Life as an international student will expose you to a whole host of new experiences; and as you navigate your way through these, the thought about joining a student organisation may not be high on your mental checklist. We however are here to tell you, why you should participate in student organisations and how they can give you can edge. The key is to immerse yourself in the experience in order to get the most benefit out of it.  

But first let us shed some light of what students organisations are.

A student organisation is an association or group made up of and operated by students on campus. These organisations focus on different interests, subjects, causes etc. For example,  you can find organisations for engineering, computing, music, environment, culture, art, astronomy, biology, sign language, film, writing, sports... the list is endless!

Most schools have numerous student organisation. But if somehow you are unable to find an organisation that fits your interest, no worries. Students start new organisations all the time, and you could do that too – provided however that you get approval from your college. I recall at my former university – Bridgewater State in Massachusetts – an Asian/American cultural group was started the year I was studying there. It so happened that, that year we saw an influx of Asian exchange students, and this group was hence created as a way to initiate a cultural exchange.

How Do Student Organisations Give You an Edge

Student organisations have the ability to ignite the passions and creativity of students, bring them out of their shell and perhaps even shape their academic and professional goals.

Joining these organisations have many benefits, starting with the opportunity to make new friends, and to meet like minded people who share similar interests. You could also potentially reach out to these same friends when you go on to pursue a career.

Being a part of a student organisation will also help you get to know yourself and discover talents and abilities you never knew you had. You may be a born leader, or have impeccable organising abilities, this is your chance to find out!

Listing the organisations that you were a part of in college can also make for an appealing professional resume. For example, if your academic focus was accounting in college, and you show that you were part of the mathematics organisation, most employers would be impressed by the effort you put towards your area of study. I recently spoke with a licensed dietitian, Janaelle Humberd, who is always on the lookout for qualified dietitians and nutritionists at the hospital she works for. She confirmed that she would definitely take a closer look at a student’s resume if she saw that they had been a part of the health, nutrition or fitness organisation when in college.

About the Author: Merette Kennedy is an American writer and avid book lover. As a former international student, she completed her Masters Degree in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies from the University of Limerick in Ireland. She is currently residing in Boston, Massachusetts, and is in the process of completing her first fiction-based novel.