Volunteer Abroad

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I was in India for one month. During this month I was able to learn so much about the culture, customs, and people of this great country. IVHQ offers an orientation week that allowed me and a group of volunteers to learn more about this history of India. After the week was up, we were all off to our volunteer sites. I worked as slum teaching in New Delhi. It was an experience that I would gladly repeat again. The homestay that I was placed at was with Chandni and Mohit. These beautiful individuals made my Indian experience that much more meaningful. They welcomed me in and from day one I felt like family. I can't believe my month is already over, but I'm looking forward to returning in the future and I'd definitely do it with IVHQ.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: May 27, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I volunteered for one week in Chiang Rai, Thailand. I went in a group of four people and IVHQ did an excellent job of preparing us and supporting us throughout the trip. We signed up together, and by doing so we were able to ensure that we would be together for every part of the volunteering process. At the airport we knew someone was there to pick us up, but we had a hard time finding that person. Once we found him it went smoothly enough. He loaded us into the back of a truck and took us directly to the mirror foundation. Once we arrived there we were given a tour of the property (granted we didn't quite understand everything and had to ask quite a few questions later). We had daily meeting explaining what each group was doing and the majority of information was given out there. I volunteered with the outdoor group and we worked in rice paddies. Because it was the hot season, we would only work for a few hours before taking a long break. I felt we could've done even more work, but I'm grateful they were so worried about our well being. The work for the volunteers depends on what the local tribes request, because of that I felt the relatively small amount of work we did was extremely worthwhile and would leave a lasting impact. The weekends allowed time to tour, which was wonderful and transportation was simple to organize. We also had the opportunity to spend a night with the hill tribes in a local village. We swam in a waterfall and got to eat and sleep in a local hut. We were warned it could be remote, but we were actually quite comfortable. IVHQ did a wonderful job of communicating and providing information that allowed the trip to proceed without any bumps. The facilities were comfortable, though we were sleeping on mats. The house we were in was cleaned by volunteers and the mosquito nets were provided. Showers were in a closed off bathroom. Food was cooked by the locals, which was great. They prepared it with less spice for those of us with weaker stomachs. Overall the trip was wonderful. I do recommend taking some extra time to stay places farther away from the foundation after your volunteer opportunity.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: May 26, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
10

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

I volunteered for 2 weeks in Kibera town, Nairobi. My project is a medical and health project working in a clinic. A lot of volunteers may be confused who will pick you up and where you stay. The coordinator from Kenya which is my host is a responsible person. He will contact you before the project started to make sure you have everything set and ready, and he is always ready to help you if there is any questions regarding the project and the country. Kenya is truly safe when you are with the local. Then the host will arrange accommodation and transport for your project unless you have special request.

Throughout my volunteer week, I really learnt a lot from the doctor and manage to see the malaria and TB cases from patients. I also experienced to do a public screening for students in the school. In the meantime, I have visited a few primary schools in this town to see their environment of study. The school will be recommended by the host for visit. These schools definitely need some support in term of foods, books and stationaries. From this 2 weeks, I have seen the culture and people living in Kibera town which is different from the Nairobi city center. This place is mainly populated by the poor living people called slum. This is something could open your eye when you have seen the reality on how these people living as compared to your home .Moreover, you could really interact with the local, tasting the local foods and learn a few Swahili words. Everyone is really friendly in this town that I really had a hard time to say goodbye to my host family and my project team.

There are also a few other projects offered in Kenya. I have seen other volunteers teaching in the school either in Nairobi or in the Machakos county. Some were doing cultural exchange in Masai mara and wildlife conversation in national parks. I was lucky that I could spend my weekend in Mitaboni, Machakos county where my host used to lived there. This is an unexplored village where you really can live in nature and livestocks. All and all I really had an amazing time in Nairobi and Mitaboni.

In terms of cost, personally I would think that the registration fee is too high for usd300. The program fee is still reasonable as stated in the website. Other expenses you might consider to cover is your phone data, cost for tour to national parks and spend on some snacks you might miss from home.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: May 22, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
8

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

My name is Viktor, and I have just completed a 2-week medical volunteer project in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I found this experience so wonderful that I felt teary when the time came to leave Vietnam (My fiancée who completed the program together with me can attest to this!) IVHQ has been instrumental in ensuring an amazing experience for all of us volunteers. Their staff were very responsive and eager to help me and my fiancée with the logistics of flying from Canada to Vietnam, long before program start date. The IVHQ website was also a great tool that helped me prepare and stay organized in preparation for the volunteer program. All of the requirements needed to start volunteering in Vietnam were all in one place (i.e. Application fee, resume/CV upload, criminal record check upload, etc.) The site also contained an excellent and customized guide to prepare us for the country we were travelling to, including a basic language primer. Upon arrival to our site in Vietnam we were warmly greeted, and given clear and succinct instructions on the schedule of activities. Leah (one of the coordinators) lead our group of volunteers through a number of cultural activities with infectious enthusiasm and spirit. Her positive energy was so moving and powerful, it made a deep and lasting impact on my own disposition towards life. Our project was centered at an orthopedic hospital, the majority of patients were recovering from trauma and injuries related to moto/moped accidents. Khanh and Thanh - the 2 on-site coordinators were very friendly and experienced. They were our line of communication with the local medical staff, as we lacked proficiency in fluent Vietnamese. We did a wide range of activities at the hospital. These ranged from aiding the nurses with wound care, premixing IV/SC/IM medications, taking vital signs of all patients on the ward, to shadowing countless orthopedic surgeries and assisting the acupuncture doctors with IM B12 injections and removal of acupuncture needles. By the end of the 2 weeks, both me and my fiancée wished that we had more time to do a longer volunteering session. Unfortunately, we both had prior commitments to get back to back home. But the memories of all the new Vietnamese friends we've made live on - through the power of social media! To summarize, this IVHQ Medical program in Vietnam was a fantastic learning experience, that has transformed me in positive ways. Perhaps the most influential factor that I derived from this Vietnam experience, was derived from the patients at this orthopedic hospital. Being a witness to the strength with which the Viet people hold themselves during excruciating pain and traumatic injuries, has toughened me up and made me more resilient to dealing with difficult situations in my own life. This is not a goodbye, but a see you later Vietnam. I would definitely redo this program if given the chance.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: May 18, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Walking Tree Travel

I try believe in Walking Tree Travel because of their dedication to their mission and vision: providing experiences that motivate high school students to become global citizens through engaging and immersive programming around the world. They work around the clock to provide safe, challenging, immersive, culturally sensitive (and FUN!!!) programs for high school students. They work with local communities to find homestay opportunities that give our students the opportunity to engage with other people and cultures around the world - truly a once in a lifetime experience. In Peru we worked in a local host community side by side with our host families on a project chosen and driven by them - allowing our students to engage culturally with community members in a responsible and sustainable way. Such a great, community-driven way to volunteer abroad.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: May 17, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Give a Heart To Africa

I volunteered with GHTA for 3 weeks in April 2017 and enjoyed every minute of my time there. My only regret was that I couldn't stay longer as I really feel like volunteers are truly valued in the programme and I would have liked to spend more time with the students and graduates. My main role was teaching English, and, in addition to this I was given the amazing task of helping a group of graduates with a cooperative that they set up together.

For the teaching aspect, I was given a predefined curriculum to work from - this really allowed me to hit the ground running and pick up exactly where the last volunteer left off. I was then able to add to my lessons to include personal elements that could enhance the students learning. I'm a graphic designer by trade so I incorporated a lot of visual tools to increase the student's learning experience.

For the cooperative aspect, I worked with 3 amazing women who graduated from the programme and went on to set up their own business selling clothing and jewellery in their own shop. I was able to use my design and marketing skills to help them to promote their business and teach them to continue to do so after I left. This involved pulling together promotional materials and enhancing their shop displays in addition to helping them to network with printers/suppliers in person and online. The latter through training them how to use a computer in a local internet cafe and setting up a business email address for them so they could use on their business cards.

The whole experience I had was so humbling and I got to work with the most amazing students and graduates who were all so appreciative of the time I was spending with them. It was a true honour to work with GHTA and I really hope to return. I would truly recommend this programme as not only does it set a path for the women of Moshi it also provides an after study support for the women who have gained the confidence to take their lives to the next level of independence.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ireland
Posted: May 15, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Projects Abroad

I am a returned volunteer in Accra, Ghana. I volunteered with Projects abroad two summers ago and I still constantly think about my experiences and share them with friends. I volunteered as a basketball coach for three weeks and it was the best experience of my life. I have always wanted to travel abroad but I had no idea where to start. When I found projects abroad, I knew that it would be a perfect fit for me. From the application process to my returning flight, everything went smooth. Projects abroad has a very good support system and they give you many sources of information. My experiences with projects abroad while volunteering in West Africa were so good, that I have decided that I want to return this summer. I highly recommend volunteering with projects abroad to anyone who wants to go overseas, volunteer, and gain a new outlook on life because it is truly an unforgettable expierience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: May 12, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

Global Crossroad

The welcome team was nice. Although the said that they would come take me around masiland but they did not. Although, the locals showed me around their land that they owned. The masi people were some of the most hospitable peopleI have ever met. They made me feel like family, even with a strong language barrier. They are very thankful that people want to learn about their culture. My host family was so nice. Whenever I come back to Kenya I have promised to see them again. They really made me feel like a part of their family. I felt very safe in masiland. The people explained to me it is one of the safest places near Nairobi. The doors were locked and there was barbed fencing around their houses to protect us. One warning I would give to a person going to Masiland is get ready for the culture shock. The food is very different and they do not eat meat often. The biggest difficulty was communication, my host family did not speak much english, only the children spoke english. It was hard communicating with them when the children were not there.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: May 11, 2017
Overall:
7
Support:
6
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

The welcome team was nice. Although the said that they would come take me around masiland but they did not. Although, the locals showed me around their land that they owned. The masi people were some of the most hospitable peopleI have ever met. They made me feel like family, even with a strong language barrier. They are very thankful that people want to learn about their culture. My host family was so nice. Whenever I come back to Kenya I have promised to see them again. They really made me feel like a part of their family. I felt very safe in masiland. The people explained to me it is one of the safest places near Nairobi. The doors were locked and there was barbed fencing around their houses to protect us. One warning I would give to a person going to Masiland is get ready for the culture shock. The food is very different and they do not eat meat often. The biggest difficulty was communication, my host family did not speak much english, only the children spoke english. It was hard communicating with them when the children were not there.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: May 11, 2017
Overall:
7
Support:
6
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

My experience volunteering with Projects Abroad was absolutely life changing. From my first desires to volunteer abroad to completion of my volunteer program, I felt entirely supported by the Projects Abroad team. I chose to volunteer in Romania as a Drama volunteer because I wanted to bring theater education to disadvantaged youth in Brasov. My volunteer advisor emailed me several times before I left for Romania and he made sure I had all of my questions answered about accommodation, transportation, and general life abroad.

Once I arrived in Romania, I was picked up at the airport by one of the local Projects Abroad staff. Razvan was extremely helpful and I immediately felt welcomed in Romania after many stressful hours of traveling. He and I drove 3 hours to Brasov and he made sure I was safe and sound at my host family's house. I truly lucked out with one of the most wonderful host families! My host mother" Rodica welcomed me into her home with open arms and a warm meal. I swear I have never eaten better in my life! Although there was a language barrier between us I knew that I could always come to her with any questions about my stay in Brasov.

The Projects Abroad team in Romania helped me navigate my way through my volunteer program. One of the head coordinators, Ali, made sure I was happy with all of my placements and she even took the time to accompany me to many of my volunteer locations to make sure I was comfortable with the children and staff. She was always open to communication and we spoke almost every day about how my drama program was coming along. Overall, the entire Projects Abroad team was incredibly supportive and I will forever be thankful for them.

Last but not least, through my experience with Projects Abroad I made life long friendships. Many of my fellow volunteers were from the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and the USA. We bonded over our experiences and explored beautiful Romania. Overall, my volunteer opportunity in Romania allowed me to give back to others and it wouldn't have been possible without the supportive team at Projects Abroad.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Romania
Posted: May 6, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
8

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