It no surprise that here at Go Overseas, we’re all about reviews. In the age of information, what better way to weed through all of the options than using firsthand accounts and recommendations?
Our favorite reviews paint a picture of what it's really like while traveling overseas, at whichever destination the traveler went to. If you give us, and more importantly, prospective travelers an inside peek into life abroad, we are forever grateful.
With that in mind, we’ve collected our favorite reviews from the summer; the quirkiest, the most heartfelt, and above all, the most helpful. Without further adieu, we present the seven best reviews from Summer 2018.
1. Study Abroad in Taiwan with CET
"You will probably come to Taiwan scared AF but I guarantee that you will leave feeling very fulfilled," wrote Valerie, CET Taiwan alum. "There is so much delicious, affordable food, wonderful night markets, and some of the kindest people you will ever meet. Everyone is really forgiving and patient so if you want to learn and test out your Chinese, this is the place to be!"
We loved this review from Valerie because it was straightforward and comprehensive. It really gives you a picture of what this program is like!
2. Volunteer in Peru with A Broader View
Mellone, an alum from the A Broader View volunteer program in Peru, shares a story that perfectly captures what we love about volunteering -- it opens our mind to the world.
"The scenario by which I was introduced to A Broader View and the trip that would ultimately change my life played out as follows:
My friend: 'Hey, Corin, I was thinking, and feel free to say no: would you be willing to go down to Peru with me for two weeks to do medical work? It was just an idea I had.'
Me: 'Um, sure! Why not.'
… and thus did I find myself, hardly a month later, sleeping in a Peruvian bed in the house of a family I had known for exactly thirty minutes.
My experience as a medical volunteer in Peru was beyond the power of words to describe; it changed my life, and my outlook on life, permanently. I spent days at the hospital helping mentally and physically challenged children to grow stronger, healthier, and feel more loved, explored the city of Cusco and the Peruvian countryside, and lived and shared a home with a family that was willing to open its doors to me and my best friend.”
3. Gap at Glen Brook Program
Sofie, a Gap at Glen Brook gap year alumni, shared a review that illustrates why we think gap years are so important:
“I walked away from this experience with a full (more accurately, brimming over) toolbox of knowledge, as well as lifelong friendships and memories," Sofie wrote.
"The Gap curriculum and community co-created an entirely new way of living for me: one that embraces intention, gratitude, and challenge. Connections to and stewardship of the land - whether this is through farming or a solo in the woods -- cultivated deeper connections to and stewardship of myself. I would not have been able to access this anywhere else.”
We're glad you had an amazing gap year experience, Sofie!
4. Study Abroad at the Royal University of Bhutan with Naropa University
"I studied abroad at the Royal University of Bhutan for 2 semesters at the College of Natural Resources.," wrote Royal University of Bhutan with Naropa University alum Simona.
"The program is filled with lessons inside and outside the classrooms. Being at the College of Natural Resources provided a unique experience to dive further into my Environmental Studies degree as the college is located in a forested area of a valley which is home to many farmers. Interacting with locals and faculty who are engaged in research in Bhutan was inspiring! This was my first exposure to conducting primary academic research and I appreciate the support from Anne Parker, the amazing program leader, and the faculty at CNR."
She continued: "There is so much to say about this program and why to go. But to keep it short- it is that in a semester's time you will come back from Bhutan with loads of memories and something in you will have changed (which is up to you to find out what that is :))."
5. Learn Spanish & Sea Turtle Conservation in Guatemala with Monterrico Adventure
We love the double-whammy of this Spanish/Sea Turtle Conservation program by Monterrico Adventure. You get to experience the power of learning a new language, and to help sea turtle populations in Guatemala!
Anne, an alum from this program, shared a fantastic review of the program, especially the staff: “One of the best things about this organization is the spontaneous personality of Gabriel (the program leader). He was taking so much care of me and has years of experience traveling the world. The personal contact is perfect and even if you are traveling alone, you will never feel like it. Imagine not having to worry about transportation, tickets, tours, the language, contacts,... but still having the best adventurous time of your life."
She continued: "I wanted to combine volunteering and backpacking. This offers you the best of both worlds. Thanks to Gabriel, you have a project you can start with, but you can still feel free and bring your own ideas.”
6. Sea Turtle Conservation & Research on Paradise Islands with Fuze Ecoteer
"I was lucky enough to spend 2 weeks at this beautiful island in Malaysia. As a Malaysian, it was extremely rewarding for me to be able to do something meaningful in my country, which also happens to be a tropical paradise!," wrote Pei Yan, a Fuze Ecoteer program alum.
"The organization is relatively small, which is perfect because you get the chance to bond with the amazing interns volunteering there. The turtle experience is truly one of a kind. Throughout the past 2 weeks, I saw so many turtles, from our snorkel surveys and snorkel tours. It's amazing watching these wonderful creatures swimming about in the waters."
"I think the best experience for me though, was when I encountered my very first nesting turtle. I was so amazed by mama turtle, looking for different spots for the perfect nest, laying hundreds of eggs, one by one, and slowly making her way back towards the sea. I was truly mesmerized by this whole process, of mama turtle, of mother nature. Imagine having a 170kg of weight at your back and you've only got flippers to drag you across the sand??!! I don't know about you, but I'm sure I can't! Hats off to you turtles!"
7. Affordable Volunteer Programs in Tanzania with IVHQ
"I can not write in words the truly soul connecting trip I took with my 16 year old son being a volunteer in Tanzania through IVHQ program!," writes Isaure, an IVHQ Tanzania alum. "We were met by a hard and passionate group of organizers and housed in a host mother who loved and cared for us like no others!"
She continues: "There were volunteers from around the world which we connected with both in social time, tourism and work. The Tanzanian made us feel safe and welcomed. Our most mother Mama Liz was extraordinary and served us delicious home cooked meals giving us a very clean and organized home environment where we felt right at home!"
Sounds like an unforgettable experience, right?
These are just a few of the amazing reviews we received all summer long. Need more inspiration to plan your next trip? Check out our community gallery with highlights from other amazing reviews.