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Volunteer at an Orphanage in Southern India!
ELI volunteers bathing the elephants ELI volunteers bathing the elephants

Volunteer at an Orphanage in Southern India!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Wonderfully fun time in India

Everything here went smoothly during the application, but one point of confusion was that I wasn’t 100% clear on what it meant to “apply”. At the time, I was applying for the ELI scholarship contest so I filled out the registration form to get myself into the system and receive more information on the programs. This later was confusing when I wanted to officially proceed with my application but hadn’t received the questionnaire, etc. I know this was just my mistake, but I think it might be helpful/more preferable to future volunteers to have the application process be 2 steps: the “hey I’m seriously considering this, here’s my information” step, followed by the “ok for real, officially sign me up” step. I thought they were very thorough and helpful! Before receiving them I was afraid that I would be bombarding Kenton with questions regarding what to bring/etc, but the predeparture materials covered pretty much everything!

Kenton was my ELI contact. He was wonderfully helpful and I VERY MUCH appreciated his prompt email responses!

I wasn’t met at the airport, but I had been notified & instructed on how to take a prepaid taxi ahead of time. This went fine; the only trouble I ran into was that FastTrack always has a guy take you to your taxi + carry your luggage and he requests a tip (I encountered this every time I took a prepaid FastTrack cab), but I wasn’t prepared for this and didn’t have any small change on me. I think it would be helpful to give volunteers a more thorough description on the taxi process and what to expect, just because that first transaction and interaction in India can be overwhelming!

The orientation was VERY helpful, and fun too! I really enjoyed meeting Viba and visiting the temple & cathedral. It was a great way to be eased into Chennai and learning how to get along there.

My placement was in Prema Vasam. I lived there so I was there all the time!