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woman volunteering

#WelcomeBack: Volunteering Your Time

January 19, 2015
Welcome back to school! All this week, we will cover helpful reminders for the new academic term. Today, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we share helpful tips on volunteering. Every year the United States honors today as a national day of public service and encourages everyone to volunteer as part of the United We Serve initiative.
What is volunteering? It can be defined as donating time and energy for the benefit of other people in the community without a financial reward. As an international student, participating in volunteer or community service opportunities is a chance to offer your time and service to worthy causes and learn more about the community in which you study. 
To volunteer your time in the United States, you must maintain your status and ensure that your studies remain your top priority. Remember, volunteering is vastly different from working because you will not receive any financial or material reward for your time. Therefore, you also will not receive any form of taxable income from your volunteer activity and you do not need prior authorization from the U.S. government to volunteer. 
Want to learn more about volunteer opportunities? Visit to read inspiring service stories, create and register your own project, recruit volunteers or share your experiences. Be sure to talk with your designated school official before you begin volunteering.
What else do you find helpful to remember at the beginning of a new school term? Join our conversation and share your tips with us using #WelcomeBack on Twitter and Facebook.
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