Volunteering Opportunities for High School and University Student Groups with Stepping Stones

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Stepping Stones has collaborated with many local and international student groups since our inception in 2006. Partnerships with schools such as NYU Shanghai, University of California Education Abroad Program, Concordia International School Shanghai, Shanghai High School, Shanghai Community International School (SCIS), Shanghai United International School (SUIS), East China Normal University and many more have achieved outstanding results in volunteering in schools and community centers for under-privileged children in Shanghai and rural China. We encourage Shanghai schools and universities to invite migrant children onto their campuses for activities, thus providing them with access to better facilities. We can also facilitate one-off volunteering opportunities for student groups visiting from overseas.

In order to discuss the volunteering needs of your student group and how we can help fulfill your volunteering requirements please contact SherryJia at program@steppingstoneschina.net with answers to the following questions:

  1. What age are the students who would like to volunteer with Stepping Stones?
  2. How many students would like to participate?
  3. What is the group’s availability? Weekdays or weekends? After-school? Various?
  4. How long do you plan to sustain the volunteering, or are you looking for a one-off volunteering opportunity?
  5. What type of volunteering experience would your group like to participate in? (See below)
  6. Are you able to provide a venue for the volunteering activity on your school / university campus?

We provide 3 types of volunteering experiences:

1.  Your students can tutor students in English once a week in a migrant school or community center in Shanghai, or from their schools and homes through videolink. Stepping Stones will introduce your students to a suitable program according to their location and availability, and facilitate the setting up of the program.  If your students would like to do this, they should sign up for our Tutoring Program or our Videolink Program here.  They will need to commit to volunteering at least once a week for an entire school term (3-4 months) or the summer vacation (at least one month). Training is mandatory.

2.  Another option is to participate in a rural volunteering trip which takes student volunteers to places such as rural Anhui, Henan, Jiangsu or Zhejiang Province for a weekend or a whole week to teach English to under-privileged primary school students. Stepping Stones provides training and lesson plan preparation for these trips as well as handling all the logistics such as train tickets, hotels, etc. These tours cost between 1000 and 3,500rmb per person (depending on the location, group size, length of stay and volunteering location). Click here for feedback on a recent rural volunteering trip for high school students.

3.  The third option is for your school to partner with a local migrant school and run an I Care project, where your group raises funds to provide eye testing for students in a migrant school and purchases spectacles for those in need. Many groups have participated in this project in the past and it has a long-lasting impact on the students. This program also provides the opportunity for your students to teach the migrant children about the importance of eye care (in Chinese).  As with the other programs above, Stepping Stones provides a mandatory Orientation & Training session to ensure the students are prepared to teach and know what to expect.

If none of these options suit your availability or interests, please contact Sherry Jia at program@steppingstoneschina.net to discuss how we can help to design a volunteering programme tailored to your group’s needs.


- Becca Mondshein, study abroad student, NYU Shanghai:
“I’m a volunteer from New York University Shanghai and I want to tell you what a rewarding experience working with your organization has been.  The first day teaching, I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to keep control of the children, let alone teach them anything worthwhile.  But I found that they were just as eager to learn as I was to teach, and that overcame any language barrier we had.  Coming back week after week and seeing more students repeat and understand the phrases we taught them was truly inspiring.”