Work fair showcases volunteer abroad opportunities

WIVA, or Work Intern Volunteer Abroad, is an organization set up to promote other programs that allow students to travel abroad. The opportunities these programs provide are numerous. They include studying certain majors abroad, working for internships abroad and doing various types of community service. 

Last Saturday, WIVA held a small fair outside Salazar Quad. The setting was simple but colorful, with a table for each program set up and flags from all over the world above them. 

Each table was decorated uniquely, having souvenirs from the countries the programs represented on the table to various folders laid out containing more information.

 “The WIVA program is available for all current students as well as alumni,” said Becky Petrow, a leader of the organization. “Current students can gain experience in schools in other countries as well as learn how to work for certain companies. We also connect with graduate programs abroad for alumni.”

All of the programs provide a variety of opportunities in other countries. CRCC Asia for instance, has a variety of programs to allow students to gain business experience with internships, as well as gain exposure to China’s diverse culture. 

“72 percent of people who became involved with our organization end up receiving full time employment later on,” said CRCC representative Thao Li. 

This is also the case for other organizations such as Barcelona, where students not only get a chance to study abroad and receive internship opportunities, but they also learn more about the Spanish language and culture.

 Education isn’t the only goal of the programs. At the fair, people also learned how they can perform community service in other countries. 

Integral Without Borders provides a network of multidisciplinary methods with a goal for global change. 

“Our programs provide a lot of disciplines to not only provide a stronger experience for travelling students, but to assist in situations as well”, said Co-Director Sushant Shrestha. “Students gain exposure to various majors as well, from our top ones such as social change, economics, business and ones with less focus such as physics and chemistry.”

 The table for IWB provided a great amount of information on opportunities in Nepal. 

“We’re hoping to get more people on community service for there, especially after Nepal faced one of the worst earthquakes in history last year,” said Shrestha.

 Other tables that provided volunteer opportunities were the Peace Corps and Camp Counselors USA. The latter has programs set up in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa,and Russia. 

“Students get to choose what they feel would work best for them,” said program coordinator Amy Nichols. 

The variety includes working with animals in both Australia and South Africa, working at kids camps in Australia and assisting in family programs in Russia.

 With the Peace Corps, there are even more countries students have the chance to travel to and assist people in, as well submerge themselves within the cultures. 

Anyone has the opportunity to get involved as long as they are over 18, and the program is free of charge. 

“As a bonus, the people involved do get paid, though it is still meant to be an experience with serving those in need,” said regional representative Barbara Smith, who performed community service in Zambia from 2010 to 2014.

 The fair provided not only a more inside look at the WIVA programs, but also provided a chance to learn more about the programs from the directors themselves. Students can discover more atsonoma.edu/cie/wiva.