is unpaid. There are even opportunities that require training sessions where you get to put your knowledge into practice. Volunteering should not be considered unprofessional or basic. There are even opportunities that require training sessions so that your knowledge can be applied. No matter if you have professional experience or not, volunteering can be a good way to “get your foot in the door,” to learn new skills in a different environment, or to apply them on the job.
2. Develop Your Personal Growth and Confidence
Prior to this volunteer job, I had no experience in design or editing. That’s why I had a difficult time creating my first social media poster. I did not know what software I should use to create a poster and what the correct answer for a good poster would be.
My confidence has decreased as a result of repeatedly retaking a poster. I really wanted to escape, but my coworker helped me out. I gradually learned how to make a poster. I found that it took a long time to design a poster, but I felt my own growth, and this volunteer work helped me gain confidence.
3. Work in a Canadian Multicultural Environment
Canada is known as one of the most multicultural countries in the world. By volunteering, I had many opportunities to meet new people. I volunteer at a place where workers come from different countries and have different ideas and thoughts because of their different backgrounds and cultures. Communication in English is definitely one of the biggest challenges for me in terms of the language. Studying English passionately is essential here in order to accept any ideas and thoughts even if I cannot understand them.
4. Expanding Horizons and Gaining Skills
Through this volunteer work, I developed and reinforced the skills of designing posters. As I said above, I could not do anything at first, but I can make posters by myself now. I have not been With this volunteer work, I developed and strengthened my skills in designing posters. I was unable to do anything at first, but now I am able to make posters on my own. My future career path hasn’t been planned yet, but I believe these skills will help me get the position I want. Most importantly, this volunteer work has led me to realize that I enjoy designing posters. My discovery was life-changing. Hence, volunteering allows me to examine my strengths and weaknesses.
I am currently studying stagecraft at Douglas college and still exploring my career choices. However, It’s clear that the benefits of volunteering are huge; volunteer work encourages personal growth and self-esteem, it is a good opportunity to expand your possibilities and develop career skills. If you are debating whether to do it or not, just go for it!
Bon, voyage! Enjoy your student life in Canada!