Cross-Cultural Solutions: Volunteer Abroad in India

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Video and Photos

Our room at the Home Base--an apartment flat in an upper middle class neighborhood in New Delhi. The accommodations were clean, comfortable, and very "homey!" I loved our home base.
Visiting the Taj Mahal with fellow volunteers on my free time!
Volunteering with Magic Bus India, the local NGO partnered with CCS. I taught English and Interview Skills to teenagers.
Jaipur, India
Jaipur, India

About

Poverty in India is a historical reality. With close to 533 million (40%) of the population expected to live in urban areas by 2025, the vulnerability of India’s cities should be gripping the world’s attention. Parents struggling to cope in the slums of Delhi have to weigh the merits of providing their children with an education against the need for children to contribute to the household income. 45% of people living in poverty are illiterate and only 15% of children complete secondary school. Without education, future generations face continuing the cycle of poverty.

Join CCS to volunteer in Delhi as we fight urban poverty and its impact on the education of vulnerable children and girls, and deliver public health campaigns to those that lack adequate health care.

Questions & Answers

The CCS program fee is comprehensive, covering all your needs once you arrive in-country, from accommodations in the CCS Home-Base to the full support of the CCS in-country staff to all meals and Cultural & Learning Activities. Volunteers are responsible for their own flight costs, as well as free time activities (except for CCS High School Volunteer Abroad programs, which includes these staff-led...

Reviews

8.8 Rating
based on 20 reviews
  • Impact 8.4
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8
  • Value 8.1
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 20
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Nico
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Dharamsala

Very fun! The only problem I would say is that it's all daycare work which can feel kind of limiting because you have less impact than you'd like to. However if you love little kids they are of course amazing and sweet, and you do get the chance to a) give the teachers a bit of a break and b) let the children be more creative than they are usually given the opportunity to be.

Aside from the volunteer placement the home base is great, the staff are all amazing and Bela Singh the program director is super helpful and very open to questions about the culture, program, and her personal life.

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Leslie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience

My trip to Delhi with Cross-Cultural Solutions was nothing short of world changing for me. I made lifelong friends, both here, and among the students I taught at the Magic Bus. I learned that I can make a difference in individual lives, that I can think on my feet, that I can cope with anything, and I can laugh at the uncomfortable moments, which are inevitable when visiting such a different culture. I want to go back and that is my best recommendation. Go!

What would you improve about this program?
I would add different enrichment programs and hold them at actual historic and cultural sites, with the same instructors.
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Emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CCS Delhi is absolutely life changing

CCS Delhi focuses on complete cultural immersion. Outside of our volunteer assignments we had Hindi lessons, visited various places of religious worship and explored different parts on India on the weekend. From beginning to end it was a huge learning opportunity. We shared meals together like a family and had a chance to try dishes representing every part of India. My volunteer assignment was to collaborate and assist a teacher through the NGO Vidya Munirka. I had the opportunity to work hands-on with the students in my class as we learned and reviewed letters in English and Hindi, practiced numbers and understanding number values and learning shapes. We would follow up each lesson with a worksheet which allowed the children a chance to re-enforce the material! Outside of my volunteer assignment I spent weekends exploring Jaipur, Agra, Rishikesh and Hardiwar. During the week the staff would give us advice about places we should go and things we should do for our weekend trips. It was extremely helpful! Also, CCS has planned activities during the week! Some of my favorites were: visiting a Sikh Temple, visiting a Hindu temple, Hindi lessons, attending a classical dance performance, going to see a movie in theaters. Also while I was there I had a chance to attend Sufi singing, learned how to bargain and became completely comfortable navigating our surrounding community in Delhi!

What would you improve about this program?
Be sure to exchange your money once you get to India because you will get a better exchange rate. Also you can buy a lot of products in India so you don't need to pack everything unless you use very specific items.
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Miffa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible India

My favorite part of the trip was a toss up between meeting and getting to know a Buddhist monk living in Dharamsala to escape the unjust in Tibet and watching the student I had been working with all summer sing the Beatles "Yellow Submarine" to their families during the end of the semester program. India is an amazing land and culture and the experience facilitated by CCS allowed you to immerse yourself in India to the fullest.

What would you improve about this program?
Better pricing
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Margaret
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Project India Cross-Cultural Solutions

This was a dream come true. CCS offered a safe way to enter the world, the world of India. It is another world. I was my life-long dream and happened in India in 1997.

This was the land of my dreams from age six to fifty when I went.
I will never forget the opportunity to be immersed in the culture. I felt useful and learned daily from the experience.

The Cross-Cultural Solutions staff mage everything possible, if you were open to the experience to a new culture.

I am forever changed and empowered by this experience.

I have worked daily to change the world since my first CCS experience.

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Arielle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful Teen Program

I did the Dharamsala Teen Program last summer and loved it so much, I can't wait to go back! We volunteered in a day care center, where we taught the kids (age 9 months - 7 years old) basic English phrases, numbers, and letters. The kids loved singing as much as possible, so we played games like Hokey Pokey and Head Shoulders Knees and Toes. The program was very very safe, and Dharamsala is absolutely breathtaking. We took day trips around the town and went up to where the Dalai Lama lives. Homebase was lovely, the staff was very accomodating, and the food was incredible. I can't wait to go back as an adult volunteer!!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish that the teen program involved more travel - I would have loved to see other parts of India i.e. the Taj Mahal.
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Kirsten
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Changed My Life

I signed up for the Cross-Cultural Solutions experience in India mainly because I wanted to take an international trip and I felt this was the safest environment in which I could travel solo. What I didn't realize is what an amazing effect this trip would have on my entire outlook on life and the world. I made long-term friends in the staff, the locals, and my fellow volunteers. I learned so much about the Indian culture and now feel a kinship toward Indian people back home in the States.

I returned to the United States with a passion for meaningful work. I immediately considered quitting my job to pursue a career in teaching after having such positive experience teaching English to teenagers in New Delhi. Although I have not yet executed this change, and may not ever become a teacher by trade, one thing for certain is that I have developed a passion to support the mission of Cross-Cultural Solutions. I have begun volunteering locally in the name of CCS and will continue to do what I can to support this organization, including traveling with them again in the future.

I had a blast, got to see so much of New Delhi and surrounding areas, and never once felt unsafe. Quite the opposite--I felt very comfortable thanks to the staff. They were warm and welcoming and did everything they could to make sure we were having a fulfilling experience in all aspects.

What would you improve about this program?
Literally, the only issue I encountered was a slight miscommunication between the CCS staff and the local NGO with which I was working regarding schedules. There were a few days that I arrived at the NGO ready to volunteer with the kids and no kids were present. The NGO had scheduled their own staff meetings on those days. We had trouble getting the timing right on the days I was needed. I did express this concern to the CCS staff, and they promised to get that kink worked out.

In the end, I did feel that I was able to spend a significant amount of time interacting with the local teens, however, and felt like we had a mutual positive impact.
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R.
6/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Graduate Study Abroad Experience

I had the opportunity to volunteer abroad with CCS as part of my graduate studies. My interest was in women and children within the culture and I volunteered my time at a local school where I taught English. Having had a background in teaching, this was helpful but I can only imagine the stress of a volunteer who has never taught before might have.

In order to 'teach' English, we were given a key to a supply room in our apartment that had various games, workbooks, activities etc which could be copied by CCS staff. At times, I felt overwhelmed with the large task of teaching English to 2-5 year old children in only two weeks (I stayed three weeks but we were only introduced to our site within the first week) and truly did not feel like an impact was made.

At times, I did not feel safe within the community and wish that CCS would have provided more social events for its volunteers within India in addition to the cultural and 'touristy' events although oddly enough certain events like going to the Taj Mahal had to be arranged on our own.

We arrived during the week of India's Independence Day yet oddly there were no event scheduled for us to attend except an invite to the Director's home with her family yet we had just met her and many of us did not feel comfortable attending. There was a lot of down time which included watching English shows on the TV or going to their movie library and watching English movies.

Overall, I was not satisfied with my experience in Delhi but would recommend using CCS given reviews I have heard from friends regarding the organization (they went to other countries through CCS)