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Renovation, Construction & Social Work Volunteering - France

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Overall Great Experience, Would do it again!

My time with the REV (Solidarites Jeunesse) in France through VFP was truly unforgettable. The work was enjoyable and challenging at times, but the support network was good and my fellow volunteers became good friends. The time was spent together on work projects, trips, trainings, and just hanging out was really fun and provided me with great opportunities to meet others from different backgrounds and cultures. I spent a total of 6 months during my volunteer work, and my knowledge of France and the French language vastly improved from this experience. I would go back again if I had the time, and hope to work on another project with VFP in the future. Just a unique experience and such a great opportunity, thank you!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Volunteering in Saint-Maximin, France

This was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I had no idea what to expect when I first signed up for the project, and when I arrived in France, I was extremely nervous and shy. That all changed in about 10 minutes. All of the other volunteers (and the two group leaders) were extremely nice and energetic. Everyone was there to help a community, to make friends, and to make experiences. The actual volunteer work was difficult but rewarding. My group made a huge impact on a community garden in Saint-Maximin. Though the work was, as I said, difficult, it was always fun because I was with my friends. In three weeks, the 18 of us from around the world (USA; France; Germany; Turkey; Denmark; Spain; Nigeria) became best friends.

The program was run extremely well. The living situation may not seem that great as we were sleeping in tents, but it was fun. Ya, I got rained on a couple of times, but it didn't matter. We all became really close by living together in the tents, and it added an extra level of crazy and excitement to a group of insane teenagers! Also, as for the food situation, we had to make all of our own (and clean our dishes), which definitely helped with all of our creativity and cleaning abilities as we did not have the best equipment. I love cooking, so I had so much fun making dinner (or lunch or breakfast) for 18 different people. Whenever any of us cooked, we would always bring a bit of our own culture into the food that we made, so I got to experience food from around the world. And, even though we only had about five pots and two gas stove tops, it was always fun.

I really cannot mention enough how great of a time I had in this program. I loved every last bit of it, and I really want to go on another trip. This was one of the best summer experiences I have ever had!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

International Music and Dance Festival in Gannat France

This festival has been happening for over 30 years, and volunteer participation, both local and international, is a key component. The whole town comes alive for the week of the festival. Our group worked a week before the event, setting up booths, cleaning seats, making signage, etc and then worked every day of the event, with plenty of time for watching performances, and some field trips. We slept in tents, worked at ticket booths, food concessions, serving drinks, cleaning trash, etc. on a rotating basis. Ate our meals, which were cooked and served by local volunteers, at the high school, alongside of the performers, who came from many different countries. It was great fun to see them perform in their traditional attire, and then have breakfast. lunch, and dinner with them in their regular daily clothing. Got to know some of the performers well, and are still in touch seven years later. A great experience.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Social Life

    9

social immersion with a productive catalyst

This program allowed me to meet teenagers from all around the world. The most valuable experience I took away from this program was that, because we lived on opposite sides of the world we were forced to find common ground with our surrounding peers. I was worried that I was going to arrive at the camp and not have any friends. That proved to be very difficult; I now have two very close friends in Italy who I am going to visit. The trips that we went on as a group really strengthened our bonds and made it an incredible experience for all of us.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    5

  • Social Life

    9

Volunteer Environmentalists

Life changing experience! Exposed to a unique fushion and integration of culture. Experienced different languages, cultures and food. Lavished with unexpected tourist occasions too. Increased my global awareness. Such a fantastic experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.