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Letz Live

About

Letz Live is all about creating meaningful experiences abroad. Whether it's a year long Gap Year escape, a life changing volunteer experience, a perfectly balanced working holiday or a unique and sustainable group tour. However you choose to travel, we'll make sure it knocks your socks off and stays with you a life time.

Along with our unique range of programs that span from camping out in Costa Rican Wildlife lodges to pouring beers in a pub in London, we can also sort out your flights, insurance, visas and on-land travel. So you can rest assured we can guide you every exciting step of the way.

Founded
2005

Reviews

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Megan
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

An opportunity of a lifetime!!

This was a brilliant program, I met great people from around the world and it was a great opportunity to work in an overseas school. If I could do the programme again I would !!!! During my time I travelled various places around Australia and then went on to New Zealand and Fiji. The programme gave me the confidence to travel. The team and the school were great!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would change would be extending the orientation, would've been nice to get to know everyone before starting work and to allow us one night a week to spend time with other gap students. As someone was always working, someone always missed out.
Response from Letz Live

Megan, thank you so much for your valued feedback! It's always great to hear from past participants and equally hear from your placement here in Aus about how much they miss you! Please keep in touch!

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Alexandra
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Grammar School

On arrival I think our reputations as 'Gappies' had been tarnished by our predecessors, once we proved that we where hard working the clear divide off 'gappies' to other staff was lesser.
Day to day work was simple and rostered our colleagues had no problem if we needed to swap shifts as long as it was covered.
We had a curfews of 11PM unless sleep ins where arranged.
Opportunities where good and gave ample experience and where often free for staff however, more introduction to local surrounding would have been nice and would have helped us to settle in safely to our surrounding rather than feeling confined to the school grounds. There were plenty of sports teams to get involved with and its great when you do! I struggled with only having 2 Skype computers in the dorms and internet not working on personal devices for the first 3 months which made communicating with home difficult.
Over all experience was good and highly recommend it to anyone who is lost after their senior year.

What would you improve about this program?
A point in the right direction by staff who no the place you are living is always nice - cafes, bars, nice places to eat , local sports clubs and events just the things that make you feel at home. It is possible to get involved with a local club as I have played for my local netball club with little or no clashes with work. As for well being and facilities we all traveled over with insurance for the big things but we where not aware we are entitled to medicare which is handy if you have something smaller like an infection that need antibiotics. Communication between yourself the School and also the organisation especially before traveling just to give that extra bit of confidence.
Response from Letz Live

Hi Alex,

Thanks for the review. We are very pleased to hear and agree 110% that you (and your fellow participants) have created big shoes to fill for the next round of participants at your placement!!!

We of course will speak with your school to ensure that we can better facilitate a local orientation to ensure you are 'kept-in-the-know' of local eateries, cafes, bars etc for future participants.

Indeed you (all have) demonstrated enthusiasm and initiative in your roles and in return have enjoyed some wonderful experiences both with the school and privately!

A note on the insurance and Medicare - under the visa regulations for this program, all participants are required to obtain travel / health insurance as part of the visa formalities. We have made provisions for those who may be eligible for Medicare moving forward too.

Enjoy the remaining few weeks here in Aus and keep in touch when you return to the UK!

Safe travels.

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Ryan
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience...

living in a boarding school in rural NSW is difficult when it is only you. My female "companion" had dropped out leaving me to pick up all of her work, without so much a thank you for a very long time. When mentioned to the Staff at the school/ with the company I felt that I was pushed aside and ignored, I rate the experience and having to meet people but not the school. Having to wake up early and go to bed very late eventually takes its toll on you, I was hoping that there would be more of a chance to get involved during school hours and when I made the effort to do this I was often ignored or used as free labour- without being given a real chance to help.

I have had a good time, though I believe that LetzLive should reevaluate where young adults are being sent, living miles away from the coast and major cities on your own can get very depressing.

My school also did not have a decent wifi set up either. I waited 2 weeks to get a password to let my mother know I was safe- I the meantime having to go down to coffee club and pay nearly $5 for a long black just to talk to my family. Eventually I got a password which worked for my iPad but not for my phone. I was also told that I would be able to use the desktop computers around the boarding house- this ended up being untrue. To this day I only have access to iMessage and snapchat on my iPad and now iPhone, there is no way of accessing: Google, Facebook, Skype, FaceTime, iTunes etc. This has made it incredibly difficult to plan trips and talk to other friends that have been travelling.

What would you improve about this program?
A reexamination of schools best suited to the programme, I would aim to put 2 boys/ 2 girls together as an absolute minimum.
Response from Letz Live

Your Comments.

Ryan, thank you for your feedback and thoughts on improving the programme. I am disappointed that you have - following your phone call apologising for the ‘bias comments’ - not readdressed some of our concerns since your departure… as promised. Therefore, in fairness to those who may be considering this programme - I do feel the need to respond to your comments on this platform to give other potential participants the opportunity to hear the ‘other-side-of-the-story’.

Whilst some of your comments are justified and indeed have been rectified since your departure, a good number simply don’t ring true. You will be pleased to know that the internet access (and speed) has improved significantly. Having spent 12 months working at the school, I am sure you can appreciate why applications like SnapChat / Facebook etc may be blocked by the school’s internet filters. These are to ensure students do not misuse the applications during the school term. This is common practice across all schools – globally!

Your host school is one of Australia’s leading establishments in a location that – whilst ‘rural’ is classed as a 'regional city'. It has its own airport, train station, shopping centre, cinema's and university - Wagga Wagga has a population of 65,000 people!!! Additionally there are frequent and very easy connections to both Sydney and Melbourne via train (the train station is literally a hundred metres from the school). If you are organised and prepared, travel is relatively cheap to both destinations. Moreover, unlike a good proportion of boarding schools, you were afforded every weekend off allowing you to immerse yourself into the community and participate in a variety of activities including joining the local sports clubs – which you jumped at. Most participants have weekdays off and not weekends. This also afforded you the opportunity to travel regularly to Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra where you had friends.

Unfortunately, some participants do need to return to their home country earlier than expected – that’s life! Your concerns regarding picking up ‘all her work’ is simply untrue. The nature of the programme at this particular host school is that the male participant works with the male boarders and the female participant with the female boarders. Of course there is crossover and interaction throughout the school day – but you would’ve been rostered into these irrespective of your ‘companions’ departure. Simply put; it is against every school’s policy for a male participant (member of staff) to be working in a female dormitory with female boarders present. You were actually advised of this during your induction training in the orientation upon your arrival to Australia. Therefore, I find it hard to believe you were left to pick up all her work.

With regards to your suggested improvements; we have several schools that take only one participant annually in far more ‘rural’ locations across Australia (some don’t receive mobile phone coverage) than the one you were placed in. These placements have been a huge success because the participant involves themselves in the school wholeheartedly.

Further to this, the two participants at your host school currently have embraced their experience and as they look to depart in the coming weeks back to the UK they are leaving with the mixed emotions of the excitement to return home to see friends and family but also sad to see the experience they have embraced come to a conclusion.

Ryan, of course I appreciate your thoughts, comments, and thank you for you 9 / 10 review, 90% / 100% for 'Overall Experience' and 100%/100% for 'Value'.

I wish you best of luck with your future endeavours!

Nick.
Company Director.
Letz Live Pty Ltd.

Programs

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Staff Interviews

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

Samantha Chalker

Job Title
Content & Partnerships Manager
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What position do you hold at Letz Live? What has been your career path so far?

I started my career at a boutique advertising agency in Sydney. It had all the ingredients for a dream job, but it just didn't get me out of bed in the morning.

After less than a year, I threw it in and took off overseas to rethink my goals and career plan. The last destination I visited was India - the perfect place for life assessment!

While I was there I realized that travel is the only thing that really makes me tick, and If I could make a career out of inspiring others to go abroad, I would be pretty content.

Within a week of being home I heard about a Marketing job going at Contiki, and started working for them two weeks later. I met incredible people and learned a great deal, eventually discovering that I wanted to narrow in on more philanthropic ways to travel. This lead me to my current role as the Content and Partnerships Manager for Letz Live.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

I have been allocated the task of developing Letz Live's volunteer programs. In the short time I've been with Letz Live, this has already taken me to a sustainable farming project in Panama, an orphanage in Vietnam, and school based projects in Nicaragua, Indonesia and Cambodia.

I still have to pinch myself that this is actually a job. It sounds clichè, but the best part of visiting these places is the people I meet; people who have dedicated their whole lives to the betterment of others. It keeps me grounded and inspires me to be a better person.

Did you volunteer or work abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?

My life has been a bit reversed and I never really found the time to do a working holiday or gap year. As soon as I left school I bought a house, settled down, and decided I would travel when I was an old lady.

By the time I reached 23, my curiosity got the better of me and I finally did some backpacking. It didn't even occur to me to do a volunteer trip or a working holiday until I was making it my career!

When I visit Letz Live's projects, I am positively overwhelmed by how selfless and compassionate our volunteers are. Some of them stay for months on end and love every second of it. I like to think I am volunteering vicariously through them!

What do you most love about Letz Live's programs?

I don't do any customer service, but I love watching the level of attention every single person gets. I often overhear the team talking about "Jim's Grandma" or "the job Suzie got when she returned home".

I have no idea how they know everyone so personally, but they manage! And that starts right from the beginning, ensuring they find an overseas experience that is perfect for them as an individual.

We also make sure that someone in the team has visited every program personally. This way we know exactly what their unique needs are and can personally vouch for the experience. I think that makes us very unique.

Any tips for someone considering their first experience abroad?

Put your phone away! My Grandma just spent 6 weeks in Europe and took an iPhone loaded up with apps so that everything was planned and easy. She even had an app that she could speak into and it would translate into the local language for her!

This was great for her, but I think anyone young should relish the opportunity to get lost and confused. Ask people for directions, use sign language where you need to and enjoy the ups and downs of being somewhere completely foreign. You will learn so much more, and probably end up in unique places with interesting people that your iPhone could never have planned for.