DCU students win award to work as volunteers in developing countries

Eoin Harte

Five students overall have been chosen as volunteers, with each student going to one of Mexico, Vietnam, South Africa, Guatemala and Ecuador.

Three DCU students have been chosen to go on the EIL Explore Access Awards, which will give them the opportunity to do voluntary work abroad.

Amy Donohoe, Mairead Redmond and Helena Coogan were the three DCU students who received the award.

Five students overall have been chosen as volunteers, with each student going to one of Mexico, Vietnam, South Africa, Guatemala and Ecuador.

Recipients of the award are provided with an eight-week volunteer programme, return flights and insurance as well as accommodation and meals for the duration of the programme.

Mairead Redmond, a final year business student in DCU, talked to The College View about how she became involved with EIL Intercultural Learning.

“I always had a keen interest in helping the less fortunate and I had researched other volunteering opportunities but all of them required you to raise funds of up to €3000.

“I knew this would not be possible for me but then it was like the law of attraction was enforced in which an email about the EIL opportunity came up that included all expenses paid for Access students,” Redmond said.

While Redmond is nervous about going abroad for eight weeks in the summer, it’s an opportunity that she felt was too good to miss.

“The furthest place I have travelled is Tenerife and all other places I have travelled are in Europe so it will be a very new experience adapting to the culture and language,” Redmond explained.

Amy Donohoe, a final year journalism student also received the award and was equally excited to be going abroad for the summer.

“I’m really excited for this trip, as I’d consider it a once in a lifetime opportunity. I haven’t left Europe in my life and I would love to see and experience a new culture.

“I probably will get a bit homesick during my trip, but I know I am so lucky to be one of five people in the country to win this EIL Access award.

“I originally applied to the EIL program in first year through the DCU Access program and my application was unsuccessful.

“I applied two years later because I had a friend who was a part of the program last year and she had the time of her life, and I felt more confident with my application this year as I had more voluntary experience and society involvement behind me,” Donohoe explained.

EIL volunteers can expect to head abroad between June and August, with exact travel dates and destinations yet to be confirmed.

Eoin Harte

Image credit: EIL Intercultural learning Facebook