The Student Volunteer Experience
ALIVE is NUI Galway's student volunteering programme, which is dedicated to providing supports to students to engage in positive volunteering experiences. The ALIVE office helps connect students with a wide range of volunteering opportunities, in a variety of settings, such as charities, schools, hospitals, etc. Volunteering is an excellent way to meet like minded individuals, do something positive for the community, while also gaining valuable skills and experience along the way.
Lisa has been kind enough to answer a few questions about her experiences as a student volunteer to share with you all!
Can you tell me a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you study here?
My name is Lisa Costello and I am from Tipperary. I study Youth and Family Studies and I am in 3rd year. I am hoping to work with young people when I graduate. I volunteer at home with Youth Work Ireland Tipperary and Tipperary Comhairle na nÓg. In Galway, I volunteer with the ALIVE programme.
How would you explain the Alive programme to somebody that has never heard of it?
ALIVE is a volunteer programme in NUI Galway. There are many different volunteering opportunities which means that anyone in the University can volunteer. The great thing about the ALIVE programme is that there are opportunities available for a whole semester or there are once off opportunities also. ALIVE helps the students of NUI Galway find opportunities that suit them. Volunteer opportunities from ALIVE can be found on www.studentvolunteer.ie.
What made you want to become a student volunteer? Do you have a favourite thing about taking part in the Alive program?
I am really passionate about helping others so when I saw that NUI Galway had a student volunteer programme, I immediately wanted to get involved. Being part of the ALIVE programme has given me an opportunity to grow as a person. I love meeting new people and getting the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives and in society. I really like how the ALIVE programme gives certificates to its participants and holds the award ceremony as it shows appreciation to the volunteers. Volunteers have to do 10 volunteer hours and they are then entitled to the certificate once they log their hours. And they get cake!
Can you name one thing you’ve learnt from your experience as a volunteer that you feel has really benefited you?
I have really benefitted from volunteering as I now have more confidence in myself and my ability to interact with people. I also love volunteering as it gives me a taste of what work will be like once I graduate. Volunteering also helps build friendships with people you may never have met.
What would you say to someone who is interested in becoming a student volunteer, but is a bit apprehensive or nervous?
If you are worried or nervous about getting involved in the ALIVE programme, don’t be! Just do it! ALIVE have a wonderful team of people who can help and support you to start volunteering. Volunteering also looks really good on CV’s as it shows the employer that you gave up your own time to help someone else! It’s really rewarding too and makes you feel good! Well it does for me anyway!
Finally, could you describe your overall experience of your time in NUI Galway in one sentence?
My time in NUI Galway has been filled with friendships, opportunities, life experience and love for this amazing city.