In Teesside University every student has a chance to become a volunteer through Volun-tees or a student ambassador.
There are many reasons why people choose to volunteer – to help and inspire others, to gain skills and experience or just to have fun and meet people.
You can also get involved in activities such as giving talks on university life, finance and other subjects; going on visits within the community and helping in school events.
Joining these societies is an amazing opportunity to develop your skills for both academic and professional life, especially for international students.
Tuxtra talked to two international students who are regularly members of the Student Ambassadors and Volunteers schemes at Teesside University.
They told us about their personal experiences and why as an international student you should consider becoming a Volunteer or a Student Ambassador.
Q: Firstly, can you tell Tuxtra about yourselves?
Chuks: “I was born in South Africa but have been in Middlesbrough for a year now. I am currently pursuing an MSc in Accounting and Finance in Teesside University. I am a Student Ambassador.”
Yoanna: “I am an International student from Romania. It has been life changing since coming to the UK and studying in Teesside University. I am an undergraduate, studying Marketing-BA (Hons). I am a member of the Volun-tees and also a Student Ambassador.”
Q: How did you become a Student Ambassador?
Chuks: “Back in my country, I was involved in my church volunteering group, where we go about helping people as much as we can in various ways. So, once I got here, I decided to find out if there is any such thing as volunteering or being an ambassador, which I found out there is.”
“I found out where and how to join which I did without wasting time.”
Yoanna: “Getting to Teesside University I just wanted to get involved in something else apart from just studying. ”
“So, I did some online research and did some inquiries from the student union building, that is how I found out that I can become a volunteer as well as an ambassador and get paid too.
“I was so happy to quickly get involved.”
Q: How has it been working as an ambassador and volunteer; what are your experiences?
Chuks: “Being a student ambassador in Teesside University has been a fantastic and valuable experience for me.”
“It has given me the opportunity to help and provide young people (both in my country and here) with the information, contacts and confidence they need in order to consider applying to Teesside University and work towards creating a brighter future.
“I have really enjoyed meeting and chatting up prospective student and sharing my own little experience of life in Teesside University with them with hope that they will enrol and join the University.”
Yoanna: “Well, the one experience I have really enjoyed is the opportunity of meeting students from diverse cultures and working together with them as a team to promote the University, advising prospective students on what to expect studying Teesside University and getting involved in local voluntary community services.”
“I am very proud to be a member of these groups, and I believe it is a very good opportunity for any student to have and experience.”
Q: In your opinion, what value has these experiences added for you? And would you recommend it to your fellow international students?
Chuks: “I have become more pro-active than ever before, which has also increased my enthusiasm towards completing a task. It has improved the quality of my work and professionalism.”
“Also, working alongside others has developed my teamwork and leadership abilities.
“And yes, I would very well recommend it! It is very rewarding; not just as a source of a little extra cash on the side, but also for gaining experience in a diverse range of jobs.”
Yoanna: “Being a student ambassador has improved my communication skills. How? Because I used to be a shy person.”
“I did not like talking to other people, apart from those I was already familiar with, but being a student ambassador and volunteer has changed that. things changed.
“Now I feel that I don’t have to be so shy because I am more familiar with communicating with different people.
“Of course, I recommend the student ambassador or volunteer scheme! Especially for my fellow international students.
“I think it will help them mix well with the people and their culture and coming from another country, they can explain so many fascinating things that can facilitate the interaction between them and other people.
“Plus, being an ambassador allows you to get some extra money, which helps a lot.”
For further information on volun-tees visit: http/www.voluntees.co.uk
I am a DIGITAL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS Student of Teesside University.