United Planet

Fully Verified What's this?
7.5 / 10 after 20 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

As an international non-profit organization, United Planet strives to create a world in which all people understand, respect, and support one another. United Planet's global network of leaders and volunteers fosters cross-cultural understanding and addresses shared challenges to unite the world in a community beyond borders.

Submit a review

I enjoyed being with my students the most. They were the main reason I was in Tanzania and they made my experience unforgettable. I loved seeing them smile and enjoying learning. It was wonderful to see them understand a topic I was teaching and be excited about learning.

The hardest part was getting used to living without the comforts of home. We often had no electricity and sometimes no running water. This, mixed with the extreme heat, was hard to cope with at first.
However, once I had some time to get used to the conditions I felt more comfortable.

I taught English and Math to two second grade classes. I had total freedom to design my lessons and teach the students. I often incorporated games, songs, and dances to give the students a break and help them focus better after. I used different tools like books and flashcards to help my lessons come to life.
My experience at the school was wonderful and the other teachers were so helpful and friendly. I really felt like a part of the family and like my work was appreciated.

As a whole my experience was nothing short of excellent. I met so many wonderful people and had the opportunity to be touched by so many wonderful students. United Planet was always available to help me whenever I needed assistance and made me feel comfortable in my new environment.
The school I was at welcoming and put total confidence in me to teach their students. My family took excellent care of me and really included me in their daily lives. I felt like I became a part of the culture and community while on my trip and this is exactly what I was hoping for.
The thing that made my experience though was teaching my second grade classes. They kept me going every day and touched me in a way I never thought possible. They helped me discover my love for teaching and left me with unforgettable memories.

My accommodation was comfortable and I always felt safe. The support from the UP staff is wonderful and I never felt alone...there was always someone I could reach out to if I needed anything.

I would definatly reccommend the program!

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 31, 2011
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
8
By: Sara7
Age:
New User

My short-term Quest to Santiago, Chile has undoubtedly changed the way I see not only myself, but the world in which we live in. From the moment my plane landed, I was surrounded by incredibly warm and welcoming people who taught me more than I thought I could possibly learn in 2 short weeks.

The host mom I lived with will always have a big place in my heart, she made every single day a dream for me. My volunteer experience was the most fulfilling work I have ever been a part of.

The children in the rehabilitation center were bursting with spirit and life, despite their disabilities. Each day I left my volunteer site, convinced that the children had made my day better than I could have possibly made theirs.

I would recommend and encourage anyone who shares global ideals with United Planet to sign up for a Quest, I have no doubt that my first Quest won't be my last.

I felt extremely safe during the entire trip. I had a phone in case of emergencies, and an extremely helpful country coordinator who was always in contact and just a phone call away.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 26, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: yovicsyd
Age:
New User

First of all, there is only one coordinator for Latin America. Whenever I asked specific questions comparing two countries that I was debating to volunteer in, she gave very vague information differentiating the two (they’re beautiful in their own way, etc.), which gave me the impression that they’ve never been to the places in which they’re affiliated with. Secondly, the coordinators in Peru were not actually part of UP. The weekend trips were extremely disorganized- we had to just go with the flow. Basically, there were a bunch of middlemen relaying information between 3-5 parties. At times it was very frustrating because no one (neither volunteers nor coordinators) really knew what was going on. Third, I honestly don’t know where my money went. The UP coordinator discussed it in detail during our pre-departure session, but I heard from other volunteers who spoke with the people at the schools/orphanages/etc. wherever they had their quest, and apparently they hadn’t received any/very minimal donations from volunteer organizations. I don’t know who is scamming who, but it was very unsettling to hear considering how I spent so much money in hopes of some of that money being donated to the project locations. Because of all the middlemen, confusion, and disorganization, the money allocations are questionable.
That being said, volunteering at an orphanage and taking Spanish classes in Cusco was the best experience I've ever had. I met so many wonderful people in the process and learned so much in my month abroad. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I enjoyed meeting new people (volunteers, family, teachers, etc.). I was able to really immerse myself into the Peruvian culture and learn Spanish quickly and well. I was one of the fortunate ones to have an amazing host family and no mix up in airport transportation, class schedule etc. I made the best of my experience there- I paid enough so I didn’t want to stress about the little things. Those who want to volunteer abroad need to go with an open mind and understand that nothing ever goes exactly as planned. Despite the minor negative experiences, I wouldn’t have had the amazing experience I had if it weren’t for United Planet.

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 27, 2011
Overall:
7
Support:
7
Value:
6
By: cocopuff
Age:
New User

I was very pleased with United Planet. Their people were friendly and kind and their programs are affordable. It was nice to be able to help people in other countries. I would definitely recommend United Planet to anyone interested in traveling and volunteering.

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 14, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
New User

I was referred by my classmate who had gone for a volunteer quest in April 2010. I arranged all funds and cut drown drastically on lot of my expenses to add up the program fee. I had to bear airfare, visa and couple other costs. Moreover, the fee was so much that, one would assume lot of things to be inclusive.

When in Chile, Paul was nice and he was really working hard. But host families weren\'t actually there, spent lot of days idling. I could have had saved funds but the united planet policy for nonrefund forced me to stay there.

Back in boston before leaving, confirming quest was not a walk in a park as i had assumed. coordinators had little knowledge and i believe there was 1 person representing a bunch of countries and i had to wait 3 days to get an answer since the specific country coordinator was out on vacation.

the organization is small, growing but for them we are just numbers to show that they have growing bunch of volunteer when fact is.. not all are happy.. but i dont think they care about it..

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 27, 2011
Overall:
3
Support:
5
Value:
3
By: Samantha
Age:
New User

Pages