America's Unofficial Ambassadors

We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.

Volunteering Abroad Gives Volunteers Hands-On Experience in the Field of International Development

By Alison Muscato

Volunteering abroad not only benefits local communities but also advances your international development career opportunities by giving you hands-on experience in key development areas.

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AUA’s Summer Service Internship and Semester of Service Program provide volunteers the opportunity to develop and practice job skills. To start your international development career, essential skills include practical field experience, good office skills, a strong network, advanced writing skills and fluency/proficiency in a second language.

Participating in an AUA internship program allows you to:

  • Gain hands-on experience in international development by volunteering for grassroots organizations and schools
  • Develop good office skills such as fundraising, outreach and communications
  • Create a network with people you meet at your internship site and contacts you make during outreach efforts, projects, and community activities
  • Cultivate your writing skills on AUA’s Volunteer Voices Blog
  • Boost your public speaking skills by delivering presentations both in-country during your internship and when you return home
  • Learn a second language or refine your language skills by conversing with local people and learning local dialects

By volunteering abroad, unofficial ambassadors demonstrate to future employers that they are committed to service and international issues. According to the Corps for National and Community Service, volunteering increases your social and human capital and therefore boosts your employment prospects by 27%. A recent survey of 2,000 professionals on LinkedIn showed that 41% believe volunteer experience is as important as work experience for job candidates.

Unofficial ambassadors will gain skills vital to a career in international development in addition to making a meaningful impact on the community in which they serve. 2014 unofficial ambassador, Joe Sgroi from Ewing, New Jersey, reflects on how his work at the Summer Day Camp in Ifrane, Morocco has influenced his perception of international development.

“I have come to realize that this internship has enabled me to learn from the campers and the culture around me, challenging and exposing me to a new world as I hope to do the same for them. The New Jersey camps from my past and the Morocco camps from the present have given me a well-rounded perception of International Development from a grassroots level and relations between the US and the Muslim World.”

Read more about Joe’s experience on our blog.

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