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Studying, Living, Working, Volunteering Abroad, Expats Currently or planning on studying abroad, living abroad, working abroad, and volunteering abroad. Expats talk for all of you Huck Finn's out there. You rebels with a without a cause. Summer travel is child's play to you.

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Old 11-13-2007, 11:46 AM   #1
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So I got my first trip under my belt...I pretty simple trip to Europe. I always knew that for me Europe was like my practice trip. I wanted to see if I could go somewhere alone and life in conditions I was not used to. I had a feeling I would have no problem and it turned out I didn't.

So now with that out of they way, I want to start planning for what I truly want to do. That is to go somewhere for an extended period of time (no less the 6 months) to combine some volunteer work with traveling. I am really just starting to piece together what it is I want to do. I seem to be more drawn toward South America and Africa, though I would not rule out Asia or the Pacific Islands. I am more interested in helping children and animals directly then doing stuff like farming. I have no college education.

Has anyone had any opportunity to do anything like this? Does anyone recommend any particular company? I have looked at some stuff online, but it seems like everything is the tour groups of Volunteer work. If that makes any sense.

Like I said this is all just the start of my planning process. I just know that settling back into my "old life" is not going to cut it for me.
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:46 PM   #2
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I'll let you know when I get back from my volunteer/travel trip to south africa with GVI!

If you're looking at south america there's this great travel site I found a while back for lost cost volunteer places because I hate how many places make you pay to volunteer.http://www.volunteersouthamerica.net/
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:49 PM   #3
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When I was in Peru they had a trivia night in the hotel bar each week hosted by a volunteer for an organization called Bruce Peru (you pay a few soles to participate).

They seemed pretty cool, you might want to check them out: http://www.bruceperu.org/
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:23 PM   #4
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I recommend...making connections.

I considered working in Cambodia/Sri Lanka/Thailand with World Vision, and I am also thinking about doing a couple of weeks volunteering with mysmallhelp.org in Nepal this coming summer - I met the founders, a young couple in Costa Rica and they said they'd love for me to come and help out, and I'm sure any of you guys would be welcome too. They're trying to defend children's rights to education and sponsor kids through school...it's still a very young setup and I think more personal in that sense.

Oh, this guy I met also volunteered on a wildlife sanctuary taking care of monkeys in Bolivia I think. I would totally have shared the link except that I just realized it's in my stolen journal. But I think such things are pretty easy to set up!
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Old 11-13-2007, 03:03 PM   #5
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The place in bolivia's probably communidad wari yassi the place I want to volunteer at summer 2009...I think it's in the list of places from the link I'd put up already. Excpet you're not necessarily looking after monkeys, it can be pumas, birds, etc. Whatever's at the wildlife refuge.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:30 PM   #6
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whats up!
I think its a great idea what your doing, I have been giving it some deal of thought myself. I came to the conclussion that if I was american I think I would join the Peace Corps, We kept bumping into a 3some of dudes thorught Peru and Boliva who just did a stint in Honduras working on the HIV/AIDS epidemic there, they said it was really great, what they did was educate people and try to get them to change their habits a bit. Apperently you can go to Latin America, Asia, Africa or the Pacific and if you have certain skills like speak Spanish they are obviously gonna send you where you can make a impact. Anyways I really always like the sound of that and its what I think I would have done!
Good luck, great idea!
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:42 AM   #7
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There's some cool stuff on gvi, that safari field guide course looks deadly. peaty it costs 8000+. It's all fairly expensive though.

Will have to check out those free sites.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:20 AM   #8
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The Peace Corps is definitely something to consider for Americans. The main thing there is that it is a long committment, 27 months. On the plus side it comes with pay, insurance, and vacation. They also have a setup where you can apply your service as partial credit for a Masters degree from certain colleges and degrees.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:31 AM   #9
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There's some cool stuff on gvi, that safari field guide course looks deadly. peaty it costs 8000+. It's all fairly expensive though.
It is quite expensive, but it was the cheapest and the best program for volunteering with wildlife/conservation I could find in South Africa. If you just want to volunteer with kids and teach english or soemthing there were a couple other programs I'd found which were free, but I dont have the sites with me now. South America's a much cheaper place to volunteer in by contrast, which is why I'm saving it for another time.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:37 PM   #10
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I like the fact you have a qualification at the end of it. While thinking about leaving this hole for good I realized I don't actually have any qualifications, I learned everything I know in the company I'm in now on my own accord. I have plenty of experience but no bit of paper.
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:36 AM   #11
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Well, I would say south africa...but thats a biased opinion, since I live here.

www.realgap.co.uk They offer some great volunteer programs!

Sorry, im not much help since I havnt volunteered (yet!)
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:15 AM   #12
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I like the fact you have a qualification at the end of it. While thinking about leaving this hole for good I realized I don't actually have any qualifications, I learned everything I know in the company I'm in now on my own accord. I have plenty of experience but no bit of paper.
I am in a similar boat. 7 years with one company, busting your ass, and really nothing but your own experience to show for it. Don't get me wrong, I loved working with the company, but times change, people change and companies change.
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:17 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the great info and links. I need to check them out a bit. It is a tough decision. I know for sure I want to do something, I just need to figure out what. I think I lean more to working with Animals of some sort over children, but I enjoy working with both. I will check out the sites a bit.
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:55 AM   #14
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http://www.anaicr.org/

I volunteered here in 2005. It was set up by one of those expensive volunteer set-up services, but I want to go back at some point on my own. It's sea turtle conservation and you can volunteer for an length of time you during the turtle mating season. You pay for your own transportation and accommodation, but they'll help you set it up and it's farily cheap, like 15 usd a day for room and board when I was there.

I'm looking to volunteer in South America in the first half of 2008 and this thread has been helpful for me as well!
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Old 11-20-2007, 03:29 AM   #15
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Has anyone ever heard of serve.ie? I went to one of there meetings, they look a little bit more hard core than the others I've come across.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:17 AM   #16
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The Peace Corps is definitely something to consider for Americans. The main thing there is that it is a long committment, 27 months. On the plus side it comes with pay, insurance, and vacation. They also have a setup where you can apply your service as partial credit for a Masters degree from certain colleges and degrees.
I am a bit confused about the Peace Corps. Do they require you to have a college degree to serve with them.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:19 AM   #17
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http://www.anaicr.org/

I volunteered here in 2005. It was set up by one of those expensive volunteer set-up services, but I want to go back at some point on my own. It's sea turtle conservation and you can volunteer for an length of time you during the turtle mating season.
How was working with the Sea Turtles. I have seen a lot of programs working around this type of work in many different areas of the world.
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:55 AM   #18
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How was working with the Sea Turtles. I have seen a lot of programs working around this type of work in many different areas of the world.
I really enjoyed it. It was really amazing to see these giant sea turtles. The village I lived in was amazing because there was this terrific beach with nobody around except some locals and other volunteers, all of whom were awesome. It's apparently not for everybody though as a lot of the work is done in the middle of the night when the turtles lay their eggs and often you just walk up and down the beach for hours in the dark, sometimes without seeing a single turtle. Still I found it to be really rewarding.

Of course I can only speak from my experience. I would really like to volunteer again with sea turtles or some other animal and see what it's like somewhere else. Of course I want to go back to Costa Rica again as well. As always, too many things to do and see!
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