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Global Crossroad

My host family was very hospitable and helpful, making arrangements and adjusting placements to suit volunteers. Some of the placements require volunteers to take the iniative to organize activities with the children served, so don't expect to just show up and be told what to do. It was a very educaional (eye-opening, to say the least) and rewarding experience. It was also incredibly hot (up to 122 degrees F) in June! Global Crossroads was less expensive than the other organizations I checked out. I recommend it.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Jul 30, 2009
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
8

AFS

I went to france for the year program and my experience with school and friends was greaat. But when the school day came to an end I dreaded going 'home'. They basically just take any family they want and let them host. My host mother would yell and me all the time, my host brother would always be on the computer and over all I felt very unconfortable. I would have to walk down a moutain in the rain some days very early in the morning to catch the bus while my host brother would get ride to school-we started school at the same time...
I asked to change host families and I regretted that so much. My next host family was just a young couple with a little toddler. The husband was never home and the wife was s stay at home mom so didnt do anything. I was forced to sleep on the floor and the forced to babysit the little girl all the time. the little gril distroyed everything I owned and I could never just relax. Then my family would tell AFS that I wouldnt spend time with them though I was ALWAYS WATCHING THIER KID. I finally decided to go just go home early after the 8 month mark. AFS never told my family or I until the day before I had to go to a temp family across town where I didnt know what day my flight was until the night before..
I had an AWFUL experience and eegret ever going and wasting $13000 on the trip but I did no other students who had the same expereince and others who had a wonderful experience and love their family very much. I think it was about 50/50 in my area of student who had an awful time and students who had a good time. There was so grey areas though..it was either a terrible situtation(I knew another student who had a worse expereince than me) or a great situation

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Jul 30, 2009
Overall:
4
Support:
1
Value:
1

Comments

We had a horrible experience with AFS. AFS charges exorbitant fees to exchange students. Our AFS student from Germany told us she paid $20,000 for her year in the US. The money goes to pay AFS staff, but they give nothing in return. Once an AFS student arrives, the student knows that she/he can find a "better" deal with a different family and can immediately dump your family for no reason. If the student wants to move to a family they think is better, AFS will immediately move them to a new family, without reason, regardless of how much it hurts your family. All that is important to AFS is the fees the student pays. They are ruthless profitteers. An AFS student we know had her teacher make an announcement to her classes that she didn't like her host family, and she was looking for a new family. AFS immediately rewarded her by moving her to a different family the same day. When I was in high school in the 1970's, AFS had a good reputation. Not any more. There is a reason that AFS receives such terrible ratings on this site and others. AFS has turned into an exploitative organization. My advice is to STAY AWAY FROM AFS!

Expanish

I went to buenos aires with expanish. It was nice, I met people and learned the language.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Jul 29, 2009
Overall:
7
Support:
8
Value:
6

Travellers Worldwide

Overall I found that I did not seem to get my moneys worth from the programme. The host hospital did not seem to really know what to do with me and I hardly felt like my time was worthwhile, which I was very upset about. The programme gains points as the representative on the ground was quite apologetic about the lack of arrangements and the host family I stayed with were lovely. So I did gain a good experience from the time I spent in Africa, it just seemed fairly pointless and a waste of money organising it through travellers worldwide unfortunately.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 28, 2009
Overall:
2
Support:
5
Value:
0

Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

I volunteered with GVN in Cuzco, Peru and was really let down. GVN works with an organization in Cuzco that was great but GVN itself did nothing but charge me way too much money. I would not have minded paying so much to volunteer if they donated some of the money or really offered something special to volunteers but, unfortunately, it was clear that GVN was in it just for my money.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Jul 28, 2009
Overall:
3
Support:
3
Value:
0

Comments

Hi There, Who would you advise volunteering with?
this is written by the agent of volunteer head quater
i was there too recently (i do not want to leave my name or even leave an actual comment because it has my email on it) but i feel the same way. I really enjoyed myself but wished I'd gone through maximo directly (or actually ivhq who were the cheapest option but got exactly what we were getting). gvn were fine but it is just hard to stomach when you meet so many other volunteers paying less but getting the same. my advice to future volunteers is look at a lot of volunteer companies and do not think that highest price means best service as a lot of the cheapest companies seemed to be the most popular.
I feel the exact same way you do.

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