Volunteer Abroad

Global Crossroad

I didn't receive all of my pre-departure information, not did I receive my travel insurance. All questions answered by Global Crossroads before my trip were answered vaguely. Global Crossroads did not make it clear to me the best way to get financial donations to my country, thus causing me to loose 1/5 of my donations to Global Crossroads' fees. I was treated rudely in country and overcharged by the Global Crossroads ground coordinator. I was told to apply for a tourist visa, despite being a volunteer. My host family was not paid the allocated money they were told they'd received. My ground coordinator was unsupportive when there were political and corruption issues taking place at my volunteer placement. I was forced to leave my project early when I was being threatened by locals for deportation because I was on the wrong visa. I have yet to be reimbursed for the money I lost when I had to return hom.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Sep 7, 2008
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Frontier

I’ve just got back from a project in Tanzania- can’t believe how quickly it went, the whole experience was amazing and I’m gutted to be home already. I’m already missing the crew out there loads, everyone got on so well and I’ll definitely be meeting up with some of them for a night out soon. The place it self is like something out of a film- unbelievably beautiful and the weather is bloody amazing- which meant the beach parties were very cool! I went from being an absolute beginner at diving to passing my PADI open water and I am hooked for life, its totally addictive and seeing seven whale sharks in one day was a once in a lifetime experience. Even working at the school which I thought would be boring was an unexpectedly mindblowing experience- the culture is so different from what any of us were used to but the people were legendary- really friendly and so appreciative of our work. The beach clean ups were knackering but spending time threre makes you want to help with environmental work. Would definitely recommend Frontier- staff were nice and no problems in terms of organization.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Aug 26, 2008
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Comments

This is copied word for word off of Frontier's website...

Frontier

Frontier charged me £695 more than they passed on to the actual volunteer program in Huancayo.
They failed to arrange a pick-up when I arrived in Peru and misled me on many counts about the program before I arrived.
Although the staff in London appear very friendly it was almost impossible to get accurate information from them, or to get anyone to phone back.
Other volunteers have had similar experiences: I would not recommend Frontier to anyone.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Aug 24, 2008
Overall:
0
Support:
2
Value:
0

Amistad Institute

I thought I signed up to ELI abroad but I guess they were just the middleman. The people were somewhat nice but all I heard was complaints from the other students about their volunteer placement. We were supposed to be volunteering in a clinic, but there was practically no work for us to do. I switch to work in a kids daycamp which was more fun. The whole experience wasn't terrible for me, but they just seem like they really over-promise and under-deliver. If you just want to do something fun in Costa Rica, this is for you. If you are really serious about volunteering, you should probably look elsewhere.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Aug 24, 2008
Overall:
6
Support:
3
Value:
8

ELIabroad Experiential Learning International

I didn't know it at the time I signed up and paid for the trip, but I guess ELI was simply a middleman to a separate entity in Costa Rica. They basically just sent me to "Amistad Institute" who handled everything. I was a little upset that there would be no representatives of ELI there, but it turned out not to be that bad. I guess this was the first year ELI worked with Amistad, and from what I heard from other students, this might also be the last. It would have been nice not to be part of the "test group" lol.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Aug 24, 2008
Overall:
6
Support:
3
Value:
8

Comments

im in the ELI program in Costa Rica. My email is merrilymary@gmail. I can tell you a little more about the program if you email me.
my son is also hoping to go on a trip organized by ELI, and I"m worried about whether or not he will have support once there. What particular problems did you encounter?
Hi, I am also considering volunteering volunteering with ELI this summer in a medical internship and have some concerns about the reliability of the company. Just wondering if you would be able to share your experience with me regarding this...Did they take care of you while you were there? Thanks in advance, Jennie (jenn.ie@hotmail.com)
I'm applying to ELI and wondering if I could speak to you regarding your experience. Please email me at shalayne.pillar@asu.edu if interested. I would love to hear your experience- I have concerns that they will not take care of me which sounds like you experienced. Thanks!

Amistad Institute

I was pretty satisfied with the homestay environment, the location, etc. However, the volunteer placement did not provide me with very valuable experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Aug 23, 2008
Overall:
5
Support:
7
Value:
8

Global Volunteer Network (GVN)

I couldn't find a place to begin, except to say that this program was awful.
The in-country organization was hardly supportive-- when throwing up for three days straight, they offered to drop me off at the hospital and provided no support beyond this.
Placement was terrible-- there was an extreme lack of attention to community need; rather we were merely thrown at a place. For example, where I was was actually using volunteers from the community to complete the tasks I thought I'd be doing. I was bored, frustrated and of course, GVN was impossible to contact. The 24/7 emergency line was never available, my host sister stole from me and I went home two weeks early and spent 4 days in a hospital at home.
GVN ignored largely any requests for evaluation of my experience and only upon threatened legal action did they partially refund the administrative fee.
MISERABLE experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: Jul 3, 2008
Overall:
1
Support:
2
Value:
0

Comments

I cant beleive how many bad experiences we have had because of GVN... I had a nightmare month in El-Shaddai Hope centre where the owners were abusive and corrupt.... I was forced physically to leave the children and ended my stay two months earlier... I asked GVN to investigate and also suggested they had mis-represented my use there.... I had nothng to do as ALL the kids were sent away six days a week.... I would love to hear from anyone who would be interested in bringing about a class action suit against GVN.... this is the only way to get real help to the people of Kenya. As for VICDA , they too have there hand out and Irene and John admitted Stephen was a liar and didnt do the best for the kids... GVN responded to me by saying they accepted the story by The Owner and all was fine !!!! GGVN are simply making money out of others misery.... cheers carolinafrancese@gmail.com p.s. If I win the return of my volunteer fees and the extra flights home I intend returning to Kenya (un aided) and distributing food to the kids any one interested ?

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