We’ve talked before about different ways you can improve your English while you’re in New York City.  Another great way is to volunteer; this is when you help a group or ogranization for free. Volunteering in NYC will help you make new friends and improve your English while doing good things for others.

volunteer in nyc

What you can gain as a volunteer in NYC

You might not see volunteering as a way to learn English, but just think about it—you’re going to be spending a lot of time with different people doing something you care about. Working with others is one of the best ways to get to know people, because you have to talk to them! And because English is the common language of New York City, you will have many opportunities to practice “living” the English language outside of the classroom. When you talk to people, you are also giving them a chance to get to know you and your culture—so the people you talk to will learn something, too. Everyone wins!


Volunteering not only helps you to learn English and culture, but also allows you to help others. You can mentor a kid at an elementary school, work to build a house, or help grow a community garden. When you volunteer, you’re helping to rebuild people’s lives, rebuild homes that have crumbled, or rebuild parts of nature.

Finally, if you volunteer while studying here in New York City, you will get to visit parts of the city that you might not see when riding the subway, going to and from NYEA, or even exploring Manhattan as a tourist. Your volunteer experience will be totally unique to you.

What to expect when volunteering in Manhattan

If you decide to volunteer in Manhattan, don’t be nervous—you will be welcomed. The organizations doing community service around the city are always in need of positive people who want to work hard and have fun doing it. You’re sure to meet many types of people who you probably would not meet in class!

Places to volunteer near NYEA

There are endless opportunities to volunteer around New York.  Below are some of the best ones close to our school:

Animal Care & Control of New York

Animal Care & Control of New York works to find good homes for animals in the New York area with a focus on adoption (giving animals to people as pets). Volunteers can help to find homes for animals, do office work, or even teach people about how they can care for animals. This is a great way to volunteer if you love people and pets.

 New York Cares

New York Cares supplies volunteers and coordinates volunteer programs all around NYC.  You can serve food to the homeless, tutor students and adults who need educational support, and teach basic computer skills to adults and seniors.

You can use their search tool to find opportunities and projects by type and location—find somewhere to get involved today!


Citymeals brings food to elderly and homebound people across NYC.  You can volunteer by preparing food, delivering meals, or having social visits where you talk to people.  Whatever you decide to do,  you’ll be speaking English while meeting some really interesting people at the same time.

The Food Bank for New York

The Food Bank for New York provides more than 63 million meals to New Yorkers in need every year.  At the food bank, you can organize incoming food donations, set up food stations, and do administrative work in their many offices.

Million Trees NYC

Million Trees NYC wants to plant a million trees in New York City!  You can help by either planting trees or helping other trees grow.  It’s a great way to get back to nature while also putting your English skills to use.

Langone NYU Medical Center

Langone NYU Medical Center needs volunteers for translating, talking to patients, or even playing with kids in the pediatric ward.  It’s a great way to give back!  Applying for this opportunity takes a few weeks, so apply as soon as possible if you’re interested.

Women in Need

Women in Need helps homeless NYC families. Volunteers can do administrative work/paperwork or help manage after school activities in Brooklyn and other areas.

NYC Service

NYC Service is the official NYC government site about volunteering. It has links to a variety of organizations and opportunities.

It’s easy and fun to volunteer in the city

These are only a few of the many opportunities available. There’s sure to be something that fits your schedule and interests while improving your language skills along the way.

volunteering in nyc