Global Volunteers - Volunteer Programs in Greece

By Global Volunteers   Reviews (16)   96% Rating

Join Global Volunteers and teach English in Crete, the captivating Greek island. Volunteers in Greece have the chance to help hopeful young students succeed in the professional world with English language skills.
GV is looking for volunteers to work on improving students' pronunciation and usage of English throughout the year. Volunteer teachers, who are aided by preexisting classroom materials and curriculum, don't need any previous teaching experience, only general knowledge of syntax, diction and idioms. Volunteer activities include informal language training, field trips, scavenger hunts, games, and more. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the coast on the island of Crete as a volunteer with Global Volunteers!

View Program Information
Location: 
  • GreeceCrete
Volunteer Types: 
Program Length: 
1-2 weeks
Cost: 
See site for details.
Age Group: 
14-18
50+
Cost Description: 

Program fees, based on the GV's costs, include food, accommodations, transportation within projects, project costs, administrative expenses, and support from Global Volunteers staff. The rest of the costs are used to support the continued development of host communities. Discounts are available for students, family and multi-person groups, and returning volunteers. Free-time activities, airfare or other travel are not included in the fees. All expenses are tax-deductible for U.S. tax-payers.

Languages: 
English
Greek
Application: 
Online Application

Program Reviews (16)

96%
Positive
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  • Impact
    95%
  • Support
    99%
  • Fun
    92%
  • Value
    99%
  • Safety
    99%
  • Mary
    Age: 51 or older
    Female
    Macomb, Illinois
    Western Illinois University
    Fantastic experience!
    04/22/2012

    I loved teaching in Crete! The students are enthusiastic (and very cute little kids) and their families are so grateful. The country is absolutely beautiful and you have plenty of time to see the sites. The family run hotel we stayed at was welcoming and the homemade food was delicious every day. I enjoyed this volunteer trip so much I went back again the next summer to do it again.

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  • Viv
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Caldwell, NJ
    Other
    Teaching children abroad on the island of Crete in Greece
    04/04/2012

    I spent 1-week in Gazi, Crete teaching children English- what a wonderful experience!

    HQ Review: I arrived in Gazi & was met by the Sam, the local country manager, who kindly brought me to the hotel where we stayed. Sam & the hotel owners were warm & very accommodating, making everyone feel very welcome.

    Teaching: The children of Gazi were enthusiastic, warm & very eager students! Daily lesson planning takes effort, but over time & with experience using the materials available, preparations became easier. The daily interaction with the children was very enriching- learning about their lives in Crete made the experience wholly rewarding.

    Location: Gazi is a charming and safe village with a beautiful coastline. All of the local people we met were so very kind and extremely hospitable- they added to the richness of our volunteer program. The village is very close to the city of Irakleion, nearby some very key archeological sites of interest e.g., Knossos. One can find many things to do in Gazi, including swimming, site seeing, local shopping, etc. and learning about the rich history of Crete. Other towns are easily accessed by car or bus.

    Summary: Would return to Gazi again as a global volunteer- the people are so very grateful to the volunteers and all that they do on behalf of their children's futures!

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  • Sue
    Age: 51 or older
    Female
    Seal Beach CA
    Other
    Volunteering in Crete is a unique and wonderful experience!!
    03/20/2012

    The Global Volunteers Crete program leader is particularly good at assuring that you are taken care of, and that you have a great cultural experience. She is very knowledgable about the culture and shares her knowledge openly. She also includes her family in the activities. Working with the children is fun and challenging.

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  • teacherlady
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    jacksonville, florida
    Other
    great program!
    03/19/2012

    This was a great opportunity to immerse yourself in Greek culture. Beautiful surroundings, fresh food, friendly people- it was amazing. Teaching children English= priceless. You can't imagine how even the simple things (playing duck, duck goose) make such a difference. The kids are so excited to learn and so curious about their teachers from afar. Days were scheduled, but plenty of free time to see and experience things around the island. Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity!

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  • lspivs
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Iowa
    Other
    Teaching in Gazi
    03/19/2012

    In 2008, I spent two weeks of my life in Gazi, teaching fourth grade children. Two weeks have never impacted my life more. Not only were the students awe-inspiring in their determination, enthusiasm and spirit, but also being in Crete on the Mediterranean was breath-taking. We stayed in a quaint hotel that catered to our every need. We really got to know the staff, it felt like family! In the mornings we taught children, in the afternoon we relaxed on the beach (my happy place) and at night we hit the town and had an absolute blast. The people of Crete were so open and friendly! The weekends were for sight-seeing and more beach dwelling! I went on a ferry ride to Santorini and toured a volcano, it was amazing. If you want a trip that will allow you to get to know local culture, be relaxing and have an active nightlife, this is THE trip for you! It also looks GREAT on a resume!

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/309_541170398325_30...

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/275_541074405695_30...

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  • Barbara
    Age: 51 or older
    Female
    Cooperstown, NY
    Other
    Teaching English in Crete
    03/19/2012

    I have had many opportunities to teach English abroad as both a volunteer or a staff member. My experience in Crete was wonderful in every way. The children were enthusiastic, the local staff was welcoming and the Global Volunteer support perfect. There were opportunities to really teach and time and materials for lesson preparation. As for free time, there were unlimited possibilities within easy reach by walking or public transportation.

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  • Jeremiah
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    University of Minnesota
    St. Spiro's - Crete
    03/18/2012

    My group consisted of 8 University of Minnesota students who signed up to Teach English in Crete to young school children. Due to the Greece's economic situation, and the various austerity measures, the teachers were on strike. For this reason our group withheld from teaching English as volunteers (which would promote resentment of paid teachers) and instead paved the road for Global Volunteer interaction with the St. Spiro's center for mentally challenged (whom are far from disabled).
    Perhaps Global Volunteers foresaw this issue (of striking teachers) before we had departed, but we were not informed until we had arrived. My guess is that they were hoping for the best, as we were told our first day of a pending decision to help out at St. Spiro's. It was my understanding that this center had been seeking volunteers for some time. These requests were not met due to some uncertainty from Global Volunteers, but quickly faded after the successes of our group, indicated by several missions after this.
    At St. Spiro's we worked on arts and crafts with these members, played activities such as basketball, danced, observed them instruct young students from a nearby school on driving practices, and helped them practice for a parade. What we were observing and helping to develop, was a greater sense of the abilities of mentally challenged individuals rather than their disabilities. Below I have provided a link to a review written in June 2011 in "The Coastal Journal" in which our team leader, Sam, is mentioned discussing some of these issues.
    One thing that I noticed while working with this center was the strong sense of community. An unfortunate incident occurred where one of the members of this center hit another member. When this happened many of the others consoled the abused member, and shunned the abuser. It shouldn't at all be remarkable to me that they stand up for each other, and protect each other. Again, they are far from disabled.
    To say more about the rest of my experience, besides it having been too short, it was wonderful. We arrived out of tourist season and so the beaches were mostly barren and strewn with debris that washed up from the ocean. Within days though people were out and about, working diligently to clean up for Summer tourist season. It was nice to see an alternative aspect of Crete that a real tourist wouldn't see, to see Crete in another light.
    We stayed with at a family-run hotel (Hotel Handakas) in Gazi. My only regret here is that I was unable to speak with them about their experiences. But this didn't prevent us from interacting. For instance, one afternoon we all came down to the pool area to bask in the Mediterranean sun (note that inside it can be quite chilly, but outside the sun burns). When we asked to use the sun-chairs they immediately set about washing them off for us, after they had been stored for the winter. And so, we helped. Our group and this family set up a sort of assembly line. It may seem like a trivial incident, but it's little things like this that demonstrate the extent that our hosts will go to accomodate us.
    I shouldn't say too much more, so I will end with these words: the food is amazing, the people are great, don't be afraid of the dogs, don't count the shrines at the edge of road to St. Spiro's (and don't ask what they're for), and try a local orange if you can-they're amazing.

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  • natalia
    Age: 25-30
    Female
    Southern California
    Other
    Life Changing Experience
    03/18/2012

    This program changed me for life. I came back with a new sense of appreciation, knowledge of a different culture, and memories that I will carry for ever. I met amazing people, both from Greece and the volunteers, that impacted me in ways I cannot described. I recommend this program to any one, any age, from anywhere.

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  • Christy
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    New Orleans, LA
    University of New Orleans
    Great program, great experience!
    03/17/2012

    I had a wonderful time in Greece teaching english in summer camps on the island of Crete. The kids were grateful to have us there, the community was wonderful, our hotel staff were so friendly, and the country coordinator gave it the extra special touch by allowing us to get to know her kids and spending time with us outside of the volunteer hours. Words cannot do justice for what I felt and feel about this program. I plan to make it back again! Crete is a lovely place and we had plenty of time to explore our beautiful surroundings as well as participate in the service program.

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  • trvl4good
    Age: 51 or older
    Female
    Ohio, USA
    Other
    A great experience in a wonderful country
    03/17/2012

    From the time I was a child I wanted to travel the Greece. Once I started volunteering abroad, Greece placed high on my wish list. Global Volunteers was that perfect fit and opportunity to get to know the Greek people and their culture, yet remain in a safe, comfortable environment. We spent the days finding fun, interactive ways to work the children on their English skills, and the late afternoons and evenings exploring the local communities and beyond with other members of our volunteer group. Global Volunteers does a good job of structuring your stay and providing opportunities for cultural exchanges with local community members. Samantha "Sam" - the Greece Coordinator, and her family make you feel right at home and embrace you as a family member during your stay. The children at the Gazi Summer School Program and a joy to work with and kept us very busy. You will also have additional time to travel during the weekend between your 2 week service program. If you've ever wanted to travel to Greece, this is a great way to help the children yet see and experience the beautiful country!

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  • willy
    Age: 31-50
    Male
    Delaware
    Other
    Volunteer in Crete!
    03/17/2012

    The bus ride every morning through a beautiful landscape on your way to St. Spiros at the top. Sam always greeting us with a smile and a "Kali mera". An amazing experience that I will never forget. Thank you Samantha and Thank you Global Volunteers!

    Willy

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  • wnorth
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Danbury, CT
    Other
    An Amazing Experience with Global Volunteers in Greece
    03/17/2012

    I spent two weeks at the Gazi Summer camp in 2010. It was at the beginning of the economic troubles in Greece and there had been rioting in Athens. What amazed me was that I never experienced what I had been reading about in the newspapers here. There were no riots when I was in Athens and the island of Crete was wonderful, the people were friendly, and I always felt safe. I think of the kids I met there often, some of them still e-mail me. I am hoping to return, that's how much I loved it.

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  • julie
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Maui, Hawai'i
    University of California- Irvine
    Beautiful Crete - true heart of Greece
    03/17/2012

    I loved my time w/Sam and the wonderful Global Volunteers staff on Crete. Loved working at the Agia Pelagia school with Father Antonis (sp?) This unforgettable experience broadened my horizons and changed my worldview. Thank you, GV, for an amazing time!

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  • Robert
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Yellow Spring, Ohio
    Other
    A Beautiful Experience!
    03/17/2012

    This trip is my very favorite one out of the many worldwide volunteering trips that I've taken over the years. I really cannot praise the whole experience enough! Global Volunteers stay at the Handakas Hotel in the village of Amoudara, located near the capital of Crete (Heraklion). The hotel was the best one that I have ever stayed at! It's no Hilton, but I would take it over a Hilton any day. The atmosphere is peaceful (and occasionally very fun- I'll get to that), the building itself is beautiful, the food is always fresh (they have a garden), the owners are lovely people, and the bedroom conditions are very satisfactory. The team manager of the Crete program often brings her family over to the hotel, and it seems that the owners also bring their family and friends to the hotel for an evening dip in the pool, or just to hang out. It's a very relaxing scene!
    A special note on the food: the meals that you have at the hotel are always very tasty. You will get a few repeats, but that shouldn't be a problem in the big picture. It's possible to get soda and sweet things at the hotel, but they usually bring out water to drink and a peach for dessert, unless you ask otherwise. They have a nice little bar in the dining room, as well as a radio that you are free to control, and a good working space to plan out your teaching lessons (in the same room). The food outside of Handakas is great as well. If you are a vegetarian, it won't be an issue (I don't think vegans would have trouble either, but I can't be too sure).
    The program itself is a summer school in Gazi. Volunteers help to teach the students English, but in a summer-school type of way. The children are a true joy to work with; they are always bursting with enthusiasm to learn and have fun, and they seem to really enjoy having people from different countries visit their own. The only downside of the school is the lack of air conditioning, which can get to you. But once you accept this fact and get over it, any trouble with the matter is easily forgotten.
    The town of Amoudara is a lovely place to be. Whenever you pass by an oleander bush, the sweet scent fills the air around you; wherever you go, people are always welcoming and glad to have you there; and it doesn't hurt that there's a great beach nearby! During the weekends, you are more than able to go around to different places in Crete (in the general area, so as to ensure your presence at school on Monday) and explore the island, whether by seeing the history, the nature, or just being a tourist in general.
    The team that I worked with all bonded terrifically over the course of the standard two-week stay. We're all good friends, and we still keep in touch two years later. If you take this trip, I guarantee that it will stand out among any other trips that you have taken, and if you are a first-timer to "voluntourism," I guarantee that you will be a convert. There is something for everyone here, and I cannot recommend this trip to you enough.

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  • ~Heather
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Dayton, OH
    Other
    THE best volunteer opportunity evoooor!!!!
    03/17/2012

    Teaching English to the children of Gazi during their summer camp was one of the best experiences of my life. It was so incredible that I went back a second year to do it all over again. The leader of the program, Samantha Pinakoulaki is a gifted and caring leader. She gave us everything we needed to teach the kiddos, provided us outstanding recreational activities (we were on Crete after all), and helped us forge lasting friendships. The children are eager to learn English and the parents and community were not only supportive, but amazingly grateful for our efforts.

    Each day the team ate breakfast together and prepared for the day. We were bussed to the school in luxury where frequently the students were waiting for us to arrive. After a brief time of gathering materials, we began with our morning song, and then it was English lessons taught with stories, songs, games, puzzles, conversations, crafts, along with lots of laughter. My co-teacher and I enjoyed the children, and since we are teachers by profession, made our classroom into a bit of an American one. The children responded well and were soon acting just like our usual students. After camp, we returned to our hotel (run by the sweetest man in all of Crete) to plan the next day's adventure. After lunch we were free to explore the island with its amazing history (the ruins of Knossos and Festos; a Byzantine fort, the port of Heraklion, to name just a few) and beautiful beaches and coastline. At the end of our two-week session, we were celebrated with a pot-luck Greek-style, Greek dancing, and presentation of certificates from the mayor and school principal thanking us for our generosity in giving our time to help the children of Gazi.

    The children can be challenging. Working with new people has its ups and downs. The heat can be unbelievable. But at the end of the day, those kids are just the cutest thing going; new friends are now closer than some old ones; and nothing can compare to cooling off in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.

    If you are looking for a fulfilling experience in a beautiful setting, this is the experience you must have. Efharisto poli, Global Volunteers!

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About the provider

Global Volunteers, a non-profit organization, has been giving short-term volunteers the chance to provide essential services to local people on service programs since 1984. Volunteering under the direction of local leaders, team members form groundwork for international peace via common, global understanding. Our goal is to sustain authentic development projects with the host community and give volunteers wide opportunities to help.

Since 1984, over 30,000 people have volunteered with Global Volunteers in 34 different countries. Visit our website to learn more about how to join this movement and become a Global Volunteer!