International Volunteer Services

Program Reviews

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Molly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hilo Rojo

Hilo Rojo opens it's arms to anybody who feels like they can help towards improving the lives of this beautiful children.
What is truely beautiful and humane is that many of the students have so little and yet give you everything. They may not have running water, a proper roof to sleep under, a stable family to support them, but they shower you in smiles, laughter, curiosity, and trust.
An important factor for any volunteer is the language and being able to communicate in Spanish because it will obviously be a barrier when wanting to connect with the children.
My 5 weeks at Hilo Rojo were just not enough and saying goodbye to the children, to the group of volunteers you spend you whole days with was really hard.

What would you improve about this program?
This organization and continuity of projects is to be improved. So many volunteers come and go and start beautiful projects with the children, the clases or even the whole school. However many of these projects get lost as soon as the volunteers say goodbye. To help the project keep moving forwards they really need to work on saving the information of past projects, being able to continue them or pass them on to the next group of volunteers.
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Alvar
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Una de las mejores experiencias de mi vida (One of the best experiences of my life)

Translation by Go Overseas Team:

I wanted a change and to live new experiences and I decided to go to do a volunteer. I discovered this thanks to Xavier from INTVS who at all times was very kind to me and taught me all the possible options, finally I chose to go to teach English to Vietnam, in this way I would also improve my level in the language while enjoying the country.

From the first moment I arrived everyone was very attentive and they helped me in everything necessary, in VPV they were very friendly at all times and the house was very good. Very rich and varied food and super nice companions with whom I spent great moments and lived very good experiences.
I traveled through different parts of the country with my housemates and taught at HUNRE University.
Original:

Quería un cambio y vivir nuevas experiencias y decidí ir a hacer un voluntariado. Descubrí este gracias a Xavier de INTVS que en todo momento se mostro muy amable conmigo y me enseño todas las opciones posibles, finalmente elegí ir a enseñar inglés a Vietnam, de esta forma también mejoraría mi nivel en la lengua mientras disfrutaba del pais.

Desde el primer momento en el que llegué todos fueron muy atentos y me ayudaron en todo lo necesario, en VPV fueron muy amables en todo momento y la casa estaba muy bien. Comida muy rica y variada y compañeros super majos con los que pasé grandes momentos y viví muy buenas experiencias.
Viajé por diferentes sitios del país con mis compañeros de la casa y enseñe en la universidad de HUNRE.

En todo momento me sentí muy acogido y feliz. Vuelvo con grandes historias y experiencias que contar, con nuevos amigos y con mejor nivel de ingles. 100% recomendable. Ya estoy pensando en mi próximo viaje a Ásia!

What was your funniest moment?
Un día que se nos fué un poquito de las manos en Old Quarter con la bebida y los globos. Cuidado con los globos hahahaaha
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Maria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience!!!

It felt like home. For me was an incredible experience, learn about the culture, the food, the people made me grow up a lot and see how big and incredible is our world. Everyone on staff felt like family to me. Mom Tick is another mom for me, all the time she was teaching me everything about her culture, we went to visit many beautiful temples, we went to the typical market, was incredible see how people there buy the fresh food and I had the opportunity to taste different flavors, animals and spices, love it soooo much!!!
I learned and gained so much from this trip, I understood how important are the simple things, how can you give love with just a smile or a selfie,
Thailand is the most beautiful place on earth where I can feel love and peace everywhere.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Just be open to learn about a very interesting culture, you’ll be amazed about everything there.
Be ready for the best food all over the world.
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Manuel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best experience of my life

Teaching English in Na Chueak has been the best experience of my life. Living in Mom Tik camp gave me another point of view of the life. I discovered what I really needed to be happy and I will never be grateful enough of what I learned and got from those children.
If you have the chance, just go! It will be 10 times better than what you expected.
I discovered a new culture, and met amazing people in a country much better than what I imagined. People are open-minded, grateful, polite, respectful and super fun. I felt safe all the time, in the city, and in every visit I made in the country. Also the food was amazing. Dad (Mom Tik husband's) took a lot of care of us cooking not spicy food and helping us with all the stuff we needed there. Even driving us to the city sometimes. Definitely an amazing experience.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would stay much longer and would try to do more activities out of the camp with the children, maybe with the support of other teachers from the schools.
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Iris
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience in Hanoi!

I spent a few months in Hanoi, teaching french at a primary school and English at an University. The kids were really sweet and involved, and so kind to me and the other teachers ! I had no experience in teaching prior to this, but I loved it. At uni, I got to know the students and they were really nice and fun :) It was a real sharing experience.
Also, at the house, we were dozens of volunteers from all around the globe, and I loved living in such a community which such wonderful people ! While I had privacy when I needed it, I also always had friends to hang out with. The immersion in the Vietnamese culture was great : I had an introduction lesson to Vietnamese, all the teachers and students were Vietnamese, the staff of VPV was Vietnamese (and really really friendly !), and all the women at my yoga classes were vietnamese !
I really recommend this volunteering if you're travelling alone, or with friends, whatever your age (even though there are mostly people around twenty in the house).

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Caroline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Expérience inoubliable

English Translation provided by Go Overseas

I stayed for a month in Vietnam with the project of teaching French in Vietnamese primary schools. This experience was beyond my expectations: wonderful meetings with volunteers from all over the world (which allows an opening on different cultures and a total immersion in Vietnamese culture.
At the slightest difficulty the staff is at your disposal and makes every effort to help you.
Volunteering has been very rewarding. The children were very happy that I came to help them, smile and cuddle at will! :). In parallel with this project, I traveled extensively in the North of Vietnam: breathtaking landscapes and unforgettable encounters were waiting for you.
I was very happy to participate in this project. If we had to redo it ? I would do it again without hesitation!

Original French Review

Je suis restée un mois au Vietnam avec pour projet l’enseignement du français dans les écoles primaires vietnamiennes. Cette expérience a été au dessus de mes attentes : des rencontres formidables avec des bénévoles venues du monde entier ( qui permet une ouverture sur les différentes cultures et une immersion totale dans la culture vietnamienne.
A la moindre difficulté le staff est à votre écoute et met tout en œuvre pour vous aider.
Le volontariat a été très enrichissant. Les enfants étaient très heureux que je viennent les aidés, sourire et câlins à volonté ! :). En parallèle de ce projet j’ai énormément voyager dans le nord du Vietnam : des paysages à couper le souffle et des rencontres inoubliables étaient au rendez-vous.
J’ai été très heureuse de participer à ce projet. Si c’était à refaire ? Je le referais sans hésiter !

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Jaime
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English in Pascal International School

The collaboration with the teachers in the school was amazing. We received the lessons in advance in order to have enough time to prepare the activities and some games (the students always want to play some games, is the funniest part). The students were amaizing, very kind and they are always willing to learn English. In some classes the English level was not such good, so the Vietnamise teacher helped us to explain the lessons. Normally the children participated a lot during the lessons but if not, you have to find different ways to motivate them.
All Pascal School stuff wanted that you feel there like at home, and they achieved it.

This was my first experience as a volunteer and I will repeat for sure.

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Dechen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Trip to bangkok

I enjoyed alot in Thailand since it was my first time life experience. I didn't even dream of going to Thailand but I got that opportunity and I didn't let it go in vain because I grasped it very tightly and enjoyed it. My experience in Thailand was unique because I was the only lady to go with 15 gents teacher. At first I thought of giving up on going to Thailand when I heard that there were 15 gents and I will be the only lady to go with them but then it was a great opportunity that I was getting so I couldn't give up. I was afraid at first but I really wanted to go so I went and now I feel that I did a great job by going to Thailand because it realy was a very good experience in my life and still now the images of me in Thailand comes very clearly in my mind I realy miss my trip to Thailand.I want to go again so I am searching realy hard for the opportunities to go overseas. My favourite memory in Thailand was visiting pattaya beach but sadly I couldn't swim because my friends were all gents I felt shy of swimming in front of them so all I did was watch them enjoy swimming in the beach. I really wanted to swim there because the beach was so beautiful but I couldn't and thats the biggest regret from my trip to Thailand.

What would you improve about this program?
It is very interesting la
Josu
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A great time to remember

When I first decided to volunteer in Takeo I had no idea how much of a meaningful impact it would have on me. I discovered a very beautiful and charming country from a different perspective. I learned so much from their customs and from their lives.

Teaching English through music is a very amusing volunteering experience and as the kids learn the lyrics and the key words so quickly you feel very heart-warmed. I was there on my own but I would also recommend going with someone else. Even though the town is relatively small there is a long list of things to, for me it was playing football with the locals that kept me busy during the afternoons. Nonetheless, others may find more interesting experiences visiting pagodas, cycling around, finding a nice place to chill and read next to the lake or simply interacting with the locals, who are always cheerful and willing to help.

With regards to the teaching method, music is a very powerful tool, but you can also carry out complementary activities such as games and filling the gaps with alphabet soup exercises. I wanted the classes to be very enjoyable and the kids just help so much.

I hope more volunteers can go there on a regular basis in the future because there are more schools to cover and a huge work to do.

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Arturo
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

First capture

As the first week was coming to an end, as part of the volunteering program we went for green turtle capture. This consist on using a specific type of fish as bait to attract turtles and then capture them to take some measurement to see how the population is evolving. At first everything was calm, since any turtle came to eat the bait. But as soon as one approach everybody jumped off their seats and started to get ready. At first ,I did not know how we were supposed to bring the turtle up the boat, so I thought we might have a net or something similar. But NO, a staff from the volunteering program, who is an expert diver jumped on the turtle who was swimming and grab it. As soon as he approach the boat with the turtle we help him put it on the boat. I couldn't help since I was almost in shock, with everything, as it happened so fast. That first capture was something I could not forget since it let me amazed. After taking all the measurements and making sure we had gathered all the information we needed from the turtle we released it. As we did more captures I realized that was the procedure, and even try it myself (with no success since the turtle escaped) but was definitely an experience I wish everybody could live.