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International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

PROS: met amazing people, changed my perspective on things, sweetest children at the orphanages, great food, house was in a decent location, neighborhood felt safe, neighboring locals knew there were foreingers in house and were friendly, nightlife, very cheap prices compared to other programs, had a lot of time to travel, flexible, had internet in house, washing machine...
CONS: airport pick-up came late, staff introductions were bad, disorganized, did not enforce rules, cold showers, staff seemed random and untrained, new program so they're still learning, a lot of miscommunication, didn't get bus pass badges - got bus passes - so we didn't need passport photos, some volunteer sites took over an hour to reach, no structure at teaching english sites, didn't tell you what to do at orphanage sites, just let you on your own...
All in all, I had a great time. You'll have expectations every where you go and might get disappointed here and there... but that's normal on any trip you go to. The culture is different and it's all a learning experience.
I lived in a great house, had a bed, had free lunch and dinner, free bus passes, had weekends to myself - had a good time. :)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Vietnam
Posted: Oct 1, 2008
Overall:
7
Support:
8
Value:
9

Comments

thanks for your feedback. My daughter will be going to Viet Nam soon and I appreciate your information. Did you have an issues with general safety? And, in particular, any food safety issures?
Thanks for your pros and cons, I always like seeing both of them, would you do this group agaon if you had the chance, I'm looking at going to Ghana Africa, it seem that structure is lacking but I could see in a 3rd would contry this could happen, do you think it was the groups lack of structure or the overall way things where done in that country? Thanks, Greg
Why would I fabricate the information? I'm just trying to be helpful. BUT I should have included that most the pros and cons I listed are geared toward my experience in Vietnam and with the Volunteers for Peace in Vietnam (VPV), the group IVHQ set me up with.
Yes I have and the health program was outstanding. IVHQ have outstanding programs..... ignore any bad feedback, I heard one as well (on a forum on the net before I left) but it was completely false. It appears even this person had a completely different experience to myself and the others that went OR the feedback was fabricated which is my guess.
hello, has anyone volunteered in Nepal with IVHQ? maybe the Health Care programme? i herad some bad stories...

Global Crossroad

Global Crossroads is a business not an organization. They are not supportive, and could care less about you and your well being after you pay them. I'm lucky I didn't end up kidnapped and sold. The other volunteer who I later met, was an 18 year old boy who had never even been out of the USA. Upon his arrival at the airport, his ride never showed up and he ended up taking a random taxi to a motel where he stayed the night in fear. Luckily the next day he somehow found a contact and eventually made it to the local office. Global Crossroad does not provide you with any information once you arrive. I was picked up, driven to some lady's house, (to this day I have no idea who she was or how she was affiliated with GC), spent the night there, picked up again in the morning, taken to the local office, waited there 3 hours, then finally taken to the orphanage. Along the way nobody would ever tell me where I was going or what was happening and it was truly frightening.
I think my total cost to Global Crossroad was around $1500 and I learned they gave the orphanage where I stayed only $100 for me being there.
I was told I would be teaching orphans English. Instead, the orphanage had it's own school that was well established and taken very seriously. They already had teachers and all the kids knew English. For the first few days I really had no purpose, but eventually I just started helping with cooking and cleaning and playing with the kids. I also helped them with their homework. It turned out as a great experience but not what I signed up for. I am still very close with the founders of the orphanage and help raise money to put the orphans through high school. IF ANYONE WANTS TO VOLUNTEER AT THIS ORPHANAGE WITH NO COST TO YOU, i can set it up. The founders of the orphanage are willing to pick you up from the airport and make sure you are taken care of. Don't waste your money on any organizations. If you really want to make a difference, use the money you would've spent to help put these kids through high school!! Please feel free to contact me with questions or info on volunteering in Kenya. The kids will change you forever. It was the best experience of my life (no thanks to Global Crossroad)
htebbutt@hotmail.com

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: Sep 26, 2008
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

World Learning

I have studied abroad three times now, researched over twenty different programs, and written a 15 page essay on studying abroad, and I say with confidence that EIL is one of the best programs out there. EIL offers students an opportunity to learn, meet people, observe, travel, and have fun - not as a tourist, but as a student who is curious and open to differences in the world. They really provide experimenters with opportunities to get involved with host countries, meet and interact with other students and locals living there, and to have fun while learning a lot.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Japan
Posted: Sep 22, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

ISA - International Studies Abroad

ISA was okay. Compared to other programs, they helped out a lot in providing things like the Navigo pass to get around, information about good places to go, nice excursions, and decent homestays. However, I felt like a complete tourist while in France, despite the fact that I was living in a home stay for the entire month. There were no real opportunities to interact with other French people our age, and the people I interacted with and had opportunities to meet were mainly American.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: France
Posted: Sep 22, 2008
Overall:
5
Support:
5
Value:
8

Volunteering Solutions

I went to India and then to Nepal and I think it was the best experience of my life. Anurag and Sahil at the company were very helpful and answered all my questions almost instantly. Uma the coordinator in Nepa was excellent and like a mom. They are highly affordable and recommended.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India
Posted: Sep 17, 2008
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
8

Comments

This is a biased posting. Here, this volunteer gives a highest rating to all categories, including over all, support, and value. No volunteer company is perfect; consequently, the rating given by this volunteer does not reflect a genuine judgment and assertion of the company. But, what could rather be a product of bribery, where Volunteer Solutions has given extra services or even money in order to receive a positive feedback. Bribing or asking people for positive feedbacks on a failing company is belittling all volunteer programs out there. Rather than apologizing to volunteers who suffered in this program, giving them refunds, or improving the quality of the program, he asks favors from people like mom4equality or similar easily bribable people to write reviews in their favor. Mom4equality writes in response to the other volunteer complaints, “I must say these [volunteers] are sounding like spoiled children. Their complaints are more about life in India in general than VI specifically.” But what mom4equality fails to explain is her own experience in the program. So my question is, out of the hundred of negative postings and even a face book group of nearly 600 people out crying of their illegal business practices, how much did he pay you to write your posting?

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