How do I apply online?

You submit your application online.

What is your application process like?

Applications are submitted via the website.  Applications for Research Archives, Public Programs and Gift Shop volunteers are reviewed on a quarterly basis based on available volunteer positions Selected candidates will be contacted to arrange an on-site interview.  Applicants are held for 3 months and applicants are welcome to apply each quarter. Docent applications are reviewed beginning in February and selected candidates will contacted to schedule a on-site interview in the Spring.  Docent applications are held for one year.

Do I need a special background in order to apply?

Our volunteers come from all walks of life, many having little to no previous formal education on the subject of the ancient Near East. We are looking for volunteers with positive energy, flexibility, great customer service skills, and an enthusiasm for life-long learning.

Is there a cost to become a volunteer?

There are no costs for training materials. We do ask that all our volunteers become Oriental Institute members at the basic membership level $50. This membership offers you discounts at the gift shop and for non-credit courses offered through the Oriental Institute. Membership also provides you with our quarterly member's newsletter News & Notes, which will keep you informed of the latest research and work conducted by our faculty and research associates.

How large are the tour groups and what are their age levels?

We provide tours for visitors of all ages. During the school year we are particularly busy with tours for children (8-18) years of age. Groups can vary in size, but for the optimum museum experience, we try to limit the numbers to between 10 and 15 people per group.

What about parking?

For a small hourly fee, parking is available in the parking garage located at 55th and Ellis. Additionally there is free street parking on campus. Volunteers who complete the training program and meet certain levels of volunteer hours are eligible for a parking pass which entitles them to free parking in the lot adjacent to the Oriental Institute.

Is there a minimum age requirement to become a volunteer?

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

What special benefits or perks are offered to your volunteers?

As an Oriental Institute Volunteer, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Attend field trips to Chicago-area cultural institutions for your professional development
  • Enjoy volunteer appreciation events, special programs, and ongoing training
  • Network with national and international volunteer organizations
  • Attend lectures by world-renowned scholars on the ancient Near East
  • Attend special events at the Oriental Institute
  • Receive preferred rate on non-credit courses offered through the Institute
  • Enjoy a discount at The Suq gift shop