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.

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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 169 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.7
  • Benefits 8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Facilities 8
  • Safety 9
Showing 121 - 135 of 169
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Rose
10/10

The best

I have done a 20-week internship at VP Bali (in both Ubud programs) and I have had the best time. Teaching the kids was amazing, you get attached to them so fast! They are so eager to learn and energetic, so it's a 100% worth your time.
Especially when you're going for a long time (couple of months), you can see them grow so much. One of the highlights of my stay was definitely seeing two of my favorite boys going from being really shy and not understanding a word of English to being really happy and even making sentences.
The staff is absolutely great too! After being there for so long, they started to feel like family and I can't wait to go back.

Response from Volunteer Programs Bali

Thanks Rose! Looking forward to seeing you again this summer!

Yes, I recommend
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Ruby
10/10

My VP Bali Experience

I arrived in Ubud at the beginning of February 2015 to start my volunteer work with VP bali not knowing what to expect. I felt excited and nervous. As soon as i walked into my home stay i was greeted by the amazing Kimberley Vanderheyden and a bunch of smiling strangers who came from different places all over the world.
It was quite surprising how quickly i felt at home. We had all sorts of personalities among us, with some of us staying for only a few weeks, others for months. My first day of volunteering was a treat. In the twenty minute drive from our home stay to the school i got to see a different part of Ubud that i hadn't seen before. Beautiful nature and rice fields, local families outside their balinese homes/shopfronts and although these people had near to nothing, their smiling faces said otherwise. Arriving at the school was a real eye opener to how little these children had. I hadn't seen a classroom like this before with one whiteboard and a small cupboard filled with donated stationary and books, it surprised me that in these conditions there were so many eager children willing to learn and excited to meet me. I volunteered for a month and without a doubt could've stayed on longer. This experience has made me realise you need to stay open minded in your everyday life accepting everything that comes your way, the positive and the negative. Thank you VP Bali, I miss everything about this program and will treasure the memories and friends i have made forever.

Response from Volunteer Programs Bali

Dear Ruby!!

Thank you so much for your lovely review! We have sooo much enjoyed your stay here!! And those photos are awesome! :)

Thank you again, we miss you too!!

Yes, I recommend
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Zoe
10/10

Simply Amazing

My stay in Ubud with VP Bali was unbelievable. I made friends with beautiful people from all over the world and really felt like I was making a difference to the students I was teaching. Having weekends free meant I could travel throughout Bali and surrounding islands with my new friends which just made my time there even more memorable. It's so hard to explain just how much I treasure my memories and experiences with Vp Bali, the coordinators are passionate and devoted to their work and its so inspiring to see them constantly trying to give more to the students and the program. I highly recommend VP Bali if you're looking to volunteer, you will have one of the best times of your life - especially if you stay for a month or longer, that way you really get to know your students and the locals. I stayed for a month and I really wish I'd stayed longer because I was only really getting to know my students well before it was time to leave.

How can this program be improved?
I think maybe communication in the days coming up to your arrival could be improved and a little more detailed, however in saying that you're not completely in the dark upon arrival and I made it to the homestay safe and sound.
Also I think a solid and clear procedure or program for volunteers looking to extend their visa would be really helpful. I was helped through this however I still found it quite confusing.
Response from Volunteer Programs Bali

Dear Zoe!!

Thank you so much for your review and your feedback! We will definitely follow up on that! Love your photos and its so heartwarming to hear how much you have enjoyed your stay and we really enjoyed your enthusiasm and presence here!

Wishing you all the best Zoe!

Yes, I recommend
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Jade
10/10

Two weeks too short...

I really enjoyed my time here. After two weeks I am not ready to leave and would love to stay another two weeks at least. The schools and kids in the program are so dedicated and an absolute pleasure to work with. I'm sorry I only got to spend such a short time with them. The whole experience of being here has been welcoming and it is amazing how quickly you feel at home.

Response from Volunteer Programs Bali

Thanks Jade, we would have loved to see you stay longer!

Yes, I recommend
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Danielle
10/10

Four weeks wasn't long enough!

I had been thinking about volunteering overseas for a while and one day I had a brain snap and decided to stop talking about it and make it happen. I stumbled across the VP Bali page and applied straight away. I even managed to recruit a coworker to come along with me. I took part in Program Ubud.

Each day we would have our mornings free. Being in Ubud I got a yoga membership and would try to do at least one class per day. After lunch we would sit around in the courtyard of our accommodation and plan our lessons for the afternoon with our co-teachers. I had the two more advanced classes, which was quite challenging as they required lessons that were more thought out than lose with a lower level. We had two classes per day- 3pm and 4:30pm. The 3pm were the younger students who were boisterous, especially for a group of girls, but a lot of fun. We played a lot of games and did a lot of drawing which I was able to incorporate the days vocabulary into. My 4:30 class was older, around 15-16 years old. We spent a lot of time reading a writing. I did my best to allow them to gain practical skills with their lessons. I was fortunate enough to have the same class four days a week so I was able to create close relationships with my students. I miss them all and think about them daily.

In addition to the rewarding experience that teaching gave me, I was also lucky enough to have an amazing group of fellow volunteers in the time I was in the program. We travelled Bali together over the weekend, climbing mountains and surviving hurricanes, creating lifelong friendships.

To anyone thinking about taking part in this program I could not recommend it enough.

Response from Volunteer Programs Bali

Dear Danielle!!

We have loved having you here!! Great pictures! :)

Wishing you all the best dear!

Yes, I recommend
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Marissa
9/10

Program Ubud, VP Bali, 2015

I had a great volunteer experience at VP Bali. It was awesome getting to know the kids in both classes, and I really enjoyed working with the other teachers as well, from all over the world. The program is smaller than other ones i've done in the past, which helped made me feel more a part of it, and get to know others very quickly. I felt like I was impacting the children. It was nice having a co-teacher to make lesson plans with, and it was cool being able to get creative and plan what we thought would work best.
Ubud is an amazing town, and where we stayed was such a great location because you could walk to everything, and enjoy your free time between class. I loved the Thursday dinner/drink nights and getting to know everyone. I like the flexibility of the program duration and timeframe. I felt like we were working locally, which is what I was hoping for. It was great getting to know the local teachers and be in a village where we could help the kids learn english.

How can this program be improved?
The home stay was with a wonderful family in a perfect location, however it was tough to sleep there. The walls are extremely thin, and have windows which don't fully close, so you hear everything. It tended to be very loud in the mornings with the family, and could be tough to sleep in evenings with noise from the other volunteers. I did think it was awesome staying at the same place as the other volunteers, I think just making the rooms a little more private with a few more amenities would go a long way.
Yes, I recommend
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Oliver
10/10

Great Experience

Though I am quiet young and I have never left Europe before I always felt safe and comfortable druing my time in the program. The support is excellent and every one is very kind. During my time I have learnt at lot. I have learnt things about the Balinesian culture but I have also learnt a lot about myselfe. I can really recommend this organisation and it's programs. I am looking forward to visit Bali and VP Bali again though I don't know when I acctually will. But I will

How can this program be improved?
I think it would be nice if there would be more interaction with the other volunteers form the other programs. I know there is the weekly Dinner but only for the guys form WG and Ubud.It would be nice if there would be a bit more communication with among the volunteers. So they could plan free time activities better.
Yes, I recommend
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Carolina
9/10

Teaching English in Ubud with VP

A normal week day would start with preparing classes with my co-teacher (Rose). We would talk about what we had done with this class the previous day and what we wanted them to do that day. These preparations never took too long since usually you had to adjust your plans to the number of students present and to their wishes (Some days they would ask us to play a specific game which we would try to fit into the class plans if it matched the topic). Usually there was also time to do yoga or go to the market in the mornings if we wanted to. Classes started in the afternoon and in the beginning it was very helpful to have Rose with me who had been volunteering for longer and could lead the class. After a few days I wanted and was able to take on more responsibility. Teaching the students who were different ages and had very different English skills was always fun as they were very motivated to learn and seemed happy to be there. I was surprised by how polite and respectful they were with us eventhough we were younger than regular teachers. The only thing I found challenging in the beginning was how to explain some games or tasks to the younger classes (whose level of English was very basic) since I do not speak Indonesian and sometimes they wouldn't understand my instructions in English. But I learned very fast that there was always somebody around who could help me translate to Indonesian (Ami, Kimberley or Novia) and also the stronger students would help to explain to the weaker ones.
Over all, it was an amazing experience to see the students get used to me and my teaching style and open up to me and make a little bit of progress every day, even if it was just learning one new word. Their smiles and laughter will probably be one of the things I will remember and miss most about the program. I wish I could have stayed longer than 3 weeks and I would recommend staying at least 4 weeks to anybody who wants to volunteer with VP because after a few weeks the students really know you and you know them and have gotten used to Balinese life and culture and you will not want to leave then.
I found that all the girls volunteering with me were amazing people and I had a great time getting to know them and the VP staff. Everybody was extremely friendly and we would always help each other (concerning classes, visa, money or even food places). I will miss the people in this program so much because you grow very close to each other over the course of the weeks.
I think this program is one of the best things you can choose to do and will definitely make you realize what really is important in life.

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing it would be to make the classes a little bit smaller and to split them up into more equal skill levels. This is hard because some students want to go to class with their friends who have different English levels and we want them to go to class even if that means letting them stay in a class that is a little bit to easy/hard for them. Still, it would make teaching easier because sometimes there would be a big gap between the strongest and the weakest students and one group would not get all the attention needed.
Yes, I recommend
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Farah
10/10

Amazing time!

I had an amazing time with the students. It took some time for me to grasp the difference in language (even though it's similar to my language). The kids are eager to learn and we feed each other's energy very well.

How can this program be improved?
It would be beneficial for volunteers if VP Bali provides a short language course. Most of the students still need translation even though they understand English.
Yes, I recommend
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Claudia
10/10

Just smile

I found this volunteer program through a friend and I must say it has been one of the best experiences of my life. The kids are... well there are no words to describe them and you will have the chance to meet people from around the world. If you are hesitating, just do it. Seriously you will never regret it.

Yes, I recommend
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Nikoline
9/10

Unforgettable experience

My time at the Program by the Sea was amazing and I learned a lot about the Balinese culture and people and about myself. The ambiance was great and I really bonded with the children of the school since I lived next to their doors. I defenitely learned a lot from everyone in terms of looking at life, behaviour and facing extreme situations. Thank you to everyone who made that stay in Bali unforgettable!!

How can this program be improved?
A better lesson plan structure that I and following volunteers can refer to. Otherwise the children have to start all over again with every new volunteer.
Yes, I recommend
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Yves
9/10

2 weeks in the WG Project

In those 2 weeks working at the WG Project in Bedulu I met awesome volenteers, a great hostfamily and a lot of lovely kids in school. I would definitely recommand this project to everybody who wants to experience the balinese culture at his best. Plus: Pretty much all of the volenteer program fees you have to pay go to the local projects, which isn't necessarily the case in a lot of other volenteer programs around the world.

Thx VP Bali for everthing!!

Yes, I recommend
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Marie
10/10

Terima kasih!

Overall I really enjoyed my stay here, to me it was perfect.
Teaching the Kids was fun - although it was harder some days as they were exhausted or not motivated a few times, but this can happen to everyone right?! And we had some really fun days - the dancing part with the girls, I enjoyed the most.
Moreover I liked the evenings together with the all the other volunteers; good group, good vibe - lots of fun. Finally I think Ubud is a pretty good place for volunteers to stay, I felt absolutely comfortable here. Ubud has so much to offer and is absolutely interesting - so a great location to stay and be a volunteer. :)

How can this program be improved?
No I think it is perfect.
Yes, I recommend
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Julia
9/10

VP Bali

I really enjoyed my volunteer work at VP Bali. We stayed at a lovely homestay, everything was clean and we had awesome breakfast.
In addition, all volunteers from one program stay at one homestay which makes it pretty easy to make friends and to feel like home in Bali. VP Bali is indeed a family of volunteers.
During my two weeks, I was able to teach two groups. The younger ones, roughly 8, and the older ones, between 13-15 years old. I enjoyed co-teaching and working with the kids, they were so enthused!!
I would definitely recommend volunteering with VP Bali. If you habe time, spend more than 2 weeks!
And also Ubud as such is a great place to stay. Friendly people, awesome food and restaurants, and a warmly atmosphere. Also for travelling at the weekend, Ubud is centrally located.

How can this program be improved?
Two weeks are definitely too short. You just get used to the kids, teaching and Bali as such. I really enjoyed my time and would have loved to stay longer.

Just on the arrival day, I would have preferred not to stay alone at the homestay but that was due to the fact that all the volunteers left for a weekend-trip!
Yes, I recommend
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Flur
10/10

The True Balinese Village Experience

I was in Tianyar for two weeks and have met some of the most incredible people I've ever known! The village feels like a home away from home and you'll always be greeted with a smile and a "Hello, how are you?" - a truly amazing atmosphere. Program by the Sea gives you are great opportunity to experience Balinese life at all levels.

The children are an absolute pleasure to be with and love having your attention. It's amazing how even in a short period you can form such a strong bond with these children and you can really see how grateful they are to have you there. During your first couple of lessons it is occasionally tough to find new ideas to bring and inspire the children but once you know your class, you will find your feet really quickly.

There's 3 major things to remember about this project, the first being that the children have fun and want to return for more classes. The second is that you must be positive, patient and outgoing. And finally, be prepared for big class sizes. Don't come to this project intending to improve their grammar, what you need to do is improve their conversation English - this is the most important tool for their future.

It can be challenging at times as there is no curriculum to follow however, this can also be a benefit as you are able to teach whatever your English language passion is. One tip of mine would to make a list of things you would like to teach them and then amend the difficulty to suit their needs. The hours are 2 one hour and a half sessions from Monday to Friday which means you have time off at the weekend to explore Bali.

There are probably 101 things I've forgotten to say about the children and Yayasan because they are just fantastic. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone as it is hugely rewarding, but you must be prepared to think for yourself and throw all the time and energy you have into the program. It will be an unforgettable experience should you chose any of the projects.

How can this program be improved?
Improved guides for the volunteers.
For example, a sheet with 52 weeks. You are there week 14. You can see they will be learning about verbs. Easy to plan a lesson and weave extras such as mailing projects or newsletters in. Obviously the sheet will be different dependent on the age group. It could only be four elements repeated for the whole year?
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....