Cross-Cultural Solutions
92% Rating
(179 Reviews)

Cross-Cultural Solutions

For 22 years, CCS has been the standard setter for the safest, most meaningful, and enriching volunteer abroad programs while striving to be a global leader in child development and women's empowerment.

Since 1995, over 35,000 people have volunteered with Cross-Cultural Solutions, providing meaningful and sustainable volunteer services to international communities, and contributing responsibly to local economies.

Volunteers gain valuable experience working in areas such as education, healthcare, and social services. Visit the Cross-Cultural Solutions website to learn more about how we're changing everything.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Danielle
Female
42 years old
United States
University at Albany- SUNY

No Support

1/10

I have gone rhrough multiple progams with ccs. They do have high turnover off young staff to help you prepare i have had good and really inept. I had problems with accounting. Many do be careful and diligent with kepping track. Their records did not match and i had to find discremency they refused and would not send me transacrion reciept. I always had a great time in country but decided not to use them anymore. Then i saw advertisement about refugee program in greece. I did not fundraise but paid to not deal with thier accounting. Found out no longer non profit. Other group of teachers had trouble because of this. We were at two camps and working with two ngos. One was very disorganized and had issues. I was with them at the children's dummer camp. It was extremely unsafe due to lack of structure and philosophy of lighthouse(ngo running it) rocks were being thrown fighting and adults and children getting hit. This behavior eas fostered there. I an another special ed teacher voiced our concerns. Bothing happenned i have over 20 years experience working with children, in schools, residential facilities and psychiatric hospitals. This enviornment was just so negative and hurtful to the children. We had a morning meeting to voice our concerns so many wrre about this problem. Nothing was done i was injured four days later. I spent almost a week laid up in bed. I did go back but worked with I Am You. Same boys who injuref me were in the english classes but luckily behavior was not generaluzed and it was a safe enviornment. The fridsy before i left volunteers were hurt again and had to lock themselves in an isobox fearing for their safety. This is not the first time. I had to do it too when i was at the summer camp. My first doctor appointment and mri someone from ccs came with me. My last three i haf to go by myself and pay for transportation. I did get upset with a program leader who is in charge of greece telling her I cannot believe you are not comimg to help me when it is due to your negligence. She said not ccs but lighthouse. So i do not know why we spend that all that extra money having ccs support us when they clearly don't. I have been hurt before but it was never due to an unsafe environment. i do not know if they choose to do nothing because they cant afford to lose money and are trying to make it but they allowed harm to be done to the tesidents of the refugee camp and volunteers. .

How can this program be improved?

They can actually listen and support their volunteets. Also you can save money and work directly with i am you. They do like a rwo month commitment though.

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Michael
Male
33 years old
United States
Other

Azrou, Morocco was amazing

10/10

I was blessed to spend two weeks in Azrou, Morocco with Cross Cultural Solutions. It was an amazing experience and something that I highly recommend to everyone. The country and people are so wonderful. I felt 100% safe the entire time and never had any issues. Everyone we interacted with had a big smile and a welcoming spirit. The volunteer experience they set up will leave a lasting impression in my mind. The whole team was great but especially Mohamed. He was the best. Morocco was fantastic and I hope to visit again. CCS was great!

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Quinn
Female
18 years old
Bahamas
University of Georgia

Wonderful experience, could have more language immersion

9/10

I attended CCS's Spanish Immersion Gap program Feb-Apr 2017. We spent a month each in Peru, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. CCS has a home base for volunteers in each country, and in all three locations the staff were lovely. They were primarily Spanish-speaking which gave volunteers a great opportunity to practice their skills while getting to know them. As far as accommodations go, the only complaint I have is that there were no fans in our dorm in Peru. Everything else was fantastic- food, beds, cleanliness, and support if we needed it. CCS provided cultural activities in each location- we toured ruins in Lima, had dance and cooking classes in Costa Rica, and attended a Mayan wedding in Guatemala (among lots more things). Weekends and some afternoons were also left free for volunteers to do as they pleased. My group took advantage of this to explore the countries more, like going to Machu Picchu in Peru, San Jose in Costa Rica, and Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Volunteer placements were well-managed and CCS was attentive to where volunteers wanted to help, within the realms of what their respective communities needed. There was an issue with a few of my fellow gappers in Costa Rica at the HIV home, but once it was brought to CCS's attention the problem was quickly resolved. I loved all of my placements: in Peru I worked with 5-year olds, in Costa Rica I was at a senior center/nursing home, and in Guatemala I volunteered with deaf kids. I learned something new at each placement, not only about myself, but also gained a closer look at the cultures of each country which I think couldn't be achieved without being incorporated so thoroughly.

As far as the Spanish immersion aspect of the program goes, it was easy to speak minimal Spanish over the course of the trip. It is up to each volunteer to seek out opportunities to practice, which is easy to do if you look. I wish we could have had more Spanish classes (we had 2 a week in each country), if only to develop a firm foundation to build off of. Once again, the staff in each country were great help with speaking. They were patient, kind, and happy to answer any questions we had.

It was an incredible experience that I think everyone should have the opportunity to do. I met an incredible number of wonderful people whose experiences and stories will stay with me as long as I can remember.

How can this program be improved?

I would have liked to have more Spanish classes every week.

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Naomi
Female
46 years old
Rabat, Morocco
Wake Forest University

Morocco - a wonderful and unexpected trip with CCS

10/10

I recently found myself in-between jobs and decided to do something 'big' with my time off. Two weeks in Rabat certainly fit the bill! It was an eye-opening, delightful trip. I had the opportunity to visit three volunteer sites - the children's hospital, the school (to teach advanced English), and the orphanage. It is clear that CCS volunteers are welcomed and appreciated at all sites. The CCS onboarding program gives you plenty of ideas to prepare for your volunteer assignment, but there are also many resources at home base that can be used to augment or adjust your plans.
As noted by other reviewers, you have afternoons to learn more about Islam, the Arabic language, cooking lessons, or visit local sites. Safety was a concern for my family... we simply didn't know a whole lot about Morocco in advance. There was no need to worry. There are ample security measures in place, but I felt safer in Rabat than I do in parts of my hometown (Houston). Safety extended to the personal trips I took on weekends (with a housemate). We were on our own but CCS checked on us daily, just to be sure our experience was going well.
I am thrilled to have visited Rabat. It's a beautiful, interesting city. I also had the chance to visit Fes, Tangier, and a few other sites on my time off. Now I can say I rode a camel!
Morocco is a fascinating place. Thanks to this program, I genuinely feel like a better world citizen!

How can this program be improved?

No suggestions.

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Julia
Female
17 years old
Rye

Amazing Experience

10/10

I had the best summer of my life because of this incredible program. I got to travel to many different places in Guatemala and visit so many diverse locations. I went zip-lining, made chocolate, brought souvenirs in markets and so many other fun activities. I loved teaching in the school! The kids were so sweet and really appreciated us teaching them and playing soccer at recess. I recommend this to anyone!

Program Listings

Costa Rica

Cross-Cultural Solutions
More than 1.1 million Costa Ricans live in poverty - that’s 1 in every 5 individuals - and the population living in extreme p...

Tanzania

Cross-Cultural Solutions
12 million Tanzanians live below the poverty line, a number almost unchanged over the last decade. A significant proportion o...

India

Cross-Cultural Solutions
Poverty in India is a historical reality. With close to 533 million (40%) of the population expected to live in urban areas b...

Guatemala

Cross-Cultural Solutions
Guatemala has been one of the strongest economic performers in Latin America in recent years, yet it has the highest economic...

Morocco

Cross-Cultural Solutions
Four million people in Morocco live below the poverty line, three million of them in rural areas, yet many families living ju...

Peru

Cross-Cultural Solutions
Peru has historically been one of the poorest and most unequal countries in Latin America. Despite sustained economic growth...

Ghana

Cross-Cultural Solutions
Poverty is endemic in Ghana and has devastating effects on children and families. There are 1.2 million children in Ghana liv...

Thailand

Cross-Cultural Solutions
Poverty has declined substantially over the last 30 years in Thailand. Large-scale income inequality, however, poses a signif...

Guatemala

Cross-Cultural Solutions
As a summer high school volunteer in Guatemala, you’ll be warmly welcomed into the safe and quiet Maya Highlands town of Tecp...

Ghana

Cross-Cultural Solutions
As a High School Volunteer Abroad in Ghana, you’ll be welcomed warmly into a colorful tribal culture with your team of global...

Peru

Cross-Cultural Solutions
Soak up the Latin American culture and learn the Spanish language. Our Spanish Immersion Gap Year is specifically designed fo...

Costa Rica

Cross-Cultural Solutions
As a High School Volunteer Abroad in Costa Rica, you’ll be welcomed warmly into the rich relaxed ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle. Wheth...

Costa Rica

Cross-Cultural Solutions
Spend your volunteering abroad alongside healthcare professionals who are working to provide quality care to their patients e...

Costa Rica

Cross-Cultural Solutions
Cultural, political, and economic challenges disproportionately impact girls and women. When you improve access to education,...

Greece

Cross-Cultural Solutions
As of the beginning of 2017, over 62,000 refugees Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere​ are currently stranded in Greece, primar...