Alumni Spotlight: Charlotte Maracina

Charlotte is a high school junior and loves traveling! She loves to learn about other people's cultures and experience it for herself.

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Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I wanted to go to Fiji very badly and I love helping people. I really wanted to teach in schools so this seemed like the perfect match for me!

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

They assisted me with everything except my flight from JFK to LAX. They booked the flight from LAX to Fiji and told me what time I should arrive at LAX.

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

Bring clothes to wear around the base house and bring Tevas or Chacos! Those were literally all I wore. Also, make sure to bring a lot of service clothes. Instead of paying $24 to have clothes washed, my friend brought detergent and we used that.

When choosing a weekend side trip you should definitely go to the highlands. It's so amazing to be immersed in their culture.

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

An average day is waking up at 7 am for breakfast, at 8 am you get together with your group and start the service for the day. In the afternoon you may go kayaking or go to the mud pools. Dinner is at 6 pm and evening activities usually start around 7:30. 9:30 is lights out!

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

My biggest fear was being with a bunch of people I didn't know and doing intense service. All of the people there were so friendly and nice so I eventually found my group that I fit well with. The service was all really fun so there was no need to worry about that.