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 181 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.7
  • Benefits 8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Facilities 8
  • Safety 9
Showing 136 - 150 of 181
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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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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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Tess
10/10

fantastic program

I found the Ubud program to be a really positive experience for me. It was challenging at first because I had no previous teaching experience plus no experience working with kids. However, it is important to challenge yourself which is why I chose to do this program. After the first few days you will easily be able to get into the swing of it because the kids were eager and motivated to learn, the classes were fun plus the program staff and other volunteers were wonderful. If you want to immerse yourself in a different culture, language and way of life while having the time of your life then you should do this program.

How can this program be improved?
2 weeks goes way too fast!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Tima
10/10

GOLDEN CHAPTER OF MY LIFE

this was the best part of my life so far, this program was the best decision i ever made, first i had a really big connection with Bali since day one, i felt m home, everybody is welcoming, cheering, smiling, social... volunteers where family, the family we leaved with, was literally a family, where i teared when i left and said goodbye, the coordinators are such an inspiration that you will admire, full of energy happiness and fun. the students are the best part, when you know how to get to their heart and have that connection with them, you will earn their love, they are all smart, ambitious, love work, and they really make your day with their laughter, it is so fun to teach them and put all your energy in teaching with fun, games, laughter and craziness just free yourself from boundaries and act a child, you will love it. believe me when you leave, you will be sad, you will cry and you will never stop thinking about them, you gave studies and literacy, and they will give you love, happiness, peace and they will change your prospective about life. you will learn a lot that you will appreciate it a lot. ubud is such a great place where everybody will make you feel home, it is really safe, and everything you need is near and close, the food and fresh juices are really amazing. just be careful on getting sunburns, dont be exposed to sun for more than 3 hours, and if you will drive a motor cycle be carefull. rather than that, everything is just perfect. you will just wish that you spent the rest of your life there...

How can this program be improved?
i would change the timing, make it earlier around 12 pm or 11 am
Yes, I recommend this program
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Veronika
10/10

Unforgettable experience

We volunteered together with a friend at Program Ubud for 2 weeks in January 2014.

Ubud is one of the loveliest places on Bali - it's safe, there're many things to do and see (morning yoga, jewellery making classes, batik painting, white water rafting, those famous massages, various performances and so on) and there're a lot of good places to eat at. Even though the classes lasted for 3 hours in the afteroon, we were never bored.

The program was very well organized - from picking us up at the airport and the accommodation to the support we got during the program itself (from Kimberley, Jose, Novia and our homestay family).

Teaching kids was the biggest highlight of the program itself :) It was a very fun, exciting and interesting experience. BUT please do keep in mind that it involves hard work - be it preparation for the class or the class itself. The kids were very eager to study and absorbed all the materials very quickly.

Also you do get an opportunity to travel around during the weekends. Due to its convenient location, it's quite easy to get to different parts of the island - the choice is yours - surfing in Kuta, enjoying wwaterfalls in the north or diving in Amed.

Bottom line - to go or not to go? Definitely yes! Trying is much better than listening to others - you'll never know what it's like until you're there :)

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....