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Volunteer Abroad in Chile - United Planet - 1-12 weeks

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I would come back in a heartbeat

Santiago, Chile is an amazing city. It is bursting with culture, food, music, and so much more. It is very easy to navigate using micros and metros, as well as taxis, Uber, and walking within neighborhoods. There is so much to do and see! The Chilean people are welcoming and always willing to share a part of their culture. Fortunately, I had some family living there, so I was able to have some experiences "off the beaten path." Chile is rich with adventures and is a beautiful country! Everyone involved with my quest was amazing. From my host mom, to the in-country coordinator, to the daycare I worked at. My host mom was so understanding and encouraging of the entire process. The staff at the daycare were welcoming and so appreciative to have some extra hands. There are too many experiences that were inexplicable to choose just one. From the interactions with the children, to exploring the city, to the food...oh, the food! Being a professional Speech-Language Pathologist on this quest, I was very grateful to have been connected with a Speech-Language department at a local university. It was so fulfilling to meet and discuss the profession of speech-language pathology with other professionals of a different culture. There were some differences in the way in which the profession operates in Chile, as compared to the US, which was so interesting to learn and discuss. It would be amazing to have a speech therapy quest in Chile in the near future. I would come back in a heartbeat. I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about my time in Chile. I was extremely tempted to extend my stay to continue exploring. Next time!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Chile is everything and more!

I volunteered with United Planet's daycare short-term quest for 2 weeks. I cannot say enough good things about my experience, not only with United Planet, but in Chile as well.

United Planet provided excellent pre-departure support. From emails with my coordinator in Boston, to emails with my in-country coordinator, to the pre-departure session call. Of course, I was nervous to about my quest, but everyone with United Planet was reassuring and answered any question I might have. I felt very prepared!

The daycare (Junji) that I volunteered at was amazing! The teachers were warm and welcoming. The kids were adorable! I am a speech therapist in the US and when the teachers found out, they were full of questions. They wanted to know what they could do to help the kids. It was so heartwarming! Despite having limited resources, these women do an amazing job with the kids. Teaching them foundational skills, making activities fun and interesting, and were so caring. Every kid knew they were cared for by all the teachers. It was amazing.

I traveled to the daycare using a micro (public bus) everyday and never felt unsafe. The public transportation system in Santiago was super easy and convenient to use. And it was cheap! I would definitely recommend using micros and the metro to get around. Cabs are everywhere too, as well as Uber if needed for late night excursions.

I could not have asked for a better host mom. She was encouraging and supportive of me going out and experiencing Santiago and the Chilean culture. She was welcoming and all around awesome.

Santiago is an amazing city. Full of things to do and experience. From late night drinks, to the food (omg, the food!), to music, and history. It is a BIG city, but one that is easy to navigate. My recommendations of must-do's: La Chascona, Cerro San Cristóbal, Pueblito de los Dominicos, Plaza del Armas, Mercado Central, (eat) empanadas, humitas, pastel de choclo, and all the pastries you can find.

Go on a quest to Chile, you will not be disappointed!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    N/A

A Priceless Experience

I had an excellent time in Chile. The school (Colegio Salesiano) that I taught at was very accepting and the teachers and students were very excited to have me there. I will admit it was strange being called a "native speaker", but I am glad I could give them an opportunity they have not had in a long time. The family I stayed with was great. The family and I bonded so well that before I left they adopted a dog and named him after me. I hope that we will be able to stay in contact for years to come and hopefully I will be able to return. I would recommend this quest to anyone looking for a good and fulfilling time in another country.



Living Situation:
excellent

Community Impact:
Excellent: Our tour of Valparaiso was great and I loved visiting Viña del Mar as well.

Program Administration:
Jinexa was very helpful and I am glad I had her support while preparing for my quest. Alan and Paul were both great. I felt safe and with their support had no issues.

Health and Safety:
I felt very safe the entire trip.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Best experience of my life

Stayed with a host family that treated me like their own. Went to a public all girls school to go around with the English teacher. Taught and interacted with the students. Best experience of my life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

I have no doubt that my first Quest won't be my last.

My experience in Chile was like a vacation for my soul. I did a lot of work and found myself very tired at the end of the day, but I enjoyed every single minute of it. My host mom, Maggie Diaz, is probably the most special woman I have been lucky enough to meet. I was only with her for two weeks, but still I felt as though I learned as much from her as I learned in a semester at college. My quest with United Planet was an experience I will always cherish.

I chose this program because I was impressed by the available projects and volunteer work.

My accommodations is a 5 out of 5.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

We really enjoy is sharing what we learned

The variety of opportunities we had to make our CAP presentations - from 4th graders to seniors at a senior center. We appreciated having wide leeway in what we presented. At a girl's school the teacher gave us an opportunity to develop and present on a topic with only 1 day's notice - and we gladly accepted the challenge. Our home stay with Maggie Diaz was also a definite highlight. We felt like long lost relatives who'd come to visit after years apart.

I chose this program because I liked the projects and available voluntary work.

My accommodations is a 5 out of 5 .

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

I love traveling

I was able to visit a lot of sites with Next Step China, like the Great Wall. It's hard to pick one most memorable experience!

I chose this program because I've never traveled to Asia.

My accommodations, I shared an apartment, and I thought they were really nice. They meet western standards. Thanks so much for your help!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

A Vacation for he soul

My short-term Quest to Santiago, Chile has undoubtedly changed the way I see not only myself, but the world in which we live in. From the moment my plane landed, I was surrounded by incredibly warm and welcoming people who taught me more than I thought I could possibly learn in 2 short weeks.The host mom I lived with will always have a big place in my heart, she made every single day a dream for me. My volunteer experience was the most fulfilling work I have ever been a part of. The children in the rehabilitation center were bursting with spirit and life, despite their disabilities. Each day I left my volunteer site, convinced that the children had made my day better than I could have possibly made theirs. I would recommend and encourage anyone who shares global ideals with United Planet to sign up for a Quest, I have no doubt that my first Quest won't be my last.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Traveling like a local

I don't believe international travel should be about seeing the sights while your tour group is herded around like cattle. Living and laughing with a local family while almost experiencing what the locals experience is the only way to travel. We look forward to showing pictures but what we really enjoy is sharing what we learned, what we talked about, telling all the wonderful stories. Travel for us is about making friends that we'll stay in touch with - and the quest succeeded.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    N/A

Amazing Experience!

I went on the United Planet Teaching Quest in Santiago, Chile. The pre-departure support was incredible, they provided me with all the information I needed for a successful trip. I was fully emerged into Chilean culture from the moment I arrived, and had the most wonderful host mother. I constantly reflect upon my volunteer trip to Chile, and am incredibly thankful that I chose to travel there with United Planet.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

One of the greatest experiences of my life!

Volunteering in Chile was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. I loved getting to know the locals, especially meeting students my own age. We also were very lucky to work with other volunteers that were very nice and easy to get along with. I hope that I will be able to stay in contact with all of the people I met in Chile and be able to come back and visit them again.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

The volunteering was very fulfilling

Memorable Experience is my host family.

Why I chose the program because I spoke the language.

Description of Accommodation is a 5 out of 5.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

Rewarding and enriching

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the locals. They were friendly and hospitable. My host "mother" was accommodating and made me feel that her home was my home too. The teachers made me feel welcome, not only in school but in their homes as well. I felt that I was able to help in the classroom despite my short time there. The students were very interested in cross-cultural exchange and were keen to practice speaking in English.

I chose this program because I speak the language.

My accommodations was a 4 out of 5.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

I had an amazing quest trip to Chile

The relationships I established with my host family, the teachers and the children I worked with is the most memorable of this experience.

I was impressed by the program offerings so I chose this program.

My accommodations is a 5 out of 5 .

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

An amazing experience

My host family was so kind, the food was delicious, and the volunteering was very fulfilling.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

A cultural voyage

My short-term Quest experience was rewarding and enriching. The in-country staff was supportive and I never felt alone despite being in a country where I didn't know anyone. I received a thorough orientation on the first day and didn't have any problems navigating in the city. My placement with a host "mother" made me feel that I have family and home away from home. The week-long language lessons gave me the confidence to try to communicate in the local language. The faculty members gave me an opportunity to help out and made me feel that my efforts were most needed and valued. They allowed me to help students with the lessons and review test papers. The students were excited about being able to practice their English with a native speaker. The excursions, United Planet-sponsored and self-initiated, further exposed me to the local culture. For example, I learned about wine-making which is a major Chilean industry; visited Valparaiso which is a UNESCO heritage site; spent time with Santiaguenos and learned about their customs and practices.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

An amazing experience teaching abroad

Overall, I had an amazing quest trip to Chile. My host family was incredibly kind and patient with me and I felt truly submersed in their family as well as the culture. I worked for three weeks at a local school as an assistant English teacher. I became close with the English teachers and they often assisted me with my Spanish speaking skills. I assisted them with preparing classes and grading assignments as well as in-class exercises. Three of the days I acted as a substitute teacher for the full day while the teacher was absent due to other requirements. This was extremely challenging, but also very fun, as I was given the opportunity to develop a class around the curriculum all on my own. However, it was often difficult to ensure the students were actively participating, especially when I had a difficulty in understanding certain phrases or words they used. For my last three weeks I worked in a daycare in the poorest region of Santiago with Hogar de Christo. This organization provided free daycare to extremely poor families so the parents could go to work or because the parents were addicted to drugs or alcohol. THe day care was a safe haven for the children and they also received free meals provided by the government there. I absolutely fell in love with the children and developed really close relationships with them and the full time employees. My Spanish improved drastically, though I often made a lot of mistakes, like telling the 4 year olds to "comb their teeth." On the weekends I had plenty of time to spend with my host family or on the scheduled excursions in order to get a better understanding of the culture and just relax and have fun when not working. My host family tried to show me their favorite spots and events on several occasions, and we passed the time doing things like watching Chile beat Colombia to go to the World Cup and celebrating in the city afterwards, going to a concert, and taking a trip to the beach. One wonderful aspect of my trip that I totally did not expect was the fact that my host family happened to have wireless internet in their house and I was able to talk to my husband who is in Iraq every few days via the computer program "SKYPE." I felt really fortunate that everything turned out the way it did, and this trip was absolutely amazing.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

An incredible immersion

At the end of my quest, I wished that I could have had another week. I enjoyed it completely, my host family was so incredibly warm, friendly, entertaining, and accomodating. I built a lasting bond with them that I know will continue. I truly enjoyed being so completely immersed in the culture and the language. My two excursions to Vina del Mar and Valparaiso, as well as to the Andes, were also incredible. My Spanish improved tremendously in those two short weeks. I feel that as for my volunteer work, I was not only providing services to the children and the teachers in the school but providing a service to myself by trying something completely new and embracing such a fulfilling experience. I enjoyed being an English assistant, and my only regret is that I stayed for what now seems like such a short time.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Rewarding Experience!

I was excited about my trip before i left because i really wanted to do construction work for poor families. When i got there i was really happy and ready to work. During the 10 days that i was working, I met a lot of amazing people and even though I didn't know any Spanish, the people there still included me. I had so much fun and it was really rewarding. I'd love to go back to do it all over again.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    N/A

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Education in Chile

United Planet was a terrific experience that I am so pleased to have been a part of. The organization does a great thing in allowing travels to go and explore parts of the world that they may not of had the opportunity to see otherwise. I would recommend this program to anyone and everyone who is interested in traveling abroad without a place to start. I am forever grateful for my United Planet experience.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

My second time as a UP volunteer was completely different than my first quest.

My second time as a UP volunteer was completely different than my first quest. I never thought my time in Peru could be matched but Chile exceeded all my expectations. My time in the classroom with the children was both rewarding and challenging. I loved coming in every day and seeing how hard the kids worked at to learn english. The english teachers were also welcoming and encouraging in the classroom. I felt like I was actively making a difference in the kids' lives and the constant hugs and smiles from the kids only added to the excitement of each day.

My experience with my host family, the support both in country and back in Boston made my experience very good! I think what would have made it excellent would have been to include spanish classes in the price of the quest as I know it is done for some other quest countries. This would have been beneficial since I was the only UP volunteer and could have met some other people.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    N/A

Really Enjoyed My Time in Chile

I really enjoyed my time in Chile. I really liked my host family, although the conditions of the house were sometimes hard to live in.



Living Situation:
good

Community Impact:
excellent

Program Administration:
very good

Health and Safety:
very good