Cross-Cultural Solutions

Provider

The Cross-Cultural Solutions Volunteer Abroad experience allows students and travelers to gain valuable experience overseas while working side by side with local individuals and communities to make an impact.

Since 1995, over 35,000 people have volunteered with Cross-Cultural Solutions, providing meaningful and sustainable volunteer services to international communities, and contributing responsibly to local economies.

Volunteers gain valuable experience working in areas such as education, healthcare, and social services. Visit the Cross-Cultural Solutions website to learn more about how we're changing everything.

Cross-Cultural Solutions volunteer abroad

Programs from Cross-Cultural Solutions

Program Reviews

  • J McAneny
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Chesapeake Beach, MD, USA
    Duke University
    Cross-Cultural Solutions - Adult Volunteer in Costa Rica
    04/20/2015

    My experience in Costa Rica with CCS more than exceeded my expectations. The staff that run the local program are amazing people. They give fully of themselves on a daily basis in whatever they do. As an adult volunteer, I had to go into this experience with an open mind. I had it in my head that I wanted to volunteer at an orphanage with the children. Luckily, CCS encouraged my to go outside of my comfort zone to also volunteer at a nursing home. My days at the nursing home were packed full. Many of the things that I did were not glamorous tasks - folding sheets, sweeping the floor, making beds, feeding the residents who could not feed themselves, and playing games. But, they were desperately needed by the staff and the residents. I left there every day feeling needed, appreciated, and a huge sense of accomplishment. Who knew I could feel so accomplished for folding loads and loads of sheets; but this task was what was needed at the time and that made it that much more important. Every moment I spent on my volunteer adventure was amazing. Please go into an experience like this with an open mind. It is not about you, it is about giving of yourself to help others with WHATEVER they need. With an open mind, you will truly change your life.

    How could this program be improved?

    I really did not have any complaints. The housing is not a four star hotel, so don't go into the experience expecting that. But, the home base is extremely clean, the food was freshly prepared every day, and the people running the program had hearts of gold.

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  • Ranae Bunker
    Age: 51 or older
    Female
    Ogden, Utah
    Weber State University
    Junior League in Guatemala
    03/12/2015

    Volunteering abroad was the most humbling and extraordinary experience of my life. The opportunity to provide service while reaching new heights in my own personal growth was the most beneficial part of the volunteer experience. I am still continually processing thoughts and experiences of my trip to Guatemala. I find myself thinking and dreaming about Guatemala with its overwhelming contrast of the countrys' colorful villages and humble inhabitants to the most unpleasant visions of Zone 3 with its atrocious living conditions, gunmen abounding and dirt and garbage everywhere. My heart is torn between thoughts of ever wanting to return, because of my feeling of helplessness and the huge need that exists, and wanting to join an eternal fight to become a GAME CHANGER in some way.

    How could this program be improved?

    Volunteers can better prepare for their international experience by learning simple phrases in the language of the country that they are volunteering. Relax and be flexible and look for the beauty in your experience. Try to prepare for your placement ahead of time. Ask the CCS team questions about your placement prior to your trip. If available, buy extra texting, email and data on your phone and download translation APPS like Google Translate. Write emails and text home daily, they will be valuable emotional expressions that you will enjoy later.
    Take lots of photos!

    Photos:
    Guatemaltecos Extraordinarios!
    The Association of Junior Leagues International representatives at Lake Atitalan Guatemala.
    Junior League of Ogden Volunteers.
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  • Mary Wozencraft
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Chicago, Illinois
    Knox College
    Amazing Experience
    02/21/2015

    This was hands down the best experience, so far, in my life. I decided to take a break from school and my parents suggested to me, going to Costa Rica for 3 months with CCS. I am so happy I did, I have taken away and learned so much from my time spent there. I spent time at a nursing home, special education school and a daycare. At each placement I felt very useful, each place was understaffed so they really needed the extra set of hands to help provide more attention to the kids or residents. A typical day started at about 7, which is when breakfast was served, we left home base at about 7:30 to drop everyone off at placements. At placement it depended what you did on a day to day basis, at the daycare I would prepare about 4 or 5 activities for the kids, usually trying to work on skills like counting, colors, and some English. At the nursing home the day began with feeding the residents who needed help and then helping with laundry or therapy, and at the special education school I was placed with a teacher and would help her manage the classroom and do projects. We usually were picked up from placements between 12-12:30, and once we got home we were welcomed by a wonderful meal. After lunch, depending on the day we would either have free time, dance class, Spanish class, cooking class, a field trip or sometimes a guest speaker. None of these cultural experiences were required, besides the Spanish class, however, I would highly recommend them. All the activities were very fun and I learned a lot from each activity. Dinner was served at 6 every night, and the food was always amazing. Bernardita, the cook, is an amazing cook and if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions, or simply do not like something, she will accommodate you. After dinner we usually had free time, we did have Spanish class two nights a week, but only for 30-40 minutes. On the weekends we were free to travel, getting around Costa Rica is very easy, you can take a bus most places for cheap, and the staff was happy to help us figure out where to find bus schedules and any other information we needed. Overall, this program was more than I could have ever imagined it would be, I met the nicest and most amazing people and had so many wonderful experiences. The money you spend is worth every penny, personally it confirmed what career I wanted to pursue and taught me so much about myself and the world I live in.

    How could this program be improved?

    Better preparation for before you enter the country.

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  • Vicki Krogstrand
    Age: 51 or older
    Female
    Firth, Idaho
    South Dakota State University
    Cartago, Costa Rica Experience with CCS
    02/16/2015

    I volunteered with Cross Cultural Solutions in Cartago, Costa Rica. My placement was at an Adult Day Care. It was a very rewarding experience. This placement allowed me to both offer service & immerse myself into the Costa Rican culture. I planned activities for the people as there was minimal staff and materials at the Center.

    The CCS staff was amazing. They were both efficient & helpful. They planned learning opportunities: cooking classes, Spanish classes, field trips, dance classes, etc.

    I would recommend this opportunity to anyone who is looking for a positive, service adventure.

    How could this program be improved?

    More Spanish classes - I had average Spanish language skills & would have liked to be more fluent

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  • Carmit
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    United States
    Wagner College
    cultural effects
    01/07/2015

    It was an amazing experience. I enjoyed the exposure to a new culture, that was further intensified by the timing of the experience. My trip happened to fall during Ramadan. i was able to see the intricacies of the holiday's effects on people's lives. I witnessed a mix of culture, religion, and, of course, a bit of sightseeing in the process. The volunteering experience was equally rewarding. I fell in love with those adorable children at the orphanage. I did not want to leave them. Everything I saw from the trips to the everyday life as I walk through each city created great memories and expanded my worldview.

    How could this program be improved?

    Provide group tours outside of Rabat

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