Volunteer Abroad in Nicaragua! Located in the heart of Granada, the youth center provides meals and a wide variety of educational and vocational program for the needy youth...
From the beginning everything was perfect
Submitted by Cristina Diaz | December 20, 2016
Mama Gladness is amazing, and it really makes you feel at home. The school where I was teaching it was really nearby the house so I could just walk there everyday. They introduced me to the school headmistress and all the teacher, everyone was so welcoming. At Mama's house they gave me breakfast and dinner, and at the school they gave me lunch.
Mama takes you in like her daughter, and suddenly you have this big Tanzania family that fills your heart with the most sincere love I have ever felt. I am still trying to process everything I have seen and live. The kids were absolutely amazing and loving. We played lots of vocabulary games, and I helped the teachers to include different teaching techniques, and different activities to the daily class.
During the weekends I took a chance to get to know the area, specially Lake Duluti and Arusha National Park a little bit.
Thank you for everything, I have no doubt that I will try to repeat the experience as soon as I can.
Program: Teaching the Maasai
Definitely an experience I won’t forget
Submitted by Grace Portley - - | December 18, 2016
My applications ran smoothly, everything was easily explained and I had no problems. Malissa always got back to me in a timely manner and was really helpful throughout the entire process.
I was met at the airport, I found the greeter immediately, who was very nice, and accommodating. We received an hour long orientation. It was very helpful because we were given maps of the city and were told the lay of the land.
I spent at least 40 hours/week at my placement. From day one they put me to work. It wasn’t just busy, useless work, but doing actual things pertaining to cases. For example, discovery for cases, sitting in and taking notes at trials, subpoenaing Garda officers, I also did filing and copying, as well as acting as a runner to different judicial buildings.
The best aspect was going to Four Courts almost every day. The reasons to go would be different depending on the day, ranging from documenting, and filing, or sitting in on trials. Garret Lally was my on-site supervisor and he was very helpful in getting me acclimated into the office, as well as suggesting fun places to visit in Ireland on the weekends.
I would start work at 9:30AM, write a memo or two for a case to stick in the file, then I would head down to Four Courts to get documents stamped and lodged, which could take up to a few hours depending if the lines are long. At 1:00 I would have an hour lunch break. After lunch, I would usually have to go around the corner to get affidavits notarized, or go somewhere else to get copies of certificates, or lodge documents up the street. During downtime I would read up on upcoming cases or be copying papers for evidence in trials. Once 5:00PM came around I’ll head to the post office to drop off the post and head to the registry. At 5:30PM the day was over and I would go back to my host house in Artane.
I stayed with a host family in a quiet suburb of Dublin that was only a ten minute walk from the train to get to where I worked. My room as well as the entire house was always clean, and I always felt safe. When I got to my host house, my host, Patricia Maher, gave me a big hug, and was very inviting. There was never a problem with accessibility, and she was very understanding and attentive. My host offered to show me around the first weekend and I went to the beach, and she showed me where I would be working along with showing me the city center of Dublin. One of her sons would also invite me to go to places such as South Dublin, and a few pubs. I never turned down the opportunity to explore.
I didn’t have much contact with our local coordinator, David, because I didn’t run into any problems while I was in Dublin, but he was very nice at the orientation, answered a few questions I had at orientation.
I am so glad that I applied to ELI. This was definitely an experience I won’t forget. It not only gave me a taste for the work that I want to do one day for a living, but also gave me the experience of living in a different country for six weeks. I loved living there so much that I plan on going back to Dublin within the next year, and would recommend ELI to anyone who is interested.
Program: Legal Internship Program in Dublin
Great work experience in a foreign country
Submitted by Trenton Bland - - | December 18, 2016
The application process was easy and I had plenty of helpful and attentive staff to help me with any questions that I had. I liked being able to log in and see a simple checklist of what I needed to have done. Malissa Spero, my advisor, was very helpful and knowledgeable and always responded to my queries in a timely fashion.
I got my orientation through International, an Irish company. They gave me some good information on where to go and what to do in the city. They also provided a network of friends for me to reach out to while I was in Ireland.
I did a 9 week internship with the National Museum of Ireland. I was lucky enough to have a great boss who gave me a good project that I was able to work on my entire time. The project was creating and conducting a survey. It was above and beyond what I thought it would be. I got great work experience in a foreign country and memories that will last a lifetime.
I stayed at the Gateway Student Village. My room was small, but I really just slept there. The location offered quick and easy access to city center, so if I didn't spend much time in my room.
My coordinators, David and his team, were great, they didn't just make sure I was ok, they did everything they could to make sure that I had the best experience possible.
The placement is a great resource for the community
Submitted by Azin Mohammadi - Canada | December 18, 2016
The application process was good. Every step was clear and the coordinator was available to answer questions which helped a lot. The chat option was especially useful. The Eli Portal was very effective, it helped monitor what needed to be done and what has been approved. My advisor was Clara Shushunov and she was very helpful. She seemed very knowledgeable and was available to answer all my questions and concerns.
I received orientation upon arrival. The day I arrived, I got a quick welcome and introduction to the school guest but was told that the proper orientation would be provided the next morning. I arrived late in the afternoon and so was told to get dinner somewhere close by. However, it was a little vague where I could actually buy food or go out to eat. Otherwise everything went well. But, I spent my first two nights at the school guest house alone and was only informed that there was no security or staff present at the school at night. However I had a key and was shown how to securely lock the door and there was a telephone at the school I could use in case of emergency.
I worked at a community center about a 40 minute walk away from the school guesthouse. This center is open for children between the ages of 2 to teenagers, as well as for women who were often the mothers of the children. The typical day was from 2-4pm. Sometimes I would arrive earlier to set up or stay later depending. And sometimes I would arrive later because of unpredicted situations such as a flat bicycle tire. It is a great center, the people there are so amazing and they want to learn. I have never experienced such respect from individuals towards a teacher. The director was very helpful and open to any ideas for lessons I would bring. As well as providing materials for a lesson I had in mind. Due to the situation of the center, the materials were limited which is totally understandable. The only thing I would say is that there was no running water at the center, there were buckets which would fill up with rainwater and that was what we used for cleaning or whatnot. I wish there was at least drinking water available at the center for the children and women to drink and maybe toilet paper. I was told that the people lived close to the community center and sometimes students would leave in the middle of the lesson asking if they can go home to drink water, they would come back quickly though and sometimes brought their own water bottles. I was hoping that some of the money of the program fee I paid went directly for the center but it didn't seem so, which was the only thing that did not meet my expectations. Other than that, the placement is a great resources for the community and I feel very lucky and grateful to have taken part in it for a short time.
I stayed at the program guesthouse, it is also a language school that offers Spanish, English and French to Nicaraguans or foreigners like myself. I took 20 hours of Spanish language class upon arrival at 7 usd$ for each hour. I loved the guesthouse. The staff was very supportive and nice. They were an excellent resource for any questions, concerns or needs. There was a kitchen we could use and every week we Carmen our in country coordinator would go around with a list asking us what we needed for breakfast. There was in my opinion always enough food in the refrigerator for our breakfasts. My only problem was another volunteer who was 18 years old, couldn't cook and had an aggressive attitude at times. Besides that, everything was fantastic and my overall experience was awesome. One more thing, I think it's important to inform applicants beforehand that they will have to pay for drinking water meaning that it is not included in the fee at the guesthouse. For someone from Canada, I expect this to be a basic necessity which is covered by the fee I'm paying. It would be best if this was mentioned beforehand to applicants.
My in-country coordinator was Carmen. She was amazing, really friendly, accessible and helpful. The only thing I would say is that I felt like she assumed we had a lot of money and didn't really inform us that much about places that are more economical. For instance, during orientation she took me to a big shopping market called Colonial which is great because it's bigger. But is not the most economical or convenient. I only found out later through my Spanish teacher that there is a supermarket 5 minutes from the guesthouse which has things cheaper and is closer. Colonial is about a 30 minute walk from the guesthouse. Also there is an outdoor market for fruits and veggies that is 2 minutes away from the school guesthouse which I only visited with my Spanish teacher not Carmen which is the best and cheapest place to buy such things. Otherwise, she was amazing.
Best experience of my life
Submitted by Amy | December 18, 2016
ELI's application process was great and their portal was an effective tool. Clara, my advisor, was very helpful with everything. For our orientation, we had a power point, good chat, and a tour around downtown explaining everything to help me.
I worked in an orphanage. At first it hit me hard, I had never seen anything like it,as some of the children had infections, shaved heads and were crying, but after my second day there, they began to warm to me and it really close with them all. Very special children and I am grateful to have been able to spend so much time with them all, playing, caring for them and being able to treat them with ice cream which really went down well haha. No problems, best experience if my life.
I stayed in a home stay with the most amazing home stay parents whom I will be staying in contact with, and shared the experience with 2 different volunteers whom also got on very well with. Our in-country coordinator, Esther, was extremely approachable.