Alumni Spotlight: Liu Jia


She is a Chinese undergraduate and a volunteer in Bali.

Why did you choose this program?

I have been thinking about being an international volunteer even before I knew this program. One of my best friends used to be a member of this program and she told me about her experience in Bali. And I thought, “this is exactly what I want!” Her stories really moved me, so I applied through the website.

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

The program provider assisted me with my accommodation in a bungalow. Food, mostly rice and pancake, is provided on working days which is from Monday to Thursday. Food is separately prepared for vegetarians, which I find very kind. We have a really big table for eating our meals!

If we leave Yayasan, however, we need to organize and prepare the accommodation and food ourselves.

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

Motorbikes and scooters can really make life convenient during your stay in Bali. You can just rent one if you want to travel to a relatively close destination. Of course, you can also book a car, but that would be more costly.

English proficiency is also important. Otherwise, you will have difficulty communicating with others.

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

From Monday to Thursday, we eat breakfast at 8AM and then go to work. Most of the volunteers only have to teach half day, so they can go for a half day trip to the volcanoes or the waterfalls afterwards. The teaching experience varies from class to class.

The manager would also give you a folder containing very useful information of your classes provided by previous volunteers.

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

I have a big fear of dogs, insects, and especially mosquitoes, and I know that I couldn’t avoid them while living in a tropical place like Bali. My mosquito repellent didn't work there! I had no choice but to try to get over my fear and adapt to my environment.

What is your message to those planning to take the same program?

I really hope that you can make some friends there, because I have made so many good friends myself. I miss them so much! I regret that I applied for only two weeks; it is a really short time to be with my friends and students. If I can have another chance, I’d like to stay there for months and deeply connect with everyone.