India has a buzz about it, a pace and a national character all its own. The complexity that you'll find when you volunteer in India offers you an experience of incomparable...
Costa Rica is a worldwide leader in ecotourism, recognized for its rich biodiversity--but it's also well known for its warm and welcoming people who live by pura vida. Directly...
The country's ancient medinas, quaint coastal towns, and vibrant spice markets remind you at every turn that you've left the familiar behind. For many globetrotting volunteers,...
Cross-Cultural Solutions is a nonprofit working to address critical global issues by providing meaningful volunteer service to communities abroad, and contributing responsibly...
When you volunteer in Guatemala, you'll be welcomed by the hospitality of the Guatemalan people who are usually mestizo, a mix of Spanish and Maya ancestry, or they are direct...
Volunteering in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, and you'll be working in a landscape full of waterfalls, coffee plantations, and banana fields. With Mount Kilimanjaro as a stunning...
Soak up the Latin American culture and learn the Spanish language. Our Spanish Immersion Gap Year is specifically designed for a full language experience, all while making...
Africa is full of mysterious locations, hundreds of unique cultures, and an infinite amount of lessons to be learned. This gap year trip is guaranteed to enlighten, challenge...
You are about to become immersed in 3 of the most culturally rich countries in the world: Peru, Tanzania, and India. In each country you will be given the opportunity to
Want an brag-worthy summer experience? Volunteer in Costa Rica! You have the option to help improve education for local children, or assist with the care of children. This...
In the modern Maya community of Tecpan, the former capital of Guatemala, you'll find yourself nestled in a vast and lush volcanic valley. Here you will be welcomed by the...
If there's one word that describes Peru, it's fusion. The geography ranges from mountains, coastal beaches, rainforests, and desert landscapes. Peruvian culture is a gorgeous...
Submitted by Lauryn Mann - Robinson Secondary School | July 25, 2015
I can't believe that I was able to embark on such a life changing journey! I can't say enough good things about this program, I feel so fortunate to have been able to go and meet the people I met. Everything worked well from day 1, thank you CCS for an experience of a lifetime! I highly recommend volunteering with this program.
Gateway experience for aspiring global citizens
Submitted by Perry - Berkeley, California | October 19, 2014
As someone with years of work experience and a keen interest in international affairs, I was looking for a unique placement opportunity, something that felt more tailored to my interests. I wanted to do international volunteer work around, but I also understood that to go abroad was as much about changing and reshaping my own points and of view and cultural awareness as it was about my hopes and dreams about making an impact in another country.
Cross-Cultural Solutions fit the bill perfectly!
So inspired from my first CCS experience that I went on to do my second! I was placed first in Thailand for one month in 2011 where I helped write and organize content for an English-language website for an NGO) then, most recently, in India for 5 weeks where I taught English at a women's empowerment center in Dharamsala.
What's perfect about Cross-Cultural Solutions is the attention to detail they place around all aspects of your volunteer abroad experience.
First, CCS really takes time and effort to learn who you are -- your background, your interests, your goals and aspirations. Then, they go through a process to try and match your strengths with the needs in the country of your choosing (CCS offers programs in 10 countries with more in the planning stages).
Once in the country, there's attention to detail paid to every aspect of your experience -- from the living arrangements, to the learning opportunities, to the language study, to the cultural activities. There are regular meetings with staff where your feedback is not only encouraged but regarded as vitally important for the continuous improvement of the program. We were required to keep a journal of our work and encouraged to set goals for ourselves and track those goals in a structured and rigorous way.
What's most special about CCS is the unique opportunity it presents to the learn the powerful lessons of living and making a lasting impact as global citizens today. I ended up learning far more from the locals than I ever imagined. The true gift is how this learning helped me cultivate a far deeper, first-hand understanding of the world beyond the borders of my home, that on so many levels, the world shares the same needs and gifts of understanding.
Exceptional Time in Delhi
Submitted by Delhi and then some... - dallas | August 28, 2014
I've been in India many times for business, but the recent experience with CCS was outstanding. Having time to spend two weeks with MTDD helping middle aged disabled and dying men was extremely satisfying for me. My younger daughter also assisted with Women in the same facility. The CCS team were great with super logistics, amazing meals, and beyond expectations living arrangements. Directions and guidance for weekend trips to Jaipur and Agra were great...seveal must see spots. Overall first rate experience for us.
The Experience of a Lifetime (for the BUCKET LIST)!
Submitted by Inspired Global Citizen - Washington, DC | July 06, 2014
Upon arriving in Rabat, Morocco, my experience of a lifetime began. We received a warm greeting from the Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) Moroccan Team as soon as we walked into the Rabat Airport. They knew exactly who we were and we knew exactly who to look for because of all of the great pre-planning and communication that CCS facilitates prior to departure.
When we arrived at the Home Base, we met all of the other volunteers. They included families, single professionals, seniors, teenagers and college students – wow what a diverse group of volunteers to get to know and work with over the next two weeks!
The CCS Country Director and his team provided a very comprehensive orientation session, covering topics ranging from how to hail a taxi to sharing insight into the history of the Moroccan people and culture. After a great discussion about our volunteer assignments, we were off to explore – wow the people are so friendly and patient as I practice my French and Arabic!
I volunteered at both the Women’s Center where I taught English as well as the Children’s Hospital where I was privileged to interact with Moms, Dads and of course the beautiful children – what an amazing and fulfilling experience!
The volunteer program is serious. The staff and children are dependent upon your being there every day. I truly felt like I was making a difference each and every day.
In addition to volunteering, each day we experienced a new and different part of Moroccan culture – cooking lessons, dance, the Medina, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, Chellah, and the Royal Palace. Such a rich history to learn about – lots to see and learn about in Rabat! Every day we also had free, vacation time and there was a great deal to explore in Rabat. I went to the Riad and experienced a Moroccan Hammam, which is similar to a Turkish bath – what a treat!
We also had the opportunity to travel on the weekends to other cities and places throughout the country of Morocco. Marrakesh, Casablanca, Fez and my favorite, Merzouga where we rode camels and slept in Berber tents in the middle of the desert.
The CCS team was highly professional and knowledgeable. They taught us so much about their country, created an environment of fun and teamwork, and ensured that our needs were met. The food was simply delicious. We had amazing cooks for breakfast, lunch and dinner each and every day!
The CCS experience provides you with a unique opportunity to volunteer and make a real difference. It creates a unique opportunity for you to grow as a person and discover new talents! The CCS model provides you with an amazing opportunity to also vacation, learn and see so much of the country. It was truly an experience of a lifetime and should be on everyone's "bucket" list!
The best decision of my life!
Submitted by Parminder Nagra - Elms College | February 03, 2014
Cross Cultural Solutions gave me an opportunity of a lifetime! I had always wanted to volunteer abroad for several years and after some research, I decided CCS would be a great start and it was definitely the best decision of my life. The program specialist works closely with you, getting you prepared to the fullest before you depart to your trip. I had many questions as I was beginning my application process and they were all thoroughly answered. Next arriving to your home base can make someone anxious especially if this is something they are doing for the very first time in their life. And that was me. Being that it was my first time doing a volunteer abroad trip, I was a bit nervous about how I would acclimate to the new culture and how I would do at my volunteer placement. However, right when I got to Guatemala, the in-country staff relieved many of my anxieties. They were extremely pleasant and so helpful in making me feel comfortable and right at home. And the volunteer placement was awesome. It was such a rewarding experience. I learned so much from the ladies that I helped at the elderly center there. I will cherish the time spent with them and will never forget this experience. It was an eye-opener for me and I wish everyone gets the opportunity to do something like this in their lifetime. Another thing I loved about CCS was their way of immersing you into the culture. Each day they had a cultural activity planned for us which gave us the chance to learn about the people, the culture, the language and the country we were visiting. CCS seriously over succeeded my expectations. I went in not know this experience would change my life, but it did. And now I can't wait to do my next trip. I want to try all of the locations CCS works with. I highly recommend everyone to look into this program. You won't be disappointed!