Posts Tagged abroad

Volunteer Abroad Organizations Review

Volunteer Abroad Organizations Review
Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart. ~Elizabeth Andrew. There are so many organizations out there that a volunteer can choose to use. It sometimes gets hard to choose which organization to use and to find reviews about the organization the volunteer has chosen. Although, there are websites which review and rate organizations depending on their clients experience. Some of the websites are abroad review and review centre, they get views from past volunteers and publish them on their site. This information is useful to find how the organization treats its clients. Here are some of the reviews from the websites:

Volunteer Capital Centre

I was a bit skeptical about using Volunteer Capital Centre (VCC) as I was unsure what goes on while you are abroad. But when I arrived in the country I was welcomed with so much love and care. They were waiting at the airport and took to me to a wonderful homestay. I immediately bonded with all the family members and they made me feel so welcomed. I was taken to my volunteer project and had the best time of my life. I worked in a community development program and it was hard and fun at the same time. I highly recommend this organization to anyone and I cant wait to go back.

Volunteer HQ review

I Spent 3 weeks working with IVHQ in Nairobi. Best experience of my life and still upset at having left over 4 weeks later. The country and children I worked with really tugs at the heart strings. Already planning my next trip back there in 2012 hopefully. Had an amazing host family with grace and her two little ones and James from Fadhili ensured we were always happy. Cannot speak highly enough of the Kenyan people. Highly recommend as a destination.

Global Crossroad review

We (me and my wife) undertook a 3-Week Volunteer program (teaching) at an Orphanage in Arusha, Tanzania. This was our first such initiative in global volunteerism. From the very beginning Global Crossroads (Mr. Mohan) guided us in selecting the program, making local arrangements (and providing specific/ detailed info of Dos and Donts), calling the host Family, and list goes on. All the arrangements were as outlined and it turned out to be one of the life-time experiences (which we share with everyone and the listeners are surprised at our enthusiasm for such a positive view considering our age and food restrictions – Strict Vegetarian). We will be happy to provide/ e-mail correspondence with anyone who may have Qs. We are now ready to plan for next exotic country in 2013.

Ikando review

I think this organization probably used to be good. There was a change of management 6 months ago and since then the place has fallen apart. Volunteers get barely any support, the management team is unacceptably rude, and some placement hosts have accused Ikando of not paying up the promised donations. During my recent placement I saw several volunteers cut short their time with Ikando and return home early. I would recommend you find another organization to volunteer with.

Global vision International review

My time spent in the small hill tribe village of Huay Pakoot was among the most memorable experiences I have had up to date. Not only did the GVI staff offer help and guidance, but they also all exhibit the same passion and motivation that I aspire to emulate. I cannot emphasize enough how important the Thai Elephant project and the Elephant Vet Aid Outpost (EVAO) are in the fight for saving the critically endangered Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) from the brink of extinction. The accommodation in Huay Pakoot is basic at best, BUT it is equalized by the hospitality provided by your home stay families, who cook and cater three meals a day for each volunteer. I am a vegetarian and had no dramas in having my home stay meet my dietary requirements. In saying that, the food that the locals cook is AMAZING! All produce is grown and harvested in the local area, so if you like fresh food, Huay Pakoot is the place to be.

A broad view review

Thanks again for making this happen for us, it was a life changing trip and hopefully the first of many volunteer abroad trips for me personally. I wouldn’t hesitate to use A Broader View again, so I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me in the future to help me coordinate another journey.

Volunteer abroad teaching

Volunteer abroad teaching
A teacher is a person who facilitates education or provides schooling for students. The science of teaching is pedagogy, whereby teachers get professional qualifications for teaching. When you volunteer abroad as a teacher, many organizations provide you with TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certification. This involves 120 hours of learning on how to teach English best in foreign countries at the end of the course you are given a certificate. Most of these programs are flexible and are done to fit your schedule. Apart from getting TEFL there are other language certificates like for French, Spanish and also Italian. But when volunteering abroad as a teacher you don’t need to have these professional qualifications. You don’t need to be trained as a professional teacher; all you need is to be able to speak English fluently. Most of the programs are in third world countries whereby they have problems speaking the language. The local teachers know the language, the grammar and the structural aspects but they lack the right pronunciation and intonation. As English is not their native language they have problems with pronouncing the words properly. As an English speaking foreigner you will be a great asset to the place where you will be working. Usually the volunteer work for 18 to 20 hours a week. Most of the teaching abroad programs are done in classes in some occasions you could be a private tutor helping the kids with their assignments. You could be working in primary, secondary schools or in universities and colleges. The main duties involved in teaching are: Work as a teaching assistant: teaching classes, grading books; Work as a social worker with the Administrator; help in cooking and cleaning; Help in sports activities; and playing with the kids. Lessons Although teaching English is the most popular choice amongst volunteers, there are other subjects that are taught in the schools. These subjects are mainly taught in primary schools to the kids who are in lower grade levels. The subjects include Maths, social sciences, geography, and Arts, music and sports education. The subjects are easy and anyone can teach them. For students who are studying art could teach the higher grade levels on how to present their arts. As well as music, any volunteer who has experience or academic qualification can teach music to the lower grade to the higher grade levels. If you have a passion for sports, or just one sport your skills could be used to teach physical education. Also it could be your opportunity to teach the kids new sports that are played in your home country. Some volunteers combine teaching sports as well as teaching English. Teaching advice On the first day of your class, it could be daunting with all the eager eyes before you, introduce yourself and ask the rest of the class to introduce themselves. This will break the ice and the tension in the class, also find other ways you could involve the students in the class. Try to establish a rapport, and tell the students something about yourself while teaching them the importance of the subject you are teaching. The school you will work in will give you a syllabus in which work with. When preparing your lesson with the syllabus in mind. As your time is limited, planning lessons makes the use of time to be effective. This helps in covering most of the course work in time and helps the students to plan their time as well. There are several teaching techniques you could employ but they need to: encourage contact between teacher and students; encourage active learning; give prompt feedback; emphasize effective time management; and communicate expectations. Lastly as a teacher you should pay attention to the school’s academic and work culture Problems Most of the programs and projects are done in developing countries, and you will be placed in schools which are ill equipped and don’t have the necessary tools. You will be given a chalk board and chalk to use as tools. Most of the text books and reference material will not be available for you to use. This will require you to be creative in your work. With an open mind you can come up with new and creative ways to solve your problems. Another problem is that the students will be excited to meet you since you are from a different culture and may lead them to stray off the topic and ask too many questions about you. Also since you are in a new culture you will have a bit of cultural conflict in the work environment. All in all the students, school and communities are excited about your arrival and the work you are doing. They will help you in any way they can to make your work more fun and as easy as possible.

Volunteering abroad medication

Volunteering abroad medication

During this time volunteers are working abroad they are could fall sick. There are various diseases that can affect many of the volunteers. The diseases that affect them depend on the place, season and climate, unhygienic places, environment, and susceptibility to them.  Fortunately most of the diseases can be prevented through vaccinations and other measures.  Diseases which can be vaccinated against are Malaria, Yellow fever, typhoid and Hepatitis A and B can be vaccinated against.  In some cases the volunteers will be working in areas where they will not have access to medication to cure the diseases. Or they could have medicines which could have adverse side effects. Although some diseases are preventable there are others which aren’t. As a result, the volunteer should carry some medicinal pills before you leave for your volunteer abroad trip.

Here are things volunteers should have with them while they are abroad:

 

 

Condoms

 

Not many volunteers plan on carrying condoms and other contraceptives. After staying in the host country for a period of time, the volunteers could involve in a romantic relationship with either one of the local people or a fellow volunteer. Some of the volunteers get involved in sexual relations. By doing so, they are exposing themselves to a host of diseases for example HIV/AIDS, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and others. The volunteers should be prepared and always have condoms in hand so as to avoid these diseases. Condoms are not 100% safe or effective but they reduce the risk of infection by 70%. Condoms prevent sexually diseases and pregnancies.  Condoms are normally available in most parts of the world. They are accessible from local hospitals and can be found in most retail centres. Although there are certain communities in parts of the world who are conservative and in such places it will not be easy to get condoms.

 

 

Insect repellents

 

Most of the diseases abroad and at home are caused by insects. The insects carry parasites or pathogens that cause the diseases. The insects that are more likely to give the volunteers problems are ticks, mosquitoes, certain types of flies, ticks, mites, fleas, lice, bedbugs and ants. These insects aide in the transmission of malaria, Nile virus, yellow fever, river blindness, sleeping sickness and Lyme disease. While doing the volunteer abroad work, the volunteers could be exposed to these pests. There are various insect repellents that are available for example Repel, Muskol, Cutter Advanced, and Cutter Tick Defense. These repellents are available as liquids, wipes, sprays and lotions. Using these repellents has some side effects like skin irritation. Many of the insect repellents that are sold are not registered or regulated and caution should be taken when choosing which one to use. Also the volunteers should note that these repellents are not 100% and they only work for a number of hours.

 

 

Water treatment

 

Water is very important and it’s what every traveler and volunteer should be having. International volunteers should buy water whenever they get the opportunity. Most of the places where the volunteers would be working won’t have access to clean water. Untreated water carries host of parasites with it. Untreated water has water borne disease like Botulism, Cholera, E. Coli infection, Dysentery, Typhoid, and Gastroenteritis. Water is contaminated by a number of ways e.g. infested animal feaces, some type of flies and sewage. The volunteer can get sick if s/he consumes the water or eats food prepared by contaminated water. If the volunteer will be working in rural areas and cant access treated water s/he should buy water treatment tablets like iodine crystals, and chlorines based halazone. Water purification could be done through boiling, filtration, solar distillation and prevention of water contamination. Other solutions to this problem are the volunteers should drink tea, coffee, wine or beer. If the volunteer is afraid of getting amoebic dysentery, s/he should eat strong dosage of garlic for 15 days

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteer abroad Christmas gifts

Volunteer abroad Christmas gifts

The holiday season is upon us yet again. It’s the season to be merry and jolly. The only time in the year where festive lights are put all over home. The season for drinking eggnog, hanging mistletoes and playing Santa Claus. Christmas is the biggest holiday celebrated in most parts of the world. Christmas means family gathering together, singing and listening to Christmas carols and gift giving. Giving and receiving gifts is the best part of Christmas. Giving gifts to family members is easy. The tricky part is giving gifts to those who are going abroad to volunteer, backpack, work and study. This is because they will need something that is small enough to fit in their bags, and useful to use while they are abroad. Here are a couple of gift ideas to give someone who is going to volunteer abroad;

 

 

Backpacks

 

Every long term traveler needs a backpack.

Volunteers who are abroad will require a good backpack for their journey to the country and to the project location.  A backpack should be comfy, stylish enough, and very sturdy. Other backpack qualities are roomy, ergonomic, air conditioned, well padded, water resistant, should have laptop ports, sound ports, and a waist strap. The well known backpack brands are Eagle Creek, Karrimor, Macpac, The North Face, Osprey, and White Mountain. Cheap backpacks are normally faulty and won’t do any good. The average price of a backpack goes for between $ 150 and $ 200.

 

 

Travel Shoes and socks

 

The volunteers will need a good pair of shoes and socks during their work abroad. The right pair of shoes will carry the volunteer further, faster and safer. The pair of shoes should have the following qualities: they should be comfy, durable, waterproof, not too heavy, good treads, lace hooks and soft soles. Apart from shoes the volunteer should have a pair of flip flops for going to the shower, bathrooms and hot days. A long with a good pair of shoes, they need good quality pairs of socks. The socks should be warm, cushy, cool and comfy. Popular shoe brands are Asolo, Danner, Garmont, and Merrel. The price of shoes varies greatly depending on various attributes and brands.

 

 

Hand Held devices

 

These are great for travelling, especially during long flights, layovers and idle moments. These are also great for those hours doing nothing. There are many devices that are available to buy for example iPod, iPad, gaming devices (PSP, Nintendo DS), mp3 players, and kindles. When choosing the best device to buy consider: the battery life; the storage space, practicality and price. The price of the device depends on brand, memory storage space, quality and popularity.

 

 

Books

 

Books are perfect gifts for travelers. The best books will be the ones that deal with travel for example guidebooks, language books or fictional novels that will inspire the volunteer during their work. Apart from inspiration and education they could also be for entertainment. When choosing a book to buy, get a book that the volunteer loves to read. Example of books that could be bought are: Lonely planet guidebooks, the gap year book, the complete guide to the gap year, How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Abroad, and Green Volunteers: The World Guide to Voluntary Work in Nature Conservation. These books can be easily gotten from Amazon and EBay.

Cameras

 

Every volunteer wants to document their journey and their adventure through photographs and videos. Getting a good camera that would last the period of their work and is of high quality. Good cameras should have: a good megapixel count, image quality, shutter speed, great LCD screens, ergonomic and style. The most common brands are cannons, Sony, Samsung, Nikkon and Kodak. The price varies with the brand and a number of other factors.

 

 

 

 

Volunteer Abroad Scams

Volunteer Abroad Scams
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Volunteers who are abroad like other travelers are bound to fall victim of scams. There are people who are out there looking for ways to take advantage of unsuspecting travelers. They come up with lies and scams to steal money from volunteers who are abroad. As an international volunteer it is wise to be aware of the scams are out there and to avoid them. This article is to help current and potential volunteers to avoid being scammed or taken advantage of while they are abroad. Here are common scams and how to avoid them when the volunteers are going abroad:

Volunteer service organizations

Volunteer service organizations; companies; ethical travel companies; travel agents are all great organizations that help individuals to go to volunteer abroad. They take care of everything for the volunteers, from accommodation, meals to the project they will be working in. For the volunteers who agree to use these organizations should be cautious as there are organizations out there that run scams. These organizations come up with volunteer programs or projects that have no value to the volunteers. They charge volunteers high fees and they leave the volunteer to take care of themselves. The volunteers find themselves in a host country without any support, poor services and dealing with unprofessionalism. To avoid such scams, the volunteers should vet each organization that they choose to use carefully, talk to past volunteers and listen to other peoples recommendations.

Taxi scams

Every traveler has fallen victim to this scam. This scam is common because many of the volunteers are new to the country and they are not aware of the fares. This normally happens when they board a taxi and they are overcharged by the driver. The common lies the taxi driver tells volunteers are the meter is broken; doesnt take the volunteer to his destination claiming that they have forgotten where the place is; and they inflate the taxi fare. To avoid these scams: use a reputable company; use taxi stands; go by the meter; ask a tourist or a hotel, hostel for fares and recommendations; get the price upfront before boarding; and carry small bills. Apart from taxi scams, volunteers might have problems paying for fares in public or private buses. The conductors and the drivers conspire to overcharge the volunteers. To avoid this before the volunteers boards the bus they should find out how much it costs and carry small bills only.

Credit card scams

This happens everywhere but it is more common in Europe. These scams occur when the volunteer swipes his credit card on a tiny machine which records information from the cards magnetic strip. These machines are cheap and easy to buy. With the volunteers information fraudsters or scammers wait for a couple of months and they start swindling money from the volunteers or in some cases they start swindling money as soon as possible. The people who are behind the scams are waiters and shopkeepers. Other ways of credit card scams are through: stolen credit cards, ATMs which swallow credit cards; and fraudulent people who stand by ATMs claiming to be bank officials. To avoid being scammed this way, the volunteers should use credit cards as opposed to debit cards because it is easier to recover the money that has been lost. In addition, the volunteers should immediately report any stolen cards and suspicious activity of their bank accounts.

Negotiate

When the volunteer is about to buy an item they should realize that the seller will try to take advantage for them because they are foreigners. The shopkeepers normally inflate the price up to four times because they know the volunteers do not know the actual price. As a result the volunteers should always haggle or negotiate to get the best price. As a principle the volunteers should ask for a quarter of the asking price this way the seller will know they are not new to that place. Also the volunteer should say they have been to that country a number of times and that they are new to the area.