Students with little or no work experience have to put extra effort in making their résumé stand out. So if I told you that you could go on a great vacation and boost your résumé at the same time, would your little ears perk up? Yeah, I know, having fun and building up your CV seems too good to be true – right? But it is true. There are hundreds of great opportunities all over the world for students to do something fulfilling that also impress future employers. Forget trawling the job ads for boring holiday jobs. Save your pennies and choose a truly original and exciting experience that will look sparkling on your résumé.
1. Teaching outside the US
Teaching is a pretty impressive addition to a résumé, and a great way for college students to garner up experience while taking their student vacations. Often, college students teach English to non-English speakers, however some people may specialize in certain topics. Sometimes you will be assisting a teacher rather than being in charge of a class. Depending on the program and who offers it, commitment can be as little as one week to one year, but most college students opt for less than three months. Programs are offered nearly everywhere in the world. Some programs even off you credit towards student loans for participation.
2. Medical/Dental Outreach
In many areas, medical and dental programs are simply out of reach, either because of distance or economics. Both inside and outside the U.S., many people don’t seek help until it becomes critical. Normally, volunteers inside the U.S. are needed for clerical or administrative work. Outside the U.S., volunteers can help with vaccinations, first aid, education about hygiene, dental cleanings, taking blood pressure readings, or other essential supportive services.
One great way to get your foot in the door of your chosen career is to have done an internship in the field of your studies, and may even get you credit toward your degree. However, internships in many fields not related to your major may still be proudly added to your resume. Internships can be paid or unpaid. According to the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act, internships can only be unpaid if the training is similar to training students would receive in a classroom, the intern experience is for the benefit of the intern, the intern does not displace regular employees, the employer gets no immediate advantage from employing the intern, the intern isn’t guaranteed a job at the end of the internship, and both intern and employer understand that the internship will be unpaid.
Many a college student spends their vacations being au pairs for families living in various parts of the globe. Many work through a placement agency to help them find a job. If caring for people is your strong suit, consider helping in or with orphanages, childcare facilities, people with special needs, or the elderly as well. Volunteers may help with dressing or feeding, assisting with homework or paperwork, and may also play games or read to the people in their care. These kinds of opportunities occur both inside and outside the U.S.
5. Work with Animals
You may work with wildlife in nearly any capacity, from assisting in wildlife counts to helping to care for injured wildlife. Another possibility is helping with animals involved in special programs, such as equine programs that help people with disabilities ride horses, or help special needs people interact with dogs, for example. Animal lovers will love seeing how they may have a part in the conservation of animal life or how animals can help other people. Opportunities are available both inside and outside the U.S.
6. Community Work
Knowing that your actions can positively affect an entire community can be extremely rewarding. Your work can be local or international, and be offered through an organization or business if necessary. Community services are often offered through religious organizations but are not limited to them. Community service can be as simple as creating a reading circle for kids once a week or as extensive as volunteering with a community garden or a community theater. These activities look great on resumes, particularly if you have organized community services yourself.
Many countries offer volunteer opportunities in the farming sector. Some organizations train you on interacting with farm animals or using farm machinery, and sometimes you’ll be living with a host. You may find yourself herding cattle, growing organic vegetables, improving the life of farm animals, helping implement sustainable land management, and many other worthwhile goals. Opportunities available both inside and outside the U.S.
I know that many of you think that these opportunities are way beyond your reach but you really have to do your research. There are volunteer schemes that are sponsored and sometimes you might even be lucky to au pair for a family who will pay your air ticket. Don’t dismiss it until you really look into it. Millions of students from all around the world do these kinds of vacations every year – you could be among them.