Latest Program Reviews

Over 300 Programs and more than 3,000 Reviews

China Study Abroad

From the first time I sent an email to the CSA staff to when they dropped me off at the airport at the end of my semester, I was so pleased with the service they provided. I had never studied Chinese but was interested in learning the language and exploring Beijing and had such a good time with the staff and other students last fall! The best was the camping trip on the great wall - but I also learned so much in both my class and in the CSA tutoring sessions I had in the afternoons. It was my first time abroad on my own and I couldn't have done it without CSA. Once you realize everything included in their program fee (and that a semester program can be as cheap as $4500 or a year for under $8000) it's more than worth it - it's a necessity! I would sign up for another CSA program in an instant, it was an experience I will never forget!!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: China
Posted: May 11, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

I am a parent of a 16 year old daughter who wants to spend a summer in Beijing, China. Is CSA a good company to go with. I cant find too many reviews online. What do you suggest. Thanks.
Anne, what school did you attend in Beijing?

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Volunteer HQ are really well organized, affordable volunteer organization. I had reservations despite their good reputation and feedback I had seen, as there are many horror stories about. The program was really well run, the host family were lovely providing a nice place to come home to each day & I was well fed. The affiliated company that run the program out of San Jose kept us well informed with the orientation, were really supportive throughout my time there & they really show their appreciation of your time & effort in being there. I'd recommend IVHQ to anyone wanting to volunteer, as they are really affordable with their program fees but nothing is sub-standard! You have nothing to worry about. I'll consider doing another in the future also.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: May 9, 2009
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Comments

From my experience this is often they do not know the host family until 1-2 weeks before the volunteer arrives due to the fact that where the new volunteer is placed depends on need and availability of placements and homestays. I was worried initially too but when I got there had a great time and can see why they couldn't give me the details 2-3 months out. Philippa
My son is going to Costa Rica with IVHQ and they seem to be very nice at Maximo Nivel. I do think it is strange that they will not give me the name and number of his host family. They say that I need to wait until he arrives. What do you think?
Carmen, My daughter is planning to spend a month in San Jose with IVHQ in a homestay and helping to teach english. Since we don't know alot about this organizaiton, I am a little concerned that she may show up at the airport there and be left stranded or have to stay somewhere unsafe in such a large city. It seems strange to me that she will have no idea where she is staying until she gets there. Did you feel safe when you were there, how about getting to work? Do you know if many of the other volunteers had as good a homestay as yours? Any specific tips for her? Is it likely she can meet another volunteer to do some sightseeing with on weekends? She is going by herself and will not know a sole. Thanks.

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I volunteered at an orphanage in La Ceiba. I taught English to 5 and 6 year olds. I loved every minute of it. There were people waiting for me at the airport so I didn't have to sit by myself at all. Also, my bags were lost and every day the project director went back to the airport to see if they had arrived yet. I was nervous about staying with a host family but they were perfect. They were the nicest people and I had a great room and bathroom. Also, 3 big meals a day. It was a great way to really feel the culture by living with the family. There were about 12 other volunteers and 8 other students over the course of the time and everyone was unbelievably nice. I made great friends with people of many nationalities. We volunteered monday threw friday and had the weekends to take trips, such as visiting the Mayan Ruins in Copan and going to the most beautiful beach of Central America in Roatan. Overall I would absolutely recommend this to anyone interested in volunteering abroad.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Honduras
Posted: May 5, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
10

GIC Argentina

Lowdown on housing via GIC: Homestays (what I did) - yes they had a reputation for good homestay families the month I was there. Student dorm - they won't tell you the name of the dorm they use - but it's called "Azul" if you want to google them and apply directly...although evidently GIC rents blocks of beds in advance so you might find space easier thru GIC. It is really nice like in the online photos. Shared Apt - they don't seem to have very many and the ones they have are not so near either the GIC or UBA school. I heard a couple people complain about the travel time/distance from their apartments in Palermo or Belgrano to downtown to the school.
In general though, the GIC Spanish school in the Palacio Barolo is beautiful with great teachers - learned a lot for the month I was there, had fun, and would recommend it.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Apr 21, 2009
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
8

Comments

How old were the average people in the program? I am in my mid twenties and Im not sure if this is a program aimed for the "college age" like between 19-21 etc

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I have volunteered twice with IVHQ and would whole heartedly recommend them to anyone considering volunteering.
Not only are they incredibly helpful in your decision making process, always responding to emails within 24 hours, they genuinely take the time to ensure the programme is right for you, rather than pushing for the sell.
All the pre-registration and registration information is invaluable and gives you a real insight into what to expect from your project. This support is added to by knoweldgeable and genuine advisors who have visited the project and have impressive knowledge of what to expect.
Both projects I have completed have been great. (Huancayo in Peru in 2008 and Kenya in 2009). Kenya in particularly was extremely well organised with a robust orientation welcome meeting to outline the projects and comprehensive in country information. All pick ups were on time and people were extremely friendly and welcoming.
The actual projects are well selected to ensure your help is definitley needed and logistics including transport was well thought out.
Compared to several other volunteering organisations I have spoken to, IVHQ stand out a mile for their first class service, ethical prices and outstanding organisation skills.
Highly recommended and I am already planning the next trip with them!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya, Peru
Posted: Apr 20, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

what kind of volunteer work did you in peru?
That sounds wonderful. Just out of curiosity, what specific organization or program does IVHQ match you in Kenya? I'm just curious to see more details on safety of the organization in Kenya as well as if it matches my interests. Thanks for your help!!
It's good to hear all these positive reviews, as I'm planning on heading to rural Kenya for the teaching program in 1 month. Because you were just there, I'd love to connect with you more about your experiences, and what exactly you did there. Any insight/feedback/advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
A friend of mine is getting ready to go to Peru with the same organization. She is on the same trip you went on in 2008. Should I have any safety concerns? What are the health care facilities like in the area?

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