Volunteering abroad is not only optimal for adding experience and depth to college applications but also for your development as a student and citizen of the world. It’s a unique way to give back to communities you might never have otherwise encountered.
By making a trip to another country outside of your comfort zone to provide service to those in need, you will open your mind to new cultures, belief systems, traditions, languages, and possibilities. You will gain experience as a world traveler while serving as a volunteer, providing you with a newfound appreciation for your home culture and a better understanding of issues facing people in other nations and how all people are inextricably connected by our equal need for resources and community support.
United Planet: An NSHSS Partner
The international non-profit organization United Planet is a partner of NSHSS. Headquartered in Boston, United Planet seeks to build a global network of leaders and volunteers to foster cross-cultural understanding and address shared global challenges with their immersive international service projects, internships, and cross-cultural collaborations. Volunteering with United Planet is a great opportunity for high school students to be a part of an international service experience and joint global effort to make the world a better place for all.
United Planet Merit Scholarship
Each year, NSHSS offers two scholarships for students who are interested in volunteering with United Planet: One full scholarship for any 1 to 3 week volunteer program in any of United Planet’s Short-Term Quest Destinations AND five $500 scholarships for any short-term volunteer program (1-12 weeks) or long-term volunteer program (6-month or one-year).
*Though you can apply to both scholarships, you can only be awarded one.
Short-Term Quest Destinations for the Full Scholarship include:
- Costa Rica
- South Africa
*Keep in mind the full tuition scholarship does not cover travel expenses.
$500 scholarships are available for the Short-Term Quests, and Long-Term Volunteer Program Destinations eligible for the $500 scholarships include:
- Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico
- Asia: India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam
- The Pacific: New Zealand
- Europe: Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom
- Africa: Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda
The scholarship application usually requires a personal statement of 500 words describing how the experience living and serving abroad will enrich your academic and professional pursuits as an NSHSS scholar along with your resume, transcript, color headshot, and educator recommendation form.
…for more information about NSHSS scholarships for United Planet volunteer opportunities on the NSHSS website throughout the year. You can view the specific requirements of a recent scholarship here to prepare for future applications.
Check Out United Planet’s Website
Of course, you don’t have to wait for an NSHSS scholarship to get involved with United Planet.
If you would like to check out more information about United Planet and the volunteering programs they offer abroad, visit their website at UnitedPlanet.org.
United Planet offers opportunities for students and individuals of all ages—even families who want to engage in a service project together—to gain skills and experience volunteering in a community outside their home culture. By gaining such insight as a high school student, you will be more prepared to step into the world as a giving, conscious, and socially responsible citizen. Volunteering abroad is an experience you will cherish and that will help shape and deepen your view of the world around you.