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Council on International Educational Exchange

This turned out to be an almost complete waste of money. The program coordinator made rules that were never listed in the pre-program information. He did not allow the kids to be out without the host parents. This led to hours and hours (11) spent in the apartment when there was no school and the parents had to work. When I contacted CIEE they claimed they had spoken with him and fixed the situation. This turned out to be false.

The host parents didn't want to break the rules and get in trouble with the program. My daughter didn't want to break the rules and risk getting sent home. About 25% of her time in Spain was robbed from her, of course CIEE has not offered to give back 25% of the money. If I had felt she couldn't be independent in Spain, I never would have sent her.

I even sent them a copy of their own paperwork that we had to sign stating the student must keep host parents informed of his/her whereabouts at all time.

Just very disappointing for a quarter of this program being spent as a prisoner and being treated as a toddler.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Spain
Posted: Jun 24, 2017
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

I am Nadja from Norway and I joined RCDP international volunteering program in Sri Lanka, Galle, at the orphanage for children.

The children at the orphanage are incredibly kind, thoughtful and beautiful. After just three days I had gotten really attached to the kids and started wondering how I would manage to leave them. During my stay I have seen their kindness close up. I have seen the oldest kids look after the younger kids. The children at the orphanage are so incredibly beautiful, and they're always smiling, which made me smile the whole time I was there.

I stayed with Michael and his family. They have been wonderful, really kind, helpful and loving. Every time I asked the family about something they did their best to help me. Michael's grandchildren even started teaching me singalese because they wanted to help me.

Michael's wife made such good food, it was incredible. The other volunteers and I started saying that all of the meals
were our favorite meal, because everything tasted so good.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Jun 24, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

Despite the amazing reviews from other volunteers of Projects Abroad, I am devastated to say I have a really horrible one. I was recommended by a friend about this volunteer agent and similar like others, I was expecting a good experience with them. I am a 16 years old international student from Indonesia who lives in New York which means my parents are not in USA and in fact, I live in my school’s dorm. To fill in my 3 months summer break, I decided to enroll for a summer volunteer program and had done enough research about Projects Abroad. I was in contact with their staff named Laura before I enroll and I was told that she resigned. I called the central number to ask questions about the requirements of the project and was told to call directly the Belize embassy about the visa. The Belize embassy told me that I will not need visa to enter Belize as I have a US student visa (F4). Projects Abroad told me that everything was set and I was ready to enroll. On June 15th 2017, after nearly 4 months asking questions about the project, I finally enrolled to the Community and Conservation project in Belize. It was kind of last minute but I have it all prepared before the project started on June 19th 2017. I was in contact with the volunteer advisor, Carlos Orozco, who will prepare me for my departure on the 19th. He was the one who told me the requirements and the packing list as well as the one who connected me with the Projects Abroad Travel Team about my flight arrangements. I was planned to depart on the 18th using United Airlines from New York LaGuardia to Houston and get a connecting flight to Belize and then to Placencia. I have prepared everything and packed everything needed for my project (this means all the legal documents and the materials that Projects Abroad told me) before I departed. Projects Abroad emailed me the e-tickets and itinerary and also mentioned that I will ONLY need a copy of my passport and the copy of the e-ticket in order to board the airplane and that someone will be outside the airport in Belize when I arrived. They told me that they already have many underage volunteers like me beforehand and everything went well. I went to the airport at 3 am in the morning and was NOT allowed to check in and board by United Airlines because I was missing a NOTARIZED PARENT CONSENT (notarized not electrically signed) which is required by the Belize government in order for a minor like me to travel. I was surprised and confused as PROJECTS ABROAD DIDN’T TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT THE NOTARIZED LEGAL CONSENT. I called the emergency number of projects abroad immediately and a staff told me to wait as she will contact the center which is still closed because it was still 3 am in the morning. I had to wait in the airport for 4 hours alone and NONE of the projects abroad staffs called me. The emergency staff told me that she will try to change my flights and move me to another project which is Mexico or Argentina which my father didn’t allow me because I was left alone at that time. Projects abroad said that they never had this issue beforehand and they will try to have a meeting with the immigration of Belize as they didn’t know anything about the notarized legal consent which is a regulation that Belize government made. However, what I really disappointed in is they HAVENT CONTACTED ME UNTIL NOW. Carlos Orozco, the volunteer advisor contacted me so often before, demand me for the full payment however after the problem arose, he never contacted me NOT EVEN ONCE. My brother also emailed him (Carlos), the center email (info@projectsabroad), and the travel team however, NONE of them replied. My father had to call all the way from Indonesia to Mexico and UK to speak with the CEO as none of the staffs contacted me. I am very disappointed in how they work. They are, indeed, a big agent however this shouldn’t make them feel less responsible of this matter. For other volunteers who want to enroll with them, please be aware.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Jun 24, 2017
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Frontier

My initial impressions and thoughts of this trip have been surpassed by what I have experienced in these past six weeks. As soon as I arrived at the Madagascar base camp I felt a warm welcome, with my fellow travellers, friendly staff and an impressive beach camp. The camp is well segregated into sleeping areas, science space and communal, relaxing area – and in all has a homely feeling.

I was impressed by the organisation of the marine project, and straight away I was involved in the day to day conservation activities (Advanced Open Water course, fish/coral/invertebrate lectures). Thanks to the Marine PI, I managed to go on satellite camp which was the highlight of the trip – amazing diving, great food, great company and a good atmosphere.

The diving in general is great and there is a good variation in marine life in all the sites that we survey which is good in comparatively understanding the degradation of the local coral reefs. I have thoroughly enjoyed my six weeks here and will come back for another frontier trip in marine conservation.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Jun 23, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

I had a pleasant and informative placement in Greece on the turtle conservation project. It's well organised and i left feeling that i had learned a lot and was in a good position to decide if this is a field i want to pursue further in the future. Thanks.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Greece
Posted: Jun 23, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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