Volunteer Abroad

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

I spent three weeks this summer in Belize with Global Leadership Adventures and even though I had spent the summer before in Guatemala, also with GLA, this trip was one of the most amazingly scary things I’ve ever done. Not only being without family but being surrounded with strangers in a whole new country is stressful to say the least, and as should be expected, had a slightly rocky beginning, with lost bags and awkward hellos, but once we reached the Tropical Education Center, which would be our home for the next three weeks, things settled down. We played a few “get to know you” games, nothing like the boring icebreakers I was used to from past summers, and got a tour of home base, and as we did this I started to get to know the other girls I was there with.
The food was always great at the TEC, they had wonderful gluten free options and always something without red meat for me.
Our first day at the school was easy, we split into groups and organized our classrooms, children occasionally stopping in to say hello, four little girls gathered by the fence that separated their yard from the school, telling us how excited they were for tomorrow.
When we did get to the school on our first day teaching, kids were there waiting for us, happy and willing to learn. The kids I taught all spoke very good english, some were better spellers than me. My fellow teachers and I made lesson plans every night after dinner, a quick job once you get it down, we also always had a few back up games incase the kids were especially energetic. We did have a few problems with fighting, teasing, and bullying, and the kids sometimes tried to sneak out when they thought we weren’t looking but all in all they were well behaved.
The day trips we went on we always interesting, though some more than others, I would have to say our trip to the ATM caves was my favorite, but that is only available on the three week program. On the last few days we took a trip to Caye Caulker, a two mile wide island just off the coast without cars, the locals having bicycles and tricked out golf carts instead. We stayed at a pretty nice hotel with AC right by the sea, explored the island, shopped a little, and spent the whole next day snorkeling from which I earned a nasty sunburn, but it was definitely worth the pain.
All in all it was a great trip with amazing mentors, the kids were hilarious, and the other girls on the trip with me were some of the sweetest, most down to earth people I’ve ever met.
If I were to suggest a summer program I wouldn’t hesitate to say this one.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Oct 13, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

Volunteering in Cordoba, Argentina through Projects Abroad was an amazing experience! I specifically chose to go to Argentina because I had prior interest in Spanish and South American culture. Growing up as a huge football fan, I idolized Messi and was immediately drawn to Argentina when I found that they had the placement I wanted. My project was a two week high school special for medicine and spanish. By being in a high school special, my parents were reassured that I would be safe at all times, and I was also relieved that I would be with others since I came to Argentina knowing very little Spanish. Projects Abroad staff was amazing, and all of my questions before and during my trip were answered promptly.
I was picked up at the hospital and taken to my host family. Even with my minimal spanish knowledge, I was comfortable and became friends with my fellow volunteers. The doctors I shadowed were kind, and I learned a lot during my time there. Also, we did many outside activities such as salsa dancing and shopping at the flea market that made me connect to local Argentinian culture. I found my trip to be meaningful and still one of the greatest things I’ve done.
Volunteering abroad teaches you the differences between American culture and other cultures. Even in hospitals, I can now appreciate the advances the United States has compared to developing countries, and I will take this knowledge with me as I continue into college and further studies. Everyone that entered with an open mind succeeded in Argentina. Overall, I would definitely recommend volunteering through Projects Abroad. While it was expensive, I felt that the experience was meaningful and worth the money. Time really flew by but I loved every day I spent there.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Oct 12, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I loved my Peru medical volunteer experience. It was a great way for me to go out of my comfort zone and experience a new country! Volunteering in the clinic was so rewarding and was a great way to be truly immersed in the culture! I would definitely do it again!
I loved my accommodations! They were very comfortable and the host family was amazing. The food was excellent and I always felt very safe. Everyone was extremely friendly and was always willing to help.
The support I felt in country was awesome! Beatriz was always available when I needed her and showed me how to get around. She was very helpful when things changed and was always willing to help.
This is the program I did https://goo.gl/2BCzX9

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Oct 12, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I have recently finished a 3 week program with IVHQ in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This experience was more than I could have ever imagined. For starters, the organization and local staff were extremely helpful and welcoming. They provided us with a clean and safe living environment in the volunteer house. Living with 13 other volunteers was a beautiful way to meet like-minded people from around the world and build lasting friendships. The childcare facility that we were working with was a lovely short bike ride from our home. Each morning we were greeted by the excited, smiling children when we arrived. there was no better feeling that that. The children were always to excited to see us, and being with them, and being able to teach them a few things, was an amazing feeling. The nuns that we were working alongside inspired me to be a better person and to want to lead a more humble life. They were amazing with the children and so thankful that we were there.
If you have the opportunity to take a few weeks out of your life and donate them to others, I would strongly suggest it. The experience will be so meaningful to you, and those that you help.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Oct 12, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

My experience was more than I expected. I enjoyed every second of it. Learning at the clinic, meeting people and enjoying helping out. I fell in love with the city of Quetzaltenango and the people, so much so that I´m considering studying here and develop my medical career as a pediatrician in Guatemala.
The moment I got to the host family, I felt very welcomed by the family and comfortable. The host mom was very attentive about me going out, eating well and took good care of me when I got a cold. The girls were very nice and I got along with them like I had known them my whole life. The whole time I was there I never felt unsafe or unwanted.
At the medical center I was able to go around in the different “clinics” they have. I helped in the HIV clinic, family planning, pharmacy and pediatrics. I was surprised that I was able to do so much, including injecting birth control shots. I learned a lot more here than I thought. My favorite memory was getting to see the doctor suture up a man´s eyebrow. I was able to learn the stitching technique, as well as helping him out.
The coordinators were very helpful and easy to reach in case of an emergency. The office was nearby, which was easy because I could meet up with them and also make payments for weekend tours. The organization of the weekend trips was very reliable and I felt very comfortable going places.
The support in the US was amazing. I asked the online operator lots of questions and concerns and always got a reply back fairly quickly. When I called, the lady who picked up made me feel really safe about my decision to come to Guatemala, and I felt very encouraged. Wonderful experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Oct 10, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

Best aspects of the project:
-location of base camp, beautiful and lots of potential to become an enjoyable place to live.
-access to preservation zone of the reef, incredible to be able to see relatively unspoilt marine life
-being able to come to the south island and meet locals
-flexibility in the project and being able to have a say in what we did during the week/made for dinner etc.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Central America
Posted: Oct 10, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

I spent a month in Córdoba, Argentina volunteering in Project Abroad's Law and Human Rights program, and it was the most amazing experience of my life thus far! I had always wanted to travel abroad while at university, but my class and extra-curricular schedule did not make it possible. Spending a summer with Projects Abroad (PA) was a great alternative. The Law and Human Rights program gives you great exposure to human rights at the grass roots level; as someone studying Latin American politics, I learned so much about Argentinian political history, current Argentinian government policies, and NGOs beyond what I could ever learn in the classroom. Furthermore, living and working Argentina really helped me to improve my Spanish.

My host family was so kind and caring, and you learn a lot more about the country and the language living with a Córdobesa family. My home was comfortable and safe, and my host family was experienced with hosting volunteers from all over the world. The program directors at PA went above and beyond to make sure I was safe and knowledgable about how to get around and what was expected of me. Weekly volunteer social events help you to make friends, learn about the city, and experience Argentinian culture in a non-touristy way. With your weekends free, you also have plenty of time to explore on your own or with other volunteers. I felt like my 4 weeks abroad flew by because it was packed with so many amazing experiences. It's also awesome that PA volunteers are from all over the world; I got to make friends from so many different countries which really added to the cultural experience.

Yes, PA can be pricey, but I believe that my money was well spent. I felt I got a priceless experience in return for the program costs, and I felt well taken care of the entire time I was in Argentina!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Oct 6, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

I've been to Nepal for 4 weeks working in Shahid Memorial Hospital.
The experience was very formative. I was unlucky because I've been there during the longest local festival so in the hospital there were less patients than usual, but still I found something to do. This experience gave me the opportunity to assist some operations I would never be able to assist in my counttry untill the last years of my studies.
I have learnt that if you want to do something it 's just up to you: be openmind, kind and available to do every kind of things and you'll be sutisfied.
I've also learnt that sometimes just talking with local people can give you and teach you more than actually doing.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Oct 6, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

My experience in Kenya is one I will certainly never forget. From the outstanding staff, to making friends from all over the world; seeing elephants and giraffes, to helping improve the living conditions for less fortunate people, this experience opened my eyes to a whole new world. During my four weeks in Kenya, I stayed at a beautiful home with a welcoming family. The kids in the house kept me on my toes, and the adults provided authentic Kenyan meals.

When I wasn't at home, I was spending an average of 6 hours a day at a school called The Fountains. There, I was working alongside a teacher to help 2-4 year olds learn English. This, being my first real experience as a teacher, helped me to build up my confidence being in front of a class. I learned how different schools work in Africa, and was able to give suggestions based on what I have learned in college as an Education major.

To be honest, I was quite nervous going into this experience. I have never really left the country before, so this was a big step for me. My mother was even more worried, but those nerves got put to rest when I told her how outstanding the staff was. There are four main coordinators in Nanyuki, Kenya, and they all exceeded my expectations. This experience wouldn't have been nearly as great without their hard work, dedication, kindness, and perseverance. They were constantly catering to our needs, and making sure we had the best experience possible. They organized medical outreaches, a day to teach a kindergarden in the slums how to properly wash their hands and brush their teeth, a soccer day with an orphanage, a renovation day, and much more. We even ended up getting so close that all of the volunteers and volunteer coordinators went to dinner before we all had to leave. Overall, I would highly reccommend this experience, and push for you to choose Kenya as your destination!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: Oct 3, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I did really enjoyed my time volunteering in Peru, Cusco is a beautiful city with many activities. The girls and workers in the orphanage are very friendly. The most important things they need from volunteers are donations and helping hands. The donations can range from clothing to school supplies to personal hygiene items as they are teenagers. I really enjoyed communicating with the girls. I remember my first successful conversation with them in Spanish. It felt very rewarding.
I didn't expect to negotiate so much in Cusco. From taxis to local markets, there is often not a set price. For example, a taxi driver may say the taxi ride costs 6 soles, but you can and should argue for a fairer price when the drivers try to overcharge, ask your host family what are the typical fares.
It was shocking to see how quickly the weather conditions can change. It can be warm and sunny one moment and then cold and rainy the next go out with layers, sunscreen and sunglasses.
I really enjoyed traveling on the weekends and would highly recommend this. Travel was surprisingly inexpensive. Visit the Rainbow Mountains, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Once in a time life experience. Hopefully more!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Oct 2, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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