Oyster Worldwide

Program Reviews

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Jonah
10/10

I used Oyster's services to travel to Costa Rica in order to volunteer on the sea turtle conservation project. I had not expected the majority of the work to be done at night, but you hardly notice it getting to spend your whole day resting on the beach. My project was at Costa De Oro which was a beautiful and quiet beach front. I will quite possibly never experience anything like having eggs laid into my hands from a creature far older than me from another world, watch her babies be born, and then bring them to the ocean. To help out a living creature in that way while also protecting their habitat with people from all over the globe was touching. The connection i was able to make to nature and people has inspired me to continue to use travel as a way to connect myself to the world around me, but also to help other studetns have these experiences as well.

Oyster could not have been more fantastic to work with for this vacation. They made me feel safe and well prepared every step of the way. I had to get out of my comfort zone with the accomodation and traveling within the country, but this did not deter me from enjoying the experience and i would do it again in a heartbeat. Oyster Worldwide did a great job setting everything up and I could not be more thankful to them and the Turtle Trax team.

How can this program be improved?
The only way I think it could be improved is more community projects during the day. Otherwise great.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Isobel
10/10

The greatest trip I have ever been on yet. Everything went exactly to the plan and ran smoothly. There were no bad experiences and nothing went wrong because oyster worldwide is amazing at organising and planning. Transfers were always there and on time so we never got stranded or arrived anywhere late. Everybody was so friendly and helpful. The hostels we stayed at were lovely and so were the people running them.

How can this program be improved?
More food.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Charlotte
10/10

The Riverside monkey sanctuary is a truly life changing experience that will stay with me for ever, not just because of my time with the amazing monkeys but also because of the life long friends I have made and the people I have met. It truly is an amazing experience and time with the monkeys and learning about them, caring for them is something you'll keep with you for life. The people are lovely the animals are amazing and I really would recommend to anyone to that if they love animals and aren't afraid of hard work that they should definitely go.

How can this program be improved?
It can't.
Response from Oyster Worldwide

We're so glad that this was a life changing experience for you! :)

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

Oyster
With excellent communication, Oyster was very good in making me ready to go. There were all sorts of documents and items that I needed to take with me and before my departure, Oyster had ensured I had all of this. I felt comfortable and ready to go. I was put at ease as any questions I had were answered. Whilst the trip through oyster was quite expensive, the help provided before, during and after my trip over all areas/ topics was very much worth it. A couple of information points could do with updating though. Thank you!
South Africa
I spent three weeks volunteering in South Africa at a monkey and baboon rehabilitation centre. Working from 6:30/7 to 4 each day under the hot South African sun was by all means hard work but also one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The people I met there and the time I got to spend with the primates was priceless, making amazing connections with both people and primates alike. The centre relies on the work of the volunteers and does so much to help these great animals. The owners have an inspiring passion towards the project and I hope to return to the project again one day as it truly was an experience I’ll never forget.

How can this program be improved?
Update on information regarding the centre.
Response from Oyster Worldwide

We're glad you enjoyed yourself Ed!

Yes, I recommend this program
Lauren
10/10

From start to finish nothing was too much of a problem, there was no such thing as a silly question. I haven't travelled in years and it was the first time I had done it by myself. Oyster's UK office were superb at answering any question, inquiry or problem I had. They were exceedingly helpful and very easy to get in contact with. When I was out there I was looked after incredibly well and had the time of my life! Just wish it had lasted longer!

How can this program be improved?
Not really sure
Response from Oyster Worldwide

Hi Lauren,
Thank you for your review and we're so pleased you felt supported pre-departure and during your trip :)

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

I had such an amazing time in South Africa thanks to Oyster Worldwide. All the logistics and organization of the trip were handled so well I was able to just focus on my project and making the most of my time in South Africa. Additionally, the opportunity provided by Oyster to shadow a vet in that setting was one of a kind and one of the best experiences of my life. On top of all that I met some amazing people and forged friendships with people that I still keep in touch with. None of this would have been possible if not for Oyster Worldwide!

How can this program be improved?
It was perfect!
Response from Oyster Worldwide

Hi Maya,
Thank you so much for your kind words, so pleased your found this program fun and educational! :)

Yes, I recommend this program
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Megan
10/10

Best experience of my life! I would highly recommend this project, you get to meet and help care for so many beautiful elephants everyday. One of my favourite things to do was getting hands on experiences washing and feeding the elephants whilst learning about their emotional background. The staff are extremely helpful and answer any questions that you have, they even managed to help create another placement so that my friend could join me last minute on my adventure. I made so many friends that I am still in contact with and we are planning to meet up with eachother all over the world on our other adventures. This was a once in a lifetime experience that I would highly recommend to everybody.

How can this program be improved?
It can't be!
Response from Oyster Worldwide

Hi Megan,
Thank you so much for your kind words about our wildlife and elephant sanctuary in Thailand. We're so glad you got so much out of the experience :)

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

The project was amazing, it had the right balance between charity work and free time. The charity work was an eye opening to experience what it is like as a game park ranger. I also enjoyed learning more about the animals within the game park through game drives and interactive sessions in the rehabilitation zone. The project also gives you the ability to go out on weekends and experience the night life of Port Elizabeth and amazing opportunities, such as Sky diving, Bungee jumping, Cheetah and Elephant interactive experiences. Overall the experience was something I will never forget and I would highly recommend it!

How can this program be improved?
Nothing it was perfect!
Response from Oyster Worldwide

Hi Ben,
So pleased that you made the most of your time in South Africa!
Thanks for your review :)

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

Getting to work with the bear sanctuary in Romania is an amazing trip that I would recommend to anyone with an interest in bears.
From start to finish this trip felt relaxed, manageable and worthwhile. I had an amazing time, made friends and came home with some incredible memories.
Oyster Worldwide were a huge part of my positive experience, I would 100% recommend them to anyone interested in volunteering abroad!

How can this program be improved?
I couldn't fault this program :)
Response from Oyster Worldwide

Hi Caoimhe,
It's so pleasing to read your review about our bear sanctuary in Romania. Thanks for taking the time to write :)

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

Flying half-way around the world by yourself can at first seem daunting. Yet after reaching San Jose, the chilled tico way of life already began to make me realise that it shouldn't be. The hostel was fine for staying in and clean, but I was distracted by looking forward to reaching the beach and fears about the people I would meet, whom I knew nothing about and had to spend a week with.

However, once I got on the minibus I realised that we were all in the same boat, even those of us who had flown out as pairs or were already friends/family. It's surprising how quickly you can bond so closely, so suffice it to say that by the time we had reached our destination (following a deviation by ferry as the bus had broken down before reaching us) we were all more than comfortable with the idea of spending a week in the beautiful, tropical paradise of San Miguel together.

The days were relaxed although there were activities like volleyball or helping local children, and often the coordinators came up with their own activities for the day like fitness. The food was incredible and Locos Cocos was definitely worth a visit, but the most worthwhile part of the trip was undoubtedly the night shifts. The interminable excitement at possible finding a turtle meant that you didn't care how long you were out in the night or when, really. The two hours flew by, especially when you did find the tracks to a turtle or their nest.

I remember it felt like a massive privilege to be able to see such an intimate moment as when a turtle laid her eggs, the embodiment of a dinosaur, almost unchanged for millennia. Whilst it first seemed like the eggs might break you soon learned how strong they were and I felt nothing more satisfying than seeing the work we had done in the hatchery as it rapidly filled.

Now that I'm back in the UK I've been lucky enough to receive some photos from my friends who stayed out their longer of the baby turtles making their journey to the ocean. TO know that we made a difference, no matter how small, makes me immensely prideful. Yet, I feel no regrets about not seeing the babies. To be able to see an animal older than I am, to be able to collect her eggs and to witness something that almost nobody else can all while relaxing in such a beautiful location was fulfilling enough. Whilst everything may have been permanently damp with the ocean breeze and the wildlife more than exotic, I could not say that I was put off for a minute from the idea of travelling.

So, I thank the incredible work of Oyster Worldwide and the Turtle Trax team for making my stay so enjoyable, as I look further afield to my next journey now with the self-confidence of a true person of the world.

How can this program be improved?
More social activity outside of the immediate community.
Response from Oyster Worldwide

Hi Robert,
Lovely to read your review about your experience in Costa Rica with the turtles. Certainly sounds like you made the most of your time out there. Thanks for taking the time to review !

Yes, I recommend this program