If you’re reading this review, then it means you are looking for a fun volunteer opportunity with a language immersion camp. However, you’re curious to know if it is legit or a scam. Well, first, I will start off this review by letting you know there are many BETTER options. You should instead look into Diverbo and Vaughn Town. These programs have been around for a long time and are very good. Angloville is merely a (poor) copy that is only focused on cashing in.
Is it a scam? Yes, in the truest sense of the world, it is. However, it isn’t the sort of scam you’re used to because it won’t swindle you out of your money – at least not as a volunteer (it will scam you out of your TIME!) (read more below). However, the program does swindle the participants out of their money. They charge them an absurd amount of money (from 800€ for Juniors to 1300€ for Adults) for a horrible six days of “language immersion”. This program which operates in Eastern Europe is far more expensive than English camps in England…which is ridiculous.
If you’ve found Angloville, it’s because you’ve heard of it through word-of-mouth or online marketing. This company is very good at utilizing those avenues. It’s how they get their “cash cow” participants and their unsuspecting volunteers. Just because it’s one of the first programs you see organically on a Google search does NOT mean it’s good.
Angloville promises a free, fun and relaxed holiday experience for a week. However, this is so far from reality. For the six days at the camp, you will be working all day from 9 am to 9 pm (12 hours!) - absolute slave labor. You will never have time or energy to enjoy any of the amenities. The program is very unorganized and relies heavily on the volunteers to figure out how to make it a worthwhile experience for the participants. Even if you were getting paid some sort of stipend (which you’re not), it would not be worth doing; because by the end of the week, you will feel worse than when you first arrived!
I’ve volunteered many times before throughout my life, but have NEVER been treated like a work horse and with so much disregard.
ALL of the venues are quite a distance away from the main cities – usually in the middle of nowhere. Some of the programs venues are nicer than others, but none are as nice as they should be for the price that the participants are paying (anywhere from 800€ – 1300€). The staff at these venues are usually very rude, there is never working Wi-Fi since the venues are far from any cell towers, many of the amenities are non-functioning, and very poor options of food.
The company cuts corners with their venues in order to pocket as much as possible. I stayed at a venue which was terrible. However, I was told many nightmare stories from other volunteers about the worse venues that they were placed before.
You are typically put in a small room with two other participants. There’s never much space to really settle in and get comfortable. Also, you are partnered with volunteers who could be much younger or older than yourself and with vastly different personalities. It is not uncommon for fights and uncomfortable situations with roommates to take place.
The food was absolutely atrocious. We were served the grossest meals such as pasta with yogurt (YES, with YOGURT on top), gross dumplings, and a plethora of other unappetizing and unhealthy options. The volunteers and participants with dietary constraints often had a difficult time getting fed.
Many of the junior participants told me they had much better food at their school cafeteria!
I felt terrible for the staff, many of whom seemed completely worn out and void of happiness. I can imagine they are miserable, as it seems the senior management of Angloville doesn’t value anything but their bank accounts. And it’s a real shame because some of the staff are actually good people.
The volunteers of Angloville all come from different walks of life. Some are old and some are very young. Some are native speakers and some are learned speakers. Some are nice and cool, and others awkward and quiet. There is high school clique-ness that often occurs, which is annoying to be around. There have been many times where there were fights amongst the volunteers. I believe a couple of stressful days stranded far away from the mainland with this abusive program takes its toll on people.
The participants are absolutely great. However, I’m certain this isn’t something that is unique to this program. I would imagine all camps throughout the EU have great participants. The people who participate in these programs are children and adults who are truly interested in improving their English and enjoying a week of camp. They are very enthusiastic and you can become very attached to them in such a short time.
I must say that it really hurts me to know they are getting taken advantage of by this scam-like program that is charging them absurd amounts of money and given very little in return.
If you really want to volunteer your time and energy for a language immersion camp, then I would highly urge you to do so with one that values your time and offers the best experience. I have heard amazing things about Diverbo and Vaughn Town. Volunteers of theirs say it's the best experience. Great venues, great food, great people, very organized. I’ve never done either of these programs, but I trust my sources. Do some research of your own into these and make the best decision.