How to volunteer in Munich as a non-German speaker

You’ve just moved to Munich, you’ve started your new job, or a university course, you’ve got your new apartment sorted and everything is in order. Or, perhaps you have been an expat for years – well-established but eager find new ways to engage with the local community. Regardless of your situation or background, you wish to get involved with volunteering, but you have no idea of how to go about it. Fear not, this article will get you kick-started.

We all know that volunteering is an excellent way of contributing to the local community. It provides a great opportunity to connect with the locals. And if you’re an expat, it might be your good chance to brush up your language skills. However, It is not always easy to know where you should start after you have made your decision, especially if you’re an expat. Maybe you are just a little insecure whether your level of German is high enough.

Fortunately, at GoVolunteer we have compiled a wide selection of volunteering projects and opportunities located in Munich. So, whether you speak English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Persian or some beginner-level German, there will always be an option for you. Here are some of our top picks:

Culinary Volunteering

If you’re looking for a tasty experience you can head over to Save Me München’s Culture Kitchen.  Here you can embark on your culinary adventure with the tastes of Afghan, Syrian, Iraqi and Bavarian cuisine by helping out at their cooking events and courses, which are held at least twice a month.

Volunteer in Nature

After so much food it’s probably a good idea for some physical activity. So, why not combine volunteering with coaching football? The project buntkicktgut offers an opportunity to help young people from diverse cultural backgrounds to train in the intercultural Street Football – League Munich. If you love to be physically and have experience in football, and at the same time wish to contribute to the efforts of integration then this project is perfect for you.

Volunteer in Arts & Culture

Perhaps you would rather love to volunteer in a social and vibrant space, getting to know people while enriching the cultural offers by the Open House in Bellevue di Monaco. Every Wednesday from 6pm, all “Münchner”, refugees or not, are welcome to come for coffee, play table tennis, learning German or just hang out. If you would like to work together creatively, exchange ideas and have fun together while bringing life to the Open House, make sure to check out their project.

Or, you could join the Nachbarschaftstreff am Walchenseeplatz for local exchange and a social get together with your neighbours. The ways you can engage with the Nachbarschaftstreff seem limitless, from organising events, going for walks together to connecting young and old. If you want to find out more about the various ways you can help in the neighbourhood. Have a look at their amazing project!

Other volunteering opportunities 

Animals United fights for the rights of animals and are regularly arranging events, demonstrations and creative animal activist work across Germany. If you are passionate about fighting the exploitation of animals by humans, get involved in their projects in Munich.

Ingrid Firmhofer, Munich based Photojournalist, is all about feminism and female empowerment. With her project Black Madonna for president she is looking for online volunteers in a variety of fields like Project- and Crowdfunding, Graphic Design, Marketing and many more. Ingrid and her team aim to raise awareness about what feminism actually means and what social, political and economic structures it addresses. If this got you curious be sure to check out her project for more information.

As you can see, volunteering opportunities in München are plentiful. Now it is up to you to grab the available opportunities, meet new people, learn something new and in the process contribute to your local community, help refugees and migrants, and enrich your life with intercultural experiences. These and many more exciting projects in Munich, and in many other cities across Germany, can be found at www.govolunteer.com

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About the author:

Ulrik Tidemandsen is doing an internship at GoVolunteer as a part of his Master’s degree, and views volunteering as a key driver of progressive social change. He studies Culture, Communication & Globalization at the University of Aalborg in Denmark, and is now living in Berlin.