Studying abroad may be an integral part of your Wofford experience, and it can be a very important part of your Bonner experience as well. The service opportunities abroad can be unique, a good way to learn a different language, and a way to further your future goals.
As it is at Wofford, you are to complete the same requirements abroad, that is complete 10 hours per week, and make sure that you have completed all required forms, contracts, and reflections. It is a good idea to plan ahead. Most countries have a different philosophy as far as community service is concerned, and it is very common to find that many people do not volunteer on a regular basis. Because of this it may prove to be a challenge to find a service site. This is where planning ahead becomes necessary. These following steps will help you in finding a site abroad:
- After you have picked which country you would like to study abroad in, research a bit about the culture and the current events. This will help you in your selection as well as help you become aware about the current situation of that country. A country like France will have distinct opportunities to that of one like South Africa or Peru. Each country has its own needs and current affairs. When discussing your possibilities with the Director of Study Abroad, Dr. Annemarie Wiseman, it is important to mention that you are a Bonner and that you are interested in community service abroad.
- Once you have a program picked out, inquire as to whether the program has a coordinator to help with volunteering opportunities or a coordinator for internships. They can be a good tool to find volunteer opportunities and to further your future goals. It may be helpful to contact these individuals and ask them if they know of any sites that may be if interest to you, or to ask them any questions that you may have.
- If you can not get in contact with these individuals it may be useful to search on the internet for service opportunities in your particular country. Some of these are:
There are many more sites were you can find volunteer and non-profit organizations abroad to volunteer at.
- Once you arrive in the program and have an idea of your schedule it will be a good idea to tour different agencies so you could pick the one you would like.
- Pick a site and communicate with the Bonner Coordinator to complete all required paperwork
Serving abroad can be a very significant part of your service experience at Wofford, and the Bonner Program encourages you to find a site that you will enjoy and also that will further your studies academically and help you in your future endeavors.
For more information on Study Abroad opportunities please look in the Wofford College Study Abroad Web Page.