Frontier

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9 / 10 after 613 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

Frontier has over 300 projects globally, offering unlimited opportunities to volunteer abroad. You could be spending memorable days scuba diving off the brilliant white beaches of Fiji or discovering South Africa on a conservation project with lion cubs! You can learn new skills, gain valuable qualifications and make lifelong friends.

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I am currently 7 weeks into a 6 month placement with Frontier’s Big Cats, Turtles and Primates project in Costa Rica, and I can honestly say the experience so far has been fantastic. The staff and volunteers are extremely friendly and welcoming, making you immediately feel at ease in your new home. The simplistic lifestyle is very rewarding, with our jungle kitchen always turning out interesting and delicious meals (spanish omelette, pancakes, chocolate cake and arepas to name but a few!), and the adjustment to sleeping in a hammock is very quick (and even preferable to a bed!) We frequently see amazing wildlife passing right through our camp, whether it is one of our 4 primate species swinging past overhead or a cheeky tamandua (ant-eater) strolling past our hammocks. Incredible wildlife sightings are a daily occurrence here, on and off surveys, which just adds to the magic of Costa Rican life.

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Location:
Posted: March 22, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
22

Words can't describe how good this experience was but I'll give it a go! From the second I got to camp in Costa Rica I was surrounded by wildlife, within the first 5 hours I had already seen 3 of the 4 species of monkey, coatis and released some baby turtles!! I learnt so much just in the first week here about all the different surveys and science behind them. After 2 months on the project as a volunteer I was then offered a place as staff as the conservation apprentice. This was an opportunity I couldn't turn down and it turned my 3 month trip into 6 months. Through this role I developed more personal and team skills, and valuable experience that can help me pursue a career in this field. The fact I was able to complete a BTEC whilst here as well was a great added bonus, and really interesting and enjoyable too!
During the six months I saw an array of different animals, in total I have recorded 200 different species but I know that the number is probably more around 400 including all the bugs that were too hard to identify.
All the staff and volunteers were amazing throughout, and I have managed to pluck loads of knowledge from people of all backgrounds!
Will definitely be returning to costa Rica one day as it is an amazing country with some of the most friendly and happy people I have met.
To end on a cliché note...it was an adventure of a lifetime!!

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Location:
Posted: March 22, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Joew
Age:
23

I've just completed a few weeks with Frontier's Costa Rica Big Cats, Turtles and Primates project and I'm so glad I chose Frontier over any other organisation. For starters, I felt like the work I was doing was really beneficial and was actually helping to make an impact on conservation efforts, rather than offering nothing at all. We are all given different bird calls to learn at the start, meaning that when we go out on bird surveys you can listen out and make notes of the birds yourself, rather than relying on one of the more experienced staff members. The wildlife itself is stunning, as is the Osa Peninsula, and I'm glad I came to such a biodiverse place and see beautiful animals such as squirrel monkeys and even some sloths! Camp life is really cool too, with the staff always arranging things to do once your surveys for the day are done. Sometimes we might walk up to the waterfalls nearby, or go to the beach to do yoga, but then other times its nice just to chill in a hammock and read a book on camp (which is also really pretty!). I loved the camp vibe, all the staff are really friendly, and will make an effort to make sure you get the most out of your stay. This could be anything from arranging a trip to Corcovado national park so you see a vast array of wildlife, or organising a day out with some local vets to help you get some experience in work you wish to go into in the future. Overall, I would highly recommend doing this project for every reason!

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 22, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:

Comments

Hi Mika, Thank you for your review and feedback regarding your project. Please know that we take all feedback very seriously and I hope that you were still able to enjoy your time in Madagascar despite your concerns about your project costs. As a non-profit organisation, any margin that Frontier makes on its projects is not simply net-profit, a large part of this is operational costs. We aim to be extremely transparent in the matter of where our volunteers’ money goes. There is a page on our website specifically dealing with that very question. Please refer to the following link for further information: http://www.frontier.ac.uk/FAQs/Where-Does-My-Money-Go.aspx We’re sorry that the conditions and food on camp did not meet your expectations. We make it very clear on our website, during your initial consultation and in your field brief that life on camp is simple but comfortable, and the diet consists largely of rice, vegetables and beans. With regards to your comments about the dive tanks and quantity of food, it is a shame that you did not inform the senior field staff nor your Volunteer Coordinator of your views during your time on the project, as it would have been taken up with the respective field teams to discuss what the issues may have been and whether any alternative measures were necessary, and we are confident we could have resolved any issues had you done so. Once again we would like to thank you for your feedback and we wish you well for your future endeavours. If you have anything further to add then please feel free to contact us directly. Kind regards, The Frontier Team

I came to this project with Frontier to decide if a career in conservation was right for me and after this experience I can definitely say that it is. What I found on arrival was a motivated, experienced and passionate staff team with a wealth of knowledge and experience that they were all more than happy to share. The staff made it very clear about the aims of the project and what they were trying to achieve, working along side government and communities to protect the biodiversity in the region. Jenna the research manager inspired us in our work with her passion and excitement for the project and drive to create the highest level of impact for the wildlife and local people, which has been passed down to all staff and volunteers. I was am so happy to be a part of something so amazing that was going to make a difference to the 1000's of species that call the Osa peninsula home. The surveys were so varied and interesting and I was able to learn about mammals, turtles, cats, primates, butterflies, amphibians and reptiles. Every time we went out on survey we saw something new and exciting.

The camp life and volunteers were far beyond my expectations as well. Everyone came from different backgrounds and was there for different reasons but we all shared the passion for the work and project and got along very well. There was always something going on for us to get involved in, from surveys in the morning and afternoon, to pancake nights, beach yoga, night walks and games nights! The staff worked hard not just on the science but also on making our experience special. Lets not forget the cooking, they might be a veggie camp and I was worried I would not cope without my meat but the food was amazing and I am vowing to eat meat much less now since learning about the environmental impacts of eating too much meat. I can now add veggie chef to my CV as well!

If you want to go to a project that truly makes a difference for conservation and where you can meet amazing people and have an all round great experience then this is the project for you!

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Posted: March 22, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: AC242
Age:

I signed up to the Big cats, Primates and Turtles program to gain experience in conservation, to help me decide my career path. It has been a life changing experience. Learning about how all the different surveys work, why and how that helps Frontier and the local community and country, has been amazing. I have learnt so much about monkeys and their behaviours, birds and their calls, turtles and their nesting behaviour and amphibians and reptiles and the problems they are facing with climate change and disease. I have also been fortunate to help veterinary students from Universidad de Costa Rica who ran some free clinics for the local community. This has defiantly helped me decide my career path.

I was also a little worried that I would struggle with communal living, however I have been so fortunate with the groups of volunteers I have seen come and go, and the staff member who have supported me everyday from cooking duties to helping me with my BTEC. They have answers every random question I have ever asked and are constantly teaching me. New members of staff have also been open to me giving them as much information as I can about the area and our projects when they come out and it's been a joy seeing them learn quickly and continue to teach me.

I have also been very fortunate to spend my six months with Jenna, Frontiers research manager, who has been an amazing support, teacher and cook.

If you want a scientific project, in a beautiful place that will help you grow as a person and a camp cook, please, please apply. They need as much help as they can get!

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 21, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Aneira
Age:
24

Comments

Although it may look like I gave the project 1 out of 10, I really meant 10 out of 10. Got a bit too excited it seems!

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