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 190 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.7
  • Benefits 8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Facilities 8
  • Safety 9
Showing 136 - 150 of 190
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Melanie
9/10

Program Village (WG)

My name is Melanie and I volunteered with VP Bali at program village for 2 months starting in January 2015. I had a split day, spending mornings (10am-12pm) working with the special needs children and afternoons (2pm-4pm) teaching English.

First a bit about the school: It is founded and run by a man and his wife - locals from the community. For this reason, VP Bali is not the only organization that provides volunteers, which can at times create a bit of confusion. It is located in a village about a 10 minute drive from Ubud - it is very rural and quiet but lets you appreciate the REAL Bali. It is a beautiful village filled with beautiful people!

For the special needs program, there are a few local teachers who run a fairly scheduled week for the children. Most of the work in the morning is assisting in the classroom! Despite the fact that they do not speak much English, it is an incredibly rewarding job! I did not get the chance to experience much of the afternoons with the special needs kids but it was often planned and run almost entirely by the volunteers.

In the afternoons, I taught English to a group of 8-12 year olds. I was on my own for a good portion of my 2 months - I had co-teachers join me for a couple weeks a few times but my placement was much more long term than theirs. There is one local teacher that looks after the 3 classes - she will ensure you have the materials you need, but rarely actually teaches the classes. It is up to the volunteers to prepare lessons and teach either on their own or alongside another volunteer.

I believe I greatly benefitted from being at the program for 2 months. I would definitely recommend this length of time. Your first week is usually overlapping the last week of the previous volunteer so that you can get settled in, the next 2 weeks you will start to learn the kids names and a bit about them, it isn't until the 4th week that I really felt I had connected and began to feel valuable.

I encourage anyone who is considering this program to just commit and DO IT! I took a huge leap of faith when I applied and am forever grateful for the outcome!

There are really no words to describe the beauty of this experience... Seeing it for yourself is the best way to truly understand!

How can this program be improved?
Based on my experience, VP Bali is really the best program out there to do this kind of volunteering. I met several people from other programs that had no support or contact in Bali, paid way too much, or simply had no preparation! I think that VP Bali is doing an amazing job with this program! The only thing I would have changed would have been the communication between volunteers to create a more fluid transition for the English students. This is, however, a long term goal that may develop over time!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Hattie
10/10

Wonderful Experience!

I recently spent the month of April volunteering in Ubud, Bali with Volunteer Programs Bali, and it was the most wonderful experience of my life!

I had never visited Asia before, and was a little nervous about flying so far alone from the U.K - I really did not know what to expect. As soon as I arrived I fell in love with the Balinese culture, people, food, landscape and of course with teaching and the students. The other volunteers were so kind and friendly, making it very easy to feel right at home.

From climbing Mount Batur to watch the Bali sunrise, to traditional music lessons, attending the Saraswati Ceremony in traditional Balinese dress, to walking through the Ubud rice fields and drinking from coconuts on the beach and walking through the rainforest -- on the weekends you are able to explore the island however you would like. There are so many different things you can do; I would also recommend hiring a moped to explore!

Teaching the children is amazing; they are so happy to learn English and also to have fun and be creative whilst learning. The staff are very kind and supportive too. The homestay in Ubud is beautiful, with a fountain and statue of Ganesha in the garden, and breakfast is served everyday in the form of banana pancakes and fruit, or omelette, toast and Balinese coffee! It is always clean and there is always the smell of incense in the air.

In the mornings you can relax or take yoga lessons, or go for walks, before arriving back at the homestay to teach during the afternoons. It is up to you!

I will never forget my time in Bali; the only reason I came back to the U.K after one month was because I had to return to university! I think I would have stayed much longer if I had the opportunity. I will never forget how vibrant and colourful Bali is, the slow pace of time, delicious food, the beautiful nature and fascinating culture, but most of all the friendly people. It is an unforgettable experience!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kristina
10/10

Just do it!

I'll be very honest - when I was boarding my flight to Bali I was petrified! I had never been to Asia before and I had 0 teaching experience so I was very nervous about just showing up here and entering a whole different world. But that feeling had lasted only few days and then I completely fell in love with everything around me; the kids, the food, the nature and the Balinese culture.

I have just finished my 10th week of volunteering and I have 2 more to go. My stay in Bali so far has been absolutely incredible. It is very hard to describe the experience because I feel like I've experienced so much that it would be enough to write a novel!!

The teaching may seem scary at the beginning but it is so much fun and so rewarding!! You can really see the kids are excited to come to the class and they are very eager to learn. The local staff is so lovely and always on hand to help out if needed. Most volunteers find it very hard to say goodbye at the end of their stay because you form real friendships with everyone around you!

The home stay has a very chilled and friendly atmosphere. The family is really nice and can help out with arranging transport or trips around Bali. The rooms are cleaned every week and the common areas are cleaned several times a day (Balinese people sweep a lot)!

Bali is absolutely breathtaking! I had a chance to explore most of the island during my stay and I honestly couldn't pick just one place I liked the most. The mountains and lakes are amazing when you're looking for relaxing time and if you need a little bit of party time you can just go to the south and enjoy the beaches and nightlife there.

I have met some wonderful people here who have made my stay really unforgettable. I'm really happy that I had decided to push my own boundaries and take on this adventure!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Beatriz
10/10

Some Advice

The balinese culture is very peaceful… Normally nothing gets stolen, we even leave our helmets in the scooters. Personally I feel very safe living here, I always leave my door open and have no problem in leaving important belongings outside.

If something goes wrong you can call kimberley. I never felt that need, but she is available.

During classes you have local teachers that help you if you need anything. They are very sweet and caring people, and after sometime you can really feel a friendship growing between you.

It is very easy and truly amazing to travel through the island. The best way is to enjoy a scooter ride through all the wonderful landscape! You have time to explore the island and even spend the weekend at the Gilis!

This is my first time teaching and you shouldn't have any concerns! You are here to enjoy being with the kids. Children have school during the morning and we teach them extra classes. Of course you have to feel like they are learning something with you but it is very important to feel like they are having fun. The kids really enjoy coming to class and learning.

I am loving this experience and I definitely feel like I am taking so much form it. You learn about so many cultures, you share time with so many people that come from all over the world and you get to travel around a beautiful mystical country.

As for packing, bring sunscreen, aftersun and mosquito repellent!!

Hope you enjoy !!

How can this program be improved?
Well, staying upstairs the room could be cleaned once a week.
Response from Volunteer Programs Bali

Bea!! Thank you for your review :) And thank you for the comment on cleaning the upstairs room, you are right about that, I will make sure that gets done!

Miss you and hope to see you again!!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kristina
10/10

Amazing experience

I had a wonderful time with Volunteer programs Bali! I have never teached before and on my first day I was a bit scared! I was with a girl who stayed 6 month and she was a really good teacher and had a lot if experience. I was afraid that I could never teach like her and I thought that the children will never like me that much. When I look back to my three months of teaching I can say, that you grow with every lesson. You gain selfconfidence , you always push yourselfe to your own limit to make the children smile, you get creative and think about funny new games, you get more relaxed in front of a lot of people and you learn how to make them laugh..... Sometimes I think I leaned more in the program than I actually teached! But this is just one aspect! The second is, that you meet all this wonderful people. I became friends with the other volunteers , Kimberly, our local teacher Komang and of course with all the lovey children! They are so sweet and write nice things on the board, write letters to you, or make you little presents on your last day! My three month stay with VP Bali brought me new friends, new experience, 100 of amazing moments....... I hope I can come back one day!

Response from Volunteer Programs Bali

Hi Kristina,

Thanks for your feedback, hope your travels are going well. Looks like you had a good time in Vietnam with Angela!

Hope to hear from you soon, we miss you!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Eloise
10/10

The experience of a life time.

I have just spent 3 months volunteering in the program for children with disabilities and it was the most amazing experience. I Have learnt so much during my time here and have really grown as a person. In September I will be going to university to become a drama therapist in special needs school, and this program has given me the opportunity to grow as a teacher and use my creativity to the best of my ability. In class I support the children in the morning with their learning and in the afternoons I am able to do art, dance, yoga, anything which I feel will benefit them and follows the idea of 'Play and Learn.'
The support that you receive from the VP Bali team is such a comfort and especially as this was my first time away from home. On the orientation day teaches you so much and allows you to get to know the other volunteers. The fact that they provide you with a sim card is amazing as it makes life so much easier whilst your here so you can phone taxis, call Kimberly and the other volunteers. Times when I have emailed Kimberly about a problem she has phoned me back straight away, making me feel so supported.
In the home stay, the family made me feel very welcome and I always felt safe. This was a huge comfort to my family, knowing that I was being looked after looked after so well. Kutut and Nyoman were very helpful when I wanted to plan weekends away and go out of their way to make sure you have an enjoyable time.
This program has been amazing and I can't wait to come back.

How can this program be improved?
More communication between the local teachers (employed by the school) and Vp Bali would be good as they are on a different agenda sometimes and we never know when they will show up.
Response from Volunteer Programs Bali

Hi Eloise,

Tutik and Nana told me to tell you the children really miss you! Thank you for this review and the big impact you had on the children!

Like I told you before, you really did an amazing job!

Yes, I recommend this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program

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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....