Lattitude Global Volunteering

Lattitude Global Volunteering

About

Lattitude Global Volunteering (formerly known as Gap Activity Projects) is an international youth development charity. Our mission is to educate and develop young people worldwide by providing inclusive opportunities for them to make a positive difference to the lives of others through a distinctive, challenging, structured and supported international volunteering experience in a culture and community different from their own.

Through global volunteering, we aim to give young people the opportunity to experience the world beyond their community and to truly engage with it. We seek to develop young people’s awareness and responsibilities towards themselves and others, and equip them with vital life skills.

Founded
1972
Headquarters

#200-5128 VICTORIA DRIVE
Vancouver BC V5P 3V2
Canada

Reviews

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Natalie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Straight out of school and out to explore the world! While completing my Year 12 I decided I wanted to ditch the norm and volunteer overseas on a gap year instead of going straight to university. I was matched with a school for Deaf children in England, UK and volunteered here in the capacity of a Care Staff Member for 12 months. I worked in the girls boarding house and everyday saw something new, challenging and exciting! Plenty of activities, trips, camps and special moments with the kids which I will remember forever. The experience of getting to know these kids is incomparable to any other opportunity you may ever have in your young life, and you will come to find that within a short amount of time these kids will steal your heart with their kindness and compassion!

The program allows for plenty of down time in between a busy work schedule, and includes a variety of school holidays which provide the perfect opportunity for adventuring around Europe! The way the program is structured is fantastic and you feel comfortable knowing that food and accommodation is covered with your program costs. Lattitude provided me with endless support pre-departure and whilst overseas, and without this experience, I would not have found my passion in life and the confidence and resilience I have gained from this program is second to none. They help you organise visas, flights, correspondence with your placement hosts and plenty of tips for your year abroad.

Putting yourself outside your comfort zone and doing an experience like this is such an amazing way for young individuals to explore the world and make an impact on young people's lives with whom they have the privilege of working with.

What was your funniest moment?
Falling over countless times on my butt while taking my girls on an ice skating trip!
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Chloe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I spent four months in rural Sichuan, in a town called Yibin, teaching at a university. For a 21 year old, this was extremely challenging; which is where its strength lay. I taught conversational English classes and also had a fair amount of free time so was able to learn some Chinese and some martial arts, as well as travel. The accomodation and living allowance provided was highly adequate, and the working environment was friendly and fun. Overall my experience was very unique and since then I have returned to China four times for various reasons, and can recognise that my original experience was one I would be very unable to organise myself yet was absolutely life-enriching and, to be cliched, changed my life and opinion on the world.

Read my full story
Oliver
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Lattitude Global Volunteering, gave me the opportunity to live in Fiji for 7 months, a country rich with beauty and love. I had the honour of living with a Fijian host family, who I still keep in contact with to this very day. I lived on an island, in the first ever capital of Fiji Levuka. My host family absorbed me into their family just like the cultured did. I had the pleasure of eating Fijian food, wearing Fijian clothes and learning parts of the language. I taught at Marist Convent School, where I was given responsibility and had complete strangers instil their trust in me. I taught 37 grade 4's alongside a Fijian teacher who adored and treasured our grade 4's, as if they were her own. Volunteering with Lattitude Global Volunteering allowed me to embark on a journey that has opened my mind and heart up to a completely new way of life. Taking a gap year and choosing to volunteer with Lattitude Global volunteering was the best decision I could have ever made, and to be able to experience what Lattitude has to offer at such a young age has most definitely set my life on a path that I know will bring many more exciting and treasurable moments. Vinaka Vakalevu ( Thank you so much) Lattitude Global Volunteering

What would you improve about this program?
No program is perfect but Lattitude is not far of it. If i had to change one thing about Lattitude I would allow the placements to run for up to a year and maybe even longer.
Read my full story
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Kaylee
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This placement changed the way I look at myself and the rest of the world. I worked with kids 7-16 and loved every second of it. The school I was at (STO4) was amazing. Beata will do everything in her power to hel you. The other volunteers became my best friends and family and I honestly couldn't of asked for a better experience.

At the end my host mother asked me if I could do it all again if I would and it took me no time at all to say "Yes".

What would you improve about this program?
I had some problem with my host family, part of it was my fault I should of had things changed earlier but other then that everything was great!
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Cass
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I spent four months in Phan Thiet, Vietnam as an English teaching assistant. My overall experience was fantastic, and I look back at it with great fondness everyday. The most difficult part was saying goodbye to my friends and students who had now become my family.

I chose Lattitude Global Volunteering as I had found volunteer videos on YouTube talking highly of their experiences, plus I liked the idea of staying overseas for a great deal of time, and having certain things like accommodation and in-country orientation and prep.

I was given a great deal of support before leaving Australia, despite how late I had signed up. Online Webinars and briefing PowerPoint Presentations were sent weekly. The staff at Lattitude also created a Facebook group for volunteers traveling the same dates, and an Alumni group so we could contact past volunteers.

There is also a camp in which Lattitude runs for all volunteers prior to leaving, however I was too late to attend.

Once in Vietnam however, I found the support system to be less than what I expected. This was only personal to me as I fell sick in country and had no support from Lattitude in regards to my hospital visit, and the cost it had on the school I taught at. I also found certain support staff from Lattitude (Back in Australia) to be very blase, as other volunteers would agree.

This aside however, it was quite satisfactory in country, and my link teachers and in country coordinators were absolutely fantastic. My Hung was extremely helpful in helping me with the medics, and organizing pay, and later visa extensions.

If you're interested in volunteering overseas and it's your first time, rest assured Lattitude will be your best option, and value for money. However, I personally don't think I will volunteer with them again, simply because I am interested in other volunteer options.

What would you improve about this program?
I do believe some of the country coordinators could be more informative. I felt like many details were often skimmed. I know of other volunteers who had trouble with the staff when asked difficult questions regarding their placements, and the response was less than satisfactory.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Volunteering in Rural China

Give us a little intro

Chloe is studying a double degree in Law and Arts at the University of Western Australia, and has previously completed a diploma in Mandarin. Following an exchange year in Brazil, and a passion for French and Spanish, Chloe has now directed her focus towards the Asia Pacific, volunteering, studying, and interning in the Solomon Islands, China, and Taiwan respectively in the last two years.

Chloe is involved with youth organizations such as the Australia China Youth Association, Oxfam, and Plan International, and just finished working at the Confucius Institute at her home university. Chloe is currently studying at Tsinghua University and working as an intern at Thirst4Water, an environmental organization advocating around water issues.

Why did you pick this program?

Offered as part of the a flagship program called Young People Without Borders run by the Foundation for Young Australians, the program was a unique opportunity to experience China after I had been studying its language for a semester.

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

Go now, think later! At this point in our lives, where (I personally hope) we are not yet chained to desks or babies or whatnot, there are so many opportunities to take advantage of. From exchange, to volunteering programs, to just traveling for the sake of it; these experiences shape our perspective on the world and develop skills that can't be found in a classroom or office.

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

Say yes! From dinner invitations, to kung fu classes, to running races; do things that you might consider outside your comfort zone, and you may find a new passion.

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

There are absolutely too many. One that always arises because it showed how headstrong and ignorant I was when I first arrived was being convinced my Chinese was good enough to order food on my own. I ordered what I was sure was my favorite fried eggplant dish, but confused the Chinese word for 'eggplant' with the word for 'children' and had no idea why everyone was giving me weird stares. When we go overseas it's almost impossible to not make many a faux pas, so sometimes if a local gives you advice or tries to help you, just be open to it. In this case, you won't go hungry.

Professional Associations

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