"volunteer" engineering positions with a stipend?
February 17, 2011 10:19 AM   Subscribe

How do I find engineering or science research positions abroad where I can help communities and will cover my living expenses?

I know there a lot of volunteer engineering organizations out there, but I have no savings and my current position isn't exactly lucrative. I am currently experiencing a crisis where I feel like my life has little meaning. I want to use my skills to help others. I also would love to travel, and with my currently career trajectory (or lack thereof), I don't think I will earn enough money to be able to travel freely in a long long time. Besides, I would much rather immerse myself in a culture rather than spend a week eating and going to museums anyway. I want to take this opportunity (and my youth/freedom) to go abroad and help others while using the skills I have.

I have a B.S. in biomedical engineering, and can do/quickly learn anything from building (mechanical or electrical), programming, medical research, etc if they'll be willing to take entry level people like me. I would like to use my skills to help others, and I'm willing to go anywhere. I would like to stay in science and engineering in the future, so I don't want to veer away and do a teaching abroad program.

What are some legitimate organizations that I can go through to do this, where at least my living and travel expenses can be paid? Or has anyone done those volunteer positions? How do you finance yourself without loans or parental assistance? Thanks!
posted by lacedcoffee to Work & Money (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The Peace Corps offers technical positions to people with technical skills (link). It's not all about teaching English or digging latrines.
posted by Nomyte at 10:39 AM on February 17, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, Peace Corps is an option, but I hear they are highly highly selective, so I hope that's not my only choice in making this happen. I'll definitely look into it, but are there any other organizations out there?
posted by lacedcoffee at 1:01 PM on February 17, 2011

I know of Engineers Without Borders from the student side of things -- if there's a local chapter near you, maybe it'd be worth sending them an email?
posted by btfreek at 3:38 PM on February 17, 2011

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