Nepal

i-to-i TEFL

I have one piece of advice for anyone thinking of volunteering with i-to-i: do NOT do it. Here is an honest account of my experience with them in 2008.
I booked 4 weeks' volunteering on a women's empowerment project in Chitwan, Nepal for a total cost of 800 pounds (not including flights). The support before I went to Nepal and when I arrived in Kathmandu was reasonable, but when I got to Chitwan everything disintegrated. It turned out that there was NO project. I had been promised several times that there would be 7 different women's groups that I could meet and decide which one to work with, but it turned out that there was just 1 which only met one afternoon a month (and I had just missed it). No alternative activities were provided by i-to-i and I only managed to arrange anything at all through my own initiative. I had also been promised that there would be many other volunteers in the area but there were only none, leaving me completely on my own as an 18-year-old female. The staff at the hotel i-to-i placed me at were thoroughly unpleasant, trying to rip me off, ply me with alcohol and put me into dangerous situations. My host family, whom I stayed with for a little while, were not much better. I eventually left the project 2 weeks early because I just couldn't stand it, despite the fact that I had been eager to help people through volunteering.
The problems continued when I got home. I tried to claim some money back because i-to-i had taken a lot of my cash (which I had carefully fundraised over 6 months) and had broken all their promises to me in return. They flat-out refused to give any money back or even apologise. Instead, they viciously attacked me and my character in their reply letters and made up many things which I was unable to disprove.
This company was absolutely shocking in almost every way. They just want your money and are not interested in providing any meaningful volunteering. You only have to Google 'i-to-i complaints' on Google to find many other people with similar experiences to mine. I wish I had found that out before I booked with them. Do yourself a favour and book with a project through http://vaops.com (which I can personally vouch for, having had a great volunteering experience through them for only 10 dollars a day) and AVOID greedy companies like i-to-i.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Aug 14, 2009
Overall:
1
Support:
2
Value:
0

Comments

Hi, I'm writing an article on NGOs and such volunteering experiences in India and Nepal. Please email me at midnightbell@gmail.com asap if you get this! Thank you
I made down payment to work on school neat Chitwan. Is there essential work to do at the school? Is it true that it is NOT home stay? Thanks for your info.

Global Crossroad

Hello Everyone,
I’ve spent two months in Nepal and my time here is almost up. I didn’t imagine I’d find leaving so hard. I’ve never imagined Nepal would get to me so deeply.
It’s been almost a perfect volunteer travel for me. It started when I choose to inquire with Global Crossroad. They immediately called me in London from US and explained the whole thing to me over the phone. From then on, I had no doubt who I was choosing to volunteer with.
In Nepal, a Global Crossroad representative was waiting for me at the airport. We chatted all the way up to the hostel. In there, the country representative explained about the program very nicely. Initially in the hostel, I missed the food from back home. But I was with a group of other volunteers from US and being able to participate on a cultural immersion program together was an incredible experience. I enjoy the village stay where I learn to cook Nepalese food and trekked around to nearby villages. I encountered incredible sceneries and the warm sun seemed to never leave us, that was specially nice.
I taught English for 6 weeks in a government school and stayed in a teacher’s house. What warm and friendly people. My stay with the host family is probably the most memorable part of the tour. With them, I went on a picnic, toured different villages and enjoy great Nepalese meals (I almost forgot about those lovely hot meals I enjoyed in London). The students in the school were ever eager, always wanting to talk to me in English. I didn’t realize English was such an absolute necessity in Nepal. I was glad I was able to train the teachers also.
The Global Crossroad staff visited me once every week, for about 10 minutes, and inquired about my well being. That was enough for me. Once, when they couldn’t make it, they called. So they cared and I was comfortable in knowing I was in good hands. In the hostel, I met two volunteers from US and they were very satisfied with their programs also. I’ll ask them to validate my article.
So in all, it’s been one of the best trips of my life. I recommend Global Crossroad to all and next time I travel elsewhere I know I’ll knock on Global Crossroad’s door first.
Cheers

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Mar 2, 2009
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
8

Comments

This sounds fake! It reads likea commerical or something.
I think Jason is a made-up person. He repeatedly used phrases like "... from US". He speaks English well, natively, but my suspicion is he's a native of India. A person from India, who also speaks English, would say "I miss food from India", a person from the US would say, "I miss food from "THE US". A person accustomed to leaving out "the" before the name of their own country might do it for the US. If they'd only done it once, it might have been a mistake. They were consistent. If they lie about where they're from, what else are they lying about?
Hi Jason, I too want to go to Nepal so hearing your good news is comforting. If the worse happens and GC end up being like some of the complaints, do you consider it safe enough to try and find other people to stay with and volunteer work to be done on an independent basis.
I suggest you ask for references of past volunteers as I have met nearly 12 volunteers when I was there. Just trust, their nepal program is excellent, you will love it.
Jason, it's good to hear that you've had a positive experience with Global Crossroad. I'm planning to do the two week miniventure program in August, but I've become a little nervous reading some of the comments of people in other programs. I have some questions for you if you don't mind answering them. Did you travel to Nepal alone? If so, did you feel safe? Did you get contact information before you left London, and did you communicate with the Nepal staff before leaving on your trip? Some practical questions for you now. Was there somewhere you could wash your clothes? With the weight limits being the way they are, I'm worried about packing two weeks worth of clothes and being under the weight limit. Did you bring a gift for your host family, and did you bring anything for the children you worked with? Did you travel after your volunteer time was up? Which tour did you take? Thanks so much for any information you can give.

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Excellent Experience and service!! I would definitely reccomend IVHQ. Great friendly helpful staff, very well organised, they took all the stress and hassel out of it. I researched many volunteer companies and they we're the best by far!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Jan 18, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

ELIabroad Experiential Learning International

I can't say enough about my experience in Nepal. The kids were so cute and eager to talk and play. ELI staff was extremely helpful in setting up the program and continuing to answer questions while in Nepal. I even got a chance to visit there amazing elephant program where you get to stay in a treehouse! I was a little worried at first because they cost so much less than other companies I looked at. But, everything ran smoothly and I felt great when I talked to some volunteers I met there that paid so much more than me. Most of the money I saved ended up being spent on gifts for my family and friends. I also was able to purchase some things for the orphanage. Hopefully I can work out a way to go to another one of the countries they send people to in a year or so.
Highly recommend!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Dec 14, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Thank you so much for the encouraging review of your experience in Nepal through ELI. My sister and I are planning on going to Nepal through this program in September to teach Monks English and work in the orphanages. It sounds like you were able to be a part of multiple programs since you worked in orphanages as well as the elephants, is this correct? Is there some flexibility once you arrive? We are wondering how difficult it is to find your own transportation to the airport upon returning home (since this is not included in the pricing), and how friendly the people are in the city as well as the program? Also, if you would not mind sharing about your experience eating there (the meals they provide) and also the housing (cleanliness, safety, electricity, etc.). I apologize for the lengthy questions, but any information you can share would be greatly appreciated! Thank you -Lexi :)

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I volunteered at an orphanage in
Nepal - a beautiful country full of wonderful people. The program was amazing. I learned alot about myself as well as about another culture. The work was full of challenges, but was incredibly rewarding. Overall IVHQ offered great support and is connected with a very strong program. If you are considering, just go!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Oct 29, 2008
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
8

Comments

Can I ask how long you were there Anna? I am thinking of doing the same thing.

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