United Planet

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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.

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I would like to thank United Planet for enabling me to embark on this volunteer experience to Costa Rica. I have found a new love for the Spanish language and I cant wait to visit Costa Rica again for the second time! Being exposed to a different culture has given me a deeper appreciation for the diverse world I live. I am anxious to continue to learn more about various cultures, people, and diversity. I began my experience with a one-dimensional outlook on life because before my trip abroad, I had seen the world from a single lens; my experiences had been confined to the boundaries within my family, my friends, my school, and my neighborhood. But here I am, 3 months post my volunteer experience in Costa Rica and I have grown immensely. I am grateful for the opportunity to gain global work experience and increase my knowledge of Latin American culture. This volunteer experience has also taught me about how fortunate I am to have the opportunities that many other people around the world do not. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a college-educated student. I now have a better understanding of what responsibility I have to the community and world I live in; we, as humans, are made for each other and are responsible for helping one another out.

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Location:
Posted: December 5, 2010
Overall:
7
Support:
7
Value:
8
By: bfashote
Age:
New User

I am an experienced traveler and this Quest through United Planet was the best trip I have ever taken. United Planet is extremely organized, helpful, always in touch, reassuring and mostly, has a great relationship with the countries it is involved with. People in Chile were aware of United Planet and thankful for my presence. I was able to get a hold of my country coordinator at any hour of the day or night if I needed him. United Planet included a trip to Valparaiso on one weekend which was beautiful and amazing. The host mom they gave me will now be a lifelong mother to me and I could not have asked for a better trip. I have been in contact with many other volunteers who all have similar feelings about United Planet. I would recommend this program to ANYONE. The people at United Planet are genuine, intelligent, worldly, thorough, prepared for anything and very appreciative of your volunteer time. There is nothing I would have changed about my volunteer quest to Chile.

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 14, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

I would not recommend United Planet. First of all, you do not see any of the money you pay go back into the local organizations. I paid to volunteer at a women's shelter and ended up having to buy my own supplies after paying to be there in the first place. Also, a week into the women's shelter, all of the children left for the summer holiday, so I spent my last week in Chile with no volunteer work.
Secondly, in India, I did not see my country coordinator once. The organization in the office in Goa was very poor, and there multiple problems, especially with the wildlife programs. You will also find that the program in Goa is very international, and many of the Europeans there probably paid less than you for your experience.
Chile was a better program - Paul Fischer is the country coordinator there and he is a very nice man who will do what he can to help you in your placement. The support rating shown above only applies to India, I would give Paul a 9. That being said, I was just not fond of United Planet's way of handling my money, or the fact that both of my placements ended before they were supposed to because UP hadn't planned accordingly.
The other unsettling thing about UP is that it is very hard to get into contact with the staff, and you will find that the staff is very limited in their knowledge. There is roughly one staff member per country, and the other staff members were unable to help me find information when my country staff member was out of town.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 21, 2010
Overall:
5
Support:
5
Value:
4
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

We are also disappointed with United Planet. The host family where my daughter is staying is amazing, however, United Planet has terrible communication and have only been able to address some of my concerns as "your daughter is 18". I will not speak of the issues at this moment as I am still waiting to see how they resolve the concerns in a manner that supports their "global mottos". To be continued...by a concerned mother
i just got back from a UP quest in a not super safe spot. they dont tell you because she is 18, she is legal and they dont really have the right to tell you things unless she oks it. you should get the number to (i assume)the icye in the host country. she is probab;y fine and having a good time, a little freaked about bc its the first couple months. if you didnt trust her you would have found a way to stop her, remember that. dont get scared just because she is scared by a new thing. she will end up loving it
WOuld you recommend any other programs? Interested in South America/Ecuador, thanks...

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