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Travel to Teach

I volunteered in Luang Prabang as an english teacher however there were so many problems as a result from the laziness of the organisers that I cannot recommend anyone do this.

To start with, the administrative body had not contacted the coordinator of Luang Prabang to inform them I would be comming and it was only due to a friend being there that they were made aware of my presence.

Prior to arriving I was giving the wrong information of where to stay and ended up at the old guesthouse were room charges were overly priced at 10euro a night which was a waste of program fees.

Briefing from the coordinator was minimal and consisted only of the handing over of an information pack which did not include things like the english abilities of the students, what had been done previously with the students, or where they were up to. There was limited instruction as to how to teach a class or prepare lesson plans and no offer to spectate the coordinator teaching a class to pick up tips. In fact while I was there, the coordinator spent all his time studying for his own exams and never sat in on a class or offered much support. There were never any checks to see what I was teaching or how.

I was not given the option of where or when or who I would like to teach, only given 2 classes a day (3 hours total) with the same class. The class had an age range from 12 to 17 varying levels of english including one with a learning disability. There was no opportunity to teach classes with monks or work in the library, and there was no opportunity to receive Laos lessons.

None of the money I paid for the program was used for the children. No new materials were bought with it, the children didn't all have the same text book and photocopies were not made available.

There was only 1 other volunteer with this organisation but no inter-organisational efforts were made for volunteers to socialise.

All in all, I was very disappointed with the program failing to deliver things it had promised or to live up to my expectations. It might be the cheapest option to volunteer in Luang Prabang but it is not at all worth it. You would be better to arrive and just ask to assist the monks or at the library without going through the organisation.

If you want to assist people learning english, this program doesn't have a system in place that will allow for that to be done and you will not receive any appreciation for it. You will also not get the opportunity to learn about the culture much through interacting with the locals. With no one really looking after the program I would suggest (which I have done to the organisation) that it needs to be shut down

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Laos
Posted: Aug 23, 2014
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Frontier

I first joined the Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates and Turtle Conservation Project as a volunteer for 5 months. I enjoyed my time there so much that after three months I became staff on the project and extended my stay there for an additional 8 weeks. There was so much to do on the programme with regards to everything including the many different surveys and general trail/river explorations, sunset walks, teaching at the local school, spending time with the locals, socialising, playing football, beach volleyball or even stargazing and much more. There was never a dull day and there was certainly never a time where I wanted to be anywhere else but in the middle of the Costa Rican Rainforest in the OSA peninsula. I felt as being staff on the project I learnt so much from all the different survey techniques and loved getting to know all the great people that were on camp during my time there and teaching them what I had learnt from my experiences and time here, I definitely made some friends for life and I really never wanted to leave, but I will return one day!
The camp set up suited me perfectly, especially as it was not unusual to see at least one of the four species of monkeys in the area passing through for a visit as well as many other reptiles, birds and mammals. There is cold running water straight from the pristine river next to camp, two flushing toilets, two hammock areas, a tent deck, a main deck for cooking, eating, reading, working and general chilling time and many resident alarm clocks (Howler monkeys) to make sure everyone was up nice and early to make the most of their day.
The wildlife was incredible, everyday there was something new and exciting and nothing ever got old, I still got just as excited for every baby sea turtle I saw reach the sea and happily got up at 2pm or 3pm most mornings to watch the struggle over and over again. I could not recommend this project more, I had the most amazing 6 and a half months of my life here and made some unforgettable memories.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Aug 22, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Visions Service Adventures

Program:
Location: Dominican Republic
Posted: Aug 22, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

I could not have wished for a better experience teaching abroad, I had the most amazing six weeks. The staff at Frontier worked incredibly hard to support the volunteers and ensure we all got the most out of our experience as well as making sure the local community got the best from us. The whole team was really friendly and the group of staff and volunteers working together was like a family. The community teaching projects are really well established in the town and I felt like I was really helping to improve local children and adults English skills. I have learnt a lot from my time on the teaching project and it would not have been the same without the amazing staff that run the projects and organize the volunteers.
I would thoroughly recommend Frontier projects in Madagascar to anyone wanting to make a positive impact on the community or the environment.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Aug 22, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

I was a healthcare volunteer on the island of Nosy Be in Madagascar for 2 weeks. I was based in the community house in the centre of Hellville with 4 other people doing different projects. The atmosphere was intimate and fun. I really liked being in the town and getting to experience the local people and customs. Though I was supposed to be doing the Healthcare project I participated in different activities such as teaching English, playing sports and looking after children. I also gave a few healtcare lessons and built a tippy-tap. I would maybe have liked to have a few more organised healthcare projects that I could have worked on and be a bit busier in my short amount of time here. I do have some great memories of my trip especially with the local youth club, where we would teach English to young Malagasies. The relationship the Frontier volunteers shared with them was amazing and enriching.
Overall, during my time here I think I learned a lot about myself and the activities I am interested in. I am very glad that I did this project as it allowed me to discover how the Frontier community projects work

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Aug 22, 2014
Overall:
7
Support:
9
Value:
6

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