Frontier

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9 / 10 after 518 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

Frontier has over 300 projects globally, offering unlimited opportunities to volunteer abroad. You could be spending memorable days scuba diving off the brilliant white beaches of Fiji or discovering South Africa on a conservation project with lion cubs! You can learn new skills, gain valuable qualifications and make lifelong friends.

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Overall this project was great. The other volunteers were fantastic, the staff and children at my school were amazing. My coordinator ensured I was working in a class with older children since I would be going on to teach at a secondary school when I returned to the UK, which was lovely.

There were however some issues. There were some ongoing issues with members of staff which created a bit of tension. Our coordinator did not appear to enjoy being in Fiji or working for Frontier. Moreover, the field brief for the project was completely inaccurate and I ended up wasting money on supplies I did not need. The visa situation needs to be emphasized - I came on the wrong visa, as has happened to volunteers in the past, and had to go to New Zealand for a week. I was no reimbursed for that week of my project. It was apparent that communication between London and the project itself was poor, and there is little understanding of what the project needs, although I know they are trying to correct this.

Whilst there were the issues I have mentioned above, I cannot stress enough how wonderful the homestay was, how welcoming my Fijian family were, and how much I loved my time in the school. It was an amazing experience, but I did feel I should mention Frontier's organizational problems.

Program:
Location:
Posted: April 14, 2015
Overall:
7
Support:
5
Value:
5
Age:
22

Comments

Hi Clementine, Thanks for your review and feedback of the project. It’s great to hear that you enjoyed your time in Fiji, it sounds like you gained a lot of practical experience, and the fact that the school were able to accommodate your interests must have made your project even more valuable. In response to your comments about the project coordinator, during the first stages of your project we were in a period of transition. We always strive to hire skilled, dedicated and enthusiastic field staff to move our projects forward, and it is regrettable that you feel that way. As I am sure you are aware, we have recently had many new staff join our Fiji projects who have already made an overwhelmingly positive impression on all of our Fiji-based projects. With regards to visas, this information is available in the project Field Brief. Given the recent changes to the visa process, of which new requirements can be introduced quite unexpectedly, we have been working closely with our field staff on developing this information further. As soon as we are made aware of any changes we endeavour to update the information for all new volunteers. We try to be as helpful as it is in our power to be in the question of visas and all such advice and guidance is given in the utmost good faith. As you know, a member of staff from our London Head Office is currently based in Fiji. We communicate with all our field staff and are kept up to date with everything that is happening on our projects on a daily basis. Thank you again for taking the time to submit your review, we take all feedback very seriously, whatever its nature to help us improve our projects at all levels. We are pleased that you enjoyed your experience in Fiji and wish you all the best in your future endeavours. All the best, The Frontier Team

I have had an amazing time volunteering with Frontier Costa Rica! The location is beautiful, the weather has been perfect, and the people were amazing. Waking up every morning to the call of Howler Monkeys is an experience I will never forget. The jungle is full of new and exciting things to see, from large Coatis and Monkeys to tiny Frogs and Spiders. The coolest animal I saw was the Fer-de-lance snake! Camp was made a really cosy place by all the staff and the volunteers, and I felt at home as soon as I arrived. I am sad that I have to leave but I've got tons of great memories!

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Location:
Posted: April 13, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: George S
Age:
21

I volunteered abroad for Frontier in Costa Rica in March and loved absolutely every second of it. I did things that I have never done before, saw tons of animals that I never would have had the opportunity of seeing in the wild, and saw breath taking views of Costa Rica. The staff were awesome and made me feel very comfortable and at home. The only thing that I didn't like about the project was that I signed up for the Climate Change Project and I didn't really do anything related to climate change. If I knew that that was how it would be, I would have just signed up for the big cats, primates, and turtles project (which is essentially what I did). Nonetheless, I had an amazing experience volunteering abroad with Frontier, which I was I was looking for overall. DEFINITELY CHOOSE ANY COSTA RICA PROJECT OFFERED.

Program:
Location:
Posted: April 8, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
19

Unfortunately, although I had a good time at my placement in Namibia the advertisement for Volunteering at Naankuse was misleading. We were more like glorified farm hands than volunteers who were there to learn and help. I have since submitted my review to the coordinators at Naankuse who by the looks of it from facebook have taken some of my points on board ie mixing up the work. However, we were often left out of what was going on and not given details which would have made the overall experience more engaging, interesting and I would have been willing to go back. Unfortunately this was not the case. I feel it was Frontiers responsibility to advertise this better and make sure they are up to date with what is actually going on at Naankuse.

My next project was in Madagascar, I was a little out of my comfort zone and although the support on the ground was faultless the guys in the office I found distant, once you were a few weeks off from joining the project and once you were on the project.

I had been warned, albeit after I'd paid my money! that Frontier aren't too client focused and have now found they are actually quite expensive. There were hidden costs in Madagascar for extra food and also Naankuse, which meant missing out as I wasn't informed about it and this made it hard to budget for.

I will say this all the guys working on the projects are very passionate, if sometimes a little complacent.

Frontier need to advertise truthfully and be fully client focused and make sure communication is their top priority. Volunteers are paying a lot of money to join these projects & we should not be made to feel like we are just throwing money away.

Unfortunately I won't be using Frontier again.

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 31, 2015
Overall:
3
Support:
7
Value:
2
By: MissVCC
Age:

Comments

Hi Verity, Thank you for your comments, we appreciate all constructive feedback that we receive regarding our projects and we are sorry that you feel some aspects of your trip did not meet your expectations. We take 1000s of volunteers to projects every year and while the overwhelming majority have very successful experiences, there are occasionally times when they are not as successful as they could have been, which is why we have a comprehensive communication and feedback process in place between our participants, field teams and office teams. It is a shame that you did not utilise these communication channels and inform your Volunteer Coordinator of your views during your time on either of the projects, as it would have been taken up with the respective field teams to discuss what the issues may have been and whether any alternative measures were necessary, and we are confident we could have resolved any issues had you done so. Frontier is dedicated to providing support to all of our volunteers at all stages of their projects should volunteers need and request it. Thank you for your feedback on the field staff, it’s great to hear that they made such an impression. It sounds like your overall experience was a positive one. If you have anything further to add then please feel free to contact us directly. Thank you again for your feedback and we wish you well for your future endeavours. Kind regards, The Frontier Team

I took part in the Frontier Madagascar Community Teaching Program for 6 weeks, and Forest Conservation for 1 week, over the months of February and March. I can honestly say it was a life changing experience, and I whole-heartedly and without reservation recommend it to anyone prepared to work hard and have an amazing time.

The project takes place in the town of Hellville, on the island of Nosy-Be off the North-West coast of Madagascar. The community house is very central in its location, being very close to all of the schools and places where volunteers work. I volunteered primarily at a primary school known to locals as "L'école frère," run by catholic nuns, the youth club of Nosy-Be, and a village school near to the Frontier Camp at Ambalahonko. At the catholic school, I taught around 5 or 6 30 minute lessons everyday, teaching them basic english such as body parts, and family members. Each class held around 70 children, which was very intimidating at first! However, in my first week, the community staff member trained me and guided me through how to best and most effectively teach, thus by my second week I was ready and raring to go! It was very rewarding teaching at the catholic school, and a lot of fun. The kids absolutely love the Frontier Volunteers, and always said "'Ello Annah!" whenever I passed them in the street after school and at weekends.

Every Friday, we would go to spend the night at the Frontier Camp at the village of Ambalahonko. It was great fun, and really good to spend time with the Forest and Marine staff members and volunteers. In the afternoon, we taught english at a school in a neighbouring village. Although the children were always quite loud, it was always a great learning experience and lots of fun! The walk there and back through the forest always involved seeing lemurs and eating mangos, which was an added bonus!

By far my favourite part of the project was teaching at the youth club. I taught them three times a week for two hours. It was great because I had a lot of freedom with what I taught them – I started by teaching them about Australia, and then over my 7 weeks covered subjects ranging from music and films to feminism. I really felt I was making a real difference in the lives of those who attended class, and we always had such a good laugh. Some of the students asked me to take extra classes with them, and so starting from my second week, I gave individual help and extra classes in all of my free time. Although it was tiring, I’m so glad I did this, because as a result I made life long friends, and became part of their family. One particular student, benefitted greatly from this extra help, and made it all worthwhile for me. In the beginning, although very strong at English, he lacked confidence in himself, and was too scared to apply for jobs (his dream is to become a tour guide). Over my stay, I made it my personal project to get him to apply for jobs and hopefully to secure one in the future. We worked on his oral skills, English CV and did practice interviews. In my last week, he finally secured an interview for an apprenticeship at the Economic Development Board of Madagascar. After many practice interviews at his house, he went for the interview, and came out having been offered the job! This made all of my hard work worthwhile, and deeply touched me. I also just found out he now also has a tour guide job secured for December.

I'm so glad I decided to take part in the Frontier Community Project in Madagascar. The opportunities that Frontier provided were really awesome, and it was so amazing to actually make a difference in the lives of our students. The work that Frontier does in Madagascar is incredible - it's reflected in the cheery greetings anyone in a Frontier t-shirt receives from any locals wandering past. The support from the staff members was superb, and they made the whole experience so amazing and highly educational. I hope to return very soon.

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 31, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
18

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