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 163 reviews
  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.7
  • Benefits 8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Facilities 8
  • Safety 9
Showing 136 - 150 of 163
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karli
10/10

VP Program Ubud - 2014

20/1/14
I enjoyed everything about this program and wish I could've stayed longer! The organisers were fantastic, the homestay was beautiful, and the students were amazing!
Having classes in the afternoons was great as it allowed us to experience the culture and lifestyle that Ubud had to offer. Some of the activities we did before classes included: silver jewellery making, yoga, white water rafting and shopping :) The restaurants in Ubud were great and you could find anything you wanted. Everyone was really helpful and friendly and there was never a time when I felt unsafe.
The students at the school were so appreciative and fun to teach and I really looked forward to spending my afternoons with them. I never experienced any difficulties as there was always someone around to help (Novia, Kimberley or Jose). There were so many highlights to my time in Ubud but definitely playing games with the students and watching them create and perform role plays. I also really enjoyed meeting new people and learning more about the culture that we were immersed in.
I had such an amazing experience and would definitely like to participate in this program again in the near future!

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing it would be that volunteers were given the folders with previous work/work outlines on the Sunday afternoon when the orientation was held. This would just help with the planning for the first day :)
Yes, I recommend
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Elizabeth
10/10

Tidak apa apa (No Worries)

I'm writing this review from my home in Washington, D.C., and with every word I write my desire to return to Bali grows. I am eighteen years old and currently taking a gap year. The concept of traveling by yourself at such a young age is foreign and unheard of in America, however I had a thirst for new experiences and knowledge that only travel could quench. Considering how young I am, it was important to me that I not only find a volunteer program that I felt actually made a difference, but also a program in which I would feel safe and supported. I considered many different programs taking place in Bali, and I had already signed up with one when I finally came across VP Bali. I was instantly attracted to the non-profit program, and fell in love, applying to VP Bali and changing my flight to Bali a week before I was meant to go. I volunteered for eight weeks at Program Ubud, and for one month at Program by the Sea, and visited Program WG. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I am a nanny at home, and children are my passion. The students crave knowledge and laughter, and give back as much, if not more, as the teachers. The culture is rich and mesmerizing, and more than once you may find yourself caught up in the spiritual magic that seems to envelope the island. The people are perhaps the best part- the locals are always smiling and willing to help and talk, and you create bonds with the fellow volunteers that can only be born out of sharing amazing experiences...like volunteering with VP Bali. I have no regrets about joining this program, and neither would future volunteers. During my time there I felt only happiness, with tidak apa apa (no worries).

How can this program be improved?
Prepare yourself for less than ideal living situations at Program Ubud (Scorpions under the bed and rats running across pillows), however the culture in Ubud more than makes up for that.
Yes, I recommend
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Rita
9/10

working with children with disabilities

During my stay as a volunteer I worked for the disabled children. It was a pleasure to help these children. It did me good to see how happy these children are as they can learn new things, like counting in Dutch, recognize colors or mention the weekdays in English. I have also talked with the parents during parents-teacher conference about hygiene and better physiotherapy support. Improvements will be implemented. The gratitude of parents and children is overwhelming. Will you do something for disabled children than I can highly recommend you to volunteer. If possible I will be back next year!

How can this program be improved?
Up to date information about the things that the previous volunteer has done with the children and their levels.
Yes, I recommend
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Rosy
7/10

volunteering

I found my overall experience really good. - Novia was a pleasure to work with along with Kimberley and Jose. The kids were absolutely beautiful and teaching them english and about western life was amazing. The home stay could be improved, small things such as bathroom, bedding, fan, storage and insects and bugs.

Usually they aren't a problem for many people but when it becomes annoying and ruins your stay / sleep it can get frustrating and very annoying.

How can this program be improved?
I would improve the accommodation as this has a big impact on peoples decisions to stay extend or not leave early.
Yes, I recommend
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Gemma
8/10

Ubud Program

I very much enjoyed the classes. I feel like I made a good connection with the kids and found great ways to connect and keep them interested through learning games. The curriculum was a great way to know what you should be teaching.

The first week Wayan was on time when picking us up, but failed to arrive on time the second week. I didn't mind as much as some of the others but it was a little inconvenient for girls who needed to go to the toilet or had made dinner plans.

How can this program be improved?
The one thing I would change about program Ubud would be the accomodation. I found it rather unpleasant that there were gaps in the roof/wall that allowed animals to enter the room. I opened my bag and found a rat run out of it and escape to the corner of the room. I found this rather disturbing. And made my stay very unpleasant. I tried to embrace it as 'part of the experience' but it definitely would have been a top experience if the accomodation was satisfactory.
Yes, I recommend
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lieselot
9/10

very nice experience

-ik vind de templates niet handig, het is onoverzichtelijk en een heel werk. Zelf had ik er weinig aan de templates van vorige leraars te lezen. Misschien zou een beknoptere samenvatting van de leerstof/activiteit handiger zijn.
-het project is fantastisch, niets op aan te merken
-organisatie vond ik super, ik wist dat als er problemen waren ik altijd kon bellen en er een luisterend oor zou zijn

No, I don't recommend
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Christian
10/10

Such an amazing experience in Program Ubud with VP Bali

The homestay for Program Ubud with VP Bali is right in the middle of central Ubud, so during the mornings I was able to go to the Yoga Barn and go to the market etc. the food is so cheap in Ubud, a favorite is Dewa Warung on Jl. Goutama! Teaching was for 1:30 for each class with 2 classes a day. The kids at the school are amazing, they are so motivated to learn from you but I learned so much from them too! As extra English practice I had them talk about their lives and culture which was such an amazing insight into Balinese life! The weekend is 3 days long which is ample time to travel to any part of Bali, for example, I had 3 weekends and made it to Kuta, Mt Batur, the Gilis and Nusa Lembongan. Everyone in the program is so kind and amiable, they will help with any problems if you have any, I never did! Definitely recommend to anyone who wants to help people and also see a lot of Bali. I only wish I could've stayed longer, 2 months would have been perfect! At the end, the kids became so attached that there were tears which makes me want to return to the program ASAP! I will miss VP Bali and my group of volunteers so much!

How can this program be improved?
This is a truly excellent program, however, I only wish I knew more about getting around Bali, but I think it was a good experience to find my own feet and make my own mistakes.
Yes, I recommend
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Marieke
8/10

I had a very good time and learned a lot about myself!

I had a very good time teaching. In the beginning it was sometimes difficult to invent exercises, but over time and with some help it became a lot less difficult and even interesting.
I loved the energy you get from the children and the appreciation they have for what you do.
Furthermore I loved having the long weekend to travel. Its also nice living in Ubud, and all the freedom that it gives you.
Overall I had a very good time!

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked to have a manual to teach.
Yes, I recommend
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Aleksandra
10/10

An unforgettable experience beyond any expectations!

I joined VP Bali’s programme in Ubud for 4 weeks in June/July. It was my very first time in Bali and my first time ever in Asia as well. I came with no previous teaching experience and no knowledge of working with children. I simply didn’t know what to expect, but quickly I discovered and experienced more than I could have ever dreamed of.

Joining the programme in Ubud you will be accommodated in a local homestay in the very center of Ubud. The location is excellent – on a very central but yet quiet street where you will find some of the best places to eat and the cutest art shops in town. Living in a homestay is truly the best way to discover typical Bali life as for these four weeks I became a part of the family – observing their daily routines, the preparations for the ceremonies and I was even lucky to attend the weeding of the owner’s sun! Of course the family is more than hospitable and friendly, making you feel truly at home.

After my very first lessons I was enchanted by the smiles of Bali children. It is impressive to see the eagerness and the motivation in their eyes to soak up every new word, phrase or expression. You will be placed with another volunteer which makes teaching easier and much more fun of course. There is a teaching curriculum for every class and a constant support of a local teacher. It is a good if you have planned your lesson ahead, but you should be aware that you will rarely follow it as you need to adapt to the kids’ level, their previous knowledge, the speed of learning and so on. Most importantly you should have fun. Enjoy what you do and the kids will easily join you! Teaching for these four weeks has been an amazing experience. The children are so bright, smart, motivated and full of positive energy that they made saying ‘bye’on my last day one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Classes take place in the afternoon Monday to Thursday. This gives you a lot of free time to explore the abundance of activities Ubud offers. Walking around the rice fields, cycling around the near villages, doing yoga, cooking classes, art classes or just wandering around Ubud’s streets looking for one more hidden warung are some of the things you may do. You also would have plenty of time to travel to other places of the island and enjoy Bali’s beaches, volcanoes, lakes and sacred temples or visit the nearby islands too.

Kimberly and Jose, the people behind the programme, will help you adapt to the new environment quickly from your very first day. They are always there should you have any problem or if you need advice or anything. They are always around during classes, we have farewell dinner whenever a volunteer is leaving and they will make everything to make you feel like at home.

My time at VP Bali Ubud programme was truly an amazing and unforgettable experience. I enjoyed every minute and would love to come back again one day.

Yes, I recommend
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Fijeanty
10/10

Bali Days

I absolutely loved working at the WG program. It was challenging at first as i was teaching the youngest group however i gained so much from this experience.

I learned how to be patient,and to think on my feet one thing is for sure in bali you have to go with the flow when you plan something most of the time it will not go how you envisioned it. Which might be hard to get used to as a western because we are so used to structure and doing things a certain way.

Living in the village at the WG program was just amazing as you get to interact with the locals i have been to bali twice before but this was the first time i actually learn some indonesian and the locals really appreciate it so my advice is to take a little dictionary with you as a few words will go a long way.

Its an amazing experience and even when you have had a difficult day at school because the children didn't really listen just remember why your there your there to help and teach the children something and your in paradise so tidak apa apa ( no worries)

How can this program be improved?
I would of liked it if WG program interacted socially with the Ubud Program as we were in the village and a little removed from the other activity otherwise i have no complaints :)
Yes, I recommend
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Bianca
10/10

an experience i will never forget

This program was so much more than i expected. The level of commitment and passion the program leaders/organisers have for volunteer programs Bali is amazing. My experience is one that i will never forget. It was extremely well organised and easy to follow and Kimberley and Jose were very helpful with answering any questions we had for them. The children we had the priviledge of teaching were lovely and happy which made it so much more rewarding to be there. The homestay was very suitable and for the cost of volunteering at volunteer programs bali was very reasonable for the living arrangements, breakfast every morning, pick up and drop off to the school and of course the donation. Having a curriculum folder to follow and see what past volunteers had tought the students was extremely helpful although there was an obvious language barrier with most of the children it was easy to adjust as long as we spoke slowley and used many hand gestures. I was involved with the program for 2 weeks which was not long enough. I have every intention of returning in the future and staying atleast for one month. This experience is one that i can take with me and have forever and as a future primary school teacher in Australia it has giving me new ways of looking at teaching.

Yes, I recommend
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Olivia
10/10

Communication and Teamwork

I understand this Yayasan is work in progress and runs of sponsorship.
My only recommendation would be for VPBali to work in a more connected way with Ketut and Nyoman; perhaps calling weekly meetings with the volunteers, as I felt little communication regarding the teaching and expectations from their perspective (K and Ny's).
Since they "run" the school, I find it would be highly beneficial to have a more open approach to the experience as a whole and receive and get feedback as well.

How can this program be improved?
Communication and Teamwork
Yes, I recommend
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Alex
10/10

A life changing experience

It's such a cliché - 'an experience that changed my life', but that's what it was :)

I came for two weeks originally, but loved it too much to leave. VP Bali was nice to let me extend my stay over and over and over again and only pay as if I'd known from the beginning what the duration would be. In the end, I did 9 weeks in Program Ubud and one in WG, so my feedback is mostly relevant for the Ubud program.

One great thing about my experience was timing: I came nearly at the beginning of the ubud program, so it was great to see it find shape and even impact some of the changes. The kids are just amazing, so willing to learn, obedient, never get bored and just open your heart. So don't be nervous about teaching, just get some ideas about what you could do before you leave - activities, games for different levels of English (Google it, ask friends, remember what you used to do in school etc).

There is a curriculum in place, there are lessons plans and suggestions filled in by the other volunteers so once you get here, just take time to read them and you'll know exactly where the kids are. After that, you can come up with games and fun stuff to review the material (it's very important to always review existing material, maybe even more than half the time of the lesson) and teach new things. You may find some of your ideas from home are useful for this or not. But I assure you, ideas will come. Just remember: make it fun and the more competitive, the better. The kids love that. Be prepared to have varied attendance, so adjut your lessons accordingly - cover the same material more than once, make sure everyone has learned a certain topic etc.

In program Ubud, they encourage co-teaching, which means you get to teach with an existing volunteer so that also helps to warm up and find ideas.

The highlight for me was the interaction with the kids: palpable progress leads to joy of teaching.

I'm happy to report no difficulties for me. The only bump in the road was not due to the place or the program, it was meeting people that do not seem to come for the right reason. That made me sad because these kids deserve everything. So make sure you come to give 100% percent to the cause, and not for fun or travel or any other reason. Of course, there is enough time to explore, but that can't be your priority. When you put the kids first, you get the most of the experience and if you're lucky enough after it, you will know your life has changed. And you will be surprised to hear everyone around you say how much you've changed also - who knew they can tell?!

Keep in mind local culture and habits: don't expect things to go on a roll, expect things to take time and plan accordingly, be proactive and organize anything you want to do, don't leave it to anyone else.

If you want to fund raise for the kids, that's a great idea. I did it after I arrived, but it is better done before so you have enough time. VP Bali can help you with ideas and logistics to use the money you raise (supplies, scholarships etc).

One small advice to make your life easier: try to get on local time. People in Bali sleep early and wake up early. You get the most of your time if you do the same - and this is coming from someone who could not get up before 10am or sleep before 12 am prior to Bali.

My daily activities included art classes (Ubud is great for that: painting, batik, cooking, pottery, you name it, it's there), spa, cycling, going out for dinner and jalan jalan - just walk around. There are many things to discover in Ubud.

In the weekends I did some trekking (Batur, Agung - this one is not for everyone, make sure you know what you are in for beforehand), visited the south of bali (Uluwatu and all the west coast there is great), went to Gili T and Nusa Lembongan (the diving is better than the Gilis and it's more quiet, so this was my kind of place. But if you like to party, Gili's is better).

Lastly, be prepared to be sad to leave, but don't spend too much time moping about it, or you'll miss the experience. You can be sad about it at home. And you can be pretty sure, the kids will remember you too. I've seen many volunteers come and go and the kids never forget anyone.

Thanks so much VP Bali. Till next time - I hope to come back soon ;)

Alex - Romania.

How can this program be improved?
Just a small idea: I would keep the volunteers better connected to each other before they arrive: for example have a facebook or mail group where are the volunteers who will be at the programs of vp bali in the same time are *automatically* added (optionally, you can ask someone, once they are accepted into the program, if they want to be part of the group or not). That way, even people who come for a short time, already have a network of friends to explore with. Vp Bali is good for giving us each local phone numbers, so that can also be included in the group information - if the volunteer agrees.
Yes, I recommend
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Sharonne
10/10

Heart Warming Experience

This volunteering program have been such a blessing and a heart warming experience. VP Bali team is very hands on and friendly, they were so helpful from the beginning and made all the volunteers feel welcomed. I joined the Ubud Program and contributed as an English teacher, helping the children learn day to day spoken and written English. We help to make this learning experience a fun one that they enjoy and will want to continue. We maximize involvement of the students by playing games, teaching them new songs and spicing it up with a bit of friendly competition. The highlight of my experience is getting to know my students as individuals, their personality, their capabilities, and their stories.

Yes, I recommend
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Alexandra
10/10

wonderful experience=)

I really enjoyed volunteering with vp Bali! It was an amazing and rewarding experience for me. I volunteered for two weeks at program WG in Bedulu, a village near Ubud.
Volunteering at the Yayasan school was really nice, even though I never teached before. Our class was quite advanced and we were very impressed by the children´s creativity and motivation. It was very much fun for us to create ideas every day to equip them with new knowledge.
I stayed with some other volunteers in a very nice compound of a local family. Ketut and Nyoman were wonderful hosts and were always there to help us. Ubud is very close by, 10-15 minutes by car or motorcycle and offers many opportunities for nice restaurants, yoga, shops,ect.
Kimberley and Jose were very friendly and supportive all the time and I felt very safe during my whole stay.
All in all, I highly recommend this program to everyone! It was so much fun and an experience I will never forget. Thank you so much vp Bali team!!!

How can this program be improved?
I really liked the idea of sharing our daily experiences with other following volunteers! The only thing I would change ist the schedule, which we use for it. It is a little bit confusing and repetitive.
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....