Gain hands-on experience while giving back to your community or while seeing the world. Inspire youth in the inner cities. Teach sustainable farming in Africa. Work toward your major in the cultural context of Paris, Beijing or Sydney. The world has never been closer than at Oregon State.

Volunteering and Community Involvement

Volunteering is great for society and it’s great for you — it builds your résumé and helps you network and determine careers of interest. So, when possible, pick community service opportunities that will help you grow professionally, too.

  • Oregon State’s Community Engagement & Leadership provides a database of service projects and resources to help you get involved.
  • Volunteer.gov lists volunteering opportunities with government agencies such as the Forest Services, Parks, Army Corps of Engineers, etc.
  • Student organizations and clubs and the Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life each offer great ways to get connected with service projects.
  • Or reach out directly to local organizations in your community to ask how you can help. For example, in Corvallis students might volunteer with the Habitat for Humanity, Corvallis Environmental Center, Heartland Humane Society, Parks & Recreation, Benton County Public Library, Institute for Applied Ecology or many others.
Student Spotlight: Learning Applicable Skills

"I began volunteering at the campus food pantry last year, and it has helped me gain an awareness of the needs of the community. Through this experience, I have gained an appreciation of the organization it takes to run a program."

— Sydney Hellman, Class of 2020

Majors: Speech Communication; Business Administration

Career Tip: Gaining Experience With a Full Schedule 

Need to get experience in your field now, but have no time? Consider volunteering on the weekends, keeping track of robust course projects, tracking techniques you learn in class and completing additional certifications online. All of these experiences can go on your résumé.

Post-Graduate Service

If you are interested in more robust service commitments, below are some to consider. These options are popular for students wishing to take a gap year before pursuing full-time work or graduate school. Some of these organizations come with benefits such as debt forgiveness or preference points on federal applications.

  • AmeriCorps: Complete service projects across the U.S., like increasing academic achievement, mentoring youth, fighting poverty and sustaining national parks.
  • CityYear: Impact K-12 students in high-need communities over an 11 month service period.
  • GapWork or GapYear: Global information on where to travel and how to volunteer across the world.
  • PeaceCorps: Immerse yourself in a community abroad and work side-by-side with local leaders to tackle pressing challenges across the globe.
  • Teach for America: Serve as an educator for two years in an under-resourced public school.

Global Opportunities

Want to study, intern, work or research abroad? Oregon State is just the beginning. Where do you want to go? The Oregon State Office of Global Opportunities (OSU GO) offers nearly 200 programs in more than 70 countries — these include faculty-lead programs, university exchanges, departmental programs, IE3 Global Internships, research abroad and more. Contact OSU GO to learn more.

GoinGlobal is a great tool for students interested in living or working abroad. It provides an overview of the job market and application guidelines for various countries to help you plan.

  • Learn about countries and major U.S. cities of interest, find visa applications and more. Oregon State students can create an account to save searches and receive notifications on unvetted international job listings.
  • GoinGlobal offers a H-1B Visa Database. This is helpful information for international students who graduate and wish to work in the U.S. in their degree areas. These students can discover which U.S. companies have applied for H-1B Visas.