Volunteering Abroad with Global Crossroad

It is always not easy to come up while choosing good volunteer abroad organization for your first volunteer abroad experience. It can be a challenging job even if you already have been abroad with some bad volunteer experience.

What people basically consider are things like the reliability of the organization, volunteer programs and their structures and no doubt the cost.

There are different mediums you can go through to find out your suitable volunteer abroad programs and organizations. People normally start to google and there appear the huge store of online reviews. There are thousands of reviews online on any subjects be it restaurants, fashion industry, cities etc. and off-course volunteer abroad. But people are unaware of the legitimacy of the reviews. With growing competition organizations are involved into unhealthy competition. Fake negative reviews are the result to this aspect. Organizations are hiring people to write negative reviews on particular things and programs by their competitors. We can get hundreds of “volunteer abroad scam” reviews on reputed companies. Are they so bad to have nothing positive? May be not. Every company has their working structure and it is almost impossible for company to satisfy every client with all the needs. It is up to the people to make an effort to find legitimate resources. Any company or program doesn’t become good or bad because just some people say something. Reviews do matter but it is you to find out what is better for you. This is fact in recent days that relying only on reviews won’t help you reach to any decision.

“User reviews are a valuable tool that you can use to gauge whether a program will work for you. The main thing to remember when reading them is to trust your instinct. If something sounds too good to be true or completely bad, it probably is, no matter what the reviews say.”


Monday, April 16, 2012

Global Crossroad Volunteer Clare India Review

I arrived in India just to do the 2 weeks Language and Culture program run by Global crossroad but now that its time to leave I wish I could have stayed longer. I have really been looked after well (and fed well) I really don't want to leave. Both John and Abha have been wonderful, no question or request is too big or too small to ask of them and I really-really thank these 2 wonderful people for making my stay in India so amazing. I was quite worried about coming to India alone & as a woman but they really eased me into the country, held my hand so to speak.

Hostel: I don't mind spicy food but a western idea of spicy is far different to the Indian one, but the "cook" suited the food to our `western' palette so there were no problems & it was always delicious. The hostel is new and very-very clean with lovely airy rooms and clean modern facilities i.e. bathroom, kitchen, common room etc. It is the nicest volunteering hostel I have been ever in.

Project: The projects (Anusaran's: Non-formal education for poor children, Adult Literacy prog. and Women's empowerment prog.) seem rather new and John & Abha seem to have a lot of new things coming up. As the projects develop more and more volunteers will be needed to maintain and further develop these projects and getting in now i.e. early would be a great way to become part of plans that will grow and flourish in the near future, VERY REWARDING!

Delhi - Agra - Jaipur Tour: (Delhi Trip): John took us on the Delhi trip personally and a great day was had by all. We covered A LOT of Delhi and it was really nice to have help as getting around can be difficult for tourists. It was fantastic we all arrived back at the hostel after dark and fell into our beds exhausted after a really memorable day. Big thanks to John putting those finely tuned Delhi driving skills to the test in the notoriously bad traffic of Old Delhi. Agra & Jaipur tour was amazing!

Making It More Effective: I think the program is fine however I now believe that to make volunteering worthwhile for the really needy, volunteers should really consider coming for an extended period (4-6 months minimum). This way the volunteers can really give to their projects rather then just get in the way of the teachers and workers who are really devoting their lives to the project.

Thank you for making my stay great!
Clare (Australia)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Global Crossroad Volunteer Quito Review Lisa

I have been in Quito for six weeks now, which I can hardly believe because time has gone so fast! Here is a summary of my time here so far….

I arrived late are Tuesday afternoon, very tired from over 24 hours of travel and more than a little scared to be alone in a completely new country. But I needn’t have wormed because I was met by Fredy, with a big smile and was soon being fed some good food)much better than on the plane= and given a room where I could sleep off my travels.

I then took Spanish lessons with Maria for two weeks. I basically with stared with very little knowledge and by the end of the two weeks I had improved so much. I could start to talk with people, especially Fredy and Maria which is the best way to improve. Maria is a very patient teacher, and I really enjoyed my lessons. Because the classes are so small (in this case , just me) you can go at your own pace, ask lots of questions and talk about things you are interested in.
I feel very lucky that Maria and Fredy are my host family. They are so welcoming and accommodation and have made my time here so far very enjoyable, they were fantastic helping me settle into the two place where I volunteer.

In the mornings, I go to a school for disabled children. The kids are deaf and blind. I divide my time between helping with a class (and learning some sign language) and preparing material for the partially sighted children. The school is very different to my school in England (the teachers here are quite strict) but I am now completely settled there and enjoy my time (apart from getting up at 7 o’clock)

In the afternoons I go to an orphanage home for unwarned mothers. This house is very very poor and it was quite difficult at first. Fredy & Maria arranged for me to talk with the director about what I could do to help there. So now I help the teenagers make chocolate lollies to sell for the home which is rewarding because it is hopefully useful to them. I think I have had some of my hardest experiences there but also some of the best, like seeing the children enjoyment when given pizza as a big treat some things I have seen there will stay with me forever.

So that is about it. I love Quito, which is a very interesting and contrasting city. I am very encouraged by my improvement in Spanish and hope it will continue for the rest of my time here. I recently visited the Oriente (rainforest) and am also now excited about traveling around Ecuador in four weeks time.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Global Crossroad Kaia-Kaire Hunt Nepal Review

I was well transferred to the hostel and extremely satisfied with the first day orientation about my project, program schedule, and host family information and about the situation of Nepal . Hom is a great teacher and I learned so much Nepali as it is possible in one week. I had an excellent opportunity to be the only one student in this class, so the learning was extremely intensive.

All I can say is that the first week was great. I am satisfied with everything. Maybe there could be more sightseeing tours! I was only person at this hostel at that time, so I would like to have somebody else (I mean some other volunteers) to chat with. But instead of that I got the opportunity to sleep as much as I wanted, so it wasn't so bad. To upcoming volunteers I can only recommend to come here.
Kaia-Kaire Hunt

Friday, March 30, 2012

Global Crossroad Volunteer Review India Jessica Mills

I am barely able to put my experience as a volunteer in India into words. Given the opportunity to work in an orphanage and see first hand the difference volunteer work can make, I have come to firmly believe that people can indeed have a great impact on the lives of those in need. The first day that I arrived at the orphanage in New Delhi, India I was immediately greeted with nearly 30 smiling Indian children. While a bit of a language barrier did exist, it did not matter at all. A common language is not needed to convey a hug, a smile, or simply playing, singing, and dancing with each other. In fact, because of the language barrier I felt that my interaction with the children was enhanced. As many of the children have lost their parents at extremely young and vulnerable ages they may not receive the interaction or loving affection most children need at such a young and crucial age. Therefore, by simply singing a song to a toddler or playing a game with a ten-year old, they feel as if someone out there does in fact care about them. Simply showing a child that someone does want to spend time with them, and showing them that they do matter and are important in the world can have a huge life-long impact on children.

The instant connection I made with the children was one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had. While my visit to the orphanage was much shorter than I would have liked it to be, I will never forget their laughter or the way they opened up to me. Most people have seen advertisements for children in need over seas, but it never entirely seems real until you can experience it first hand. Imagine holding the tiny hand of a child who only wants you to smile at them, or simply listen to them. One of the little girls at the orphanage told me how she had a dream to grow up to start her own medical clinic and help poor and sick people in India. Just like all the other children in the orphanage, she is full of aspiration and holds endless amounts of promise. But if no one had ever given her a chance, she could not have the opportunity to go on and do great things with her life. Children need someone to tell them that they can be and do anything that they set their heart and mind to, and that they can make a difference in the world. On that note, this trip has proven to me the ways in which volunteering can affect the lives of so many. While living conditions or the heartache from a life full of misfortune are often hard to change, some things cannot be simply bought but instead given through the help of volunteers. I firmly believe that volunteer work is absolutely crucial in developing nations, and I will never forget the experience that I have had here in India.

Jessica Mills

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Global Crossroad Costa Rica Volunteer Review

Everything with my family was really good. They were really welcoming and I enjoyed playing games with Luis (the son). They were very kind in saying that I can come back to stay with them in 2 weeks. They always tried to include me in things that they were doing. This was good for things such as football matches and family meals together.
Families in Costa Rica are much more open and welcoming to strangers than in most other countries. I was able to go around to other people’s houses and talk to their families. Also, the families are much larger here than in other countries, so I got to meet other members of the family.
Marco was great with helping us volunteer at the orphanage. Danitica was a very good teacher, and very enthusiastic. I loved my homestay and the people I have met in Santa Cecilia, also. Christopher was great on the mini-adventure and patient with us. Thank you.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I had the most heavy warming & unforgettable time in Kenya

I had the most heavy warming & unforgettable time in Kenya, & it would’ve never been possible if I didn’t meet Kenyan coordinator Pastor Ian & his very loving family (wife M.s Edith & Children). I was at home away from home! If I could live there w them forever I would! They were accommodating, The house is always clean & Pastor really care for volunteers. Pastor Ian introduced me to happy life & other organization & made my experience more than I have expected. My project “Happy Life” children home is now part of me & I am very saddened to only be there for 7 wks. I am sure to come back & volunteer there with Global Crossroad & stay with my Kenyan family. Thank you Pastor Ian & Ms Edith, I love you both.

Anna Umali ‘Apple’
Volunteer Kenya
I was volunteering at Kings Kids village after my week of Language and Culture and I really enjoyed it. The children were AMAZING and Molly and John were two of the nicest people you could meet. The language and culture course, I found, was very useful because I was able to learn some of the local language so I was able to communicate better and we went into town a lot so I also knew my way around which helped significantly. I was able to know where to go much more quickly then some of the people who had already been there for 3 weeks but who did not do the course. I also found the local people to be extremely willing to help and very friendly. As well, Ian and Edith were amazing and were also extremely kind people. They were more then willing to offer whatever form of assistance they could in order to you’re your trip more enjoyable.

I miss everyone that I was able to meet in Kenya very much and I cannot wait to go back! I am actually planning the same program with Global Crossroad on returning hopefully in the summer of 2011!

P.S. Thanks too, to Cheryl who was very helpful with answering my MANY questions before I left! 

Would you recommend Global Crossroads programs to others? Yes

Would you mind serving as a reference for future volunteers? Yes (I would love to!)

(If yes, please write your email address): sarah-hodgins@rogers.com

Sarah Hodgins
Volunteer Kenya

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Global Crossroad Review on Guatemala Program

Everyone here in Guatemala is amazing. Mano and Oscar are truly passionate in helping students learn Spanish and ensuring that each volunteer fulfills meaningful volunteer work.
The school I taught at is truly blessed in having such eager students and great leaders. I felt that my students learn and had found interest for math.
My host family the Rodriguez is so loving and kind. Their children and zydia, house keeper really contributed to the experience.
If I wasn’t limited by time I would definitely request to extend my stay here with Global Crossroad

Julia Kong
Volunteer Guatemala

This volunteer project was the first one for me and it was a great experience. The orphanage was fun and helped me very much with my Spanish. The kids are very nice and welcoming. Spanish lessons really helped, and were very interesting. My family was amazing; they were caring and always there for me. The food was amazing. My host mom is an amazing cook. I will definitely do another volunteer Project very soon.

Jasmyne Richard Scott
Volunteer Guatemala

This is the first time I have volunteered or stayed with a host family although I have travelled extensively for over 20 years. I enjoyed it immensely. My first family were wonderful, very generous & welcoming. My Spanish improved mainly because it had to both my host family & Spanish school teachers were very helpful. A lot of the other students complained about the lack of variety in the food but I have enjoyed eating typical Guatemalan food.
The orphanage was a wonderful experience, although we weren’t really informed how we could best be assistance to them. It was a bit of trial & error. The children were wonderful & very quickly attach themselves to the volunteers. It will be hard to say goodbye. The Spanish school was great. First time I have ever started Spanish or any other language so although I found some of the concepts difficult. I have enjoyed it and definitely know a lot more than when I arrived. The teacher is very good at making us speak the language & utilize the words we know. Staff very accommodating & helpful answering heaps of questions.

Will definitely volunteer again on my next travels.

Thanks for a great experience Global Crossroad.

Pixie Fuhrmeister