India

Active Internationals

Active Internationals will always remain on top of all the lists of organisations I ever recommend. I am really happy that I participate in their program.

I booked for an 8 week animal rescue program in Jaipur, where I was aligned to an amazing place for working with animals.
I got hands on experience in animal care, and animal rescue. I was also the store-keeper for the medicines.

By he time I was in my 5th week of volunteering all the animals, specially the small rabbits became great friends.

At the volunteer house I made many international friends, who were from many different countries and backgrounds. The whole experience of living in such an international environment was great.

We went through a lot of workshops and activities. The staff was also very helpful. I will miss them all.

Not to forget - I am bowled over by the Indian food. Even after coming back home I try some recipes.

Love,
Malsyhka

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Mar 30, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

I did 4 weeks of volunteering with Sankalp in January 2014. I did the street children program.

It was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. The children are so beautiful and I feel like you really are helping their education and social skills.

The house was good, I did struggle with sharing a room/bathroom with 3 other people as I usually live alone however that is a personal thing. I really loved the fact that you are free to explore Jaipur after work as long as you are back by curfew at 9pm. You are also free to travel away on the weekends which was a great way to see Rajasthan.

Lunch and dinner are cooked each day by Puni, and the food is AMAZING!

The price of this program was surprisingly cheap in comparison to other companies. I think the fee is approx. $150USD a week.

I would definitely reccomend Sankalp to anyone considering volunteering in India.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Mar 24, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

Active Internationals

I am naturally not so liberal in giving away any ratings.

But I am really indebted to Active Internationals for making me a part of such a wonderful program.

I volunteered in Jaipur (India) in a center for Physically and Mentally challenged kids.

This was a touching experience and made my realize the worth of volunteering in developing countries.

Once I am back home, I will promote this program among friends and family.

Cheers,

Colin Jr.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Mar 20, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Global Vision International (GVI)

I couldn't have been more impressed with GVI. A change in life circumstance saw me doing a google search on making a difference and volunteering overseas. Less than 2 months later I was in Kochi in Kerela, India. The two weeks were so incredible rewarding. I've lived and worked overseas and loved integrating into society not just sitting on the sidelines. For me, this program ticked all the boxes and we really integrated. I was teaching and we prepared for and celebrated Xmas with the teacher and the kids in the slum. I was particularly impressed with how well the programs were run and that they create real sustainable change.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Mar 20, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
7

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I volunteered in the slum teaching program. The program was very well organized. I was picked up from the airport by a member of the local IVHQ staff. The host family and housing was very comfortable and the staff was very helpful through out the program. The school seemed to really need our help and the volunteers that were teaching were put to good use in each of the classrooms. We were needed to teach grades kindergarten through fourth, we were able to make lesson plans and really felt like we were contributing to the school and to the students. The staff at the school were also very kind and helpful during our project. The project here with IVHQ is very safe and comfortable for anyone wanting to do volunteer work abroad, and makes traveling alone much safer.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Mar 14, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your volunteer experience in India. We are glad to hear you felt safe and comfortable with our team in India. Thanks for the recommendation. We hope to see you on another IVHQ volunteer program soon.

Sankalp Volunteer Society India

I don't really know where to start with my review; every second of it was incredible.

I stayed for 4 weeks from July - August 2014, aged 17, during my summer holidays. Initially I signed up for 4 weeks at Women Empowerment, but I didn't find the course as emotionally stimulating as I had hoped for. It consisted of sitting down, teaching two groups of Indian girls for 3 hours in the afternoon. I wouldn't have minded it so much, however considering all of these girls already went to school in the morning, I felt my time would be better spent elsewhere. Another factor edging me to make a switch was the fact that all of my new-found friends had their work in the morning, so they all did their travelling together in the afternoon, which admittedly made me feel a bit left out.
At the start of my second week in Jaipur, I switched programmes to the Orphanage. This was much better suited to me. I should point out that if you are rather emotionally fragile, do NOT choose this programme. You witness some truly ghastly things whilst working there, e.g. the full-time workers hitting the children, disabled children being left laid on the floor for 23 hours a day, the children only being allowed one diaper per day leading to them pooping/peeing on the floor regularly (never let the children take your shoes off to play with them - i have learnt from experience that this ALWAYS ends dirtily). Do not try to change the way the workers treat the babies. When you get to the end of your time in India, you will come to realise that this is merely just their way of life. Trying to enforce a change will only insult the women and make them angry. Just brace yourself. You are there to give the babies the one thing they lack; love and attention. Be that cool 'didi' (translates to 'big sister' which is what they will ALL refer to you as) who plays and sings and smiles. They will love you back with all of their heart.
Buy them a few toys/presents to take in when you're working, but always take them home when you leave too. Unfortunately the workers aren't paid very much and have a tendency to steal from the orphans to provide for their own children. And ALWAYS wear a headscarf when in the orphanage. Don't remove it under any circumstances. My friend and I did, in order to take photos with the children. We returned from Jaipur with headlice infestations.

OK, now onto the social side of things. The house rules are no where near as strict as they appear to be in the handbook. You are allowed to go out to restaurants to drink (which we did regularly), but we also managed to sneak a lot of beer in, and had parties on the roof. Admittedly, we did get caught out a few times, so Amita and Pranay might be a bit stricter nowadays. Also one night we got all of the housemates together for a bowling trip, which was great fun! We crammed everyone (17 of us) into 3 rickshaws to Hypercity, where on the top floor there's a great bar/bowling area. A few Cobra's down, we had the time of our lives!

Travel as much as you can. Although it can be hard when you're feeling a bit lazy after work and just want to lounge around, but ALWAYS make the effort to go out and do something. Otherwise I can assure you, you'll regret it. List of places I went to: City Palace, Amber Fort, Nahargarh Fort & Jaigar Fort (do both in the same day, as they're far away from the volunteer house, but very close together), Monkey Temple, Jantar Mantar (if you're looking to go to the markets, say this to a rickshaw driver anyway, as he will then take you directly there) and just EVERYWHERE you can think of! Try and plan a weekend trip away per week. We went to Jodhpur, Agra and Delhi. Do your research and find good hotels (you will very much appreciate having a hot shower, pool, and meat!).
Just embrace every second of it, because it truly does fly past.
That was easily the best month of my life, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Mar 10, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Active Internationals

Great experience and satisfying efforts.

I found Active Internationals through their website by a casual google search. After getting a prompt reply of my inquiry, I was assured of the professionalism.

I booked for a 6 week volunteer program based out of Jaipur for three weeks and followed by Pushkar for 3 weeks.

I also booked for some short excursions in between.
It was great experience of understanding the value of volunteering in a country like India, which seems to be a fast developing nation and is yet missing out on small details of life.

In Jaipur, I worked alongside a group of 20 ladies who were mostly housewives and were getting trained to be beauticians. The skills they were acquiring would surely allow them to work in a decent salon or start their own venture.
My job was to ensure that they learn more out of it. How to start a business, customer care, female health, budget making were some topics that I touched upon. This made them transform into more confident women in a mere three weeks.

I then proceeded to Pushkar to work alongside the Snake Charmers - Kalbelia. These are amazing people who are nomadic. But they have been in Pushkar for around two years because of their livelihood. We touched various topics like - Water Conservation, Child education, family planning, women health, rights available to tribes etc.

Overall it was a well planned activity with great support from Active Internationals.

Trips to Jodhpur and Udaiour were so awesome.

One thing I still miss from India is the food and Chai.

More people must join Active Internationals and make their efforts a success.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Mar 5, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

This was a disappointing trip. GC representation on the website was misleading in almost every aspect. Response to questions by in-country staff were vague. Going to India took me over 20 hours of flight time and great expense. I spent three frustrating days and found it a waste of time.

HOUSING- When I arrived in Faridabad, the orientation was given at one of the homestays, belonging to a man named Raj. This home was fantastic. Comfortable (and safe) lodgings, western plumbing, great meals prepared by Raj's wife, and wifi. However, after meeting with in-country coordinator, me and the other medical volunteer were moved to another homestay, the home of the aforementioned doctor who set us up at the hospital. We were told this was because of proximity to the hospital.

As a 20 year old woman traveling alone (in a country where violence against women is a real threat), this move was incredibly uncomfortable for me and to be honest, unacceptable. I was driven after dark to the apartment of the doctor (whom I had not met) and showed to a room with no dead-bolt lock. I was told the doctor's wife would be there-- she was nowhere in sight. I spent my first night in Faridabad sleepless and terrified, which in hindsight was unfounded (the doctor is a very nice man) but that could've easily not been the case and I think Global Crossroad was negligent for allowing this kind of bait-and-switch to take place and for being ignorant of the necessity for security young women (and men) have when traveling to a foreign country.
When I expressed my concerns, they moved me back to the family. Other volunteers told me that similar relocation to undesirable locations had happened to them.

PROGRAMMING- During registration, I was told a local doctor would be my supervisor. However, this doctor was not associated with the hospital in any capacity. The hospital management did not need any volunteers and they did not expect us. He just knew the doctors on an informal basis, and asked them to let us observe the operations. This was essentially a shadowing gig. We did not get a chance to perform any of the tasks that The GC web site claims: "Volunteer responsibilities may include: measuring blood pressure, temperature, height, weight, assisting doctors and medical staffs in the health centers, distributing medicine, providing tips to patients regarding health, nutrition and hygiene, patient counseling, treatment for minor injuries/wounds".

My suggestion for fixing the program is placing volunteers in public (not private, where health care is undoubtably better) clinics and small hospitals (not large multi-specialty hospitals) so they can have a more intensive crash-course on the challenges facing Indian health care, while providing help (whether administrative or clinical, if the volunteers are certified) where it's actually needed.

I have no doubt that Global Crossroads provides meaningful and well-organized projects in other countries or subject areas, but I don't think this trip is one of them (in it's current form).

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Feb 14, 2015
Overall:
3
Support:
2
Value:
4

Comments

We are truly sorry for any inconveniences or disappointments during your trip to India. We take your concerns and feedback seriously and we will be certain to address these issues. Global Crossroad has been arranging placements for hundreds of volunteers since 2003 with no issues of volunteers’ safety. We readily acknowledge the issue of violence against women in India, and therefore make the safety of our volunteers a priority when placing them in accommodations. We apologize for the absence of the doctor’s wife, as we were not aware she would not be present during your visit. In regards to your placement, India has ever changing and advancing regulations in its healthcare system, which often limits hands-on experiences. Unfortunately, we are not always advised about the changes immediately and will be continually updating our website and placement materials as to reflect what volunteers may expect. We truly appreciate you choosing Global Crossroad when volunteering abroad and want to ensure that your comments and concerns have not gone unnoticed.

Leave Ur Mark

I went abroad with LUM this summer and worked on the Advertising/Marketing Internship. India is a good option for English speakers---I didn't have too many language barriers as most of my colleagues spoke English to me. India was an incredible country and I feel I barely touched the surface of it. The internship allowed me to learn more about the Indian market which was very different from the UK. My advice to future interns is to not sit in the appartment all the time, go out and explore all that the city has to offer, and make sure you get along well with the other interns!! LUM the program is great and I got along very well with the coodinator who took us to some good live music venues.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Dec 2, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Elective International

Our medical degree concludes with a four week elective placement that can be undertaken anywhere in the world. A friend and I decided we were keen to go to India for an adventure and to gain an appreciation for medicine in the developing world. Around a year before departure after a lot of research we decided on Elective International (EI) being impressed by their website and initial contact with us.

This was when the problems started. We weren't assured of a location until the week before departure. Our university found it very difficult to make contact with them in order to sign insurance requirements etc.

Although the website still advertises New Delhi and Trivandrum, we were placed in Chandigarh. This was despite being told to obtain visas and flights for Mumbai. I was looking forward to being placed in such a large diverse city but it was not to be. Regardless we had paid out money and hoped for the best when we set out from Australia.

On arriving in Chandigarh we were at first relieved to find we were being looked after by a pleasant young girl who seemed very enthusiastic. It wasn't until the next day we realised we were in Panchkula, not Chandigarh, and had not been reassured by the company that they had any idea where we were.

The next day we were told we had to "meet" the Director of health. This meeting was actually our application being viewed for the first time. The result was humiliating and we were asked to lie and say our guide was our "friend" and we came "for our own interest".

On raising concerns with the company, we were told not to focus on the administrative errors and look forward to the clinical experience. Our concerns were made to seem petty.

Another aspect of the EI program is being able to undertake a program in a certain speciality. I had picked O&G and my friend had picked surgery. As we were pretending to be there "unofficially" the gynae doctors were understandably suspicious and not that keen for me to participate.

The next week we met another doctor who organised a rotating timetable for us and I had hoped that things were looking up. The next week was better but only through our pereseverance. We gave up on pretending to be friends with our guide and were able to explain to most doctors that we have paid to be here. Regardless most do not understand why we are here as we are at a small, non teaching hospital that doesn't normally take Indian students let alone international!

EI has been a nightmare to deal with and I could not suggest them to anyone. India is fantastic and I recommend travelling here any time!

Program:
Location: India
Posted: Nov 12, 2014
Overall:
3
Support:
3
Value:
2

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