Latest Program Reviews

Over 200 Programs and more than 2,000 Reviews

Frontier

Madagascar is amazing. Simple as that. I was part of the adventure programme in north Madagascar which splits where my trip split into three weeks of marine, then forest, teaching and a week of my choice. The marine programme consisted of diving near enough everyday at a range of great locations including a protected marine area a few times. Staff were great for learning my advanced in country as well as the science surveys that were main focus of most dives were fun and the whole science basis of the whole project I found really interesting. Forest was in the same vein of a science basis and the range of walks, sites and types of surveys done didn't make the whole section tedious. With the teaching it was different to either of the other sections due to staying in town instead of the camp and with the range of age groups taught in the local school and the youth clubs, I loved it. I really enjoyed all three and the mix gave a taster of everything. If I came again I would be happy spending all my time in any of these projects. The people on camp both staff and fellow volunteers really made the project brilliant and so much fun made the ten weeks feel like no time at all from party night themes to meals in the local village and general odd conversations. They were great adapting to what I wanted sorting out for my last week and general bits and bobs. Cost wise it's on par with most gap year programmes and in country we were in the most expensive section of Madagascar but it was still pretty cheap. Facilities on camp were good for being so remote and awesome views just outside the camp. Can't particularly fault the camp itself but before actually coming to Madagascar was a pain and a half. Trying to a certain information from frontier about my trip, Times and visas beforehand was an pointless faff with a kitlist that the majority of stuff was pointless and a incorrect field guide and not replying to emails for a couple of weeks made prior travel more stressful than it needed to be. As well as the website having much useful information about the project beforehand. Yet the trip itself was brilliant. Definitely go for it.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Apr 14, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
10

Frontier

Un'belize'able. The only way to describe my experience in Belize scuba diving with Frontier on their marine conservation project.
The project is very conveniently located at Caye Caulker - the base station is a traditionally built wooden station with palms and mangrove trees with a spectacular view for watching the sunset. It's also great to be able to enjoy the hostels and restaurants near the village on the South Island on the weekends.
The work is a great mix of scuba training and scuba surveys, beach clean ups, forest walks and environmental education at the local high school. Social time is swinging in a hammock, volleyball or swimming near the base station. Cooking as a group is enjoyable and sociable; rice and beans is a food staple in Belize and one you will grow to love! Pineapples and papayas are a rare treat when they can be picked up locally. The fresh juices which can be purchased from cafés on the South Island are amazing!
The project staff and local partners are so friendly and helpful and always happy to help.
I would recommend Frontier Belize if you are looking to gain experience on a marine conservation project, to enjoy come Caribbean sunshine and see some amazing marine and forest wildlife!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Apr 13, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

I just completed a two week volunteer abroad program via IFRE and had the pleasure of staying at Deo's in Moshi. A friend of mine and myself worked two weeks at a hospital in the area, and during that same time period we were able to join some other volunteers staying at Deo's house to go play with children at the local orphanage (which is about ~5 minute walk away). The experience has easily been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had while volunteering abroad. From the beginning, Deo and the people he has helping him out at the house make you feel like you are right at home. The bedding is comfortable, the bathrooms are clean (with hot water), and anything you need they will make the effort to produce. Currently there are two individuals who help Deo out at the house, and they take the time to help cook up 3 meals a day, and clean up your rooms regularly. In the short period of time that we have been here, they have already become like family to us. It's convenient to walk into town, there are a few local corner-mart like places right next door, and a great little bar about two blocks over. Additionally it's on a main road that you can catch the public transportation at to be in town in about 5 minutes. Deo himself will stop by fairly regularly, and he has friends throughout town that can drive you wherever you need to be. He himself is a very sociable individual who is always happy to help you out. Kilimanjaro is literally visible from the yard, and if you have a few days in the area there are innumerable opportunities to partake in various activities. Don't hesitate to work in Moshi while staying at Deo's place. It will be an experience that will stick with you indefinitely.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Apr 13, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

I can’t believe my time here in Belize is coming to an end already! The time has flown by but I guess that's what happens when you are having so much fun! I’m very sad to be leaving but am taking many great memories with me like arriving to camp the first time, swimming in the crystal blue waters, my first taste of rice and beans(!) and of course the incredible marine life! Camp life is basic but great fun and Caye Caulker is easy to get to on your free time if you want to do some shopping, get online, or just soak up the laid back Caribbean atmosphere in a hammock on the beach. My trip wouldn’t have been the same without the excellent support and organisation of the Frontier staff, who are so passionate about what they are doing, and the warmth of the locals who are very welcoming and appreciative of the work that is being done here. If you are looking for a project that offers much needed and hugely rewarding work in a paradise location, look no further than Frontier Belize!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Apr 12, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

I participated in this program as a part of my gap year and it turned out to be one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life--my greatest regret now is that I didn't stay for more time. For anyone considering a gap year specifically, a big part of the program that was really special to me as a gap year student was the time allotted to explore Lima independently, particularly given my age and that "between high school and college" feeling. Since I was there for a while, this was an aspect that allowed me to experience a city in a way which was not entirely tourist-y and to feel as though I could learn more about Peru in an organic and self-guided manner.

This is not to say that there was not an incredible amount of support and guidance from the staff that worked there. They take special care to ensure that everyone is comfortable and generally happy and are particularly concerned with securing the safety of all those who participate in the program. They have guards at the house at all times and are always on hand to dispense tips for being careful when going around the city. This is not necessarily because Lima is a particularly violent or dangerous place to be in, but rather, as the volunteers are foreigners in a very large city, thoughtful and pragmatic considerations.

Of course, one of the most important aspects of the program was the volunteering. I worked at a government daycare for children from families at the poverty line, and it was an extraordinary experience. I was able to form relationships with the teachers/staff, children, and abuelos there that I still continue to have. CCS ensured that I had access to materials for the classroom and other things I requested--they did an excellent job with placement for me. That having been said, for those seeking a volunteering experience that deals more with physical labor such as house-building or well-digging, this may not be what you expect. That's not to say that corralling twenty to thirty children under the hot sun is not exhausting, but my volunteer experience was one which demanded a slightly different skill set yet nonetheless was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, and I think for that reason ought to be given the same consideration for anybody looking to volunteer abroad.

Consequently, I highly recommend a stint with CCS Peru because of the excellent balance it strikes between structure and freedom, the care and attentiveness of the staff, the attention paid to the safety of its volunteers, and the unbelievably rewarding volunteer work available. I can't wait to go back!

Program:
Location: Peru
Posted: Apr 11, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Pages