Volunteer Abroad

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

After two volunteering in Peru, I am very pleased with IFRE. They were very accommodating and helped me plan every detail of my trip. I volunteered at an orphanage, and had an amazing experience! I made life long connections and wish that I could go back already. I would recommend IFRE to anyone.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Aug 29, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Voluntary Projects Overseas

I was a volunteer for one month in Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. Every day I got the chance to see so many different animals not only in trails but in base too, such as birds, monkeys, crocodiles, coatis, baby turtles, whales, snakes, sloths and tapir. The days passed I was more amazed by the biodiversity of the Park. I will never forget how it felt to sleep listening to the ocean and the rainforest at the same time.
Maybe my stay there was a little unusual because of the Hurricane Otto. It was several weeks of rain. The park closed and the entire country was in red emergency so every night we had to turn on the generator to watch the news and see the direction of the winds. Because of the hurricane, we had to stay most of the time in the base, it was too dangerous to walk in the forest with that much rain and wind.
One of the most interest things of that period, it was to watch a vulture hatching a plastic ball thinking it was a egg. We tried to show him it was not an egg but every day the vulture was there taking care of his imaginary baby. It was incredible to watch the persistence, because he was there even with the strong wind and the heavy rain.
For sure I will never forget what I passed during my stay in Corcovado National Park. This park has so many biodiversity, I never saw something like that. The rangers are so committed to protect that area and the guides know a lot about the life there! I learned so much about animals, about the forest and about life. It was incredible to be surrounded by nature and had that experience!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Aug 28, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

Volunteering to provide medical and dental care in La Ceiba Honduras was one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of our lives, I volunteered with my father. The people there really need the care and the equipment that we donated. It was also rewarding for my father to be able to perform and teach some extremely useful oral & maxillofacial surgical procedures on the patients and doctors working in the clinics.
The local coordinator Rafael was extremely accommodating making sure we were well taken care of throughout the entire duration of our stay. He set us up with pre-medical and medical students as well as dentists in training who hung out with us most of the time and took us to fantastic places off the beaten path that you would never see as an average tourist. They went with us to fantastic restaurants and we ate some of the best local food to be found in La Ceiba... maybe even all of Honduras.
I would highly recommend doing this program in La Ceiba Honduras to anyone, students or professionals.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Honduras
Posted: Aug 26, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

I was in Nepal for 2 weeks volunteering in a cancer hospital. I stayed with a host family that was very kind, attentive and my host mom made the BEST food for me and the 3 other volunteers that I stayed with. The hospital was a great learning experience. All the doctors would take the time to translate any chance they could. This is also where I was able to watch my first surgery! Not only did I get to experience what it was like in a Nepali hospital but I volunteered in a school teaching children about the importance of eating healthy. I met amazing volunteers from all over the world, and was able to meet plenty of locals were we would spend hours over delicious coffee learning about our different customs and cultures. The Nepali people are very kind and love to have festivals and are just generally laid back and relaxed people.
Throughout the entire trip a volunteer coordinator was just a quick text or phone call away. They organized most of the taxi rides and events during the weekdays and helped us organize our weekend trips.
Traveling truly is the best way to learn about yourself. You realize just how tiny your corner of the universe is and just how large and beautiful the world really is. This trip was eye opening for me and I was humbled by my time in Nepal. I loved being able to do it all through Projects Abroad, they made it easy and made me feel safe though out the entire trip. I hope that many other people can have the opportunity to share in this experience!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Aug 26, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I would recommend volunteering with A Broader View because they offer a broad range of volunteering opportunities, not just all over Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands but all over the world. The US and Ecuador staff are all very knowledgeable and accommodating. They were very willing to work with us in constructing a program that worked for us given our tight timeframe (daughter, niece and me). Most of all we felt taken care of which is important when you are so far away from home in a foreign environment.
The children at the program were adorable and eager to work with us. We brought many English books translated into Spanish which they could not wait to get their hands on. Their enthusiasm was priceless.
Pack light versatile clothing and should include waterproof shoes and wind/rain jacket. Bring items you need like sunscreen, insect repellant, toiletries, anything else you may need from the states. The brands we are use to are not available in Ecuador and can be expensive. Bring a small laundry detergent so you can hand wash clothes. Clothing gets damp this time of year (August), so this will keep everything fresh.
This was a very nice experience to travel with my daughter and nice to volunteer abroad in Ecuador, I would recommend other families to do the same.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Aug 25, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

Traveled to Peru in August. The volunteer session was great - working in a hospital, with their clinical staff. Working with Global Crossroad was the issue. First, their fees were confusing. The registration fee online is $99, but it's really not, it's really $299 which they have in their website. Then they try to sell you different packages, Spanish classes, health insurance, travel insurance, excursions. Don't do it!! The Spanish lessons were great but you could probably do that on your own once you get there for like 1/3 of the cost they are charging. And the excursions are way overpriced like 5 times what it costs if you bought the tickets when you got there. And Global Crossroad is very disorganized itself. I signed up for one site and was moved to another when I arrived. I thought I was getting one type of housing and was put on a site a couple miles from my work-site so I had to trek it there while others in my program were right nearby, in nicer housing. I was told that one person who spoke English would be at the airport to pick me up and then another person who didn't speak any English was there. The excursion was also a disaster. I paid a lot of money and didn't get tickets to half the tour - it was very disorganized. I would tell anyone to not go through Global Crossroad and if you already paid through them I would tell you to make sure you have agreement on (a) the site, (b) housing, (c) what you will be doing, (d) who is picking you up, (e) where you will be living and what type of living arrangements they are, and most of all (f) don't sign up for the excursions.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Aug 25, 2017
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Projects Abroad

I spent ten weeks in Tanzania this year for my elective rotation in my final year of medical school. I spent two weeks at Mwananyamala Hospital in Dar Es Salaam, four weeks at West Meru Hospital in Arusha, and four weeks at Endulen Hospital inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

As a sixth year medical student I was able to have a very hands on experience. This included ward rounds with doctors, working patients up for admission, seeing patients in the emergency department, practical work such as taking vital signs (blood pressure, pulse etc), antenatal care and assisting in labour in maternity, wound care and dressing, setting and casting fractures, and more! I also was able to observe different surgeries, including Caesarean sections. The extent of your involvement depends on your past experience and abilities, as well as your willingness to put yourself out there and ask questions and ask for opportunities!

With Projects Abroad, volunteers stay with host families, normally with other volunteers at the same house at the same time. I absolutely loved this. All the families were so welcoming and willing to make me a part of their home. I think this let me see Tanzania like a local as much as possible. Eating their food, using their public transport, meeting their neighbours and friends and getting personal recommendations on what to do in the area. Plus it was so lovely to come home at the end of the day at work to your host Mama giving you a big hug and a cup of chai tea to ask about your day.

I met volunteers from every continent during my projects, and formed fast friendships that have so far lasted the distance! The social aspect of volunteering with Projects Abroad can't be overstated, and local staff are great for recommendations and to help organise activities. Some examples of what volunteers get up to in their time off: Swahili lessons, cooking classes, dance classes, coffee plantation tours, exploring the area like waterholes/waterfalls and hikes, visiting markets, cultural trips to Maasai villages, trips to nearby beaches and islands (Zanzibar!) and of course safari!!!

Projects Abroad has local offices in each of their locations, with local staff available in person everyday during the week, and 24/7 via text or WhatsApp or phone call. I felt the staff were all really invested in us volunteers and in making sure we got the most out of our placements, and the social and cultural aspect as well.

Overall, I can't recommend the medicine elective enough. Particularly for students with some experience (medical, nursing, physiotherapy etc), to really get the most out of your project. The Projects Abroad staff (local and international) are truly amazing, so if you're interested or have questions, get on the website and get in touch!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Aug 25, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Projects Abroad

There are two things I’ve always remained passionate about—two things I know I’ll be involved with for the rest of my life: children and traveling. I was in my first year of university and I knew I wanted travel again, but this time I wanted to do something in which I could give back. I’ve worked in early childhood education for three years, nannied for five, and started studying developmental psychology. After researching programs online, I came across Projects Abroad and it was everything I could ask for; immersion in the culture, quality volunteer work with children, safety tips and cultural information, and an accommodating staff that worked with my sister and I to place us in the same host family. After looking through all of the countries, something stuck out about Tanzania and before we knew it, we had received all of our placement details and booked our tickets.

The volunteer placements are very organized and often you find yourself working with other volunteers from Project Abroad. They also have a child database so that volunteers are able to monitor and track benchmarks for the children at the orphanages. This allows for consistency despite volunteer turnover. I was placed at a wonderful orphanage with 50 children where I worked in the middle classroom. Every morning we sang songs and danced before we started our daily lessons. I spent five days a week with the children which really allowed for me to bond with almost all of them despite only being there a month. At any point in my placement if I had questions, the Projects Abroad staff was very responsive and helpful. My time in Tanzania allowed me to meet lifelong friends, travel to beautiful locations, and walk into work while being bombarded by hugs.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Aug 25, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Projects Abroad

During my time at Projects abroad, I had the opportunity to both participate in the medical project, and partially the human rights project. This was not my first time going abroad, however if it had been, I would have found the support staff of projects abroad to be more than sufficient. One of the nicest things to have when traveling is someone to meet and guide you from the airport. Projects abroad staff was there from the beginning at the airport and helped to get me comfortable with the city of Cordoba. While I interacted with my mentor during the medical project every day, it was rare to actually coordinate something during my six weeks with the medical staff at projects abroad. This was probably due to being the only medical volunteer for around 4 weeks. My normal day consisted of waking up around 7 and being by the bus stop around 730. Arriving at the hospital around 830, I would then observe 2-3 operations, and ask questions whenever I liked. Afterwards I would go home where my family would have lunch ready for me. During the night, I would then be free to do as I like. Often that would be going on to participate in the human rights project, where we would interact with homeless populations. This was often one of my favorite times because it meant I was able to interact with the local population in a new way. The projects abroad staff with the human rights project were extremely active with the activities. This actually was one of my favorite parts of my time in Argentina. Other volunteers were interesting to interact with as they brought many other perspectives, cultures, and languages to the table. The time spent with them felt much like the time on my exchange. The culture of argentina was also interesting to interact with as an American, and I learned a lot about how to be more relaxed with my time. It was also an adaptation to become accustomed the food or Argentina, which is very different to that in the US. Overall, it was a great experience, and I learned a lot about my future career, and own culture during my time with Projects abroad

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Aug 24, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
7

Involvement Volunteers International

Highlights of the trip:

Earthquake rebuilding was definitely my favourite week, it was so authentic and I felt that I was making a real difference there. The host mother was beautiful and fed us very well. It was nice to get involved with the locals more than I did in Kathmandu as well.

The hospital was great I learnt so much from Dr Shanta he was an amazing mentor.

Doing the extra activities including the HealthOutReach program was really good as well because I could see there had been a lack of education around basic hygiene, nutrition and first aid so I think it was really beneficial to the schools that we went to to teach them this. And I hope that they will talk with others in the community about what they learnt so that it can spread and do greater good.

Comments on the team, food and accommodation:

The hosts were fantastic, all the staff were friendly, efficient and ready to do absolutely anything to help us. The food was great and so was the accommodation, it was located in a good spot and I felt safe at all times.

Any improvements to help us be better:

Honestly I think you guys have been amazing, both in Nepal and before we left. I have no complaints and will definitely be recommending you guys (and possibly coming back again!)

Jessie (Australia 2017)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Aug 24, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

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