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Global Crossroad

About

Global Crossroad, LLC is one of the world's fastest growing international volunteer vacation organizations. Its ever-expanding programs offer a variety of volunteer and travel programs in 18 different countries throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America: Volunteer Abroad, TEFL Abroad, Tours and Travels, Internship Abroad, Mini-Venture, Group Seasonal Escapes and Paid Teaching opportunities.

Our philosophy involves more than simply placing a volunteer in a grassroots project. We offer a variety of programs to meet the needs of our clients: individualized placements, travel and adventure, cross-cultural learning experiences, in-country travel arrangements, free-time exploration, and other services as per the special needs of our participants.

Reviews

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

Best experience of my life

This was a life-changing trip. My only regret is not doing it sooner. BUT even at 41 years old with two kids you can still not only do this but have the time of your life. I want to go back ASAP and take my family with me.

Tanzania is the most welcoming country I've ever been to. Volunteering and really getting to learn and immerse myself in their culture was an experience a regular vacation can not give you. Staying with Mama Alice was so special. She takes you in like one of her own and spending time with other volunteers from other countries adds to the depth of the experience. We were all "brothers" and "sisters" when we met for our family dinners at night or into town together.

I volunteered at a hospital but also go to spend 2 days at an orphanage. They all made me feel welcome in a way that I have never felt before. Just showing up and lending a hand or giving 25 cents so a mom could mix clean water with her medicine made such a big difference to them. Everywhere I went I looked so different but was welcomed with "Karibu Sana."

The contrast between how little they have and how much love they give is mind-blowing and a contrast to the US.

I took a break for a 5 day safari which exceeded all my expectations. I didn't know I would be "camping" but it ended up being the part I was most proud of myself for and witnessed things in nature I can't get anywhere else like making new international friends, sunrise over the Serengeti, lions sleeping right next to our jeep, millions of stars at night, and elephants and buffalo at our campsite.

The land is gorgeous but hands down it is the people you meet, both other volunteers, Mama Alice, and other Tanzanians that will make this trip open your heart and mind to places you never thought it would go. I could talk to Mama Alice for hours as she is so knowledgeable, kind, and makes you feel very safe. You will be in good hands and she will be forever in my heart.

Don't think twice about going to this country.

Pros
  • Building confidence, relationships, opening yourself up to a new culture
  • Making a difference and feeling purposeful
Cons
  • It was hard speaking with Mama Alice before the trip while in the US with time difference and connection
Default avatar
Josh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a lifetime experience

I spent one week volunteering at the Agape Mitaboni Academy in Mitaboni, Machakos County outside of Nairobi. I could not say enough about how well put together the program and entire school is run. Barnabas was my volunteer coordinator who took absolute care of me from start to finish. Between airport pickups, getting to the Agape Academy, and hosting me at his house in Machakos which was conveniently located right down the road.

As for the actual volunteer work, it was simply amazing to meet everyone at the school. The Headmaster Ben is a very impactful leader who runs a very good program at the school. The teachers are extremely professional and I was beyond impressed by how well the students were. Every time you walked into a classroom they would stand up and wait for you to have them sit. That's just the start.

I happened to volunteer at the end of Agape's school year. I helped with grading exams, teaching English lessons, and speaking about the school system in America. I also had the opportunity with some more hands-on work, including helping to feed the students and also help with renovations in some of the classrooms. Everyone at the school made sure I had something to do every day and it was an extremely good mix to keep things interesting but also to learn as much as possible about their way of life.

I would highly recommend that anyone give this a try. The mutual impact made upon the students and myself is priceless. Please reach out to me at josh.yearian@gmail.com if anyone is interested in learning more. I am more than happy to talk about my experience and what you can expect. I will keep this experience with me forever.

What was your funniest moment?
Kioko (the groundskeeper) asked if I wanted to have a mango one day. Sure, why not, I thought to myself. So Kioko climbs the tree in the middle of the courtyard. I'm standing directly underneath, hoping he'll pick one and toss it to me. Kioko tells me I've got to back up- far! So he proceeds to shake the tree branches while climbed way up, and no less than 15 mangos fell on the ground. Let me tell you- they are really good mangos. Agnes (kitchen) will wash and cut them for you. Recommend 100%
Default avatar
Lucy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

5 weeks in Nairobi school & rescue center

As a 19 year old American, I was looking for an opportunity to make an impact in another country while exploring a new place. Global crossroads was able to provide me with that. I wasn’t sure what to expect upon arriving in Nairobi, all I knew is I would have the chance to help children less fortunate than me, which is what I aimed to do. Global crossroads connected me to the country coordinator for Kenya, Barnabas. Any questions I had prior to coming he was able to answer. When I arrived I was brought to Barnabas’ home where his family warmly welcomed me. I felt very comfortable staying with them and felt secure in the area they live in. They were very accommodating to my needs and wants, making my stay very comfortable. By the end of my five weeks, I felt like I was apart of their family. Barnabas walked me to my project everyday. I had no clue what to expect on my first day in the school. As he brought me through the slum Kibera, where the school is located, I felt very safe. It was hard to see the conditions that the people of Kibera live in, but not once did I ever hear any Kenyan complain. When approaching the school, all I could hear is loud singing and laughing bursting from the classrooms. Although the children were a little hesitant to talk or interact with me on the first day, by the end of the second day they would not leave me alone, in the best way! I felt so welcomed by the Mother of the school and rescue center, along with all of the teachers and staff. Everyday in the school went by very fast since I was busy coloring with the students, teaching lessons, or singing. On the weekends I was able to do a lot of exploring throughout Kenya. The country coordinator, Barnabas, had many suggestions lined up for me that fit my price range and interest. I visited the National museum, the giraffe center, Momba village, and many more places. I also had the opportunity to go on a weekend safari in Massai Mara. Everyone I met in Kenya was so warm and welcoming, making it very hard to leave. I plan on fundraising for the school and rescue center when I return to America because I am so passionate about the work they do. I am planning to come back in the future and see the progress the school has made.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Bring as much supplies and materials for the students and teachers as you can, they appreciate it so much and the reaction of the children getting something as simple as new crayons is priceless.
Default avatar
Anneli
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching in Rural Kenya

Our month teaching in Agape Mitaboni Academy, an impoverished rural school about two hours from Nairobi, was challenging, fulfilling and rewarding. We arrived with a suitcase (and more) of teaching materials, curriculum aids, sports equipment, stickers, educational posters, packages of pencil crayons, and even additional textbooks which we purchased in Nairobi, all of which were desperately needed and greatly appreciated. The needs are great: the school has pit latrines, inadequate blackboards, rough walls and (mostly) nonexistent window panes, and it lacks running water or refrigeration. In spite of all of that, the staff seem to genuinely care about their students and their instruction, the one (overworked) older cook manages to create two meals a day for 150 people over a smoky woodfire, the Administration is welcoming, and we were soon given the opportunity to focus on the Standard (or Grade) Sevens and Eights (as well as cover various other classes as the needs arose). What was amazing was the genuinely caring spirit which we observed among staff, students and parents; we didn't even see any evidence of bullying in the schoolyard. And the kids LOVED the volleyball net and balls which we were able to bring, thanks to British Airways' generous baggage allowance.

On our weekends, we took advantage of much that Nairobi and outskirts had to offer: the Railway Museum, Karen Blixen's home (of "Out of Africa" fame), the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage (where we adopted a baby elephant), the Giraffe Centre, the Bomas Centre, Kenya's National Museum, AND, of course, a four-day safari conducted by our new Kenyan friend Jackson: we revelled in exploring the National Park, Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru, and Lake Naivasha, where we saw four of the Big Five animals, to a total of more than FORTY species of animals and birds, many of which surprisingly up close.

What would you improve about this program?
As indicated in a post-trip telephone conversation with your Texas office, our homestay was inadequate: primitive, unhygienic, and way too far (nearly four kms walk each way without public transit and especially treacherous during the rains when the roads become torrents of slippery mud) from the school. However, when volunteers are placed closer to the school -- e.g. in the nearby village of Mitaboni with a caring host family -- then the experience will be a totally positive one.
Response from Global Crossroad

Dear Anneli,

Thank you to you and Greg for volunteering with us in Kenya. We really appreciate your constant support.

We are happy that you enjoyed the Teaching program. Also, thank you for your valuable feedback regarding the homestay, We are working on improving this so it will not be an issue with our future volunteers. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and will strive to be better.

We wish you all the best for future endeavours and hopefully, we will get a chance to serve you again in the future.

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

Internship orphanage Sri Lanka

I have been working in the orphanage for 4 months. I stayed at Michaels Hostfamily and I loved it. They treated me as their family. I learned a lot working in the orphanage. In the beginning you have to searche How you can guide the children. After a while you get to know them and you can learn them a lot. Michael also always helped me where needed and came to the orphanage if I wanted to say something in Sinhala. In the weekends I explored the beaches and did some surfing. Loved everything about my experience. Thank you Global Crossroad for the help

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Learn some Sinhala words so you can communicate with the children
Response from Global Crossroad

Dear Marie,

Thank you for taking out the time to write us a feedback. We are happy to know that you loved your host family and internship experience in Sri Lanka. We wish you all the best for your future endeavours and hope that things you have learned working in the orphanage will be helpful for you.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 29

Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

I choose this program because I wanted to get known to the Peruvian life. In this program, I got the possibility to live in a host family and become acquainted to the typical live.

I will study social work, so it was a good decision for me to work with disabled to gain experience in that part of work. And now I really love this work.

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

I could ask everything to my organization, and when my time in Peru came nearer, they gave me the contacts of my in-country coordinator. I had to organize the flight on my own. But I got an insurance from the organization.

During my time, I could ask everything to my coordinator, ask him for help by booking trips and he also showed me some places in the city or took me to events, for example on Halloween. Now he became a good friend to me.

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

First, I was a little scared about the language, because my Spanish was bad. Now I think it's necessary to have some basics in Spanish for talking to the disabled - they just speak Spanish. After some time, the language skills are getting better.

For me it was the best decision of my life to went to Peru. I would do it anytime again. So if you get the possibility to go overseas, you should do it.

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

Normally, they have work times of about four hours per day for the volunteers. But i didn't care about that. I had my breakfast at 7.45 am and spent some time at home with my coordinator, before I went to work.

The bus drive to work was just about 15 minutes. I started working at 10 am. From 10 to 12 the children had something like school. We painted, buil towers of bricks, made puzzles and so on. They had a little break and we moved on with school.

At 1.30pm was lunch. I ate together with the disabled. Then I had a break of about 30 minutes, sometimes shorter, when one of the disabled came to me earlier. In the afternoon, they had another two hours of school and we danced a lot. I went home between 4pm and 5.30pm.

It's also no problem to made a day of, when you plan an excursion. I did it once and worked a day on the weekend too. They're really lucky, if someone likes to help on the weekend.

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

First, I was a little scared about the language. My Spanish was really bad and my English also wasn't perfect. But I lived in a host family with my coordinator and an American girl, so I was supposed to speak English. With my host mother, at work and later with my coordinator I Spoke Spanish too. So I got better in both languages.

What did you like the most in the program?

I want to tell you about my best experience.

The place I worked with the disabled, my coordinator took me the first day. When he left me there, I first thougt, "don't let me alone here". It was my first experience with disabled and it was a little weird, because all the young people there have different kinds of disabilities and some of them are a little strange. But I had so much fun at work and I smiled and laughed a lot with them. They gave me their joy of life and I was sad to leave.

At my last day, me and my coordinator went to the orphange for a last time and he said he would get crazy there, but I'm so nice to them. I found my profession there and hope to come back one day.