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Ways to Get Involved

Because your university experience extends beyond academics, the University of Minnesota boasts a wide variety of student clubs, intramural sports, volunteer opportunities, and events designed to help you connect with other students and community members. Through these activities, you will form significant friendships, make lasting connections, and deepen your knowledge in smaller communities based on shared interests, ideas, and experiences.

Student Clubs

No matter what your interests or values, you can find a place among the more than 1,000 student clubs and groups on campus. You can join a group centered on environmental issues, cultural/nationality affiliation, fine arts/film/music, health and wellness, social action, or practically any group that fits your particular interests. There’s something for everyone (and if you cannot find one, you can easily create your own)! You’ll be able to make friends with your peers, find opportunities for leadership training and development, learn new skills, and even just have fun. Student Unions and Activites hosts fairs each fall where students can learn about the groups.

Volunteer Opportunities

One of the best ways to build your skills, enhance your education, and affect positive change is by volunteering in the community. The Center for Community-Engaged Learning advises students looking to volunteer in the local community outside of the University. Using their knowledge of approximately 200 non-profit organizations, advisers will help you find opportunities that match your interests, goals, and values.

International Student Programs

The International Student and Scholar Services staff specialize in creating programs for international students. These programs help students transition to the University of Minnesota, gain leadership experience, and make friends with students from around the world and the United States. Some of these programs include:

  • Global Gopher Academy - A popular pre-academic program that prepares new international students to start classes by allowing them to participate in an interactive, simulated U.S. higher education style classroom.
  • International Buddy Program - An opportunity for new international students to be paired with an experienced international student who will be their mentor for their first semester and answer all of their questions.
  • International Student Ambassadors - Current international students who volunteer to share their experiences with prospective and newly arrived international students. They write blogs, respond to emails, and host web chats.

  • Small World Coffee Hour - A collaborative weekly event where students discover new cultures by sampling their activities, foods, and traditions.
  • Culture Corps - Opportunities for international students to share their unique experiences and perspectives with campus through presentations, internships, and other projects.
  • Cross-Cultural Leadership Retreat - A highly interactive, high-energy retreat where students learn how to work with people from vastly different cultures and develop their leadership skills.
  • Cross-Cultural Discussion Groups - Small groups of international students and scholars that come together in a casual atmosphere to explore their cross-cultural experiences and perspectives.

Living Learning Communities (LLCs)

A Living Learning Community (or LLC) is a type of on-campus housing in which students are grouped based on common interests, experiences, programs of study, and cultures. Students in LLCs will enjoy shared activities including social events, study groups, special seminars, cultural events, performances, and more. There is even an LLC called Global Gopher Community that is dedicated to housing both international and U.S. students so they can share their cultures and learn from each other.

Intramural Sports

Take in a friendly game of squash, soccer, or any of the many other sports by joining an intramural league or club. This is a great way to make connections with other students, plus it offers a great opportunity to stay fit and active when you need a break from all of your studying.


If involvement in the media is something you desire, you can be a part of the fast-paced, exciting world of news publications like The Minnesota Daily. The Minnesota Daily is the largest student-written and student-managed newspaper in the country, as well as the 4th largest newspaper in Minnesota.

If your interest leans more toward cutting-edge musical discovery and programming, take the time to check out our award-winning Radio K.  Like The Minnesota Daily, this exciting radio station is student-run. At Radio K, you can volunteer to take part in great on-air programming, behind-the-scenes preparation, and much more.