Volunteering Programs by Volunteer Programs Bali

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About

At VP Bali, we believe that education can change a child’s destiny. More than just an international volunteer program, we provide opportunities to empower local Balinese communities through free English classes, recycling events, workshops, and more.

Since 2013, over 1000 international volunteers have provided the backbone for our community of learning in our after school English classes (Monday-Thursday). Year round, volunteers from the ages of 18-35 come from all over the world to inspire our communities through diversity and cultural exchange. As part of “The VP Bali Way: Education Through Play,” volunteers are encouraged to use creative learning techniques such as games and class competitions. This helps reinforce the idea of education as a journey, not an end goal for Balinese youth.

Volunteers are immediately assimilated into Balinese culture, starting off with traditional homestay accommodation. Weekly cultural exchanges with our kids and local staff members create a special experience far beyond a typical holiday, where volunteers can truly understand the vibrant traditions that make Balinese culture so unique.

Everything we do at Volunteer Programs Bali is for the Balinese and with the Balinese. Our English classes and community opportunities help Bali's youth and their families develop in today's changing society without losing the rich culture and family values that make Bali, Bali.

Impact

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Questions & Answers

Ubud!
Hi Juliette! As far as I know volunteers only get transferred if there is a case of illness or cancelation, and only if it otherwise means that a certain class doesn't have a teacher. When I was volunteering I did not see anyone transferred, they are very well organized and try to accommodate everyone's wishes.
Hi Rowan, From my experience I can tell you that during your classes you can pick up a lot of Indonesian very quickly. If you want to go more into debt you can always follow an extra course which can be found easily.
Hi Cathryn, a social/cultural visa is needed for this program. More information here: http://volunteerprogramsbali.org/placement-info/indonesian-visa/

Reviews

95%
based on 177 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.7
  • Benefits 8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Facilities 8
  • Safety 9
Showing 166 - 177 of 177
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svetlana
10/10

amazing stay

its a pleasure of meeting vp bali team and teaching the most wonderful kids! they are very curious, motivated and eager to learn.such a pleasure to teach and to stay on bali! thank you VP Bali for this program and your support during our stay

How can this program be improved?
more organized group activities (to see some places around bali and exerience the beautifulness)
Yes, I recommend
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Aurelia
10/10

Volunteer Programs Bali,Indonesia- with underprivileged Children - things I love, my experience and suggestions

I love - the fact that the supervisor is always there to guide the volunteer and that the supervisor are both as a friend and supervisor, that we have gatherings/ dinner when volunteer leaves, the fact that one of the focus of the class attitude is to combine fun & learning,the fact that the kids are eager to learn.

my experience - It was really fun and one of the awesome thing about this teaching program is that I ended up learning too! about the culture of Bali, about these kids, their daily lives, and the way they think. To experience the peaceful and healthy lifestyle of Bali. Its a good feeling when after you teach for a while you notice the progress and improvements that these kids have. I feel attached to these kids even after a week of teaching, once you get to know their personalities and how clever they are. Now I feel that I would love to stay more than 2 weeks, however, I cant, as I was not prepared to do so.

How can this program be improved?
To improve and suggestions- to have more example of ways to teach the kids so that the new volunteer can ease into the teaching program easier and perhaps to have more copies of the same story book, so the kids can borrow them to bring home, so they can read some stories in english as this will help them to learn vocabularies the use of the right tenses and the habit of thinking in english.
Yes, I recommend
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Sameer
10/10

Review of program ubud

One major difficulty was the fact that we were teaching English, a subject with many exceptions to its general rules. Also, explaining the logic behind our sentence construction was difficult. However, we managed to teach them using examples and physical interactions, such as asking them to find the contrast between hard and soft by pinching their table and hand and seeing which hurt more. We were also able to lighten the atmosphere of the class by bring cheeky.

How can this program be improved?
Encouraging teachers to better understand each student's individual needs.
Yes, I recommend
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Sital
10/10

Amazing experience with my SUPER awesome Bali kids

I really enjoyed the programme and the children are just brilliant. Teaching them and seeing them smile was the hightlight of my day.

An example of my day to day teaching would be starting with the alphabet song and asking them to pronouce the letters, then what day it is?, then working on 2 letters a day with 3 categories (food,place and animal). So we started with the letter 'A' and split them into 2 teams and we gave them 10 minutes to find as any words as they can. It was really great to see them working as a team and funny to see how competitive they are. After time was up we would go through each word and get them to pronounce it and ask them if they know what it is and then later announce the winner :)

We also went through body parts and played Simon says with them - they are really bright.

With the older class we also did all the above but went more advanced on the body parts and also went into vowels which they picked up very quickly.

We sang heads shoulders knees and toes which they really enjoyed.

All the children's are very creative and amazing. On our first day we gave them some plain paper to write their names on so we can call them by their names. I just expected them to write their name on it but they got really creative and started writing in bubble hand writing and adding all these special affects.

I never encountered any difficulties, the children are just brilliant and I wish I could have spent more time with them.

Just continue what you doing and make sure these kids get the best out of it.

How can this program be improved?
All I would advise is, these these children are really bright and they pick things up really quickly so instead of working on 1 letter a day and just doing the alphabet, make it more fun and exciting for them. They enjoy word games and really get into. Team work is really important and, and from experience they really enjoy it.

I just miss it :)
Yes, I recommend
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Katrien
9/10

enjoyable experience!

It's very good that we stayed in the same homestay with all volunteers since it's easy to meet others. I liked teaching children, as they were very enthusiastic and excited about everything we did. It was difficult sometimes to feel that the classes really reached the goal of the organization. Some issues were that there were a lot of children in one class or we had to repeat lessons because some did not come to school everyday.

Like I said, during the moments I was teaching, I really enjoyed my experience and it's so nice to feel the appreciation of the children. So glad that I have the experience of volunteering!

How can this program be improved?
Make sure that the student groups are not too big and focus more on the individual. The children are often asking for help from their friends.
Yes, I recommend
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Autumn
10/10

Fun and Rewarding

I have no complaints about working with VP Bali. From the beginning I knew exactly where my money was going and saw the passion of the coordinators myself. Kimberley, Hosé and Novia eat, sleep and breathe VPB and are very inspirational people.

As one of the first volunteers to contribute to this program (I started two weeks into the program) one of the most important things we had to focus on was establishing the level of the students English. By creating fun ways to assess this, myself and my teaching partner never got bored and smiled and laughed our ways through the lessons. The students are so eager to learn and so bright. When we initially started teaching we had nothing by a blackboard to aid our teaching which was such a shame because the students are so creative. We gained some coloured pencils and paper at the beginning of our second week however, which really made a difference and the students really enjoyed using these. As we provide free after school English lessons its important we created a fun learning environment and them showing up every day was incredibly rewarding for me as their teacher.

The home stay the volunteers were allocated is fantastic. The family are warm and welcoming and it has a fantastic location - the centre of Jalan Goodamer. Living with the other four volunteers was really special and I have made some really good friends through this program.

I worked at VPB for two weeks and was warned that I may want to stay longer at the end. I really wish I could! All of us volunteering have said that we would stay longer if we could. At the end of my second week I was very comfortable with the class and really enjoying watching their English grow and wish I could stay on longer to watch it develop even further. I suppose I will just have to return!

How can this program be improved?
I would've loved there to have been more teaching utensils to make it even more fun for the students. However, as a 3 week old program it is just not possible yet.
Yes, I recommend
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Kerstin
9/10

Great experience!

During my whole time traveling, I wanted to do some voluntary work to give something back to people who aren't as lucky as I am and I'm so glad I decided to do this with VP Bali. My two weeks in Ubud were over way too soon and it was definitely one of the highlights of my trip!

We were the first volunteers of this program, so in the beginning it was new for everyone, the coordinators and us. Because it was the first time for me teaching English, it was definitely a challenge, but the coordinators helped us and we were two volunteers teaching a class, so it was more fun every day. We could really see how the students get better and better every day, they are so motivated to learn English!

A highlight was the last week was when there was a big ceremony in the temple next to the school, so we were wearing sarongs while we were teaching, and we could see a cockfight and we were even invited to watch a perfomance by the people living in the village!
These are things you would never see as a tourist.

To sum it up: I'm a bit sad that my two weeks volunteering in Ubud passed so fast, and although I needed one or two days to really feel comfortable in front of the class, it was a great experience and a great way to experience the Balinese culture as well as helping to give the children a chance to learn English. I'll miss them!

How can this program be improved?
That's hard to say because the program had just started. It would, of course, have been easier to know the level of the class was, like what they can say and what not, so sometimes they were bored by things that I would have guessed are difficult for them. On the other hand, they found things really hard that are quite basic, like some pronunciation of words. Since the program was so new, it will take some time until that will be really clear for the volunteers.

Also some more material to work with would be nice, but again, the program is new and it takes time and money to get more resources.
Yes, I recommend
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srivello
8/10

Teaching Near Ubud, Bali.

LOCAL CONDITIONS

Most of the students of the program attended a full day of public school before-hand each day, except the few disabled children who are not eligible for public school.

The public school system includes 1 English class per week so the program provides an incredible opportunity to learn and practice English.

The students appeared well-rested and nourished and generally ready to learn - mentally and emotionally.

Student attendance is not required. Those who come most often are either there for personal or familial interest which makes teaching easier. Some students with genuine interest to learn also have family/religious obligations competing for their attention. The inconsistent attendance day to day makes planning lessons a challenge.

CULTURE SHOCK

Anyone from the developing world is susceptible to mild culture shock of small town Asia.

There are smiles and friendly faces, but English is not common outside of the program and tourist locations.

Independent, analytical thinkers are best served to treat 'suggestions' from locals as genuine demands and to monitor themselves rather than waiting for anyone to correct potentially offensive behavior (disobedience to rules / mores, relatively provocative clothing styles, personal space, personal property etc...) . Asian locals likely won't make their desires or demands as obvious as a Westerner.

My location was 6km from a medium sized town with good shopping, good internet cafes, and myriad eating options; basically everything except a mall and movie-theater.

IMPACT

The program beneficiaries (students, families of students, and community) are genuinely thankful and appreciative for the effort of the volunteers.

The students of my class paid attention during lessons and participated in activities. However my experience was with older students and may not represent the norm.

Without provided curriculum each volunteer is unfortunately prone to 'fly blind', repeat redundant lessons and skip important other lessons. The top improvement to my experience would have been to teach within a well designed curriculum. However, in place of a 'well designed' program, I'm happy to have the flexibility to design my own system. Many students will not fair so well with the improvisation required in the lesson-planning.

SUPPORT

The support from program facilitators was adequate. They are all social, energetic, and helpful.

There was little/no teaching plan available for teaching volunteers. This allows for great flexibility for the volunteers, but likely provides an often-reduntant curriculum

ADVICE

The largest variables to the enjoyment of the program are job-fit and volunteer-volunteer dynamics. Aligning the teaching job position (including age of students and subjects to cover) are a match for the personality of the volunteer, and volunteering with a group of like minded (language, mood, & interest) people are both strongly recommended and can be considered before accepting the position.

Due to spotty student attendance, one-day, standalone lessons are recommended.

How can this program be improved?
Provide a curriculum to teachers to prevent redundancy in the student experience and to improve the lessons from teachers not prepared to create thoughtful planning.
Yes, I recommend
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Soraya
7/10

Good program

I really liked this program, the children are very sweet, it is very safe and the people in the village are nice. If you have any problems you can talk about it with the people from the program, they are very helpful and nice. The children of the morning class really appreciate everything you do. I am very happy I could work with them. You have to prepare lessons for the children in the afternoon every day. They already go to normal school in the morning, so it's nice to do something active. The accommodation is very good.

How can this program be improved?
I think it would be good to prepare lessons before you come to this program.
Yes, I recommend
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Lachlan
9/10

Teaching English to children aged 5-7

I was essentially put in charge of a class of 15-20 children aged 5-7. There was also a broad spectrum of skill level and knowledge amongst the students, ranging from those who were very capable of learning the new concepts to those who had difficulty writing in Indonesian, let alone in English.

The experience was both challenging and very rewarding. It was rewarding in two main ways, firstly, to see that the kids were learning some basic English words and having fun provided me with a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Secondly, my Indonesian speaking skills improved exponentially and my teaching skills definitely got a work out.

My main criticisms are as follows. Firstly, there was no curriculum at the school, and so it was totally up to me to find out what English level the children were at. This makes it hard for the children to progress because with each volunteer they may be taught things that they have already done or things that are too difficult for their current level.

Secondly, the class was too big. This was not an issue of class control, as the kids were well behaved and I could comfortably control the entire class. This was more an issue of differing levels of ability. There were basically two main groups in my class - extroverts who worked hard and were able, and introverts who were a little shy and a majority of whom were unable to write neatly or at all. Because of this wide spectrum of ability I realized I had to create easier tasks for the less able and harder tasks for the more able students. Having two teachers or having two streams would be the solution for this group.

How can this program be improved?
Main criticism: the cost of 'i to i travel'. The programme was way too costly ($880 for two weeks, where $100 went to accommodation and $75 donated to the school, leaving about $700 to go the pockets of the organisation). I would have preferred a cheaper organisation or at least one that donates most of the funds to the school/charity.
Yes, I recommend
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M.
8/10

Observation

What I have seen are very motivated children and staff. New coming volunteers are receiving a warm welcome and de guidence of the coördinators is also very good. Friendly people, staff are very open for new ideas. This helps student volunteers. So the benefit works on both sides. What I like the most about VP Bali, is that the number one goal is that the children learn, have fun also and the local people are the ones who benefit.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jimmyaus
9/10

Great expereince for my future social work back home

The volunteer programs available were helpful to the development of the underprivileged children.
l especially enjoyed teaching English to 8-12 years children in the afternoons.
Working with the disable children in the morning was challenging, but rewarding.
Great support from the program's volunteer coordinator during my 6 weeks volunteering.
Accommodation was at a Balinese home-stay near the learning center, so it was really good to experience the real Balinese culture away from the tourist locations.

Overall great experience for my future social work back home.

How can this program be improved?
The Learning Center is currently updating their English Teaching curriculum, so that will be great help for future volunteers.
Yes, I recommend

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About Volunteer Programs Bali

At VP Bali, we believe that education can change a child’s destiny. More than just an international volunteer program, we provide opportunities to empower local Balinese communities through free English classes, recycling events, workshops, and more....