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Yuejia Zhu is a Masters student studying MSc Biochemistry in the division of Biosciences. She shares her experience volunteering as an English tutor for Training Link, a basic skills organisation providing courses to help people find employment and to encourage them back into adult education.

Tell us a little about your volunteering.

I volunteer for Training Link @ UK in their adult literacy programme as an English tutor.

How did you find out about the role?

I found out about it at the volunteer fair at UCL..  Alternatively, you can find our Directory with the most up-to-date opportunities here.

What difference do you feel you’ve made by volunteering? 

I think I have helped my tutee in speaking English more fluently and confidently, especially during this difficult time where it is hard to meet native speakers and communicate with them.

Why did you want to become a volunteer? 

I have always been a volunteer with NGOs since the age of 15, when I was studying back in Singapore. It instilled a sense of social responsibility in me and I wish to continue to contribute to the community around me in university.

What impact has volunteering had on you?

It makes me a more responsible and organised person, by keeping up with the schedule with my tutee.

What’s the best thing about volunteering?

My tutee is really cooperative in my lessons. I have also learnt a lot of life experiences from her during our conversations.

And the most challenging? How did you overcome the challenges? 

Managing time while studying remotely is really challenging, but I forced myself to keep up with my course and never delayed any lectures, so that I would have time to prepare for my sessions with my tutee.

Tell us about something memorable that’s happened to you whilst volunteering.

My tutee shared her experiences of moving to the UK and her previous struggles.

Her spirit greatly inspired me to grow into a stronger and more independent person.

Would you recommend volunteering? If so, why?

Yes. It is a really rewarding and fulfilling experience, one which you can learn a lot from. It also motivates you to be a more responsible person for your organisation and your beneficiary. It is a challenging task but a selfless one, because one devotes his time and efforts in helping others to better their lives in the long term, and…

I believe that there is nothing more rewarding than seeing others improving because of our efforts.

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