United Planet

Program Reviews

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Caitilin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I worked in a center for atypical adults. I participated in a music class, their free time, and helping with some of their other activities. I loved the people and clients I worked with! Everyone was very welcoming. It was very convenient that I lived in the same place I worked. Sometimes, it would have been nice to have another volunteer with me to explore the city and travel with. However, I feel like this experience made me more independent. It was nice to have a couple vacation days so that I could travel to different places too!
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience.

What would you improve about this program?
I would suggest always having two people at the same site or at least connect the volunteers at different sites.
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Julie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience with United Planet and my month-long quest to Quito, Ecuador, was one that made an indelible impression upon my mind and heart! As cliche as it is, my life changed because of this. I was there Nov/Dec 2019. I was enriched to such an extent that I am now tentatively moving there in May 2020.

United Planet was extremely meticulous with all the arrangements and pre-departure training and information. I had some trepidation going because there was civil unrest in Quito prior to my arrival. Plus, I was the only volunteer there at that time. However, United Planet assured me that all was well. I truly believe their participants’ safety and security are of paramount importance to them.

From everything — living accommodations, assistance from the program coordinator, Patricio, the food, countless excursions, and the volunteering experience at Quintiliano Sanchez — it was all first-class. United Planet’s personalized care of their clients is unparalleled. I am so impressed by this organization, and any person interested in pursuing a quest with UP can call me for a more detailed review. 5.5 out of 5 STARS.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Chonta curo - these are fried worms I ate in the Amazon jungle
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Aisha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Really I thought just being in Japan was enough to make my heart beat, but not only that was amazing there where the people I meet and the family's I stayed with. I have traveled a lot in my life and this was my first time traveling alone, I was scared but the overall feeling of being able to be apart of this adventure just made me so happy. My host family's where so kind that I felt welcomed and reassured. Nothing about my experience was not fun, even when I missed my stop at like midnight and had to take a very expensive taxi back home. Now I only laugh about it, what can I do about it. It's now a story I can tell my friends over dinner.
The food there was the best for me, it comes in small portions but there are so many different dishes.

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Steven
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was on a one week United Planet program in Cusco, Peru.
United planet is very well organized and everyone in the US office and in Peru was so helpful and knowledgable. United Planet helps with a fundraising page to help volunteers raise money to cover costs.
Once “in country” the experience was amazing. I volunteered at a wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary and I never could have or would have had the opportunity in the US (or maybe anywhere) to be so up close with the animals and to work side by side with locals... and the host family was great and they picked me up at the airport.... spanish language classes arranged at a local school. Add on tours offered. Advice and tips for before and during the stay in the country. Registration with the State dept, health insurance... the list goes on and on about how much United Planet gives. It was great!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Pick a good program like United Planet - trust their experience and professionalism and “Just do it”! :-)
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Courtney
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience volunteering with United Planet was top-notch and life-changing! I felt extremely prepared prior to arriving, thanks to the excellent pre-departure assistance UP provided. I volunteered for 2 weeks at a K-8 school in Santiago. The experiences I shared with the teachers and students are unforgettable. Although it was only a two-week Quest, I feel recharged, energized and extremely grateful now that I am back home. In addition to volunteering, I especially cherish the time I spent with my host family. They went out of their way to take me to the most beautiful locales. They were able to share with me the REAL Santiago. My Chilean family made me feel safe and supported, and encouraged to venture outside of my comfort zone. They will remain life-long friends! I also really appreciate my program's director, Paul Fischer. He checked in on me often, which I appreciated!

What would you improve about this program?
n/a
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Tashi
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I spent 2 weeks living in Cuzco, Peru and volunteering at a nearby dental clinic. Overall, it was an amazing time, I especially loved the city and all of the cool places to visit. My experience at the clinic was great as well, the dentists and staff were all very welcoming and kind, and I never felt uncomfortable. The staff at the Spanish school did a very good job at introducing us to the project, and giving us a thorough orientation about everything we needed to know about living in Cuzco and getting to our workplace. Also, if you go to Cuzco in the winter, just be aware that it is very cold, especially at night it gets absolutely freezing, so be sure to bring lots of warm clothes. As far as safety goes, I would say that you don't have much to be worried about, as it is very touristy in most places. However, at night on the weekends, I maybe wouldn't stray to far from the main areas without other people, just to be sure.

Portimão, Portugal
Joyce
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a great time in Changsha, China! Living with the local people was very enriching, because it was different from where I live. I've learned lots of things in those three weeks. Not only how to teach or stand in front of a class of minimum fifty children. I also learned about the Chinese culture, the local (spicy) food and of course the beautiful (but oh so difficult) language. The Chinese education system is different from the one in Belgium. I think experiencing those differences was very interesting. In other words, I got the chance and opportunity to see life from another perspective. An unforgettable experience!

What would you improve about this program?
Sometimes I felt lonely. Maybe an extra volunteer would've made the Quest more interesting for me. I was the only volunteer at the school, so I didn't really have someone to share my experiences with.
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Jodie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Prior to my departure, the United Planet (UP) staff helped me tremendously to make sure my time in Ghana would go smoothly. While in Ghana, I worked at Volta Regional Hospital where I met ( and still keep in contact with) the incredible staff. Everyone there was so welcoming, it truly felt like home. After spending 8 weeks in the Emergency Ward, it pained me so much to leave. I learned how to dress wounds, take vitals, set IV lines and so much more. As I left the hospital, saying goodbye to Auntie Mercy (my host family) was extremely tough. I experienced so much while during my stay at her house. I was fortunate enough to witness a traditional wedding and engagement. Our excursions included going to the waterfalls and monkey sanctuary. I truly can't wait to go back to Ghana! Even though I have my family in the USA, I also have a family in Ghana.

What would you improve about this program?
This is such a cliche but I truly don't know how this program can improve. It was life changing and I have nothing negative to say about my experience while in Ghana.
Claudia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I completed my TEFL course at Samui TEFL in March 2014. It was one of the most interesting courses I have done as Katherine keeps you engaged at all times and makes sure you really understand your work. The hands on experience with Thai children is really beneficial as you would not get that experience with an online course and it gives you a taste of what being an ESL teacher is all about. I was 18-years-old when I did the course and I did not struggle to find a great job as Katherine and Rosanne helped me through the entire process and they are great support. I wish I could go back and redo the course as I enjoyed it way more than any college courses I've ever completed.

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Hanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Finland to me, was so much more than an opportunity to learn more about another country. I fell in love with the culture. The honest and truly caring and compassionate qualities of those who I interacted with. Not only those in my program who were fellow volunteers but my coworkers at placement to the local volunteer office and to my host family. I am still in contact with everyone even though it's been 3 years since my return. I was living in Helsinki and I never felt unsafe or threatened in the city walking around. The public transportation is very easy to navigate. I miss that city so much, and plan on living there again in the future. I personally was volunteering at a farm located just outside of the city but all my friends and fellow volunteers seemed happy with their placements! Many different opportunities to explore as a volunteer!