Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

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9.2 / 10 after 312 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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Positives: I went through IFRE for a three week volunteer program in Uganda. IFRE was very good at answering my questions and making a necessary program adjustment before I arrived in Uganda. In addition, my contact/host in Uganda, Herman, emailed me and made numerous Facebook posts to me prior to my departure, which definitely aided in my overall comfort. He was at the airport waiting me for my arrival. Herman is very likeable, friendly and easy to get along with. Both he and his wife were extremely hospitable and kind. They were able to answer most questions for directions and cultural queries quite well. My program, the school I taught at, couldn't have been more welcoming. They gave me the flexibility to teach what/how I wanted and were good about helping to make my volunteer experience as impactful as possible. The kids were outstanding and fun to work with and I can honestly say it was an unforgettable experience overall. People in general, in Uganda, were extremely welcoming, honest, and friendly. Kampala is a fun city to be in and well located to make excursions to various destinations. I was also able to spend a little time getting away from Kampala to see some of the incredible natural sites in Uganda.
Potential negatives: The city of Kampala is both very congested and dusty which might be off-putting to some. Ugandans, generally, think most Westerners are rich and often make unwelcome financial advances so expect to haggle for acceptable prices and have to tell a lot of people "no". School days in Uganda are long (10-12 hours) and some volunteers may not have the stamina for it...but can be worked around. Western cultural norms such as homosexuality, being non-religious, equal rights for women and being childless are not well understood/accepted.
Overall: IFRE is a good option for those who want a certain level of comfort, communication and accomodation but do not want to break the bank with some of the higher-end volunteer orgs. Uganda is a recommended choice for those who wish to explore the beauty of Eastern Africa as a volunteer.

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Posted: March 26, 2010
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
9
By: Anonymous
Age:

IFRE along with my host family Frederick and Hannah have done a great job make this program the best it can be. I found the process of applying very easy and I truly feel like I have gotten my moneys worth. The project is organized, my host family has been unbelievably warm and welcoming, and I've been able to get out and do some side trips on my own to really experience Tanzania. I would highly recommend this program to others.

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Posted: January 26, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Anonymous
Age:

I spent 8 weeks at a health clinic in Uganda and it truly was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
I combined this placement with my university studies and both the staff at the clinic and my supervisor were extremely supportive, assisting me in any way they could, including filling out numerous forms etc required by my university.
I leanrt many things that will assist me in my future medcal career but I also learnt many valuable life lessons. My host family welcomed me into their home and introduced me to the Ugandan lifestyle and customs. In addition to this I also made some life long friends.
It certainly was a once in a life time experience and one which I will treasure forever.

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Posted: December 14, 2009
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: Anonymous
Age:

I worked at a school for poor children and sometimes volunteered at an orphanage. It was a great experience, it was tough too, and devastating to hear some of these children's stories - it makes you feel grateful for everything you've got. The staff at the school and the host family were all lovely, welcoming and open. It wasn't too formal, we had a lot of fun together. Anyone considering dong volunteer work should definitely try this programme - don't expect luxury, this is africa, but expect warmth and joy.

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Posted: December 8, 2009
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
8
By: Anonymous
Age:

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