http://www.aimabroad.org

Aim Abroad

About

Aimabroad is low cost volunteer organization based in India, International volunteers are welcome to participate in our social programs by paying a nominal fee.

Volunteers can spend one weeks to six months in the residence of the program Coordinator or a local host family, during which time they receive lessons in Hindi, helpful aid in adjusting to Indian culture, full meals and safe transportation to and from the specified projects and opportunities for sightseeing in Delhi, Jaipur and Amritsar.

Founded
2007

Reviews

Default avatar
Sisi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I volunteered with AIM Abroad for a week in March 2013 with a friend of mine. We volunteered in a street school and had an incredible experience. The kids were the best kids you can possibly get- nice, well-behaved, understand little English but communication was no problem with body language. They taught me how to play indian games and were very willing to learn whatever I taught them. The head of the school is a super kind lady who started the school. She is an amazing person and how she started the school is an amazing story.

My friend and I arrived around 3 am, and were a bit worried about safety when we get off the train since we are two girls. However, the driver was already waiting for us at the train station and brought us to the host family. Very nice family. Two sons and one daughter. The daughter and the older son are really sweet and helpful, and the youngest son (who is five years old) is super cute. If you need anything, they can take you to the store. They provided very good homemade food three times a day and snacks (chai and cookies) all the time. VERY SAFE.

I really recommend working with AIM Abroad. It was a great experience for me.

What would you improve about this program?
I think the program really meets, and to some extent, exceeds my expectation. I am really satisfied working with AIM Abroad and can't think of anything I want to change right now.
Default avatar
Katie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing experience, loved every minute of it. We got collected from Delhi, this was included in the cost of the program. We arrived at the family home and they were so welcoming, it is a huge house with great facilities, but still with a real homey atmosphere. They run many programs here, from a small to large slum school, working in local clinics with doctors, working in local orphanages and construction work.

The family are so welcoming and very laid back, they let you experience all of the programs and decide which one you prefer the most.

I worked in the small slum school in the mornings teaching 4-6 year old children maths and English. This was a perfect opportunity for me as I will train to be a teacher on my return home. I was given a class along with a friend to run. We made our own lesson plans and had full control over what we taught and how.

In the afternoons we visited various orphanages and got to build up a relationship with the children. After school you help them with homework and then afterwards play with them, they love cricket!

It was a wonderful experience, I have met some lovely and amazing people, from the host family, to the children and also the other volunteers that stay in the house with you.

The programs are set in a lovely area, outside of Delhi, away from the hustle and bustle of the City, but with lots of things to do around.

The host family are so accommodating, they encourage you to go on trips for the weekend to visit other parts of India, they help organise everything, taxis, rickshaws, train tickets and sim cards.

On our weekends away we missed the family and returning on the Sunday was like we were coming home.

I wish we could have stayed longer, I have nothing bad to say about my experience, I loved every minute of it, I would highly recommend this experience to anyone. It is great value for money, a just all round enjoyable experience.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing, there is nothing I would change, I loved every minute of it.
Default avatar
Zara
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering with Aim Abroad has provided me with experiences that I do not think I could have had elsewhere. The host family is absolutely wonderful and they really help you become comfortable with the city. They will help you with everything you need and make sure you are happy, healthy and well fed every single day. The food is delicious and they can provide for unique dietary needs. On the weekends you have the opportunity to travel and the host family will help you with travel plans, hotels and even rickshaws or cabs. The work you do during your stay is very meaningful. You can teach in the slum schools, work in the orphanage, help with the women's empowerment program or gain medical experience in the clinics and hospitals. If you can't choose one thing, you can do them all, gaining experience in all these things. I have no complaints at all about Aim Abroad and I would recommend them to anyone who is wishing to immerse themselves in India's beautiful culture and make a meaningful difference.

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly can not think of anything to change.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Sisi Liu

Sisi Liu is from Ningbo, China and currently a rising high school senior at Mahindra United World College of India in Pune, India. She loves traveling, reading and getting to know different people. She volunteered with AIM Abroad in India for one week during March 2013.
Volunteer with AIM Abroad in India

Why did you decide to volunteer abroad with AIM Abroad in India?

I study at an international high school in Pune, India, and my school has Travel Week for one week in March, during which we are encouraged to travel around India. Due to some personal reasons, I had to stay near Delhi during that time, so I thought it might be a good time to volunteer at a Non-Government Organization because I enjoy helping people and being with kids. I knew I would love the volunteer work.

I decided to volunteer with AIM Abroad because of the good feedback they got online. One very special thing I noticed was that instead of staying in a dormitory, volunteers of AIM Abroad stay with host families, which is very unique. Also, AIM Abroad provided volunteers with a variety of options, ranging from Medical Volunteering to Teaching Program, and you are able to try different programs out before you finally decide what you want to do. For example, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to volunteer at the orphanage or teach at the street school, so I tried out the orphanage the first afternoon and went to the street school the second day, then decided the main focus to be teaching at the street school. Since it’s a rather small organization, AIM is pretty flexible about your plan, and it is also easy to talk to Kranti, the program coordinator, about what you would like to do.

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

I volunteered with AIM Abroad from March 9 to March 16, 2013. I volunteered at one of the street schools in Faridabad. The school is for families who are relatively poor and cannot afford to pay for school tuitions. The school is located in a public park, which contains just a very sandy ground, and all the kids take classes on this piece of ground. (They also have a garden nearby which serves the function of playground, a storage room next to the park to store the blackboards, chalks, mats, etc., and a small room across the street serves as school library.) The kids were divided into different classes and each class was assigned with a mat made of straws. The classes were held on that straw mat.

I usually woke up at 8 in the morning, had breakfast prepared by my host family, and went to school on a rickshaw at around 9. I got to school at around 9:30 and started teaching the kids. I had a fixed class of around 25-30 first graders. Since the kids had just finished their term, the teacher told me that I could teach whatever I'd like. I taught them different subjects, such as math, English, and painting, until around 11. Then, we played games until lunch and went back at around 1 o’clock in the afternoon. My host family would have the lunch ready by the time I got home. In the afternoon, if transportation was possible, I would go to a all girls’ orphanage and play with them.

Do you feel like you made a significant impact on the local community? Why or why not?

I don’t know. I wouldn’t say that I have made a significant impact on the community because the community was pretty functional even before I went. I was there for only a week, and I don’t think I should be the one to evaluate the impact of my volunteer work. In addition, I think impact is for both sides. I made an impact on the kids, and at the same time, these kids have made a very significant impact on me. I read them short English stories and taught them how to count in English, but at the same time they taught me how to play kho kho, a traditional Indian game. I have also learned how to face difficulties in life from the kids. It’s hard to define how big of an impact can be considered significant; I just hope the kids enjoyed my classes and learned what I taught them.

What did you wish you knew before going to India?

I was in India before I volunteered with AIM Abroad, so most of what happened during my time of volunteering was not surprising to me. However, I do wish I had learned more Hindi before I volunteered because it is a very useful tool for communication.

Also, general things I wish I knew before I came to India: you need to keep a hard copy of your travel details in order to get in Indian airports, otherwise the security won’t even let you in the airport. Remember to bargain at the street shops when you shop because the shop owners might charge foreigners a lot more than the local people (they once charged me over 1000 rupees for a pair of flip-flops, which I got for 200 rupees in the end). Take your rain boots with you if you are here during monsoon season because it can rain several hours without stopping everyday. Also, for girls, wear long pants or skirts in India; Indian clothes are also a good option.

What was the best moment of the entire trip?

Overall, the experience was great. I can’t really pick my best moment of the trip. There are several moments that are very memorable. The kids were extremely nice and well-behaved. The smaller ones do not speak much English, but every morning I entered the school, I would be surrounded by kids greeting me and saying “Namaste didi”, which means hello sister. Although they were not from good families, and some of them might not even have had breakfast, everyone would be smiling to me, which made a very good start for the day and always made me happy.

Although I did not speak much Hindi, and they did not speak much English, the kids managed to teach me how to play this game (I’m not sure about the name) in which you have five stones, try to throw one up and catch it while grabbing the rest in your hand during the time in between. A girl named Rani loved playing this game with me, although I usually couldn't even get through the first round. The times I sat on the mat to play with them were definitely one of the best moments. On the last day at school, kids kept giving me flowers from the moment I entered school. I did not know how they figured out that I was leaving because I did not tell them. There were so many flowers that in the end, I used plastic bag to put all the flowers in.

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Kranti Sharma

Job Title
Aim Abroad Staff Member

Tell us a little about Aim Abroad and your role at the company.

Kranti Sharma

Kranti: Aim Abroad is an Indian organization aimed at providing education , safe environment and medical care for those in need. We rely on international volunteers for our projects like slum schools, orphanage, women empowerment and health care programs.

My role is to coordinate all of the volunteers, ensuring individuals who come to the organization are placed in suitable programs. I am responsible for all of the volunteers safety and accommodating them in our host families.

How did you get involved in the volunteer industry?

Kranti: I became involved in volunteering industry as I have a passion for helping those in need and less fortunate. I have done my masters in chemistry.

What makes Aim Abroad unique?

Kranti: Our organization is made up of so many people from different nationalities who bring their own qualities and skills. We have such a variety of programs there is something for everyone and we are very open to giving the people the opportunity to trying programs outside of what they have chosen.

Volunteer with kids

In your experience, what characteristics make a good international volunteer?

Kranti: A good international volunteer is some one who is open minded, willing to work hard and step out of their comfort zone. A friendly and warm hearted person is all that is required.

What does the future hold for Aim Abroad?

Kranti: I could not predict what tomorrow will bring but given the success of the organization so far I am nothing but positive about the future I would like to see our programs develop and grow with every new volunteer and the qualities they share with in the organization.