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CEA - Cultural Experiences Abroad

It is truly ashame to charge parents the ridiculous amount for this program. The lack of orientation is by far none. The welcoming staff barely speaks English and was never seen again for four months . Your staff at CEA in Italy gave no through orientation or bare guidance to students.Your professors rude and condescending to students. When coming from a accredited University in the US to this program, one fines it lacks the respect between professor and student. As a parent paying 17k for this program , your level of staff should be professional and up to standard.

Your housing for students and housekeeping is bare minimum , leaving students to fend for themselves in a foreign country. Example : a rodent problem or an electric problem, no guidance or staff member is available to students. God Forbid, if there is a true emergency!!
The housekeeping staff showed up for 8 minutes and left. No issue for young adults to clean up after themselves but not acceptable when advised no major cleaning is needed and that it is taken care of. Instead at check out parents and students are left to major clean the housing themselves so it is left in acceptable standard or even better.
Items promised were never in the apartment., printer none, a poor internet connection for the number of students in the apartment .

If your college student is accustomed to professional level of education , please do not sign them up for this program. It is costly and not run professionally!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Italy
Posted: Dec 22, 2014
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I spent an amazing 8 weeks in Quito, Ecuador volunteering in the health care programs. I got to visit lots of amazing places and had incredible experiences in my free time and while volunteering. The people in Ecuador are super friendly and became great friends with many people all over the country. I also grew very close with my host family and have memories that I will never forget with them. Those 8 weeks were by far the most incredible weeks of my entire life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Dec 21, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I was pleasantly surprised how nice it was to be without internet access at the national park in Peru. I had such an amazing time getting back into my body's natural rhythm, waking up at 6am with the sun and going to bed around 8pm! :)
You need to bring ALL biodegradable substances: shampoo, toothpaste, and bug spray. However, you can also support the program by buying their products once you arrive. They sell all three of these products there for 40 soles.
I had a truly eye opening 2 weeks and I have A Broader View to thanks. I learned so much from being in the jungle, and it really changed the way I think about the World. I hope I can use this experience to help better my own country!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Dec 21, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Beacon of Hope Uganda

I’ve always had a keen desire to explore the world and Africa had always intrigued me.

I began searching for volunteer programs but it was not easy. I read about so many different programs but none of them felt right, until I read about the Beacon of Hope Uganda. The main reason I was attracted to Beacon of Hope Uganda was that it is a non-profit organization run by Ugandans. I have seen and experienced first-hand that the most successful community development projects are those run by natives themselves.

Isaac is the founder and main director of Beacon of Hope Uganda (He refers to himself as the “Independent Rural Development Expert”), indeed he is… he has a genuine understanding of the needs of the people in Mukono, which makes the organization sustainable.

My experience with Beacon of Hope Uganda was so incredible that it’s hard to find words to give justice to everything I gained from working with the people in Mukono. I had a countless of experiences while volunteering with Beacon of Hope Uganda that were very passionate for me.

The family was so lovely and welcoming. Despite the hole in the ground (pit latrine) which was the toilet and the bucket of water for bathing, I always felt at home. It was a special place full of comfort and love.

Most of my volunteer work was in the field. We would journey out to neighboring villages, sometimes walking for hours through banana plantations, to do community outreach. We visited the family homes of the children who attended the after-school program, where I also taught.

The most significant change was that my purpose and understanding of my role as a teacher became clearer. I no longer saw myself as a teacher with restrictions or limitations. I realized that I am a teacher not just in my classroom but in this world. I realized that teaching is about exploring, learning, and embarking on a collaborative journey of knowledge with both the people and environment that surround me. Being a volunteer in Uganda with Beacon of Hope Uganda made me realize this. Thank you Isaac and thank you team Beacon of Hope Uganda.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Uganda
Posted: Dec 21, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

My 8 weeks in Madagascar on the project really tested me to my maximum. Being only 17 and never having been this long away from my family was always going to be difficult but it was totally worth it. This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I feel lucky to have been able to do it.

I was part of the marine project and did my PADI courses in Madagascar and honestly I don't think there would have been a better place to do it. My instructors Gin and Pete were both great and the cost of the courses is a lot cheaper than in other places. To complete my advanced open water training we had to take a 1 hour boat ride to the small island of Tanikely which is a protected marine reserve which hasn't been fished in since 2011. Since our dive sites are not very deep, Tanikely was the where we had to do our deep dive. All I can say about it is that it was truly paradise! The water was crystal clear and the visibility was around 18m! Due to no fishing, the marine biodiversity there was insane and you saw all kinds of marine life. Huge fish, turtles, seas cucumbers, giant corals... it was just spectacular.

I didn't realize how lucky i was when I arrived as I was there during the time the whale-sharks migrate along the Mozambique Channel. That meant that on our second weekend we got to go snorkeling with whale-sharks which was truly breathtaking. After lunch on Nosy Sakatia, we went out again but to a shallow sea weedy area where we snorkeled with turtles. But they were truly massive turtles and i was surprised we saw such massive ones. All in all it was a great day.

On camp, most days would start out the same. We would wake up around 6am and leave for our dive by 7am. There's truly nothing better than an early morning dive! We would return to camp between 9 and 10 and it would usually be quite empty since the foresters would be out on their walks. It was quite nice having camp that empty for a while where you can just eat, lie in the hammocks or write down data in peace... Once we passed our species tests we would be allowed to start surveying in the water which was quite exciting. Learning the fish wasn't too hard since they have very straight forward and obvious names ( like 'scissor tail sergeant fish') whereas the invertebrates were all latin names making them a lot harder to remember.

Camp life was a new experience. We slept in wooden huts where we will have set up our mats and mosquito nets. I didn't really use my sleeping bag in the nights since almost every night it was simply too hot. The camp's floor is just sand so if you're not keen on constantly having sandy feet or walking around barefoot all the time then it's not for you. Rice and beans was the standard meal for lunch and dinner which was actually a lot better than i thought it would be since it was mixed with fried vegetables and tomato sauce although you should bring some spices or ketchup or something to give your beans some flavor since they can be quite bland. Dinner was sometimes something else than rice and beans though. Thursday nights was steak night where we would have chips and Zebu meat which are the cows in Madagascar. Monday night was omelette night and on Tuesdays and Fridays I often went to Victor's for dinner. Victor is our local boat driver and every week he would make dinner for whoever wanted to go for. His food was amazing though so I always went there. For breakfast we would eat a rice pudding or annoying else we bought in town.

All in all it was an unforgettable experience and i would highly recommend it to everyone. The people I met there have become close friends and I'm glad i was able to share my experience with them.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Dec 20, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8

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