Alumni Spotlight: Madison Reddy

Madison is a 20-year-old part-time student from the U.S. who decided she needed a little adventure. She recently spent a month doing the IVHQ kindergarten program in Bali.

Why did you choose this program?

IVHQ Bali Program

I chose this program because I love working with younger kids, they're so much fun and always eager to learn. Also because, recently, I have been longing to do something out of the ordinary and get away from my normal life for a while.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

IVHQ has really great resources for their volunteers. They provide you with all the information you could possibly need about the program once you register.

They organize everything from meals and accommodations, to picking you up from the airport when you arrive.

The only thing you have to do yourself is book your flights and whatever traveling and adventures you want to do on weekends or after your program ends.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

A few days before I left for Bali, I was really anxious because it was my first time going abroad and I was going by myself. I was nervous that it would be overwhelming when I got there, but it wasn't at all.

Bali is such an amazingly friendly and safe place that my nerves instantly vanished on my first day because everyone, local staff and other volunteers, are so welcoming and helpful. So if you are nervous to do a program on your own, don't be! Once you arrive you will never be alone!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

My typical day doing the kindergarten program was waking up and walking to breakfast at the canteen, then maybe going on a drive to see a waterfall or temple. After doing some sightseeing we would come back just in time for lunch and after that, lesson planning and off to school for teaching.

I would typically get back from teaching around 5:30pm and grab some canteen dinner and either head back to my house and relax or walk in to the center of Ubud and check out the art market and local shops. On the weekends, I traveled to a few places around Bali and to different islands and saw some incredible places.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear about going abroad was being (literally) on the opposite side of the world from home. When I first arrived in Bali I was a little freaked out being so far from home, but I got over that being around so many people who were there for the same reasons that I was.

What would you have done differently?

The only thing about my trip I wish I had done differently, was that I wish I had arranged to do more traveling after my program was finished instead of going straight home.