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What volunteer opportunities or internships are there for undergraduate communication science and disorders majors?

-Freshman at Florida State Univeristy
-Communication Science and Disorders Major
-Future career in Audiology

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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Brianna’s Answer

Hello! There are a few different paths you can take if you're looking for a SLP/AuD internship. Many university research labs will take on undergraduate research assistants, though it varies if these are paid, for academic credit, or strictly extracurricular. You can look for these positions in the communication science and disorders research lab, but you can also branch out and ask professors in other departments if they have availability (e.g., ELL programs, education, pre-med/bio, linguistics, etc). Many communication disorders programs also offer support groups for people with communication disorders within the community, and you can volunteer to help with these.
Another option is looking to the community around you for relevant volunteer work. Many nursing homes and hospitals have volunteers to visit their residents. You can also look into volunteering with special needs children, in literacy tutoring programs etc.
If you plan on going into grad school, you need some observation hours, so you can also contact the clinicians at the university or local AuDs to ask if you can shadow them.

Brianna recommends the following next steps:

Reach out to professors in charge of relevant research labs
Research opportunities at local nursing homes and hospitals
Reach out to SLPs/AuDs who run support groups
Research job shadowing opportunities
Research volunteer availability for children with developmental disorders
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Clint’s Answer

Hi Eva,

My response will be rather short, as what is discussed above is strong input & advice. The one component that I would add is highlighting what strong internships can truly provide. The practical, functional, and daily experience can assist in your understanding of what life & career would be like in a specific role/occupation as well as providing a less academic and more experiential point of view. To me, this can be extremely valuable and I would begin working organically to provide myself with such internships and/or volunteer opportunities.

Essentially; research and discuss different positions and professionals in your area and ask them to have a conversation or if they are open to you shadowing them. Talking with your professors, classmates, and college counselor can assist; but I would email/call different individuals and organizations and see what comes from it.

Thanks!
Clint
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Elena’s Answer

Hi! Although I am a Speech Pathologist, I know we are in need of Audiologists too! Check with your college communication disorders Dept, you may have observation or clinic hours as part of your program. Before you apply for a masters program, get some volunteer hours…it will stand out on your application. Because of HIPAA laws you may be limited in volunteer opportunities but not impossible. Check local audiology offices or clinics to see if you can help with hearing screenings. If you’re looking at schools, reach out to audiology (special education) Dept or school nurses to volunteer with hearing screenings. Also check with your college or masters college audiology or speech professors, they may work with clinics/labs. I volunteer in Mexico with incorporating communication with equine therapy. Think…hearing aids, cochlear implants and ASL support groups also! Good luck and thank you for your interest in our field.
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