Latest Program Reviews

Over 300 Programs and more than 3,000 Reviews

Forum Nexus

I had a great time with Forum Nexus last summer. Learned a lot of things, made a lot of friends. Some of them turned to be extremely closed to me. It's a very cool way to learn about culture, business and team working skills. I highly recommend Forum Nexus for a summer. What's better than getting educated while traveling .

Program: Study Abroad
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: Apr 29, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

AFS

Please, please, please if you are a student considering an exchange with AFS, or have already decided to use AFS, read this.
I'm not some kind of spammer, or someone from another company trying to prevent you from using this company, I'm a student too, who last year went with AFS on a year long exchange to Malaysia.
In hindsight, I understand that Malaysia is an out there, unusual destination, and of course it was not going to be easy, but it wasn't the cultural differences that made my exchange such an awful experience, it was AFS's way of dealing, with pretty much anything, that made it so bad.
This company uses volunteers for practically everything. Your host family, your Chapter Leaders, your co-ordinators, everyone is doing it for free. This, in theory sounds like a lovely idea, but it's not.
I lived with two different host families, and I found that after a month or so of living with a host-family that you do not pay, you become nothing more than a burden to them. The whole concept of letting someone live in your house for free is much worse than what you would expect. For my family, the idea of taking me out and showing me Malaysia became tiring to them, pretty soon they began to resent me, as they had to drive me to places, feed me and let me use their power, for nothing in return.
You might think that this was just a bad host-family, but, after three months I couldn't stand the guilt of living with people who resented me, and I decided to move. But within two months, the exact same thing began to happen.
It's not hard to understand that if a host-family were being paid to take care of a student, they would try their hardest to make it a good, and worthwhile experience for them. It's unfair to dump a stranger on a family who has nothing supporting them but their own goodwill.

Chapter Leaders, the people in charge of looking after you, helping you, and organising various events and social gatherings, are also volunteers. My Chapter Leader, who seemed to be one of the best in the country, according to all other exchange students, was an old woman with a full time job who lived three hours away from me.
She was truly a lovely lady, but she was too busy to ever really organise anything, and often we did not have enough money to do anything worthwhile. In Malaysia especially, it was hard to do anything without someone else organising it for you, over there, and most likely in similar countries, you can't simply go out and do your own thing, hell I couldn't even go for a walk down the street by myself.

I don't want to rant on, but please, please, please if you are reading this, consider another exchange company.
My dad was a very stubborn man, and he would not let me switch to a different company, or to another country, don't let your parents be like mine!!!
It has ruined my life, I feel so silly for wasting so much money and effort on an experience so miserable. PLEASE DON'T GO WITH THIS COMPANY!!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Malaysia
Posted: Apr 27, 2016
Overall:
2
Support:
1
Value:
1

AIFS - American Institute For Foreign Study

I enjoyed my trip abroad immensely. I went to Berlin for four weeks during the summer of 2014. I took a class called "Land in the City, Green in the City" that explored the numerous ways that Berlin incorporated different plant life into their infrastructures. We visited roof top gardens, the forests and gardens in and around the city, buildings that had greenery growing on both the in and outsides of the walls. It was so much fun being able to explore the city in a more academic setting and then to be able to go out later and view it though a different lens.We also went on trips to Dresden, Potsdam, and to Prague. I am so happy that we did go on those excursions, because I probably wouldn't have left Berlin. I was that excited just to explore it. Our director was amazing and was always just a call away. She helped us with any medical issue, from one girl getting 18/20 of us sick with a 48 hour cold, to one of the guys getting a dry socket from flying after getting his wisdom teeth out a few days prior. They gave us meal tickets to buy food around town and in the dining hall, and our apartments were great. They were very simple, but I found it was mostly a place to sleep and to shower in, so simple worked out very nice.
10/10 would definitely do it again if I could.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Germany
Posted: Apr 27, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Sol Abroad

There's no way possible to write a review that can accurately capture the marvelous experience that is SOL. I actually studied abroad in Costa Rica the semester before going to Mexico, and they were both fantastic! They're completely different, but both worth every minute. The program is extremely affordable yet still manages to offer everything a student studying abroad could imagine: cultural activities, excursions, immersion, awesome classes, and fantastic teachers. The support system is incredible as well! Sol also lets you basically design your own program. You choose your classes, housing situation (if you want apartment, dorm, or host family), and activities. Sol really sets you up to experience the cultural in a way that works for you yet also brings you to a higher level of confidence and independence. I highly recommend Sol Education Abroad for any level of Spanish speaker and world explorer!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Mexico
Posted: Apr 26, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Green Life Volunteers

I volunteered on the Sea Turtle conservation project via Green Life Volunteers and absolutely loved my experience.

I was travelling alone, and was a bit worried about finding my way to the remote location where the Sea Turtle project was. I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Janina, the program coordinator made sure to answer all my questions and send me all the information I needed. During the months previous to my departure, we exchanged many emails and I felt reassured by her quick and informative responses. The location of the project was quite far from my original destination in San José, however there was someone from the project to help me along at every step of the way. Someone picked me up form the airport, I then had someone from the project brief me and answer any additional question I may have and then bring me to the bus station. There was then another person from the project to meet me as I transfered buses...I felt very safe.

The project itself was not exactly as I imagined, but I kept an open mind which I think is a very important thing to do when going to this type of project. The area was indeed very remote as I had been told. It was the leatherback sea turtle nesting season. We did some work during the day- which was kept short as it was so incredibly hot and we mostly worked by night. this is important to know about working with nesting Sea Turtles. You will be up most of the night. You NEED to be in shape. I consider myself someone of great shape and was sometimes out of breath. You patrol in complete darkness (the turtles don't like white light) and walk quite a few kilometres per patrol. The sand is soft and the jungle is full of fallen trees, it's not a simple walk on the beach But you get to appreciate the beauty of Costa Rica at night, clear skies full of shooting stars and fireflies so bright they hurt your eyes and glow in the dark plankton at your feet!

Maybe it's hard work- but there's nothing as exciting and as rewarding as finding a nesting turtle and then making sure that her eggs are safely collected and counted and returned to the hatchery for safe keeping. Poachers are real, and we had some nest stolen while I was at the project and it was absolutely heart breaking. My favorite moment was helping a turtle with a missing back flipper lay her eggs...she couldn't grab on to the edges of her nest so our patrol leader helped us build a sand ledge for her so she could grip on and it worked!

I met so many wonderful people during this project, people who love animals and love travelling. People willing to give their free time to a great cause.

Some advice to appreciate this experience even more. Bring bug spray, a lot of it. You will need to wear it, the mosquitos will bite you. At some point you will realize that there isn't much you can do. They were biting me through my clothes but luckily I had some bite soothing cream. Bring towelettes- sometimes there is no running water and you will be sweaty and dirty. And bring snacks, We received 3 wonderful meals a day, but sometimes as you work nights and it's quite physical work, you do get a little hungry!

I would strongly suggest experiencing this amazing adventure. It will most likely be one of the best moments of your life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Apr 26, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

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