Watch to see what our student volunteers and community partners have to say about volunteering!
ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience) is NUI Galway's student volunteer programme and it was established by the CKI to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make by volunteering.
In past years, the ALIVE programme has indicated that students have had the opportunity to:
enrich their personal development and employability skills; have a fun experience and made new life long friends; attain an ALIVE Certificate from NUI Galway; learn from community which could enhance academic learning; build personal knowledge and skills while contributing to the capacity of community.
If you are a student studying (undergraduate and postgraduate) volunteering will provide an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and knowledege, get some real-life experience and at the same time the local community benefits. Employers ask during interviews to share examples of any volunteering. This will show that you have transferable skills and you are able to adapt to any given situation. Volunteering is a great way to get to know more people from different backgrounds. Volunteering can be a great way to improve your personal and professional development. Whilst volunteering, you can actually learn new skills which will not only benefit your professional life, but will give you a chance to develop further your career. Also, volunteering can be a great way to experience something totally different and maybe even learn something new about yourself.
Held twice a year its a great time to meet community groups and learn more their work and what you can particpate in as a volunteer. Have a look back at some photos from the Fair!
All registered part time and full time students of NUI Galway including Distance Education, Access, Erasmus and Study Abroad students. Faculty and Staff are very welcome!
Register for the ALIVE e-newsletter here to keep up to date or have a browse through lots of different volunteering opportunities via our database where you can read all about the opportunities and sign up to volunteer once you have registered. Come along to training or social events. Pop into the ALIVE office in the Hub, Áras na Mac Léinn and browse the volunteering database or meet up with the ALIVE student interns and see what student led projects you can get involved in!
As an ALIVE Volunteer you will be entitled to receive appropriate inductions and training and to receive regular support from the ALIVE team. If any volunteer is experiencing problems at any stage of the volunteering process, we are here to help in any way we can.
The ALIVE office is based in The Hub, Áras na Mac Léinn. We can be contacted in a variety of ways should you want some help or advice. Contact the Student Volunteer Coordinator through firstname.lastname@example.org email.
No, please register at any time, ALIVE recognises the volunteering contribution that students make throughout the year, not just the academic year!
In some cases yes - often this is an informal chat. They just want to get to know you and see where your interests lie. Sometimes they might assign you a different task if you both decide that would be more beneficial.
Most voluntary organisations will provide the basic training required to carry out their work. Any specialist training (such as operating small pieces of equipment, codes of conduct etc) will be given to you by the organisation itself. It is their responsibility to look after you while you are volunteering with them.
In addition, ALIVE provides resources to help you.
Some organisations require volunteers to undergo reference checks or police checks in line with current legislation. This means that your criminal records are checked to ensure that you will be a suitable candidate for working with vulnerable people such as children and older adults.
The organisation will inform you of the process. Police checks/Garda Vetting can take some time so where possible consider getting in touch with organisations ahead of the time you seek to start volunteering. A police check is carried out at no cost to the volunteer.
In some circumstances organisations might want to ensure that your results are returned before you can volunteer with them, but you will be advised about this should this situation arise.
If, for whatever reason, you become unhappy, are not enjoying the experience or suddenly find you no longer have the time to commit to it, you should communicate with the ALIVE team and/or the organisation.
In the event that we do not have something that you like be sure to register with ALIVE anyway to receive regular emails about new opportunities as they arise.
See our dedicated resource to help you find the right opportunity overseas.
The ALIVE Certificate represents the volunteering, training and reflection undertaken by a student. Employers seek skilled, well rounded students. The ALIVE Certificate represents your commitment to something further than your studies. By volunteering on or off campus we recognises the learning that can come from outside the classroom and so do future employers.
On your CV it is important to refer to the ALIVE Certificate as an achievement.
The volunteering you committed yourself to and the training you received has been recognised through the ALIVE Certificate. Questions in the reflection application represent questions that real world employers will ask in an interview. For example, what are the skills you have and demonstrate with an example of how you have used your skill?, When have you worked in a team?, etc. Not only can you draw on examples from your studies but you can also draw on examples from volunteering.
Employers seek employees with experience. Volunteering can offer a whole range of experiences that employers seek. Fundraising, raising awareness, retail experience, homework clubs, youth groups, etc. all illustrate different qualities of experience. Most importantly you have demonstrated experience of working with people and active communication skills.
All of our volunteers' details are stored on a database in local HEI offices (for our own use only) and from this a weekly mailing list is generated. We will send out a selection of volunteer opportunities to you.
If you would no longer like to be on the Studentvolunteer.ie system and would like to be removed please contact your local HEI co-ordinator with your account details and they will remove your account from the system.
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There are so many NUI Galway campus Programmes for you to volunteer with. Here are their links and logos!
The objective of the ‘Seas Suas’ Programme is to encourage students to be more observant of fellow students in need of help and to increase motivation to help fellow students. Student volunteers from a range of academic disciplines completed training sessions on topics such as mental health, alcohol, sexuality and suicide prevention, and volunteers were trained about how best to safely respond to such issues.
Carmen Campbell: Seas Suas, SAOR Alcohol Intervention Training
“The mentor programme has a significant impact on the university in encouraging friendships and promoting a culture of looking out for and guiding fellow students. It can help to identify students who may be struggling with their transition to university and can offer support and referral to specialist services.”
NUI Galway students volunteer with NUI Galway Students’ Union throughout the year. Of the 15 Students’ Union elected officers 12 are volunteers taking on a significant workload in addition to their studies to represent the students of NUI Galway. Volunteer Class Representatives are a significant contribution to the campus community.
Murrough Birmingham: CÉIM Peer Assisted Learning Leader
“The greatest impact that CÉIM could provide is to encourage students to remain in university and become motivated to work hard, which reduces dropout rates in NUI Galway. Thus, a greater amount of people are qualified and educated in Ireland, hopefully reducing unemployment rates throughout the country."
Flirt FM is the NUI Galway and GMIT student radio station and SIN is the NUI Galway fortnightly newspaper. Both services feature shows and articles of upcoming events both on campus and around Galway city. They also discuss many important issues relating to student life and international issues!
Tracey Brady: Flirt FM Radio Presenter
“With Flirt FM, I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and learn a new skill. It was challenging as I had never done radio before but I learned so much and had great fun doing it!”
Societies play a vital role in shaping our students as capable, contributing and active citizens able to play key roles in our world’s future. They provide real, meaningful learning opportunities in the chosen academic fields through workshops, guest speakers and mentor support. They enable their members to fully engage with the university and thereby create an environment in which the students fully participate in campus life, avail of the academic opportunities and achieve academic excellence. Societies enhance the student experience; they aid retention, promote institute loyalty, create communities, challenge ideas, open minds, raise awareness, and foster friendships.
Frank Armstrong: Musical Society (GUMS) Head of Sets
“I got to meet so many new and wonderful people that I would never have met or got to know if I wasn't part of this team. I developed so many new skills and learned how to work with a huge production team and cast. One small negative may have been the stress during the days before the show; however the feeling of accomplishment was all the sweeter when the job got done!”
The NUI Galway Student Connect Mentoring programme has been developed to help first years to integrate more easily into university life and make new friends. Everyone knows how it feels to be a first year and a student mentor can help students deal with any issues they have, no matter how big or small it is!
Jennifer Gayer: Student Connect Mentor
“My time volunteering in NUIG in particular with the mentoring programme has been nothing but positive. I have made many friends from all areas of college academia that I may not have otherwise. I have laughed and learned a tremendous amount over the three years whilst being involved in something that to me was vitally important. Volunteering in college was one of the best decisions I ever made, college provides us with the opportunity to learn so much more than just our chosen subjects and for me the effort is 100% worth it.”
Sports and recreation is a vital part of university life in Galway. With over 45 vibrant and active clubs in the university, (and growing!) we promise that there is something to suit every student ranging from water sports, martial arts, to darts and off campus clubs such as snow sports. It doesn’t matter whether you’re very active or not, get involved! You will be healthier, meet new people and make your memories of university life even better! Volunteers’ lead clubs as committee members provide health and safety support, train members, and organise events like intervarsity.
Kelvin Murphy: Windsurfing Club Secretary
“I have learned that team work is invaluable. So much more can be accomplished when working with others. Working with the other committee members it was possible to organise events and keep the club running smoothly as each member contributed and brought their own skills to the mix.”
The aim of this programme is to help primary school students develop personally by building their self esteem, confidence, communication skills and social behaviour through team games and sport activities in addition to their educational attainment, especially improvement in numeric and literacy skills. The volunteers will help the students with their homework for the first hour and when this is complete, they are rewarded with an hour of exciting sports and fun team building games.
This EXPLORE project created a pilot model for outreach activity in cellular biology and biotechnology for primary school children in 4th-6th class who often have a limited understanding of biological science and lack role models of real people with careers in science. Designed and delivered by 1st, 2nd and 4th year NUI Galway biotechnology and biomedical students, the initiative stimulated civic engagement among students towards schools.
Fiona Cronin: Cell EXPLORERS Demonstrator and Leader
"The Little Cells school visits are a great benefit to local schools and the university too as it brings them together. It brings science into the classroom and encourages schools to make science a part of learning. Both students and the teachers really enjoyed the visits and it gives them a chance work with people from the university. The fantastic DNA workshop and all of the science fair is a great way to make science accessible for all the family and to encourage it amongst both parents and children both of whom really looked to enjoy it on the day!"
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