If you're wondering whether you should take part in a PMGY Program, then wonder no more, just do it. While I was looking through different websites and a ton of possibilities for what to do in my gap year, PMGY stood out from the others because of all the good reviews I had read, saying that it was a great company, well worth the money you pay for their programs. Of course, I was still a little skeptical, but after contacting them directly and eliminating any worries I had, I knew that they had a great costumer service and that I would be fine when I departed to Bali, Indonesia, where I would be taking part in the Wildlife and Childcare programs for 8 weeks. Before departure, most of the questions you may have will be answered in the in-depth volunteer handbook they send you after you book a program with them. It is a long guide, covering everything from pre-departure preparation, to packing tips, and in-country experience, including about all the programs offered in that country. When I finally got to my chosen location, Bali, the drivers were waiting for me at the airport, just as it was mentioned in both the volunteer handbook and the pre-departure webinar. In terms of in-country support, it couldn't be better in my opinion. The family you stay with is incredibly nice and welcomes you as if you were part of their family as well. Th new in-country coordinators, Jo and Manouk, for Bali arrived the day right after I arrived, and I am glad to say that they never felt like coordinators, but instead like great friends who were always willing to help you. They organized games, movie nights, karaoke, and everything else, from day trips to night outs. We even had a Disney Quiz night, and a Disney week. So, if you're ever worried about something just go to your coordinators and they will do the best they can to help you out. That's the other great thing, you spend so much time with your coordinators, and other volunteers, and after just 2 weeks, or even 1, you already know each other much better than you would ever expect. In my case, I can say that I have made friends for life during my time there, and I am already planning other trips with them.
When it comes to programs, I had the chance to participate in two of them. In wildlife, there was a lot of manual labor involved, we cut down trees, we fed the animals, we built toys and cages for them, and we cleaned, a lot. For childcare, you play with the children, you teach English to the older ones and you help the staff from both Bumblebee and Lotus, the two childcare locations, feed the kids and dressing up the smaller ones as well. It's a great experience and that's all I can say about it. You only work from Mondays to Thursdays, so there is many opportunities to get to know the rest of Indonesia, including some trips organized by PMGY themselves.
To sum up, if you're questioning whether to do it or not, because you're too young or old compared to everyone else, trust me, you won't regret going. I was 17 at the time of my program, back in October of 2018, while mostly everyone else was 20 or above, and I never felt excluded. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.