I feel very lucky that I had the opportunity to participate in a GeoVisions program as part of my Around the World - Adventure of Hope.
Randy and the team at GeoVisions pulled together my placement very quickly and managed to do it during a challenging time of year in Vietnam (I was in the country over the Tet holiday where many of the schools and businesses shut down).
During my month in Vietnam, I had the chance to spend time in Ha Noi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh city and stayed in a hotel, with a host family in a house, and with a host in a small apartment.
The best part of the experience with GeoVisions was the cultural immersion. If you are nervous about traveling overseas and want someone to take care of every single detail for you, this may not be the right program for you. But, if you have traveled before and you want to experience life like the locals do, GeoVisions is an excellent choice. I felt like I got the support when I needed it (i.e. pick ups at the airport or train station/rides to meetings/and orientation to each city). But, I also had free time to explore on my own.
Given my area of interest, I wanted to meet doctors and support groups in the cancer world. In both Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh city, GeoVisions introduced me to a couple of people and I was then able to network and build many more relationships and volunteer in both cities.
If you are a self starter and want to create a memorable experience, Geo Visions is a great option. Also, if you're trying to decide on a destination, I highly recommend Vietnam. Although like many developing countries, the garbage, the traffic, and the pollution take some getting used to, the warmth of the people is second to none. I feel incredibly lucky to have made some new Vietnamese friends (including my very gracious hosts) and after a month in the country would very much look forward to an opportunity to go back.
To read more about my experiences in Vietnam, feel free to read my posts on A Fresh Chapter here: http://www.afreshchapter.com/tag/vietnam