First Look: Community Service

Global UGRAD students are required to complete at least 20 hours of community service while they are in the United States in order to give back and make meaningful connections to their local communications. Many students have already started volunteering in their local host community. Please read below about the volunteering experiences written by current Global UGRAD students:


“As soon as I got to my university in August, I immediately started to network and connect with the other exchange students, professors, and on-campus organizations. I went searching for volunteer opportunities and social events that would help develop my leadership skills.

Osaid at Western Kentucky University

In the past week, I helped plan and participate in philanthropy week on WKU’s campus! We sold roses on campus grounds as well as organized a cookout and sold cheeseburgers to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Working with people on campus introduced me to my closest friends in the United States and taught me priceless lessons on leadership, time management, and team effort.

Currently, I am planning to organize an on-campus event to collect donations and create gift boxes for the children in local hospitals. My idea is that the gift box would include a piece of clothing, a toy, and a story. It is in the planning phase now and getting approval from campus. I believe we’ll be able to start collecting donations soon!

In my opinion, staying busy with planning such an event knowing it will benefit at least another human is as important to me as my personal success.”

Osaid Wattad, Israel, Global UGRAD 2020-2021, Western Kentucky University

”A great aspect of being a Global UGRAD student is the academic opportunities as well as engaging with the U.S. culture and community. I am super glad that I had the chance to be part of the River Clean-up at the Gateway Arch which is the heart of St. Louis!

Zainab volunteering at the River Clean-up organized by the Gateway Arch Foundation

The event was held on National Public Land Day to advocate for the importance of recycling and maintaining a clean and safe environment for the community. It celebrates the connection between people and green space and inspires environmental change. As a volunteer at the registration table of the River Clean-up, my duties were to check in people, introduce them to the event, and encourage people to participate. It has given me the platform to connect with the people of St. Louis for a great cause and to personally be involved in positive environmental change.

This experience has enabled me to practice my communication skills as well as learn about the value that people can make if they work together. Overall, I consider my volunteer role as a highlight of my experiences in St. Louis with St. Louis people!”

Zainab Shaikh, Bahrain, Global UGRAD 2020-2021, University of Missouri-St. Louis