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AFS

I am writing as a HOST MOM!
We're nearing the end of our year, and I am appalled at the way AFS treats its volunteers, students and host families.

For all of the money that you pay for a program like this, I am shocked at how little the organization actually provides in the way of support.

Over and over again I have watched AFS dump on its volunteers, while neglecting the concerns of the students, host families and birth families.

My host student was placed with me after leaving an ABUSIVE host family. AFS IGNORED the situation until it had escalated so badly that even the school and other concerned parents got involved. We all acted quickly, but AFS doesn't work on weekends, so it took an extra 2 weeks to get the student moved to my home.

AFS does very little to actively provide support for its students when there are problems. Its staff members say things like, "We're trying...", when I know firsthand that nothing has been done (since I work closely with the school). They are slow to respond to calls and emails.

I've been dealing with AFS since January, and I am making sure to let everyone know what they are getting into, if they do business with this organization.

The only reason I didn't give a 1-star for overall or value is that I am guessing that when everything goes right, this might be a good program for some people. But in the event there IS a problem of any kind, don't expect any help or support. You won't get any from anyone with afs.org in their email address. (You might from the overworked volunteers). The people who are paid are too busy selling and marketing the program to actually pay attention to the needs of the participants.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: USA
Posted: May 25, 2016
Overall:
4
Support:
1
Value:
4

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

I am volunteering with this programm for 8 weeks. I work in several clinics and earn a lot of experience. Altough Peru itsself is very unorganised, the programm tries to give you an organised feeling and they come up to all your wishes. I am happy to be part of this programm and to be able to make a change in the Peruvian helpcentres.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: May 24, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Mente Argentina

I took a private intensive wine course for 6 days (3 hours per day, totaling 18 hours) with “Mente Argentina.” The Resident Director, David Rosenfeld, was very helpful in arranging the program for me with many options in order to fit my schedule. The course itself took place at an EAV wine school, which is one of the three wine schools in Buenos Aires approved by the Sommelier Association International. The instructor, George Bourdieu, is a very knowledgeable sommelier who is not only passionate about wines, but also about teaching. As such, I enjoyed his course very much, which was very well organized and well delivered. I learned a lot from him despite the short duration of the course. For example, I learned how to distinguish the smells and the tastes of various wines, the wine production processes, the wine regions in Argentina, the main characteristics of various grapes (both for red and white wines), the defects of wines, and the systematic approach to wine tasting. I’d like to recommend this wine course to those who are interested in learning about wines!

Program:
Location: Argentina
Posted: May 24, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Leave Ur Mark

I've had a crazy obsession with Bollywood movies when I was a little girl, so India was always a country on my bucket list to travel to. That dream came to past last year when I decided to intern with Leave Ur Mark. I have done many volunteer work in other countries before, but I can honestly say that I have had my greatest experience volunteering aboard with Leave Ur Mark. From meeting other interns from different parts of this earth, to the bus rides to work. Every day was an exciting adventure.

Leave Ur Mark works with you to help find the right project that would best fit you, so that your experience in India can be a meaningful one; which would allow you to have fun working on your project while immersing yourself into the culture. I did a women's development internship on menstruation health, putting the project together was a lot of work, but visiting schools in the slums and seeing how excited the girls were to learn about menstruation and allowing it to not exclude them from the social and cultural aspects of life allows you to take a step back to find your self and also helps you to realize the things that you take for granted, things as simple as a toilet.

My advice to future interns, stay longer than a month and make use of all the freedom you have to explore the rich and diverse country of India. Thank you Leave Ur Mark for this amazing opportunity and I cannot wait to travel back to India!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: May 24, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

I highly recommend using this company to volunteer abroad. Their staff are really respectful and comprehensive. Since the first e-mail that I sent, until a year after of my experience, they seemed to care about me and were always there to help me.
All the family members of the house that I stayed where really nice; food, internet and comfort would always be available and I had no issues with them since day 1. Maria, my "Peruvian mom" was like a real mom to the whole house, she would have dinner with us and we all got sad when we had to leave her. She was really careful with our stuff and would always be there to help us with questions or necessities.
The coordinators in the city would always be present as well, making possible to even create a friendship with them.
Our orphanage just like any other, really needed assistance and our presence there was essential for the kids. They would become happier once we were there.
RCDP will definitely have me again to volunteer in another country.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: May 23, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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