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AFS

It never occurred to me that I should check out reviews for this program, and I regret that now. Our daughter was on a scholarship program with AFS to spend a hear of high school in Germany. There were warning signs from the beginning that we should have noticed. During our interview for a host family placement, we were told that our answers to questions such as "Do you prefer a city or village? What kind of activities do you do as a family? What are you family chores at home? were all wrong and that we should change our answers to better suit the program.

Once our daughter arrived in Germany it became clear there were problems with her host family. She ended up being moved around to 4 different families in total, including one that thought she was the au pair being assigned to them. During this whole time any problems were always blamed on her. I will admit she is not perfect and can be difficult, but not the extend that was portrayed. All of the meetings with her supposed advisor were sessions that they would just complain about her and she would get no say in the matter or chance to explain, contribute or ask any questions. Any family problems were things she had to deal with. Reports were also repeatedly mixed up, they would confuse hers with another child's report, so she had no idea what was going on and where some of these complaints were coming from. It took many phone calls and discussions to get cleared up, but it continued to happen with each family. She would be told she had to sign these "contracts" with wrong information on them and told you have to because you don't want to go home.

One liaison she met with at one the schools she attend told her she was a failure for not making the family work (the family were the mother also told her she was a failure for not having a boyfriend). Of course they denied this, but there were teachers and other students present that heard this. One family was given a list of all the problems AFS though were going on with our daughter before she moved in. Again they denied this, but the host family asked about the items on the list with others whom informed us about it.

In the end there was just no support for our daughter. After she tried to work with her AFS contact to fix things with her first family they basically told her to stop complaining and not say anything with the next 3 families. Anything she did do would be seen as complaining and not trying. Everything was very one sided, always the side against her. She was never allowed to really succeed and flourish on the program because she was always under this cloud of you do or say anything and you will be sent home.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Germany
Posted: Feb 5, 2016
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

RCDP Nepal

GOT ROBBED FROM MY ORGANISATION IN KENYA!
read this!!!!!!
This was my secound volunteering, after a great experience last year in India with iSPiiCE now a bad one with RCDP in Kenya.
The preorganisation with RCDP Nepal was good, everything went as requested and i was very excited about my volunteering!
but than the BIG LIE for doing the "most affodable Volunteering"! Its true that the starting cost are low .... but when you are there they try so suck the money out of you!
First the transport cost of the organisation are huge! 50$ for airport pick up - half an houre drive - one way!!! and 75$ to be grought to the projekt in maasailand - one way of course! i payed 250$ for 4 transportations!!! ok you can see it as a donation .....
But than the BIG ROBBERY!!
they organised a safari for me and asked me 600$ garantee the best price because they have sooo good connections!!! At the safari i learnd that i was paying doubble than everybody else (7 people) 300-320$ for the very same tour! A regular price would be like 350$ because 140$ is just entrance at maasai mara and 160$ so for journey and stay! Whey i complained to Barnabas (head organisator) he just said the difference would be for organising and didnt refund me!!! SUCh A BIG RUBBERY i m sooo endless disappointed!!!
But doiing volunteering is a great thing!!!! i can just reccomend to everybody but pay attention with your organisation especcially with RCDP Kenya!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Kenya
Posted: Feb 5, 2016
Overall:
5
Support:
5
Value:
3

Global Crossroad

I volunteered for two weeks in December at an orphanage in Xela, Guatemala with global crossroad. I had an incredible experience! During the planning stages I was a bit apprehensive. By "a bit apprehensive" I mean "extremely petrified!" Lol. As a female travelling alone you can see where I'm coming from. I received a ton of support from the in country coordinators..despite my constant questions! They made me feel at ease every step of the way. Once I arrived in Guatemala I was greeted by one of the in-country staff. She was great! I spent one night with the host family in Guatemala City. My host mother and family were so sweet. The next day I took a bus to xela (about 3.5 hours bus ride). I was driven to the bus stop and she waited with me until I boarded. The bus was really safe and the locals were always willing to lend a helping hand if needed. I arrived in Xela and found it to be such a beautiful city with such a rich culture. My host family in Xela were amazing. The meals were delicious and the living arrangements were comfortable. Despite not being able to speak the language i never felt that there was a language barrier. They're generosity and support made me feel right at home. I enjoyed taking part in their customs and traditions. Some nights they took me out to show me their lovely city. That was awesome! The market and Central Park was a ten minute walk from my home stay. It was very easy to get around despite my inept sense of direction! There's nice little coffee shops and lovely dessert places all around. There's also plenty of Internet cafes, wifi spots, and local travel agencies if you're up for an adventure!

My first day at the orphanage was kind of overwhelming. It breaks your heart to see but at the same time it's an incredible experience. The kids greeted me with smiles, hugs, and kisses. I spent my days playing games, teaching a little bit of math and English, and also taking care of the babies. All the kids were so fun to be around and so unbelievably cute!!! I think one thing to keep in mind when embarking on this sort of journey is that you really have to take initiative. It really is up to you how your experience will be shaped. For me, it is one I'll never forget :)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Feb 4, 2016
Overall:
7
Support:
9
Value:
9

Global Crossroad

Great project! Some troubles with organizing the project, and a few issues on site. Overall a fun time!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Feb 4, 2016
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
7

Global Crossroad

Program:
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Feb 4, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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