7 Types of US College Student Organization
If you really want to experience US college life, you should plan to make the most of your free time when you are not attending any lectures and classes. The activity-packed American student lifestyle means that finding student organizations to match your interests is not likely to be difficult.
Each US college has its own selection of organizations which are operated by current students or alumni. Their activities may be based on the major fields of study at the institution, while many societies focus on particular interests of students. Take the chance to join or form student organizations that cover your interests, and explore opportunities to network, share and develop leadership skills. The experience will widen your horizons, allow you to improve your skills, and provide valuable experience.
You can actually find a student organization for almost anything you want. Any interest or hobby you have, you will find a society active in that area. It’s best to start researching the student organizations based on your US college campus before you actually arrive. This will make it easier to choose and join the societies you like when you get there. While the range and variety of student societies on offer is vast, most fall into the following seven categories:
1. Academic and educational organizations
These are the most common types of student organizations, and you will find them at any university depending on the fields of study. It is highly recommended that you join one of these societies if you plan to learn more and build a network of likeminded people.
For instance, if you are studying business and interested in entrepreneurship, you may want to check out an organization like the Idaho Entrepreneurs Network (IEN) at the University of Idaho. This brings together students with an interest in starting or developing businesses or non-profit organizations, offering the chance to participate in programs and events that will assist in their development as entrepreneurs.
For those studying psychology, the Psi Chi & Psychology Club (Psi Chi), also at the University of Idaho, is a community that has the purpose of encouraging, stimulating and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology.
But it’s not just social sciences that get students interested in. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics student organization at Colorado State University provides opportunities for students interested in aeronautics and astronautics, and connects them with industry. Meanwhile, if you are studying architecture, you might fancy joining the university’s branch of the American Society of Interior Designers, which describes itself as a community of people driven by a common love for design and committed to the belief that interior design is a powerful, multi-faceted profession.
A related type of student organization is the ‘honor society’. These are special societies to which you may be if you obtain outstanding academic accomplishments in a particular field.
2. Community service organizations
There are many opportunities for students in the US to get involved in the community and engage in civic activities. Students for Environmental Action (SEA) at Southern New Hampshire University is a group of students interested in environmental sustainability and working together to promote sustainable practices and lifestyles.
Or maybe you fancy a joining another organization with a big dream, such as Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) at the University of Idaho. This comprises a community of artists driven by values including self-worth, generosity and cultural awareness, who want to create more opportunities for children and community members to engage with self-expression.
If you’re keen to get involved in human rights activism through a feminist lens, you may like to hear about organizations such as the Campus Feminist Alliance (CFA) at Colorado State University.