You must have heard people say that university is “much more than just going to lectures”. And that’s absolutely right. Not everything is about notes, exams and group work. Live life to the full during this period of your life! It’s also a good time to start to decide on the kind of person you want to be. One way to help that process along is to try out different things and gain as much experience in different settings as possible.

At CEU, we are committed to helping you along the way. We want to give you the opportunity to gain some of these key life experiences so that you can grow as a person, stretch yourself and start to firm up what your vision of the world is.
Of course, at CEU, there are countless activities available to you on campus: sport, music, drama, ceramics, debating, and photography to name just a few examples. But what we really want to talk to you about here are our volunteering initiatives.

WHEN YOU SPEND SOME OF YOUR TIME HELPING OTHERS, YOU ALWAYS GET BACK MORE THAN YOU GIVE

If you’re not sure yet if volunteering is for you, let us lay out five of the benefits you could gain.

1. Bringing happiness to others – and yourself

Knowing that you’re spending your own time helping others will change how you view yourself and boost your self-esteem. In fact, studies have shown that people who help others are happier. Maybe that’s why our Medicine students smile so much during their volunteering activities in the Philippines. Every year, a group of Medicine lecturers and students travel to south-east Asia to provide much-needed medical treatment to people living in poverty.

2. You’ll be in good company

Taking part in volunteering activities alongside other people is a great ice-breaker and will help you make new friends. It will also give you an insight into team-working and improve your social skills, enabling you to grow personally and professionally. Most of the volunteering projects undertaken by the university would not make sense without the human team behind them.

3. L + H: learning and helping

Maybe you don’t realize, but you know many things which are valuable to others. By putting yourself at the service of other people, you can help them – but you also learn new things. This is what our Nursing and Pharmacy students find when they volunteer their services at facilities such as the Casa Asilo de las Hermanas de los Ancianos Desamparados nursing home. The experience enables them to put the knowledge and skills they have into practice, to get to know their fellow students, to learn to manage their time more effectively, and, most important of all, to give a little bit of love to the elderly people that they take care of.

4. Your world is a better world

Even the little things count – you’re still helping those around you. That could mean donating clothes or helping an elderly person get off the bus. By doing your bit, you’ll be contributing to making the world a better place. Every year, the Student Representatives and the Chair of Solidarity of the University collect materials for schools, toys, food, hygiene products and whatever else local associations may need. Sometimes the people who need our help are right here on our doorstep.

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¡Bienvenido a nuestro nuevo Instagram! Medipinas es un proyecto que surge de la inquietud y necesidad de un grupo de jóvenes por ayudar a los que más lo necesitan. El proyecto se inició en el 2014 y continua con la misma ilusión y ganas que entonces. El próximo mes de marzo de 2019 partiremos a Filipinas con la maleta llena de fármacos y material médico para realizar la misión humanitaria. ¡Acompáñanos en nuestro proyecto por las redes! Pensamos que la palabra “Bayanihan” representa muy bien nuestra filosofía, es una palabra muy usada en Filipinas que se traduce como el espíritu de unidad comunal, el trabajo y la cooperación para lograr un objetivo claro, en nuestro caso, dar una oportunidad a personas que no tienen acceso a una sanidad digna. Si algo tenemos claro es que de Filipinas no regresas, parte de tu corazón siempre estará allí. Juntos llegaremos más lejos.

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5. Careful, it’s infectious!

When you take part in a volunteering project, your friends may start asking a lot of questions about what it is you’re doing. And that might just be the first step for them to join you on the same journey. In a sense, you are their role model: you’re showing that it is possible to do something and that may be enough to convince them. Every year for several years now, lecturers and students from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine have demonstrated their commitment to Africa. The aim of their visits is to improve the nutrition of the population by enhancing local livestock farming practices. Every year, new students join the Vets for Africa project, after hearing stories from their fellow students.

Still not sure? Take a minute to hear some of the participants in our volunteering initiatives tell you what they gained from their experiences and why you should join them.

Remember, when you spend time helping other people, you always get back more than you give.

At CEU we have a unique view on what volunteering activities should really be about. It’s because we’re different and we believe in the value of putting yourself at the service of other people. You can find more information about the people-focused volunteering projects at CEU UCH here.

See you soon!

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