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Frontier

ACCOMIDATION

Very good, any issues/problems I had with the homestay were dealt with professionally. Sarah was a great help in supporting everyone with any queries. Location was great, could walk to work (if the sun wasn't trying to melt me that day) and was even walking distance to the city centre - but again i'm lazy and relied on Taxis. Kava Ceremonies at the homestay made the place very special, and the family was wonderful. Really appreciated the cold shower. Bring extra money for your own meals though, breakfast is very basic - toast. Dinner is interesting, a bit different but any future volunteers should push themself to try it all! Nothing ever tasted bad and even meat eaters were asked if they wanted seafood or not which was greatly appreciated - i feared id be eating fish with heads the whole time i was here but it was largely vegetarian meals.

WORK
I worked with Cover Story Ltd writing for Mai Life magazine and Fiji Time magazine. The organisation is a little all over the place, but you get used to it and settle into fiji time - aka, slow paced life. The opportunities they do give you are amazing, so glad to have worked with them. I've built a lot of confidence having to do so many interviews.

SUPPORT
10++ for this one, Sarah kept an eye on any illness or injury i had, from the tiniest little scrape to a suspected case of strep throat. My health seemed so important here and had a high priority as did my safety.

OVERALL

Amazing experience. So much free time and flexibility for you to go and explore the island of fiji. You learn so much about the culture here, especially as a journalism volunteer. I'd recommend it to all, just be prepared for a difference in setting as it is a low-income nation. This was my first ever time in a low-income (developing) country and it has really opened my eyes but in a positive way.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Fiji
Posted: Aug 31, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

This volunteer trip to Sri Lanka was extremely eye-opening. We had many opportunities to explore different sections of the hospital like the emergency care unit, paediatrics, the labour ward and the surgical theatre. My personal favourites were the labour ward and the surgical theatre. While the other sections were interesting at times, they tended to move at a slower pace. I am personally interested in pursuing a career in the OB-GYN field, so being able to see live births and interactions between doctors, nurses, mothers and babies was really amazing. Sometimes, it was difficult to communicate to doctors or nurses because of certain language barriers or because they were simply too preoccupied with their work. However, we were often very impressed by the hospital staff's kindness and welcoming attitude towards us as well as their patience when they took time to explain what they were doing or a certain patient’s condition.
After our time in the hospital, our co-ordinator took us out around the city we were staying in (Panadura, just one hour south of Colombo). We visited markets, temples and even the beach. The beach was absolutely breath-taking. Some of the sunset pictures I took are definitely Instagram-able and the water was just perfect. We spent one weekend during our trip visiting a city named Kandy. We visited baby elephants, watched a traditional dance show, ate some delicious food and visited other attractions around the city. Back in our host city, we attended two educational seminars about the healthcare system in Sri Lanka and traditional medicine amongst Indigenous people in the country. We also helped out at two medical camps where we measured the BMIs, glucose levels and blood pressure of individuals in the community as well as helped a pharmacist prescribe certain patients with medication.
Projects Abroad staff are also very kind. Before I even left, my volunteer advisor answered all my questions and concerns and I felt very prepared. However, at the airport in Toronto, my flight got delayed which messed up the rest of my connecting flights to Sri Lanka. I had to completely re-organize my flights myself and the staff did not respond to their emergency phone lines when I called to try and notify them about the delay. I felt like Projects Abroad could have done more and should have been more prepared for the situation. Regardless, I still made it to my destination safely, just a little late.
At the host family, we were treated very well. The woman and her husband who took care of us were very friendly. We had delicious food for breakfast, lunch and dinner and felt very comfortable in our rooms.
The other high school students on the trip were also very friendly and we bonded very quickly. One problem we encountered was that some of the students did not speak English very well. We were still able to communicate somewhat, but they struggled in the hospital when they tried to interact with hospital staff. I think individuals who attend a Projects Abroad trip must either speak English fluently or speak the language of the country they are travelling to fluently. This will ensure they will get the best out of their experience and not miss out because of language barriers.
This trip really helped me decide what I want to do with my future. Being a high school student applying to university in just a couple of months, there is a lot of pressure to decide what program I want to be a part of. Going to Sri Lanka and meeting doctors, seeing patients, helping patients, asking countless questions and writing pages and pages of notes really showed me that medicine is what I want to do for the rest of my life. It was incredible and unique first hand experience that I do not think I could have received anywhere else. I truly recommend this program for any high school student. But make sure you can handle the sight of blood.

Program:
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Aug 31, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
9

Projects Abroad

Volunteering with Projects Abroad has given me a new perspective on life! I traveled to Africa in 2017 and spent time in Ghana working in the medicine program. Projects Abroad's staff has made the transition very smooth and seamless with their detailed web pages and a great support team who answered all my questions and prepared me for my project.

I spent some invaluable time with my host family as they taught me about the culture in Ghana and day-to-day life here. Everyone was extremely friendly and working at the hospital proved to be the greatest experience of all. I got life changing hands on experience working at multiple wards and made solid long lasting connections with many of the doctors, nurses and staff. The leprosy camp outreaches gave me a chance to develop solid connections with the camp residents and learn their life stories.

On our free time, we traveled around the localities, historic landmarks, and eat local foods. I met people of all different ages, backgrounds and countries and have developed some strong bonding with them. Volunteering abroad teaches you to appreciate and be open minded about everyone and every culture, as it throws you out of your comfort zone.
It helps you build confidence, empathy and expands your mind to the greater beyond. Especially, in the medicine program it teaches you to cope with adverse environments and develops your patience to empathize with your patients.
But let's not forget, this entire journey is never walked alone, as the great management from both off and on-site staff of the Projects Abroad has laid out a solid road for me to complete my project.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Aug 30, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

I volunteered with CCS in Guatemala City for two and a half months and had the most amazing experience of my life (so far). I decided to travel with CCS for personal reasons. I was born in Guatemala, adopted by Americans and brought up in the States. I wanted to visit my birth country but did not want to go back as just a tourist. While visiting, I wanted to experience the culture and give back if I could. CCS Guatemala offered everything I was looking for; cultural immersion, a chance to meet new people and friends, a great place to stay, and opportunities to volunteer. This trip was worth every penny! I met amazing people and went to incredible places. Furthermore, words cannot explain just how amazing the in-country CCS staff is! They were helpful, always a pleasure to be around and became a second family to me. I cannot thank them enough for such an incredible time. Choosing to travel with CCS Guatemala was and still is the best decision that I have ever made. I 100% recommend this program! I learned a lot about myself and the world outside my world. I bet you will too! I enjoyed every second of my trip and plan to volunteer with CCS again.

To all the travelers out there: Travel far and travel wide. Always travel with an open mind. Safe travels to all!

A more in depth look at my experience:
Before leaving for Guatemala, I was a bit apprehensive for the trip. This was going to be my first time out of the country by myself but I did not need to worry. Before leaving for the trip, the Guatemala CCS program specialist Hayden helped me through the pre-travel process. On the day of arrival, pick up from the airport was seamless and the in-country staff member that pick me up was very friendly. I arrived at the volunteer house and had a warm welcome from the staff that was present. The volunteer house was perfect and quickly became a second home for me. The food at the house was always delicious, I never had a bad meal. The in-country staff and the house staff were so amazing and very helpful. The in-country director, Virginia was so helpful and kind. She led us through orientation, answered our questions and gave excellent "life advice" when needed. The in-country staff quickly became a second family to me, they helped make my experience in Guatemala special.

While in Guatemala with CCS, I volunteered at a school by the city dump. I primarily helped in the 1st grade class. I helped with daily lessons (like math) and other activities. Besides helping at the elementary school, I also had the opportunity to assist the English language teacher at the high school. Volunteering at this school was amazing, I would do it again in heartbeat. Other than this school, some volunteers were assigned to other specialty schools around the city, health clinics, day care facilities and many other places. All the volunteers that I met throughout my two and half month stay had all good things to say about their volunteer assignments.

Besides volunteering, CCS also provided cultural learning experiences like a city tour (which was fabulous) visits to museums around the city, Spanish lessons and much more. These activities were wonderful and I always learned something about the history and culture of Guatemala from these excursions. Having these cultural learning experiences added something extra special to my trip! During my trip, I did have opportunities for travel in my free time. Traveling is on your own dime but it is worth it. With the other volunteers I met, I traveled to Antigua, Guatemala for Semana Santa in early April, Lake Atitlan (so beautiful) and Monterrico (a beach town). Also in my free time, I explored Guatemala City and went on small weekend trips to Antigua, Guatemala. Most of my free time in the city was spent walking up to Parque Central and experiencing the day to day activities of the city. Guatemala is an amazing place. I hope that you, the reader, consider this program and location. It will change your life!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Aug 30, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Forum Nexus

This past summer with Forum Nexus has been the best summer of my life. I am so happy I went on this trip and was able to experience all of the things that I did. Forum Nexus allows you to visit five different countries with five different cultures, allowing you to improve your international IQ. They also allow weekend excursions and day trips to other cities and countries allowing you to enhance your international IQ even more. Visiting countries such as Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy and Greece. On this trip, you will make livelong friends and have the time of your life. I would recommend this trip to everyone.

Program: Study Abroad
Location:
Posted: Aug 30, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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