Volunteer Abroad

Global Learning Semesters

I went in Spring 2007 and some of the logistics and academic quality was still being worked out. But it was a great program non-the-less, and I would recommend it knowing that it continues to improve.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Europe
Posted: Oct 23, 2008
Overall:
7
Support:
8
Value:
7

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

An amazing program - I volunteered with two other companies in the past but IVHQ was by far the best. Best program and best value for money - DO IT! Best experience of my life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Oct 20, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

My daughter is also looking of the Ecuador trip. Does anyone have any feedback on Ecuador? Thanks.
Thank you for your comments. My Daughter is thinking about Ecuador, however I have not been able to get any comments or reviews of that area. Any feedback that you can provide would be helpful in that you have been to South America and may have come accross volenteers from the Equedor area.

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Can't fault the program - was amazing and well worth the money.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: Oct 19, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Madventurer

I had a great time with these guys in Ghana this summer. I was in a group of twelve brits living in a house in the village we were working in, the project was a mix of building a new school block and teaching in the existing school. The mix of great support from the madventurer crew member who shared our house and feeling like we were making a real difference to the village was great. Well organised and I would totally recommend them.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ghana
Posted: Oct 14, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

I stayed in Puriscal, Costa Rica for 3 weeks and it was absolutely amazing. The staff at the house were incredibly helpful,working at my volunteer placement was very rewarding (and fun!), and I met some great people along the way. I would really recommend it to anyone who is looking to volunteer internationally as well as learn about other cultures.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Oct 13, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Don't go to Cartago either!!
Don't go to Puriscal!
Hi, I am planning on going to Costa Rica, Puriscal =) I went with CCS to Morocco and Peru and absolutly loved loved loved it. I can't want to go to Costa Rica. Any tips?

Global Crossroad

I have recently returned from my trip to Tanzania. It was life changing and wonderful. I am really amazed to see the community work carried out by the global crossroad. I worked for 4 weeks in Olof Palme Orphanage. Global Crossroad had partnered with this orphanage since last 4 years. In the last 4 years, orphanage had received nearly $20,000 donation to contruct buildings and schools. Before joining the global crossroad program, I have talked with many volunteers who had joined their program. And I also found them very happy with the program. so, I thank global crossroad for arraning such a excellent program for me.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Oct 5, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Thank you for this. I am seriously looking into going to Dar, Tanzania with Global Crossroad and it's tough to decide with such contradictory feedback on this site. Perhaps I will email Olof Palme directly to get some information but I'm glad to hear that you had a good experience.

Global Crossroad

It’s hard to describe accurately in words my time at By Grace – it was an incredible experience. From the moment I was introduced to the staff & children, I felt at home and very welcome in the centre. It was quickly agreed that I teach English & Maths to Form 1 during my 2 week stay at the centre & I was given the teaching aids that were necessary for classes. The other teachers were especially helpful if I had any questions etc. and also Salome was a fantastic source of information and advice during my stay. I found the students to be very eager to learn and very receptive in class - it was just such a pity to find them with only one book to work from for the whole class. Nevertheless, the teachers manage with what little resources they have & they are a great inspiration for the children. I had a fantastic time at By Grace – I extended my stay there by a further week but that was still far too little time to be spending with such great children. I wish I was still there now but I will definitely go back as soon as I can organise for it.
The only thing to note maybe for future volunteers is that the description I received from Global Crossroad on the activities I would be performing at the orphanage was not very accurate. I did not expect to be spending my whole time teaching – had I been aware of this I could have brought out some teaching aids, books etc that would have been beneficial for the students.
Host Family
I was so lucky to be housed with Rahab & her family. I was welcomed into her home as one of the family & I really felt at home during my stay. Rahab spent so much time with me & taught me a lot about Kenyan culture and way of life. She sacrificed her own time at weekends to bring me to the Giraffe Centre & the Bomas of Kenya. She also helped me to buy provisions for the orphanage – taking another whole day of her personal time. I was also invited to join the family in Mombassa over Easter …..the list of ways in which I was welcomed, helped and guided really is endless. In terms of the livings conditions I found the house to be most comfortable and the quality of the meals I received was excellent.
Safari
The safari was absolutely fantastic. The driver, Sammy, was very competent – I felt very safe in the vehicle on such rocky roads! He was also very knowledgeable with respect to the wildlife – in terms of both identification and giving us information about specific animals. The campsite was well run – it was clean & even had hot showers on our second day! The food was also very good.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: Oct 5, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

My experience in Peru is truly one of the most memorable moments of my life. I stayed in Cuzco for about ten days from May 3 till 12, one day in Lima, and then flew back to Toronto, Canada. From start to end, Jenny and Martha, the national and local representatives, were very helpful and supportive, and facilitated our stay in Peru. We always talked with Jenny. My friend, Maryanne, and I had the fortune of meeting another volunteer (David Curtis) who works at an orphanage, whom we became good friends with during this trip.
The host family was extremely friendly and welcoming. Despite not speaking the Spanish language at all initially, I felt very comfortable interacting with them through other means (ex. sign language, drawing, dictionaries...). They served us many delicious local foods, such as the guinea pig, ceviche, maize, papaya juice..etc. They showed us around the city and took us to markets, small shops, cathedrals and other touristy places (ex. Plaza des Armas). On weekends, they even planned full-day trips for us to see Machu Picchu, other Inca ruins, and museums. We even got to go horse-back riding on mountains!!! The Peruvian scenary was stunning and the experience was exhilirating.
At home, we played soccer, drew pictures, watched TV and chatted with the host family. The house is nice and spacious, and the washroom is very clean. The only minor concern is that there isn't hot water to shower in, but it's easy to get used to. Our bedroom has two beds with lots of blankets (the night can get really chilly), and our privacy was always respected.
Our workplace was a geriatric center in a small, rural area that is 20 min away from home by bus. We usually worked from 9am-5pm, but time flies by when you're having a good time! The staff there (doctors, nurses, psychologists..etc) were as curious about our culture as we were to theirs! I learned how to apply hot packs and massage patients who had sore backs and necks, how to use various medical equipment, and learned some common Spanish medical vocabularies.
Many thanks to Global Crossroad and Jenny for organizing everything, Martha for matching us with our wonderful host family and workplace, the staff at the geriatric center for teaching us local medical practices, and of course, the host family (Beto, Hilda, Favio and Nicole) for sharing their wonderful culture with us. All of this was very fulfilling and worthwhile. I am thankful for Global Crossroad for providing us this opportunity. I will forever remember my time in Peru.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Oct 5, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hi, I'm planning to use GC to go to Peru this summer and I was hoping to directly talk to some of the people who have already done so. If you could email me at dswanner@wharton.upenn.edu I'd really appreciate it.

Real Gap

Very little support from the company in Rio. They are not there, it is another company that deal with you. No one met me at the airport, had a number in Rio to phone if that happened. No one answering(they were at the movies)Had another number in the UK!
No one available to help when I was mugged. Did not ring emergency number in UK for obvious reasons! but did ring number in Rio and no one available.
Supposed to volunteer from the first week I was at Rio(IN fAVELAS)but children on holiday. Real Gap knew this and did not make any alternative arrangements.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Brazil
Posted: Oct 4, 2008
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Global Crossroad

I can only add to the previous reviews of this company by strongly agreeing with the comments, particularly that of GC being a business and not a charity. While the project I was involved with in Ecuador was very good, and I really felt like I was helping, it was only once I had arrived that I discovered that the cloud forest eco-lodge is run by local villagers and supported by a couple in Quito who find them volunteers. GC act as an agent in this respect, and therefore take a huge cut for doing virtually nothing. Having talked to locals and the couple who run the show in Quito, I worked out that over two thirds of what I paid ($1500 from memory) went to GC, while the Quito representatives took a fair amount of the rest (I believe deservedly) and a horrifically small amount a day went to the eco-lodge and local people to look after us. When I questioned GC about this huge discrepancy, the only answer they could give was that the rest was needed for "administration". It would be rather more understandable if the pre- and de-briefing had been of the highest quality, and I had been totally confident of how and what I was doing before I went. This, however, was not the case, and I can see no reason for them taking such a large amount of money. What upsets me most is the abuse - as a traveller, it takes experience and confidence to just turn up in a foreign country and find a project to volunteer for, but this is by far the best way of doing it; that way you are bound to find good people doing good work, and not be ripped off by opportunists who have prospective volunteers over a barrel.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Oct 4, 2008
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Comments

I am suppossed to be going to Ecuador in september with rcdp. I'm trying to figure out if they are the same company as gv. If anyone could give me more info if you've been that would be great. I'm starting to get nervous being that I'm travelling alone. Any help would be great! Sofiad@hotmail.com
are you available to give me some info about where to volunteer in Ecuador. David at eaglechiro@yahoo.com

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