Cross-Cultural Solutions

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9 / 10 after 142 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

As an international volunteer with Cross-Cultural Solutions, you're making a meaningful contribution, working side-by-side with local people and sharing in the goals of a community that warmly welcomes you. You're experiencing another culture like never before and really getting to know its people. You'll gain new perspectives and insight into the culture and yourself. It's an exciting and personally inspiring experience, and you'll develop memories that will be with you forever.

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I spent my summer with CCS-Karanga in Tanzania and it was terrible. The program was very poorly run and the staff was very rude and inconsiderate. While I was there I met many other volunteers from other organizations that paid thousands of dollars less than I did to come and were getting a much better experience while there. The food there was amazing but that is about the only thing CCS was good for there. My placement was somewhere where they didn't really need/want me. The "cultural excursions" were terrible and not informative at all. I was very much looking forward to integrating myself within the local culture and really getting to know the people but that became very difficult with the staff I was with. I had such a terrible time with CCS that I decided to leave the program early and spent the rest of my time in the village along. Once I dissociated myself with CCS I was much more respected in the community and was allowed to really delve into the culture and actually feel like I was making a differences- which is what I came to do!

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Posted: October 28, 2008
Overall:
0 (worst)
Support:
0
Value:
0
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

I had a very similar experience in Costa Rica and I couldn't agree with you more. Don't go with CCS!!!
This comments must be written by Volunteer head quater agent. ccs has great program in Kotanga.
I am looking for a company at the moment too. CCS looks good but I agree too expensive. Two companies I have found that have good feedback and are low cost are GVN and IVHQ. Just trying to decide between the two now.
Mercy ships, which I've never heard of, may be more expensive, but I have done a lot of research and most organizations are much, MUCH less expensive than CCS. And most give at least a portion of your money to the local organizations that you're volunteering with, even if their fees are only around $600/2 weeks. CCS on the other hand charges $2000+ for 2 weeks and can't manage to give any to the locals who need the help most.
actually can i just say CSS is less expensive.. with places like mercy ships they make you pay the amount CSS does just to go to a place in texas where you learn about what you'd be doing and things, THEN pay more to actually go on mercy ships. as for the price, its expensive, but think about EVERYTHING that the money is going to. Doing something like that in the us would be A LOT more.. Its worth the money.
I would love to know the other companies you found because my frineds and I are trying to find a good one to go with. CCS is a little pricey.

This program is fabulous! I volunteered in Tanzania at the Kilimanjaro location. (Moshi) It is more expensive than other volunteer programs but you definatly get your money's worth. Even before you leave they get you well prepared. Airport transportation is completly covered and it is reassuring that someone will be waiting for you when you land. All the staff (cooks, housekeeping, program organizers, guards, yard workers, drivers) are exreamly friendly and helpful. Many become like family. They serve 3 meals a day and it's delicious. You live at the homebase with the other volunteers and there are showers and toilets that flush. It's normally 4-6 to a room. There is typically about 30 volunteers at a given time but that can vary. They provide Swahili and cultural lessons and have guest speakers as well as excursions. (buffet one night with traditional dance and music, and a hike to a waterfall and visit a local chagga tribe) You always feel safe because there is a guard at the gate all night long. They find a placement for you after you request what field you want. You work the mornings at your placement (ex)school, orphanage, hospital, woman's groups, center for street children...)and your afternoons are either cultural/language activities or free time. Evenings and weekends are always free. On your free afternoons or on weekends you can go help out at an orphanage even if that is not your placement. The staff will help you make arrangements for safari's or a trip to Zanzibar or a day hike of Mt. Kilimanjaro. They also provide transportation too and from your placement. I cannot say enough wonderful things about CCS!

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Posted: October 26, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

I also went alone but you befriend the other volunteers very quickly. I was 19 when I went and also female. Outside of the homebase I also felt safe as long as you use common sense. Don’t go walking around with a bunch of cash with it visible or easy to steal, same goes for a camera. Guys try and get you to buy things of the street such as beaded jewelry. Just be firm and they’ll eventually give up. Of course it’s safer to be with one other person but not always necessary when out during the day in Moshi. When I was there one of the other girls would go for a daily morning run by herself. Never walk around after dark. Just take a taxi. A group of us would get a cab for $3 and go for dinner. Everyone is really friendly. Before you leave you get a list of all the other volunteers starting at the same time as you. You get their emails and everyone emails each other this ‘get to know one another’ questionnaire. You also learn where everyone is working. There is also a group conference call before you leave with everyone to ask any more final questions. I highly recommend getting the direct flight from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro airport (not through other connections in Africa) because you get to meet most everyone in the Amsterdam airport waiting for your flight. If you do end up going make sure to bring money to go on a weekend safari. It is so amazing. Also just a sidenote, bring a role or two of toilet paper and a mini hand sanitizer depending on your length of stay… especially if you are planning on doing a safari or any traveling. Many bathrooms don’t have toilet paper or soap.
I am interested in Traveling to Tanzania Kilimanjaro in 2010. I am planning on traveling alone (meaning not with friends or family, just with other volunteers). I know you said that you always felt safe but i was wondering how it was outside of homebase. At the time I plane on going I will be 25 (female). Also did you get that chance to contact other volunteers before leaving?

I stayed in Puriscal, Costa Rica for 3 weeks and it was absolutely amazing. The staff at the house were incredibly helpful,working at my volunteer placement was very rewarding (and fun!), and I met some great people along the way. I would really recommend it to anyone who is looking to volunteer internationally as well as learn about other cultures.

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Posted: October 13, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

Don't go to Cartago either!!
Don't go to Puriscal!
Hi, I am planning on going to Costa Rica, Puriscal =) I went with CCS to Morocco and Peru and absolutly loved loved loved it. I can't want to go to Costa Rica. Any tips?

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