About ALIVE at University Of Galway

About ALIVE at University Of Galway

About ALIVE at University Of Galway


  1. Student FAQs                                                    
  2. What is ALIVE?         
  3. Why should I volunteer?                                 
  4. Who can participate in ALIVE? 
  5. Student Volunteer Coordinator Availability       
  6. Training for volunteer       
  7. Volunteer while the checks are being made?     
  8. Employers Recognizing ALIVE Certificate       
  9. Technical difficulty?                                            
  10. Volunteer on campus at University of Galway 
  11. Application Guide for ALIVE


Student FAQs

Watch to see what our student volunteers and community partners have to say about volunteering!


What is ALIVE?

ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience) is the University of Galway's Student Volunteer Programme, and it was established by the CKI to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that the University of Galway students make by volunteering.


What do I get from the ALIVE Programme as a student of University of Galway?

In past years, the ALIVE Programme has indicated that students have had the opportunity to :

  • Enrich their personal development and employability skills;
  • Have fun, experience and make new life-long friends;
  • Attain an ALIVE Certificate from University of Galway;
  • Learn from the community, which can enhance academic learning;
  • Build Personal Knowledge and skills while contributing to the capacity of the community.

Why should I volunteer?

If you are a student, volunteering will provide an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and knowledge, gain some real-life experiences and the local community benefits, too. There are many benefits to volunteering. Participating in volunteering will show that you have adaptive skills and you are able to adjust 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 your career further. For example, potential employers often ask during interviews to share examples of life skills. Also, volunteering can be a great way to experience something totally different and maybe even learn something new about yourself. See for yourself!


What is the Volunteering Fair?

The Volunteering Fair is a great event to meet community groups and learn more about their work and gain a sense of where you can volunteer. The Fair is held twice a year - early September and January.  

2016 Student Volunteer Fair

Who can participate in ALIVE?

All Registered Part-time and Full-time students of the University of Galway, including Distance Education, Access, Erasmus and Study Abroad students. Faculty and Staff are also very welcome!

How can I get involved with ALIVE?

Register for the ALIVE e-newsletter here to keep up to date, or browse through lots of different volunteering opportunities via our database, where you can read about all the opportunities and sign up to volunteer. Come along for training workshops and social events, or just pop into the ALIVE office in Áras na Mac Léinn and get acknowledged about volunteering options or meet-ups with the ALIVE student interns and see what student-led projects you can get involved in!

What support can I expect as an ALIVE Volunteer?

As an ALIVE Volunteer, you will be entitled to receive Appropriate Inductions and Training and to Get regular support from the ALIVE team. If any volunteer is experiencing Problems at any stage of the volunteering process, we are always there to help in any way we can. 

When is the Student Volunteer Coordinator available, and where is their office based?

The ALIVE office is located in the 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 studentvolunteering@universityofgalway.ie email.

Is there a deadline to register for ALIVE?

No, you are welcome to register at any time. ALIVE recognises the Volunteering contribution that students make throughout the year, not just the academic year!

Will I have an interview with the community organisation?

In some cases, yes! - often, this is an informal chat. Sometimes they might assign you a different task. They just want to know about you and see where your interests are. 

Do I need any training to be a good volunteer?

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 provided 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. 

I've heard that I will have to get Garda Vetting. What's involved? 

Some organisations require volunteers to undergo reference checks or police checks in line with current legislation. This means that your criminal records might be checked to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for incorporation with sensitive people such as children and aged persons.

Will this process take a long time? What documents will I need to bring?

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.

Can I still volunteer while the checks are being made? 

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 if a similar situation arises.

But what happens if I'm really not happy with the volunteering Opportunity I'm working on? 

For whatever reason, if you feel dissatisfied or unhappy or not enjoying the experience or you are no longer able to commit to it, you should communicate with the ALIVE team and/or the organisation. 

What happens if nothing takes my fancy, but yet I still want to volunteer? 

In any event where we do not have something fancy for you, be sure to register with ALIVE anyway to receive regular emails about new opportunities as they arise. 

Does ALIVE have any information about international volunteering?

Yes, we do have, and for that, please meet us or go through our dedicated resources to help you find the right opportunities overseas.

Do employers recognise the ALIVE Certificate?

The ALIVE Certificate represents the Volunteering, Training and Reflections undertaken by you, and employers always seek skilled, well-rounded candidates. The ALIVE Certificate represents your commitment to something other than your studies. By volunteering on or off campus, we tend to learn that comes from outside of the classroom, and so do future employers. On your CV, it is crucial to refer to the ALIVE Certificate as an achievement.

The volunteering you committed yourself to and the training you received have 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 outer experiences. Volunteering offers a whole range of experiences that employers seek. Fundraising, Raising awareness, Retail experience, Homework clubs, Youth groups, etc. All these illustrate different types of experience. Most importantly, you have demonstrated experience of working with people and active communication skills.

So how will I receive information about current volunteering opportunities? 

We will send out a selection of volunteer opportunities to you through weekly mailers from our Databases and Local HEI Offices. All of our volunteering details are stored on a database in local HEI offices (for our own use only), and from this, a weekly mailing list is generated.  

How do I delete my profile?

We will be sad to see you leave, but If you would no longer like to be on the Studentvolunteer.ie system and would like to delete your profile please contact your local HEI co-ordinator with your account details and they will help you in removing your account from the system. 

Got a technical difficulty?

Don't hesitate to get in touch with us at studentvolunteering@universityofgalway.ie

To help us investigate and solve technical problems speedily, please reach out to us to outline the malfunction, and please include the following information:

1) Which browser you are using

2) A screenshot of the problem

3) Your access details (i.e. username and password)

How can I volunteer on campus at University of Galway?

There are so many University of Galway campus Programmes for you to volunteer with. Read more about who you can volunteer with HERE.

Here are just some of their links and logos!

Seas Suas - 

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.”


Students’ Union: Class rep, Fundraising and Campaigns, CÉIM, Explore

University of 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 University of 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 University of Galway. Thus, a greater amount of people are qualified and educated in Ireland, hopefully reducing unemployment rates throughout the country."


SIN and Flirt FM -  

Flirt FM is the University of Galway and GMIT student radio station, and SIN is the NUI Galway fortnightly newspaper. Both services feature shows and articles about 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 - 

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!”


Student Connect Mentoring - 

The University of 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 at University of Galway 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.”


Clubs - 

Sports and recreation are 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.”


Access Uni 4 U Programme 

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.


CELL Explorers - 

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 University of 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!"

Any Further Questions...

Please visit ALIVE in Aras na Mac Leinn

Email us studentvolunteering@universityofgalway.ie

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