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Frontier

I lived in Fiji for 4 weeks as a Teaching Volunteer at Dudley Intermediate School.

3 highlights for me: my family, the food and my class!

I stayed with a Fijian family of 11 during my time in Fiji – there were 8 children between the ages of 6 and 23. Mum, Dad and the family were so welcoming; it was easy to fall in love with them and the Fijian lifestyle. Much of my free time was spent with my family, where we would play games, eat and watch movies together. While I was sad to say goodbye, I have every intention to go back and visit them.

Waking up to a Fijian breakfast and coming home to dinner were two points in the day I always looked forward to. Fijian food is delicious, diverse and always in abundance!

My class was amazing and I love how I was given real responsibility from day one. The experience was fun, challenging and rewarding. A word of warning – Fijian children can be very cheeky. This project is not for the timid!

I would thoroughly recommend this project to anyone thinking of teaching abroad. Frontier has been great throughout my time with them and I look forward to taking part in another one of their projects in the future.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Fiji
Posted: Aug 19, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

Earlier this summer, I participated in the Projects Abroad High School Special in Costa Rica: Care and Conservation. Each week of the two-week program was on an opposite end of the spectrum. The first week was spent volunteering at a San José daycare center for children, Osito Feliz. We spent much of our time painting a mural for the children as well as mentoring them. The kids taught me a lot about appreciating what we have and making the most of each day.

The next week, we traveled four hours away to the Barra Honda National Park. Coming from the urban city of Houston, Texas, the prospect of living in a jungle was a novel concept. Nonetheless, the staff was so welcoming, and they certainly made the most of their living conditions. Seeing their constant positivity and passion for their environmental projects was moving.

When I look back on my experience in Costa Rica, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. The greatest beauty I can recall from my trip is the new adventures I endured— whether that be Costa Rican dance lessons, speaking fluent Spanish for the first time, horseback riding, or watching bats leave their caves at night. While there were certainly some difficulties in terms of the living conditions, I can wholeheartedly say that my time there shaped me for the better.

So, yes. Costa Rica was not glamorous. But it was certainly life-changing. And those challenging adventures are what eventually take us on the path to the individuals we’re meant to become.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Aug 19, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

AFS

We have hosted three students from three different countries, via AFS. Our first student was amazing and our local volunteers in Colorado were also great. I had no issues and no worries. Our second student was also amazing, but our AFS local volunteers in Washington were not very helpful when it came time to transport the AFS students to required AFS activities. This is when I realized that AFS doesn't have any paid staff members to support the AFS students or the AFS host families. Our third AFS student was also great, but she arrived late in September, during a time when AFS pleads with you to host. (we had not planned on hosting this year) This is when I realized that AFS takes families' money from all of the world even through they DON'T have host families arranged. One email we received in September stated that they still had 80 students to place in our region. This makes me very sad for the traveling students and the students' families. AFS told us that if they don't find host families, the AFS students don't get to come to the U.S. and they don't get their deposit money back. This makes me very uncomfortable. Knowing how much money is paid by the sending family, I am wondering where all of that money goes. (I have not yet met an AFS person who is paid).

The one positive piece of AFS is that all three students we hosted were wonderful and we still keep in contact with them today.

We have decided to only host through YFU now, because 1) the YFU staff in my town are full time, local people and 2) there are no long-distance required events I am expected to transport to and 3) we receive a monthly stipend (it's small, but it's nice to receive some kind of thank-you reimbursement).

Program: Study Abroad
Location: USA
Posted: Aug 18, 2014
Overall:
3
Support:
2
Value:
2

Frontier

When I arrived to the camp in Ambalahonko, I was really surprised to see how It was well organized. It exceeded my expectations. We had everything we could need and everything we want to pass a great stay. All staff members were here to help us in any circumstance and they were always cheerful. They created a really nice atmosphere in the camp and It made my trip memorable. We were situated at only few minutes from the primary forest and just few meters from the sea on the beach. Everyday, we could make new discoveries and some of them were absolutely amazing. I was in the marine program, but the staff members didn't have any problem to let me go on night walks with foresters when I had time to. It was really nice to try both even If I chose the marine project. I've stayed in camp for 5 weeks and I saw a lot of cool things! It was almost sure that we could see lemurs, chameleons, turtles, a large diversity of sea animals and a lot of other nice creatures during our stay. We were always in security with Frontier because they made good precautions. I've dived a lot more than I thought I would do and the equipment was in better conditions that what I expected. I was also surprised about food because I thought I would be always eating rice and beans but we could go eat to the village sometimes and there were days like "steak night", "pancakes morning", "fruits breakfast" and communal dinners on sundays. All the staff members and the other volounteers were really patient with me because I was not really good in english and I really progressed during my stay. I also thought that we would be always working hard, but we had time to explore around the camp and play games with our friends. I really enjoyed my trip with Frontier and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see amazing things and all those who wants to be helpful in conserving the environment.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Aug 18, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

RCDP Nepal

The people that run RCDP Nepal are very friendly and always willing to help in the volunteer's needs and requests.
Somethings must be improved, like the pick up service in the airport, that is confusing.
Nepal is a developing country and the infrastructure and general services are really poor. Even tough, people are always smiling and trying to help each other. Their community sense is amazing!
I definitely recommend this life changing program.
We can't change the world, but we can change someone's world.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Aug 18, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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