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Global Service

NYU prides itself in being a Global Network University - where the richness of a global education extends far beyond the classroom and into communities across the world.  Whether you're studying in New York City or as far as Shanghai, NYU provides opportunities to engage in the global network through meaningful service.  Global volunteerism provides an opportunity to learn about new cultures, explore rich history, and experience first-hand underlying causes of important social development needs within our communities.


NYU's global study abroad sites provide vast opportunities to engage in community service as part of the academic program or through co-curricular involvement.  Participating in service opportunities while abroad is a great way to learn, explore the country, meet new people, and give back to your community. For more information about volunteer opportunities while studying abroad at NYU global sites, contact the NYU Office of Global Programs.

Community service is a very strong and exciting component of the study abroad experience in Ghana. Volunteers donate their time regularly to over a dozen meaningful service organizations. Past students have found this aspect of the program personally rewarding and a great opportunity to give something back to the society.

For students interested in a more formal, reflexive fieldwork experience, NYU has created a new credit-bearing seminar in social and cultural analysis. While engaged in fieldwork at a selected set of community organizations and NGOs, students participate in an academic seminar that helps make sense of the issues that arise in their community work, the structure and methods of the organizations where they work, and their own place in the process.

Your experience as a community volunteer will be a highly individualized opportunity that enhances your cultural immersion. NYU in Ghana staff will help you select the appropriate organization for your volunteer experience, drawing on their relationships with local community organizations. For example, you may find yourself working with the Elim Cluster of Schools, where teach elementary students. At the West Africa AIDS Foundation, you'll assist with patient visits, counseling, and fund-raising events.  >> Read More.

To supplement in-class learning, NYU in Buenos Aires encourages students to conduct volunteer work in their areas of interest. Volunteering is a great way to connect to the local community and to put classroom theory into practice. Many students donate their time to nonprofits, hospitals, schools and other meaningful organizations. Most recently, students found opportunities with well-established NGOs specializing in public policy and the environment, including the Fundación Poder Ciudadano and Greenpeace. A politics major donated her time to Mujeres 2000, an organization formed by students and young professionals that helps impoverished women. Along with local Argentine students, she then visited shantytowns on the outskirts of the city to provide counseling services and micro credits (small grants) to women in need. Another student cared for cancer patients and their families at a medical facility near the NYU academic center, while others tutored high-risk children and teens at local schools.  >> Read More.

NYU in Florence actively promotes volunteer opportunities in community service for its students. Working as instructors of English in Italian schools, or as assistants in a number of civic associations, NYU in Florence students get a chance to discover the “real” life of the city and its inhabitants. In addition, participating in the community service program offers an opportunity for students to make new contacts, and to improve their Italian language abilities. Some other service placements include cooking at a local church for their international youth dinners, giving free tours in English in the Florence Cathedral for a cultural organization, and helping to coach sports for an after-school program. Students who participate in Community Service find it one of the most rewarding features of their time in Florence.   >> Read more.

NYU in London offers both ongoing and one-off Community Service opportunities. For students with a little more time, each semester we offer 30 placements in local schools for students who wish to work with teachers and help 5-7 year old children with their classes. We also have a limited number of semester-long placements at local volunteering organisations, including the American Church in London, Médecins Sans Frontières and Maggie’s Centres.For those students with less time to commit, we also offer a programme of one-off events which enables students to volunteer for a day or just a few hours. These events can vary from semester to semester. Previous students have acted as stewards for the Metro Life Hike in conjunction with Open House weekend to raise money for Maggie’s Centres; formed “cheering squads” for charities to support their runners during the London Marathon; helped out by feeding meals to the homeless at the local Soup Kitchen; and taken part in environmental projects such as local gardening initiatives, clearing a conservation area and removing litter from the River Thames.  >> Read more.

If you'd like to put what you're learning in class into practice in the real world, NYU in Madrid offers opportunities for internships and community services. You may intern with Spanish firms, nongovernmental organizations, and private schools or volunteer with organizations that help the disadvantaged. Not only will you improve your Spanish, but you'll also learn about Hispanic culture from an insider's perspective. Please note that a high level of spoken Spanish is required for many of the immersion opportunities, although there are some options for intermediate speakers. In the U.S., volunteers are allowed certain independence with their schedules, whereas in Spain, volunteers are expected to make serious long-term commitments.  >> Read More.

Volunteering in Shanghai will introduce you to another side of Chinese culture and bring you into direct contact with many facets of the city you may not otherwise experience. You could donate your time working with a local school’s program to educate children of migrant workers, or perhaps spend a day a week teaching English in a local school, or lend a hand at a children’s orphanage. New volunteer and service activities become available to NYU in Shanghai students on a regular basis. >> Read More.

AB Peru

NYU's International Alternative Breaks Program provides students studying in New York City the opportunity to participate in community service abroad during winter or spring break.  Students engage with faculty to explore the theory of integrating service, education, and reflection to create meaningful change in communities around the world.  For more information about the Alternative Breaks Program, please contact the Center for Student Activities, Leadership and Service.

Projects for Peace

Apply Now!

Davis Projects for Peace is an initiative for all students at the Davis United World College Scholars Program partner schools (of which NYU is one) to design grassroots projects for the summer of 2016 - anywhere in the world - which promote peace and address the root causes of conflict among parties. Applicants are encouraged to use their creativity to design projects and employ innovative techniques for engaging project participants in ways that focus on conflict resolution, reconciliation, building understanding and breaking down barriers which cause conflict, and finding solutions for resolving conflict and maintaining peace. Through a competition on over 90 campuses, projects will be selected for funding at $10,000 each.
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NYU Alternative Breaks; Machu Picchu, Peru

Helpful tips when traveling abroad for service

  • Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website for information about vaccinations, outbreaks and other important health updates for the country you're visiting.
  • Schedule an appointment with the Allergy, Immunology & Travel Medicine department at the NYU Student Health Center for information and specific care that you need to ensure that you have the proper inoculations for going abroad.
  • Review the U.S. Department of State website for the most current travel safety information and warnings. You may also register your trip with the U.S. Department of State to help the embassy or consulate locate you when you might need them the most.
  • Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies overseas and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation.  If it does not, consider supplemental insurance.  If you have NYU student health insurance, visit the Student Health Insurance department at the NYU Student Health Center for more information.
  • Take precautions to avoid being a target of crime by not wearing conspicuous clothing or jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money.  Also, do not leave unattended luggage in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers.
  • Make sure you have a signed, valid passport, and a visa, if required, and fill in the emergency information page of your passport.
  • Be aware of cultural differences.  Before you travel, read books and on-line journals and newspapers, watch movies, try the food, and practice the language.
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