Africa

Abroad China

Going to China was a goal of mine since I was about 7 when I saw it in a movie, and at the age of 21, I was able to spend an amazing one year studying and exploring there. I created a short video of the beginning of my adventures in China, which will give me forever memory I ever had.
The Go Abroad China made the research, preparation, transition, and experience abroad easy and smooth. They provided all of the necessary details and logistics of going to a different country, as well as a great network of support all throughout the process. I was especially happy with the transition that Go Abroad China provided. I like to say that they provided three opportunities of transitions prior to beginning my new life:
1.) Getting to know Go Abroad China services that they provided in China.
2.) Getting to know China and Chinese culture
3.) Getting to know my Chinese study university.
If all of these steps had occurred at once, I feel that I would have been very overwhelmed. But Go Abroad China offered the opportunity to make the transition slowly and have an amazing time learning and exploring all throughout the process.
China is the place that I have begun to call my home, where my friends have become family, and my dreams a reality. When we fully EXPERIENCE the world and the wonders it has to offer, we CONNECT with who we are, and DISCOVER who we can be. Throughout the whole process of studying in Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Go Abroad China was amazing. From the beginning, they answered every single little question I had and made the entire process simple from financial aid to housing to the abroad university I picked, they were there every step of the way. I strongly recommend Go Abroad China to anyone who is thinking about studying abroad! Each of them went above and beyond of what I expected and made our time abroad just like home. Going with Go Abroad China was one of the best decisions I have made during my college career!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Feb 20, 2014
Overall:
7
Support:
9
Value:
6

African Impact

If you are looking for a volunteer experience that is legitimate, sustainable and enjoyable all whilst making a truly valuable impact then look no further, African Impact is the largest on the ground facilitator of volunteer opportunities in Africa! So where you want to be and what you want to do is totally up to you, and trust me, you will be in safe hands!

So i chose to volunteer in sunny Cape Town with the teaching projects out there. I spent half my time supporting teaching at a pre-school in a local township and the other half with GAPA (Grandmothers Against Poverty & Aids) - a truly incredible project that supports grandmothers to provide after-school care, fun and food to children within the largest township community, Khayelitsha.

I learnt more than I could have imagined, not just about the culture and lifestyles of the communities, but also about the nature of volunteering itself. It's about offering support whilst remaining completely sustainable, less about the hand outs and more about enabling and empowering others. This means that your impact is truly lasting and unforgettable.
At Luntu you will meet some very special children who will fall in love with you as soon as you walk in through the front door! Their squeals of joy and the songs they will teach you will buzz around your head forever. I spent most mornings reading stories, teaching English and supporting their play.

GAPA volunteers help to support grandmothers in providing a safe place where children can simply enjoy being children. Grandmothers often become parents again to their grandchildren as the middle generation are affected by HIV/aids, the project enables them to get together, offering care, love and attention to the communities children and also gives them an opportunity to start earning a small living again, making and selling unique hand-made toys, jewellery and accessories which make fantastic keep-sakes and souvenirs! You will have fun organising games and singing songs, playing cards or painting pictures in the dusty yard. As a Primary School teacher back in the UK, I was amazed at what you can do with little resources! The children are strong, happy, motivated and independent. They will fight for your attention and obsess over your hair, they will love you just for being there.

You will have plenty of fun at the volunteer house, making friends from all around the world. Theme nights, pub quizzes, coffee shop crawls! You will be pretty well looked after too by the wonderful Shecky and Jane! The cooking is traditional, delicious and dinner is always on the table when you come home from project! They’ll even do your washing for you so that you can concentrate on the important things, like enjoying yourself, sorting resources or planning for more fun!
You will never be on your own, fellow volunteers will become your family out there and with constant support from African Impact project co-coordinators and Interns you will work together to plan fun and engaging activities and not forgetting the incredible local project leaders who are always on hand for a quick Xhosa lesson or two!

Cape Town is so vibrant and colourful, it’s constantly buzzing! There is so much to see and do that you will be spoilt for choice! We spent our weekends and free time exploring Obs (the volunteer house local town) where there is an eclectic mix of late night coffee shops, pubs, clubs and live music! We clambered up Table Mountain and abseiled down again, sampled tasty treats at the Biscuit Mill markets. We then joined the Cape to Addo tour at the end of our volunteer adventure, where we bungee-jumped, braved black-water tubing and bare-back Ostrich riding! We sunned ourselves at a citrus farm and spotted elephants on Safari – a perfect way to round off an epic South African adventure. There are plenty more opportunities from shark-cage diving to sky diving, the possibilities are endless and your volunteering experience will be unforgettable.

So here's a few tips:
- Bring a jumper (it gets cold indoors!)
- Be open minded (if your friends want to stop off to try sheep’s head on the way to project – do it! Try the local treats, they will leave you wanting more no matter how strange they seem!)
- Learn some Xhosa – the go go’s will appreciate a ‘molo!’
- Why not pack a few extra resources in your back-pack – kids love to play cards and parachute games!

Volunteering provides a broader perspective on all aspects of life, it deepens understanding and ignites intrigue. To volunteer is to learn, to enjoy, to experience. To be excited, exhilarated and to explore a sense of awe and wonder. If it does all this for you, just imagine what you can do for others.

Volunteer with African Impact Cape Town City Projects - You know you want to!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Feb 12, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

Me and two of my friends came to Kenya for a three week volunteer program. Before we arrived we skyped multiple times with Jimmy Wambua who was our assigned advisor throughout our travels. He was very helpful answering any and all of our questions. We were picked up from the airport by Jimmy and stayed a couple of nights in Nairobi at his house where he helped us plan a few tourist activities. He also helped us get our bus tickets to Watamu where we would be staying and volunteering in the clinic for the remainder of our trip. In Watamu the program placed us in a host house where we were treated as a part of the family providing us with our daily meals as well as cleaning our rooms. They were extremely nice people and we even were able to accompany the house father to the orphanage he started and runs in the area. Overall, the trip was a great eye opening experience. Everything the organization said was accommodated in our expense was provided to us, Jimmy was a big part of making this trip great for us as well.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Jan 17, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
7
Value:
8

Frontier

Africa is a different (incredible) world. My god. I did not know it was possible to run a hospital with one stethoscope per ward and seemingly even fewer doctors but somehow Malindi district hospital seem to pull it off.

My names John and I've just got back from an incredible 2 weeks volunteering in a rural Kenyan hospital. Now I know that with the recession and NHS privatisation healthcare standards might slip a little but the day you are on a medical ward and you hear one doctor shout to another “can I borrow your sterile gloves” your going to think the NHS ideology has really lost its way. But when your in a busy Kenyan emergency room and the patients keep coming what are you going to do? Send a letter to the government? No, your going to deliver the best care you can provide under the circumstances and that is why Malindi hospital was fantastic.
Of course at first I was nervous about getting involved with patient care but the staff are really friendly and will take the time teach you about the “aseptic technique” protocols and show you have to take basic measurements like blood pressure so that you can really get stuck in and make yourself useful.
I swear I must be faster at taking BP now than my GP here in Essex.
I was also allowed to assist in theatres where patients where having their operations. One of my favourite jobs was holding the torch for the consultant when all the lights in the building cut out so she could finish the Caesarean section. Where else but Africa???

On the weekends me and the other volunteers chilled at the beach (where the locals drive their mopeds up and down like maniacs) and then normally had a Tuska or 2 at stardust (a local bar).

Amazing 2 weeks!
100% worth it!
I love Malindi District Hospital!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Dec 11, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Askari WCP

I’m so glad I made the decision to pick Askari for my trip to Africa. From the moment I arrived all my nerves and concerns disappeared, and from then on I had such a varied and exciting experience that the four weeks flew by. The range of activities that you’re exposed to as a volunteer is fantastic – you could be involved in anything from setting up camera traps to monitoring herbivores to darting an animal so it can receive medical treatment. But what’s unique about Askari is that you are truly contributing to the running of a game reserve which has wilderness preservation as its core purpose, and nothing the volunteers do is just for the sake of giving them a good time. As a result, I’ve learnt so much about conservation here and developed much more of an understanding about how a reserve functions. Alongside this, I’ve seen fantastic animals every day and had many encounters with lions, elephants, honey badgers (and others too many to list) that I’ll remember forever. Katie & Joe are brilliant, and will not only look after you during your stay but also take care to teach you as much as possible about the activities you’re doing and wildlife you’re seeing. I really find it hard to fault Askari, and I would recommend it in a heartbeat.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Dec 9, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Nakuru Hope

If you have been thinking about volunteering in Africa but have absolutely no idea where to start then Nakuru Hope is the place for you.
I spent many months making enquiries only to find that I was required to put up considerable amounts of money with absolutely no idea of where it was going and how it was being spent.
Through a friend, I found an extraordinary woman called Susan Saleeba who has spent the past seven years caring for the most disadvantaged people in the sprawling slum at Kaptembwa on the outskirts of Nakuru in Kenya.
Earlier this year I spent three weeks with Susan and a group of volunteers from various parts of Australia. I would like to emphasise that every cent raised goes directly to the people and you can see how it makes a difference.
The home stay in Nakuru is very safe and comfortable.
Each day consisted of visiting families with Christopher the Operations Manager, assisting teachers at The Learning Centre and helping with food preparation for the children's lunches.
This was an experience I will never forget. The beautiful smiling faces of the children with outstretched arms, always ready for a cuddle.

At the end of 2013 Susan will open her new school and orphanage providing safely and comfort for her "families".
I encourage you to take the step, you will never regret it.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Nov 21, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

African Impact

I had a wonderful experience with the African Impact this past summer. At first, I wasn't sure if it was a good idea to fly to South Africa all alone, since that I did not know much about the organization. After long 30 hours of flight to South Africa, I was suddenly welcomed by a friendly woman at the airport who was waiting for me with my name on the sign. She drove and welcomed me to the volunteer house in Cape Town. Everyone was so friendly and I couldn't believe it! I volunteered with Veterinary Assistance and Abused Animal Shelter in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town was absolutely gorgeous, and I had never seen anything like Cape Town before! The volunteer house was very nice and beautiful, there were nice bedrooms with bunks, bathrooms with showers and bathtubs, kitchen, dining room, and a backyard where everyone can go out for a while. The house was very safe. I had great roommates, and I met other volunteers from all over the world! There were housekeepers and cookers in the volunteer house. They do really take care of volunteers very well. Everyone was passionate about helping others. On my project, I met so many inspirational people in Cape Town! I was helping with animals, and it was a wonderful experience!! I am SO glad that I went, I can't imagine if I haven't gone. This is once in lifetime experience. I will never ever forget it and I will always remember it in my life. I went to Cape Town all alone at 19 years old from USA, and anyone can do it! You won't regret it, I promise. There were so many things to do in Cape Town. I went to shark caged diving, Lions Head mountain hiking, Table Mountain, Boulder Beach, and of course the famous Waterfront! I miss every minute of it and I wish I could go back! Volunteer work was a lot of fun and people in Cape Town have opened my eyes so much. I will be forever grateful to be a part of the African Impact organization. I couldn't thank them enough for a great trip. I say go for it!! It was worth every penny.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Nov 8, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

African Impact

I volunteered for 3 weeks on the Medical Outreach and HIV/AIDS program in St Lucia, South Africa and I could not recommend it more.
We did some hard work visiting home based care patients who were sometimes quite ill but it was rewarding to see them on a regular basis, develop relationships and in many cases, be able to track improvements.
If you are looking to do professional medical work, this program isn't what I would recommend as the duties are based upon being accessible to everyone, medically qualified or not, but the project is rewarding nonetheless.
The staff were wonderful! Always making sure everyone was happy and understood the purpose of each daily project and explaining the difference out help was making in the community.
As soon as I left I wanted to go straight back. And I will go back soon.
African impact is an excellent organisation to volunteer for because you work at a grass roots level and get to immerse yourself in the community life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Oct 24, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
8

Frontier

I can honestly say that volunteering with Frontier is the most worthwhile thing I have ever done. In 2012 I finished school and was looking for something I could do which would be both fun and rewarding. In July I flew to Nosy Be in Madagascar to take part in the MGA Adventurer project which combined teaching, diving and terrestrial conservation. In a typical day we would dive or trek in the morning before headed over one of the neighbouring villages to teach the children there. I enjoyed myself and gained so much: friends, experience, PADI qualifications and a new interest in diving – and so I decided almost as soon as I landed back in the UK that I wanted to explore more with Frontier. In July this year I flew to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, spent a week relaxing in Zanzibar before headed to Mafia Island to take part in the Diving and Marine conservation project.

One of the highlights for me was without doubt the range of wildlife we were able to see both on and off land; elephant shrews, samango monkeys, green turtles, millions of fish and even some the size of small cars (Jesus - the giant grouper) and we were even able to go snorkelling with humpback whales! But I think my favourite part was getting to know people from the village and the masai who have a shop down by the beach, most of whom I met either helping out in the village lessons or chilling out at Mapenzi bar in the evenings.

If we weren’t at the bar most evenings a group of volunteers could be found relaxing on the beach, stargazing or going for a midnight swim.

Although the camp was basic it was better than I had expected and whilst the banda was shared, there was enough space for all my stuff and it was quite fun living with other people in a way you wouldn’t really ever get the chance to back home. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone else on camp, hanging out on the hill or playing battleshots with a round of Zeds.

All in all I had a great time, would recommend the experience and intend to go back next year. My biggest piece of advice would be don’t go easy on the home comforts (chocolate, haribo, other food and body spray!) but to check what you can already buy in kilindoni with people who have been before.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Oct 22, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Comments

Thanks for the review, Becca.

Frontier

I can honestly say that volunteering with Frontier is the most worthwhile thing I have ever done. In 2012 I finished school and was looking for something I could do which would be both fun and rewarding. In July I flew to Nosy Be in Madagascar to take part in the MGA Adventurer project which combined teaching, diving and terrestrial conservation. In a typical day we would dive or trek in the morning before headed over one of the neighbouring villages to teach the children there. I enjoyed myself and gained so much: friends, experience, PADI qualifications and a new interest in diving – and so I decided almost as soon as I landed back in the UK that I wanted to explore more with Frontier. In July this year I flew to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, spent a week relaxing in Zanzibar before headed to Mafia Island to take part in the Diving and Marine conservation project.

One of the highlights for me was without doubt the range of wildlife we were able to see both on and off land; elephant shrews, samango monkeys, green turtles, millions of fish and even some the size of small cars (Jesus - the giant grouper) and we were even able to go snorkelling with humpback whales! But I think my favourite part was getting to know people from the village and the masai who have a shop down by the beach, most of whom I met either helping out in the village lessons or chilling out at Mapenzi bar in the evenings.

If we weren’t at the bar most evenings a group of volunteers could be found relaxing on the beach, stargazing or going for a midnight swim.

Although the camp was basic it was better than I had expected and whilst the banda was shared, there was enough space for all my stuff and it was quite fun living with other people in a way you wouldn’t really ever get the chance to back home. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone else on camp, hanging out on the hill or playing battleshots with a round of Zeds.

All in all I had a great time, would recommend the experience and intend to go back next year. My biggest piece of advice would be don’t go easy on the home comforts (chocolate, haribo, other food and body spray!) but to check what you can already buy in kilindoni with people who have been before.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Oct 22, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

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