AMA with young friends in Vera Cruz.

AMA's at Kids Kabin show off some of their kids' artwork.

Getting ready to bowl in Chaparral, New Mexico. 

Laura with the sign made by Kids Kabin goers many years ago...and still standing!

 

AMAs and Sisters enjoying some relaxing time together in New Mexico

 

Teaching ESL to adult learners at St. Peter's Parish in Worcester, MA

 

Erin shares her experiences of AMA France during orientation session.

AMA's hang out with Brother Ralph on the River Tyne


Kids Kabin garden

Sr. Gertrude (Philippines), Sr. Claire Myriam (France), and Maita (Philippines) collaborate during AMA International meeting

New Mexico Alumnae meet new AMA's at orientation

 

Father Salvatore, a.a., from the Congo, shares his experiences with AMA's during orientation.

 

AMAs get to know people of all ages!

 

        Eating a lot of

mangoes in the Philippines!

 

Flannery and Nuala travel to London.

 

Brendan's on top of the world in Mexico!

 

 

What's Involved and Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT'S INVOLVED?

 

Most of the placements offered by AMA involve teaching of some sort (elementary, secondary, language classes, mentoring, tutoring), youth work, parish ministry, Hispanic ministry, community work, advocacy, or health care.   However, through our Assumption sister organizations and other collaborating mission partners, we are flexible in finding projects that match the skills and gifts that AMA applicants have to share.

Applicants should consider the following list of skills needed when discerning an AMA year of service:

  • Knowledge of the language of the host country
  • Experience working with youth
  • Creative, computer, and/or people skills
  • Willingness to learn new skills
  • Professional qualifications - teachers especially!
  • Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), where applicable
  • An ability to work alone and in a team; self-motivation and direction
  • An ability to adapt and integrate into new cultures and ways of living
  • Willingness to grow in faith
  • Comfort in working alongside vowed religious
  • Lots of enthusiasm, energy, and commitment!
  • Interest in peace and justice issues and empowering the poor

***After considering this list, please refer to the requirements for application.  The process of applying usually takes about a month.  Applications and acceptances for sites are taken on a first-come, first-served basis until all positions are filled. ***

Program Specifications:

  • Terms of Service: One to two years (renewable).
  • Requirements: Please see Apply Now! Page
  • Benefits: Room and board. Volunteers usually live in a faith community. Stipend. Medical insurance. Student loan deferment.
  • Training: Mandatory one-week orientation program in Worcester, MA. Ongoing formation through the Religious of the Assumption or the Assumptionists. End-of-year retreat program and Re-orientation program offered for returning volunteers.
  •  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1.      What is the deadline for applying?     Is there an advantage to applying early?

We are on a rolling application process with two deadlines. Our Priority Deadline is February 1st and our Final Deadline is May 1st. Contact our office as soon as you decide to apply so that we can start your file as soon as possible and so we can make the necessary arrangements with your school’s counseling office for the psychological assessment.  You can send in parts of your application as you complete them, so you do not need to have everything finished at once. You can also scan and email your documents if you prefer. Likewise, your references can email their letters of recommendation.

 

2.      Can I apply for or request a specific placement site or do you place the volunteers?

 We ask that you check the sites that you are interested in on your application, and we discern together what would be a “best fit” for you.  Depending on how soon you apply for a given year, some placements are more open than others.  Each site has a limited number of volunteer slots available.

 

3.      If I am interested in an international placement, is it required that I’ve studied abroad or have other previous international experience like a short service trip?

 No, but it helps – whether you are an international or domestic volunteer, there are still elements of culture shock you will experience during your year.  It is helpful to assess when you have experienced this in previous experiences, such as study abroad programs or alternative spring breaks. 

 

 4.      Am I allowed to travel home during the service year?

If you are a domestic volunteer, you are required to return home during the Christmas vacation. Many of our volunteers have family events (ie- weddings, funerals, Thanksgiving) when they can go home, but these travel expenses are the responsibility of the volunteer. If you are an international volunteer, returns home are discouraged.  This way, you have the opportunity to fully experience holiday celebrations in your host country.  With all travel plans, volunteers must give their communities ample notice and take care of their ministry schedules with their placement sites. 

 

5.      Am I allowed to have visitors during the service year?

 Yes. In fact, we encourage this, as it offers volunteers time to share their life on mission with those that are closest to them. Depending on the housing situation, some guests may stay at the community houses if there is room. Volunteers must give their communities ample notice so everyone is aware that visitors will be present.

 

 6.      Do you ask applicants if they are applying to other service programs? Does this affect their app with your program positively, negatively, or neutral?

 Yes. We ask applicants to list if they are applying to other service programs so we can see they type of service programs they are drawn to.  It does not affect their application to AMA in a positive, nor negative, way.  Once an applicant has been accepted to the AMA program and then accepts a placement with us, she/he has made a serious commitment to follow through with the orientation program and the year.  If in the case that they decide to terminate this agreement, we ask that they inform the AMA office immediately. Letting the AMA office know your change of plans is a professional courtesy and allows us to make the necessary arrangements if you terminate your commitment to your ministry and community.

 

 7.     Do you require volunteers to fundraise for any portion of their expenses/how much?

              No, we do not require volunteers to fundraise a specific amount, but they must provide their own transportation to/from Orientation in August (Worcester, MA), and to/from their placement site. This also includes any visa fees.  Once a volunteer comes for orientation, his/her food, transportation, housing, healthcare, and student loan deferment is covered. 

 

8.   Do volunteers need to have fluency in a second language?  Is there language training?

              At least an intermediate level and willingness to practice Spanish is necessary for our Chaparral placement. Spanish is also helpful in Worcester, but not necessary. In the Philippines, English is spoken, but there is a local dialect training during the local orientation upon arrival in the Philippines.

 

9.      Is there any advice you would give a potential applicant?

Be open, ask many questions, and talk to current and former volunteers. Also, do not get so attached to a location that you limit yourself and the experiences that you could have.  (For example, some of our volunteers find that what they originally wanted in an international program, but then find that the diverse neighborhood of Worcester offered more internationality among the immigrant populations we serve than they would have had crossing the US border.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                     

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"I must remind myself that I came here to serve, to volunteer for a year, but that after one year the services this place and I will render each other will be but sprouts in the compost of our experiences. It is only over time, as the year’s experiences and emotions work their way into our minds and hearts that the true services we will provide to each other will begin to take hold – that the growth we will inspire in each other will slowly mature into our lives."

Tim Hoppe

AMA Tanzania

2003-2004   

 

"....In France I always had enough of everything; I had a happy childhood, a happy life… I never needed anything. So, in each task I have here, I think about that. It is the reason why I became an AMA. It’s the reason why each day I am here, I wake up and I want to do my best with all of these people.

And that makes more sense in mentoring because I try to give to those kids more chances in  life, the chances I had. I never wait to receive something back. I do everything for them. But one day, I received a “thanks” from a 6 year old kid and at that moment I knew what I was doing made sense. If you are looking for God: He is everybody, He is Society, He is Life. You see Him each time you feel some gladness from a person: for a child, it’s easy. You can see God in every smile."

Pierre Tardivo

AMA Worcester, MA 2007-2008