South Africa

i-to-i TEFL

I had a very bad experience with this company. The place they put us with had no heat, mold, outside doors didn't lock, etc. People where getting sick and asked them to get heaters or wood for the fireplace and they refused. We were also 8 people crammed into a small room. There were numerous other problems and the in-county coordinator essentially did not care about the volunteers. The worst part was the fact that most of the money you pay does not go to the local programs. There was even an article in the local newspaper after a volunteer complained about the large amounts of money not going to the programs. I suggest you look for a non-profit organization or go directly through the local program you are interested in. The local people are so happy to have you there and I had a good experience with the people at the local program. A group of volunteers tried to find out how much of our money went to the local program and we never got a straight answer from i-to-i. It is so sad that the thousands of dollars I paid, I suspect that less than $100 went to the program. Further, they do not provide food, transportation to the local program, etc. Basically, the money you pay to i-to-i is for housing (which could be easily found on your own) and to make money for the company. I also volunteered with a non-profit at Dago Village in Kenya, Village Volunteers, and the experience was so much better and most of the money I paid went directly to the local program. Further, they provided food and transportation while I was in country. I highly recommend volunteering abroad as it is a life-changing experience, but I suggest you go through a non-profit program so your volunteer money can make a difference.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Aug 23, 2009
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Comments

I had a similar experience, yes a nonprofit organization with clear prices and service, do your homework
What was the name of the local program? Do you have a contact for them?

Travellers Worldwide

Before I left for South Africa, my Travelers contact in England was very helpful in answering my questions and concerns about my placement. I LOVED being at the wildlife sanctuary called African Dawn where I was volunteering. I really felt like the work I did there was actually making an impact and that I was a valued member of the team there. The friends I made will be friends for a lifetime. The only comment I have is that it is far cheaper to be a volunteer directly though the place you will be volunteering and not through a company like Travelers. But for my first time abroad I liked that they figured out all the details for me, including finding my flight and transport from the airport when I got there. Also, the website they made about the sanctuary was outdated and certain details did not hold true once I was there, but it was nothing major. An overall amazing experience and I would love to go back!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Aug 13, 2009
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
6

Comments

Hey there! I am also interested to go for some time to South Africa and especially to the project African Dawn. I would be really happy if you could give me maybe some informations about it which doesn't come from organisations or the project itself. Thank you so so much! :)

Projects Abroad

I visited Cape Town back in the summer for 2 months as an intern for the Daily Voice Newspaper. I worked closely with Jourmalists in a busy newsroom collecting stories across the townships and Cape Flats and typing up copy back in the office. It was fast paced, lively and very eye-opening into the workings of Journalists and the paradoxical nature of South Africa. I returned with a portfolio of a dozen published articles. Definitely one of the best experiences of my life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Nov 9, 2008
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

Comments

I am a journalism student in Vancouver, Canada finishing up my final year of school. I am writing a feature piece on international journalism internships, having completed one last year with a company called Adelante. I am looking for other people who have completed international journalism internships to interview. The article will be published. If you would are interested or would like more information you can email me at carly_sheridan@hotmail.com. Thanks so much! - Carly

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