Latest Program Reviews

Over 200 Programs and more than 2,000 Reviews

Frontier

Even though I was only on this project (Greece Turtle Conservation) for two weeks I feel like it has made me grow into a more independent person. The project has allowed me to experience and learn new things, such as relocating nests which are too close to the sea (under 18m) and experience a night survey, when the turtles come out to lay their eggs. I have met great new people which I probably wouldn’t have met back home but that’s part of it. It’s a nice change.

My favourite part of the experience is a tough one; I can’t say I have actually disliked any of the things I have got involved in, but as I have said before the night survey was a great opportunity to help with the tagging of any turtles which have laid their eggs.

We may have had to walk a few miles along the beach every morning to check if there was any new nests laid the night before but to be quite honest I really enjoyed it, what’s wrong with walking along the beach and watching the sun rise every morning. Oh and ofcourse the daydreaming while you walk is great too, just watch where you are walking.

The best advice I could give a new volunteer would be to be prepared for walking along the beach for a varied amount of time and possibly in the heat. Also to bring lots of plasters, you will cut yourself at some point! And lastly work hard.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Greece
Posted: Jul 20, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Cross-Cultural Solutions

What an enjoyable, amazing experience I had as a Cross-Cultural Solutions volunteer in Rabat, Morocco. Home Base was so comfortable. That entire staff was always so accommodating. It was very comfortable, I always felt safe, and any questions I had were always answered. It was really a pleasure to volunteer teaching English. While working with each student and school administrators it was a great opportunity to share in cultural stories, and have fun during the entire process and time there. Although in a volunteer-teaching role, I learned so much!!

What a beautiful place and wonderful people; and I look forward to returning. I feel so fortunate to be able to volunteer in general. But the opportunity to volunteer abroad and have exposure to different cultures reminds me of our sameness, and also how much bigger our purposes are here. I am humbled and blessed.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jul 20, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Alliance for African Women Initiative (AFAWI)

I was with AFAWI for a month, working on the Livelihood project. AFAWI's approach is very interesting, as it links its different projects together, making the support it gives to the beneficiaries very comprehensive. The Livelihood project is more than just a programme that gives out loans: it seeks to give individualised help through business training and monitoring, to ensure that the money that women receive is indeed having a positive impact on their life. As a volunteer, you are actively involved in all aspects of the project, from planning to fundraising to fieldwork, and once you settle in (which happens very fast), you have the freedom to choose the areas you prefer to work in and organise your own schedule. The people you work with are dedicated and helpful, and always welcome your opinions and inputs with an open mind. Working with this small yet dynamic NGO has really allowed me to see how vibrant and exciting Ghana is. I would recommend this experience to everyone, but for a longer stay than mine.

Program:
Location: Ghana
Posted: Jul 20, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
8

The Intern Group

Within this review you will find out about the horrible experience I had with The Intern Group during my summer internship in 2014. This company used deceptive marketing to lure in interns & did not deliver on their promises. The directors of this program were not responsive when I dealt with severe issues with my accommodations during my 2-month stay in Hong Kong. After speaking with several other unhappy interns on this same program, I feel that a warning is in order for future interns considering The Intern Group for their internship abroad program.

For a brief background, I am an honors student at Georgia State University in the US, majoring in accounting in finance. After meeting with my university about several different options, I decided to go with the internship abroad, due to it being my junior year, which is the prime time to gain internship experience before graduating next year. I did extensive research comparing the cost & experience of each company around the world. I started to realize that many of the internship companies I researched did not include group excursions, and those that did were very expensive. Then I stumbled upon The Intern Group, a “reasonably” priced company that facilitated internships in several countries around the world AND included excursions. Sounded perfect! However, the experience I got was absolutely horrifying and ended with me throwing away all of my belongings upon returning to the states.

To begin my review I will start with the most relevant piece of information regarding the “top-quality” internships that the Intern Group provides. During my time in Hong Kong, I got to know several other interns on the program. After speaking to everyone about his or her internship, I found that everyone seemed to feel unchallenged, unhappy, and taken advantage of. In my personal situation, I had asked the Intern Group to provide me with a large financial company, preferably with a presence in the United States. What I received was position in a start-up insurance brokerage that only had 2 employees. I gave them 6 months to facilitate this internship….

The Intern Group claims to have several connections around the world with top companies in various fields. However, I didn’t come across a single intern on my program that was with a reputable company. Near the end of my stay in Hong Kong, I asked my employer about how the Intern Group approached him about taking me on as an intern. He told me that the director, Krystal Lee, met with him and simply asked, “Do you want a free intern this summer?” . Wow, I could’ve done that. A huge portion of the Intern Group’s program fee is the internship facilitation & the accomodations. However, for the upcharge I spent on the “facilitation of the internship”, I could’ve stayed in luxury hotel for the entire two months with free breakfast!

Now I will discuss the bed bugs; a problem that not only greatly affected me, but also affected everyone in my life back home. During my research stage, I found several photos on the Intern Group website displaying western accommodations; double beds, a huge kitchen, and modern appliances. The website has since been changed due to Upon arrival in Hong Kong, I walked into the apartment they chose for me and was shocked. The building looked and smelled approximately 100 years old, one of the rooms had bunk beds, and the entire apartment was approximately 400 square feet. I didn’t complain, however, and stayed in the flat for about 5 weeks. For these few weeks I was getting severe bites all over my body; my ankles, shoulders and arms! Some of the bites are still on my body and look like they are going to scar. Since I have never dealt with bed bugs, I attributed the bites to mosquitoes, thinking they must’ve gotten into the flat through the bathroom fan (which was exposed to outside and unable to be closed). However, when I started noticing black & yellow debris all over my bed, I started to get worried. I started googling, and immediately found out that I was dealing with bed bugs. I did thorough research into bedbugs to find out the severity of the issue I was dealing with. The results were unsettling. I searched my bed and found several casings of bed bugs and was completely disgusted. I found that bed bugs were treated in several methods, but the most effective was through hiring a professional fumigation company, then a cleaning service to remove any eggs that weren’t killed during fumigation. I read terrible reviews online about people that used cheap bug bombs or mattress protectors, and found that these methods almost always resulted in the issue persisting for several months. I relayed my research to the Hong Kong director, Krystal Lee, and the manager of directors for the Intern Group, Andrew Prachuablarb. I laid out exactly what I expected from the company in terms of dealing with the situation effectively, I did spend $7000 for this program, after all.

They responded by telling me I had to wait until the morning to be moved to a temporary flat and that they would “take care” of the issue. After the first night in the temporary flat, they emailed me saying they had taken care of the bed bugs using a cheap bug bomb and the company refused to clean the apartment, even the mattress!!!! Based on my previous research, I refused to re-enter the apartment until it had been properly fumigated/cleaned. Again, they refused to live up to this standard. They decided to move us into a different flat, and told my roommate and I to collect our belongings form the infested flat. While this sounds like they did a great thing, since the fumigation company didn’t treat our belongings, we were simply moving the unhatched eggs to the new flat!! Sure enough, I started finding bed bugs left and right in the new apartment and they schedule ed a “consultation” with a fumigation company. They treated me as if I was over-reacting to the situation, even though I had bites on my body to prove I was being bit. They told me I had to find a bed bug upon command, like they were just conveniently sitting around for me to find. After finding out that it was 20,000 HKD for treatment, they decided to take the cheap way out and give me a heat machine that I could treat my belongings in cycles. However, a mattress can’t fit into a heat machine….I can’t put the cracks and baseboards where bedbugs linger into the heat machine. It was a temporary fix to shut me up for the remaining few weeks of my stay. Not to mention, I found out that they moved new interns into the old flat with bed bugs the week after I left! I quickly warned them of the situation. The day I was leaving, I woke up to two adult bed bugs crawling towards me right when I woke up. The experience was absolutely revolting.

Upon my departure to return home, I had to throw away all of the clothes I had with me to ensure I didn’t bring the bugs back home. My parents back home were sick with worry and laid out a detailed plan to prevent me bringing the bugs, which involved, throwing away my suitcases at the airport, staying in a hotel, and doing a lengthy RID treatment through my hair to ensure I didn’t have eggs near the roots. This not only caused a financial burden on my family, but also gave them emotional distress when I returned home.

While communication was a huge issue, the program itself also had several flaws. The excursions that were promised on the website conveniently changed upon my arrival to three, rather than the four that I paid for. “Dinner with a View at Victoria’s Peak” turned into just a dinner, since they chose such a foggy night to take us up there. I felt like I was utterly trapped for two months with no way out and the responses I received were always questioning and unhelpful. The practices of the Intern Group during this ordeal were extremely unpleasant. Each time I tried to contact one the THREE employees in Hong Kong I was left either ignored or dissatisfied. After I left, I informed the interns that were moving straight into my infested flat about the bed bug situation. I found out that one week later, the intern group sent out a message saying that the bugs were determined to be cockroaches brought in from the US. Trying to blame ME for the infestation.

I have never dealt with a such an unprofessional company. Buyer Beware & Good Luck.

Program:
Location: China
Posted: Jul 20, 2014
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Agency for Internship in India (AII)

Hi everyone
I’m happy to share my emotions about my experience in India. Thanks for AII I lived in India for two months. During this time I was studying English (it was reason why I came India), travelling a lot, enjoyed Photographer Course and learning Indian culture. I’ m very much obliged my organization for: invitation, my host family and a lot of new friends from different country that I have met there. Before India I couldn’t speak English but now I feel confident myself. It was really good experience that opened new opportunities for me. I hope to come back India soon.

Program:
Location: India
Posted: Jul 18, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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