Community service & volunteering
FSU Valencia offers an exceptional opportunity for all students to earn some much needed experience through volunteer work while they earn community hours.
Volunteer work in FSU Valencia takes place in public, subsidize and non-profit institutions. For this reason, many of the activities are of benefit to the Valencia community, while others have a specific target of underprivileged and elderly communities.
Although we are adding in this list all the possibilities of volunteering that we have arranged, only a few of them take place every session, depending on the amount of students interested. Assisting in English classes and exchange conversation meetings are the volunteer activities that have been continuously effective. Other volunteer work requires a larger commitment and it becomes more difficult to find students willing to do so.
PUBLIC/SUBSIDIZE INSTITUTION VOLUNTEERING
Assistants in English classes:
- Takes place in state-subsidized schools.
- Students help in kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school levels.
- Normally volunteering is 1 or 2 hours per week (during program trips & breaks students don’t attend).
- This type of volunteering takes place only during fall and spring sessions.
- Normally the students will be presenting personal and cultural background to interact with the Spanish kids.
- Every school gives the volunteer students a certificate of participation.
Exchange Conversation Meetings:
- We have a collaboration agreement between FSU Valencia & Youth Department of the Valencia City Hall. Once every three weeks there is an English-Spanish workshop for Spaniards. We guarantee English speakers.
- Meetings take place both in FSU and the Valencia city hall facilities.
CIVIL ORGANIZATIONS, CHARITY INSTITUTIONS, NGOS
T-OIGO.COM program to support kids with cochlear implants and hearing aids who are learning English. Volunteers say that this program is life changing for them as well. Not only do they develop a close bond with the child and the family, but they develop a greater sensitivity towards people with a disability and recognize that they have the power to impact others’ lives in a positive way, across lines of culture, language, and age.
Students who participate in this program can fulfill volunteer requirements that their schools may require and/or request recommendation letters for graduate school or job applications.
- Helping elder people at the Elderly House. This type of volunteering is normally asked for by individual students and not offered as a group. The volunteering takes place once a week.
- Students help participating in activities such as: cooking classes field trips in town games, theatre, dancing & handicrafts.
Sports Training Collaboration:
- Helping at softball/baseball Federation Students take care of the children and speak in English with them while training at the Riverbed sport facilities.
- This type of volunteering can only take place on Saturdays. Therefore it is more feasible for FYA students who stay more than one semester.
Volunteer for event coordination:
- Takes place NGOs and civil organizations. Students help in events that take place on special occasions (parades, concerts, carnival, etc), that normally have to do with Solidarity Causes.
- Normally volunteering is 3 or 4 hours during the day of the event. This type of volunteering takes place only during fall and spring sessions.
TESTIMONIES OF TWO STUDENTS IN THEIR REWARDING EXPERIENCE
“My experience teaching at the Spanish school: While in Valencia, I was given the chance to teach English to Spanish students. It was a great opportunity for me to improve my Spanish, as well as integrate into the culture. The students and I shared many stories; I told them about American culture and they told me all about the important pieces of theirs. We also played games with them, and spent a lot of time talking about futbol and the Fallas festival. Walking into a Spanish school for the first time was a little intimidating, although, shortly after entering the building, I was greeted by a swarm of curious kids asking me questions about America. The Spanish people make me feel welcome and right at home, no matter where I am.”
Benjamin F. Comora
“I volunteered at a Spanish High School in Valencia, Spain during my First Year Abroad experience. I played games with the kids, answered questions, asked questions, and gave quizzes. I helped them by simply speaking so they could hear my accent and the proper way the words should be pronounced. I had a lot of fun doing this because it forced me to break out of my shell. I don’t like talking in from of people especially when I don’t know their language either. But I did it and I made it through and now I have a Spanish friend who I hang out with whenever we both have time. Now that might not be very often but at least it is sometimes. This experience benefitted me greatly as well because I realized I need to do the things I want to do even if I’m scared or I will never reach my goals.”