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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This was my first volunteer vacation, and with Cross Cultural Solutions. I went with my sister-in-law who had done two other programs with them in China and India. I booked only three weeks in advance after reviewing the information online. Their preparation paperwork matched the program exactly, and their were no surprises. The house was very clean, the food was very fresh, healthy and local. The staff was very pleasant and helpful in anyway possible. There was 24 hour security at all times, so no need to feel unsafe. I was not personally prepared for my teaching duties, but found both the logs and materials very helpful to pave the way thru the week. Thought the schedule was great with the teaching in the mornings, then the cultural activities in afternoon which were alternated each day between in-house and field trips to sites in the area. When traveling in free time, both the staff and other volunteers offered logs, advise, and knowledge as where to go and stay which was really helpful. I would highly recommend a volunteer vacation with Cross Cultural Solutions, and Morocco was a breathtaking place full of color, culture and spirit which I will carry with me for days to come...

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Location:
Posted: May 5, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
52

I enjoyed my time in Costa Rica with CCS. I didn't worry much because it was all taken care of. Someone will pick you up from the airport and take you to the home base. Everything about the home base was excellent- from the food to the accommodations to the security and the staff (everyone is friendly and welcoming).

Our days were full starting with our volunteering assignments in the morning, we would come back around noon for lunch and then we'd have some sort of cultural activity and then have dinner. Free time after dinner and on the weekends.

I would most likely choose to do another volunteer abroad program with CCS.

Program:
Location:
Posted: April 28, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
33

I took my 17-year-old daughter with me for a one-week volunteer program in Rabat followed by a week in Merzouga and Fes. We volunteered with children in the local children's hospital. Many stay there for a week or longer and we provided some much-needed distraction from the tedium of their days. We were there every morning for 5 days and came to love the children. They were amazingly sweet and open with us. They loved beading necklaces - some would leave with 3 or 4! We did many arts and crafts and we ran out of the most popular by the end of the week. I wish there had been more supplies at the Home Base for us to utilize. Some of us ended up buying some very basic supplies while we were there (balloons, pasta for stringing, etc).

In the afternoons we'd come back to the House for lunch and there would be an excursion or "lesson" in the afternoon which you were free to attend or skip. We took two tour into Rabat which were wonderful to see historical sites led by Abdula (sp?) who was very interesting and knowledgeable. Mohamed leads the program and he provided the lessons on Morocco's history which were very well done. Both these Moroccan gentlemen spoke English like natives and were there for anything we needed. We arranged a tour to Merzouga for the weekend and my daughter had a mini breakdown (sad about the leaving the kids) and Mohamed helped us defuse the situation via telephone at 10pm Friday night!

The meals provided by the staff were good - we ate out a couple of nights for a change. The house was clean and very comfortable. There are two bunkbeds per room to be shared by 4 people and three bathrooms for the "women's" section upstairs. Nice patio and balconies as well. Beds are hard, but we found this throughout Morocco even in a 5-star Riad!

Rabat itself was a surprise. A clean, modern city with many beautiful government buildings as well as a fantastic Kasbah and Medina right on the Atlantic. We felt very safe. My daughter and I took taxis at night with no problems whatsoever. The neighborhood where the house is situated is filled with incredible homes and blooming hibiscus and bouganvilia are everywhere.
That being said it is still a developing nation so don't expect all the comforts of home, but certainly comfortable enough - all the volunteers were Americans this time and our visit really brought home how lucky and spoiled we are and how important it is to help others in need.

Program:
Location:
Posted: April 28, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10
Age:
54

About a week ago, I returned from my first venture out of the United States. I had traveled for 2 weeks to New Delhi, India, to volunteer and tour with Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS). I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone by signing up for the program solo, but I cannot say that I was terribly nervous given the preparation and support I received from the staff at the CCS headquarters in New York.

My experience not only met my expectations, but far exceeded them. The in-country staff was incredible. They were welcoming, friendly, and attentive to our needs. They answered any question we had and provided us with plenty of information about the Indian culture. They took great care in making sure that our interests and skills matched our volunteer placement as best they could. I loved my placement teaching conversational English and interview skills to teens from low-income neighborhoods.

They also planned fascinating and educational cultural immersion activities: tours of a local mosque, hindu temple, and sikh temple, guest speakers, Hindi lessons, cooking lessons, traditional dance demonstrations, bridal preparation demonstration, museum visits, shopping at local markets.

Additionally, the accommodations were quite comfortable and clean. I really grew attached to the community in which our apartment flat was located. The food was prepared by members of the CCS staff daily and was delicious.

I feel that my experience with CCS was a well-rounded, beautiful, life-changing experience.

I definitely plan to keep up with the organization and show my support in any way I can. I want to spread the word about what an amazing organization this is so that more people can have the opportunity to share my expeience. I also hope to go on another CCS trip in the near future. I am grateful for all of the wonderful people I met in the CCS India staff, my fellow volunteers, and the kids that I worked with through my volunteer placement.

Program:
Location:
Posted: April 14, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: kpeter6
Age:
28

I participated in this program as a part of my gap year and it turned out to be one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life--my greatest regret now is that I didn't stay for more time. For anyone considering a gap year specifically, a big part of the program that was really special to me as a gap year student was the time allotted to explore Lima independently, particularly given my age and that "between high school and college" feeling. Since I was there for a while, this was an aspect that allowed me to experience a city in a way which was not entirely tourist-y and to feel as though I could learn more about Peru in an organic and self-guided manner.

This is not to say that there was not an incredible amount of support and guidance from the staff that worked there. They take special care to ensure that everyone is comfortable and generally happy and are particularly concerned with securing the safety of all those who participate in the program. They have guards at the house at all times and are always on hand to dispense tips for being careful when going around the city. This is not necessarily because Lima is a particularly violent or dangerous place to be in, but rather, as the volunteers are foreigners in a very large city, thoughtful and pragmatic considerations.

Of course, one of the most important aspects of the program was the volunteering. I worked at a government daycare for children from families at the poverty line, and it was an extraordinary experience. I was able to form relationships with the teachers/staff, children, and abuelos there that I still continue to have. CCS ensured that I had access to materials for the classroom and other things I requested--they did an excellent job with placement for me. That having been said, for those seeking a volunteering experience that deals more with physical labor such as house-building or well-digging, this may not be what you expect. That's not to say that corralling twenty to thirty children under the hot sun is not exhausting, but my volunteer experience was one which demanded a slightly different skill set yet nonetheless was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, and I think for that reason ought to be given the same consideration for anybody looking to volunteer abroad.

Consequently, I highly recommend a stint with CCS Peru because of the excellent balance it strikes between structure and freedom, the care and attentiveness of the staff, the attention paid to the safety of its volunteers, and the unbelievably rewarding volunteer work available. I can't wait to go back!

Program:
Location:
Posted: April 11, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: azhang123
Age:
18

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