Michelle at Bramastani Awareness Society (BAS) doing some mobilization exercises with one of the Cerebral Palsy girls, Sangita (all photo credits to Michelle)

Namaste (Hello in Nepali)

My name is Michelle Barnard, but in Nepal I am known as Maya; my Nepali name. It was given to me by our in-country partner and means love, and love is all I have for my experience in Nepal.

Why you signed up:
I absolutely love travelling! My heart belongs to the places I have yet to see, and the people I have yet to meet ūüôā I heard that you could take an elective at Sydney University called FHS abroad where you could travel overseas. Wait, Going overseas counts for credit points in University??? I was sold. The next question was which company would I choose? That‚Äôs when I found Antipodeans Abroad. After doing some research about the company and hearing some great recommendations I paid my deposit and enrolled for the course. I had the choice to go to Vietnam, Cambodia, India or Nepal. I am often asked why I chose Nepal and like many people that were in my group I will tell you that Nepal is a place which calls to you (and is amazing if you are an adrenaline junkie like me) more…

SNS Volunteer Nepal

Name of Organization: SNS volunteer Nepal
Website: www.snsvolunteer.org.np
Project Duration: 3 months
Location: Pokhara
Cost: USD 400 – inlcudes Accommodation, Meals language seightseeing,
Type of volunteer work: Teaching and orphan care house
Necessary Skills: English and eager to help
Country’s safety level at time of travel: Good
Required vaccinations: None
Rate this trip: 3 out of 5 stars
Would you recommend to a friend? Yes

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Alliance Nepal

Name of Organization: Alliance Nepal
Website: www.volunteerworkinnepal.org
Project Duration: 6 weeks
Location: Pokhara
Cost: USD 500 – includes Accommodation, Meals travel
Type of volunteer work: Teaching and helping orphans
Necessary Skills: High school level education
Country’s safety level at time of travel:
Required vaccinations: None
Rate this trip: 2 out of 5 Stars
Would you recommend to a friend? Yes
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Name of Organization: GeoVisions
Website: www.geovisions.org
Project Duration: July 2010
Location: Spain
Cost: USD $350 – inlcudes Accommodation, Meals
Type of volunteer work: Teaching English
Necessary Skills: Fluent English, Interest in teaching
Country’s safety level at time of travel: Safe
Required vaccinations:
Rate this trip: 1 out of 5 Stars
Would you recommend to a friend? No

As a fellow international volunteer, I would like to inform the public of complaints filed against GeoVisions. GeoVisions helps volunteers find short-term volunteer abroad programs. They also have Conversation Corps, where volunteers live with a family and teach them English. As a former client of GeoVisions, I applied to and paid a program fee of $350 US to GeoVisions in return for a program placement with Conversation Corps. GeoVisions did not make a placement in due time (21 days before departure) and did not honor the refund as per policy. GeoVisions also did not maintain positive or efficient customer service during this process. I am writing this in hopes that other young volunteers will be aware of this situation. I have filed a complaint through the Better Business Bureau.

Hands on New Orleans

Name of Organization: Hands On New Orleans
Website: www.handsonneworleans.org
Project Duration: Varies
Location: New Orleans, Orleans Parish
Cost: USD 25/day ‚Äď inlcudes Accommodation, Breakfast and Lunch
Type of volunteer work: Many different non-profit volunteer opportunities are offered on their calendar, easy to use
Necessary Skills: None, just enthusiasm and a desire to help
Country’s safety level at time of travel: Safe

Required vaccinations:
Rate this trip: 5 Stars
Would you recommend to a friend? Yes! more…

Fiona P and AIESEC

Name of Organization: AIESEC Ireland
Website: www.aiesec.org

Project Duration: 11 weeks
Location: Kenya
Cost: USD 400 – inlcudes Accommodation, Meals Administration Fee
Type of volunteer work: Not for profit – working with locals/business orientated
Necessary Skills: Depends on the internship – applicants much be either students or graduates and match the skills/degree of the placement. My internship required a candidate with experience in human resources as well as social sciences.
Country’s safety level at time of travel:
Required vaccinations:
Rate this trip: 5 Stars
Would you recommend to a friend? Yes

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WWOOF

Name of Organization: WWOOF
Website: www.wwoof.org

Project Duration: From a week to as long as you want
Location: More than 90 countries worldwide
Cost: about $25 per country
Type of volunteer work: Organic farming
Necessary Skills: None
Country’s safety level at time of travel: Varies
Required vaccinations: Varies
Would you recommend to a friend?¬†Yes, to friends and everyone I meet more…

World Expeditions

Name of Organization: World Expeditions
Website: www.worldexpeditions.com
Project Duration: 1 week
Location: Tanzania
Cost: USD 2590 – inlcudes Accommodation, meals, safari
Type of volunteer work: Refurbishing a primary school
Necessary Skills: None
Country’s safety level at time of travel: No problems
Required vaccinations: Yellow Fever
Rate this trip: 5 Stars
Would you recommend to a friend? Yes
more…