You can gain a lot from volunteering, but keep in mind the following misconceptions so you do not have unrealistic expectations of your volunteer experience:
Volunteering will get me a job with this organization.
Although some volunteers receive the opportunity for paid employment, you should not expect this going into a volunteer position.
If I volunteer, I don't need to keep going to my English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.
While volunteering can help you improve your English, it is not a replacement for language classes and the expertise of qualified ESL instructors. Instead, volunteering is a great way to practice what you have learned in the classroom!
I don't need to treat volunteering like a job.
Even though you do not get paid, it is important to treat volunteering as a job. Organizations you volunteer for expect you to be on time, wear appropriate clothing, notify them if you cannot come in, and complete the tasks assigned to you. Like a job, you have rights & responsibilities
as a volunteer that you should be aware of as well.
I don't want to give the police any of my personal information for a criminal record check.
Most organizations require that their volunteers complete a criminal record check because volunteers often work with the organizations' clientele and are required to keep information confidential. In Canada, the police are a service to keep individuals and communities safe. They are here to help you.
The criminal and security checks I have from my home country will work here.
For more information, read about what to expect from the volunteer process.
Finding the volunteer opportunity that best suits you can seem overwhelming at first, especially in a new community. That's why we've put together the most important information for getting started on your search. Click the links below to find out more.