Calling All United Studies Exchange Students:
Take the Community Service Challenge!
United Studies is thrilled to announce its Community Service Challenge. Certificates will be awarded to students who log 15 hours, 25 hours, or 50 hours of community service by May 1. For students who haven’t yet tried community service in the United States, it’s time to take your exchange experience to the next level. Here’s why:
- Your peers are doing it. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over half of U.S. youth ages 12 to 18 participate in volunteer activities, with the typical youth volunteer performing 29 hours of service per year. To truly live like a U.S. teenager, perform community service while you’re here. Here are examples of other exchange students who’ve done it:
- Community service will make you happier – it’s been proven. When you perform community service, you typically are doing something new, which means you develop new skills. This makes feel more competent and therefore confident. You also help to address problems, which gives you a feeling of accomplishment, and you work with and for others, which gives you a feeling of connectedness. Finally, you acquire new context in which to evaluate your own problems, helping you to keep them in perspective.
- Your host community will be better for having known you. You embarked on an adventure in a new country with unfamiliar customs, and you have surprised yourself with your ability to master so many new challenges. Additionally, by getting to know your host community and many of its people, you have acquired a new perspective on yourself and your own country. In short, your host community has made a positive impact on you. Will you be able to say you made a positive impact on your host community? Now that you’ve gotten comfortable here, it’s the perfect time to start. By committing acts of service, you’ll teach yourself one more lesson: that wherever you go in the world, you have the potential to make it a better place.
- You’ll deepen your understanding of the culture. The first moment you arrived in your host community, you started getting to know the place and many of its people. Now, by serving your community, you’ll learn firsthand about the problems the community faces and how people are addressing them.
- You’ll generate goodwill for your home country. As U.S. citizens get to know you, they are also shaping their ideas about your country. When they see you devoting your time and energy to good causes in their community, they will feel a deep sense of appreciation and respect that they will forever associate with not only you, but your country as well. In fact, the U.S. Department of State brings exchange students like you to the United States because they believe you have the ability to cultivate mutual understanding between the United States and other nations. You are not only an exchange student; you are an ambassador promoting world peace.
You may use any service performed for a nonprofit, school, or government organization during your exchange, whether you joined others in an existing service project or started your own. Just complete our online form and provide the name and phone number of an adult who could verify your participation. And please take photos to share through the online form.
Record your hours online or in hardcopy: