Archive for July, 2012
Volunteer Abroad Associations
The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers. ~Terri Guillemets. There are many organizations that plan volunteer vacations for travelers. They are numbered in their hundreds and many travelers wonder whether the organization they are going to use is a scam or a fraud. This is especially true with newer organizations which dont have a previous track record. To help out potential volunteers who are going abroad, the volunteer travel companies have formed associations which try to set up standards for volunteer travel companies. These associations have websites that show a list of credible and weed out the scam volunteer travel organizations according to their standards. The standards set vary from association to association, like for example the amount for the yearly contribution varies; there should be a physical office in a particular country and minimum age of the volunteer travel organization. Note these associations do warn they are not accountable and liable to the behavior of the volunteer travel organizations. Here are a couple of associations that help volunteers:
GoAbroad was launched to fill an information void in the area of international student travel. It was conceptualized to provide a one-stop information center for students wishing to travel internationally. The site was created to link prospective travelers with organizations providing international opportunities. It is committed to providing the most comprehensive international education and alternative travel databases. GoAbroad.com utilizes data driven programming to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information. In addition to some of the largest directories of their kind on the internet, it provides extensive additional information within its dynamically constructed travel guides, currency converter, and embassy directories. It is dedicated to providing this information in a clean and less-commercial format.
Year out group
The Year Out Group is an association of leading year out organizations that was formed in 1998 to promote the concept and benefits of well-structured year out programs, to promote models of good practice and to help young people and their advisers in selecting suitable and worthwhile projects. The Year Out Group is a not-for-profit organization. The suggestions and guidelines included on their web site have been produced by the Year Out Group and are intended both for people planning a gap year and parents, teachers and other advisers that may have an interest in helping people select a suitable and worthwhile project. The Year Out Group is an association of independent organizations and exists to promote the concept and benefits of well-structured year out programs. It does not however organize or arrange year out programs itself.
International Volunteer Program Association
The International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) is an association of non-governmental organizations involved in international volunteer work and internship exchanges. IVPA is an association of volunteer sending organizations but does not organize or run its own volunteer programs. They stand for responsibility in the field of international volunteer abroad programs. Their members are expected to uphold the IVPA’s principles and practices as guidelines for good programming as well as meet stringent membership criteria. IVPA can serve as a guide to anyone considering volunteering abroad or developing international service opportunities. This includes but is not limited to prospective volunteers, newly created volunteer sending organizations, corporations, and colleges and universities. Truetravellers True Travellers Society was developed out of frustration with the volunteer in Asia, volunteer in Africa, volunteer in South or Central America, but first pay us lots of money organizations. The aim of our organization is to connect people with no or minimal fee meaningful travel and volunteer travel opportunities around the globe. We have created a central location where this information can be shared for free.
True Travellers Society was developed out of frustration with the volunteer in Asia, volunteer in Africa, volunteer in South or Central America, but first pay us lots of money organizations. The aim of our organization is to connect people with no or minimal fee meaningful travel and volunteer travel opportunities around the globe. We have created a central location where this information can be shared for free.
Volunteer abroad advice
Traveling is a disease that is not easy to cure; some say it’s caused by being bitten by a travel bug. Travelers could be those who are going to: volunteer abroad; gap year; study abroad; intern abroad; tourist abroad; career break and boomers abroad. Many of the travelers especially those who are going to stay for a long period of time like for months or years fail to plan. Most volunteers who are abroad plan to: pay the air fare, get travel insurance and for accommodation. They forget about planning for small things that make a big difference like: carrying extra money; bathrooms could be different; having your passport all the time; travelling in the host country; manners and minding locals; and realizing you are the different one not them. Other than these there are more important things you should know that will help you enjoy your volunteer abroad vacation:
Reading the fine print when you are using a travel agent is important because you would want to know who will take care of you when things go wrong.
As a volunteer going to work abroad you are most probably going to use a volunteer travel organization that organizes volunteer work. Most of these organizations plus other travel and tour operators have travel policies or terms and conditions. Knowing these will help you to plan how you will take care of yourself when things go south. Things like political coups, racist movements, natural disasters, being robbed, when you fall sick and riots are not common but they could happen. When these things happen you would want to know how the agency will take care of you. You should also find out about the refund policies, something might happen that could make you not to travel and you don’t want to lose your money.
This comes when you are planning where you are going to stay. The most common places to stay are hotels, hostels, and homestays and group homes. Many hotels have minimum set of standards and it’s easy to find out what you are paying for. Choosing a hostel, homestays and group homes are the ones travelers should pay particular attention to. Most people don’t take their time to look into what they are and not paying for. For example in group homes and homestays, they could offer you a bed or a bed mat, a table and electric outlet. In other occasions they could provide you with these things and more or not. Also hostels don’t give out much information on what they will offer you, or sometimes they provide you with false information.
Getting around is hard for the first weeks in a foreign country, especially if you are going to be using public transport to get around. In some countries when you use buses or trains they are normally overcrowded and crammed and this can come as a surprise to you. While you are abroad get maps and book guides of the country you are in. Reading and understanding maps can become useful especially when you are lost. If you plan to ride a bicycle or a car, try to find out the traffic rules. As a pedestrian look out for signs to help you navigate through the city. In some countries motorists don’t pay much attention to pedestrians and extra care should be taken.
Before you travel abroad contact your bank or Credit Card Company and inform them that you are travelling abroad. Inquire from them what their policies are abroad and what happens when you lose your cards either through robbery or bad luck. Ask them how you will be protected against fraud. Before you volunteer abroad ask if their cards can be used where you are going. Some credit card companies provide you with medical insurance; ask them if you also need additional travel insurance. Before you leave, contact a tax expert or accountant about taxation and find out if you will still be paying tax while you are abroad. This is mainly for volunteers who are planning to stay for a long period of time.
The best Chicago lawyers
If you live in Chicago, lawyers may become very important to you, especially if you are filing a claim over a personal injury. When you need to find lawyers, Chicago is a great place to start looking. Given both the size and the amount of commerce that goes on in the city, any attorney who is practicing in the Chicago area has to be familiar with local, state and Federal regulation. When you go to the phonebook to look for a lawyer, you will find names and addresses but you will not know anything about quality or experience. The claims made in the Yellow Pages should not be used to decide your fate.
And make no mistake, the choice of a lawyer after a personal injury is crucial. The sad truth is that many of the Chicago lawyers are not specialists. And the more unscrupulous ones will try to delay the process to increase their hourly fee. You want to avoid those kinds of lawyers.
Chicago, despite its reputation, has no more bad lawyers that anywhere else. Nevertheless, you do need to take special care to ensure that any legal firm you retain works with ethical standards and shows a level of respect for the prospective client. Fortunately in most major metropolitan areas like Chicago, lawyers are member of several professional organizations you can check with about their reputation.
In addition, you will need to ask certain questions when you retain the services of a lawyer. Chicago has many firms that are ready to talk to you, and many will answer inquiries about a personal injury case for free. Any firm that wants to charge you a consultation fee should be avoided. When you find a firm based in Chicago, lawyers will should not charge you additional fees for travel or anything else that you consider unreasonable. It’s just another level of customer service that you can expect when you deal with reputable firms. Sometimes it is difficult to find a firm with these kinds of lawyers. Chicago, fortunately, has just such a firm ready to talk to you.
A wonderful place to start your search is the Therman law offices, LTD of Chicago. Lawyers on staff have a variety of experiences in all legal matters especially those that involve wrongful death, worker compensation, bankruptcy and personal injury. You will find inexperienced people who will go out of their way to try to deal with your claim as soon as possible. They have both the skills and experience that you will not find in other lawyers. Chicago is very fortunate to be the home base from this prestigious firm. Their strong focus on customer service will serve you well at every step of the litigation process.
This kind of customer service does not come at an exorbitant price. You will find their fees very reasonable and their outcomes are generally positive. They will not focus on the amount of money they make; they will focus on you and what is best for you and your family. It is one of the reasons so many people are turning to the Therman law offices, LTD in their time of need.