International Volunteer Shares a Heart-Warming Latin American Experience

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A Recent International Volunteer from Florida Recounts the Unique Experience Volunteering Abroad with Cross-Continental Solutions. Teaching as a Volunteer Abroad Helps Build Strong Connections and Gives One a Renewed Sense of Purpose in Life.

Affordable Volunteer Abroad, Intern Abroad, Cultural Education, Language Immersion, and Gap Year Programs

Affordable Volunteer Abroad, Intern Abroad, Cultural Education, Language Immersion, and Gap Year Programs

Volunteering overseas with Cross-Continental Solutions has been a truly unforgettable experience. My hosts were like a second family to me and my local coordinator has become a friend for life.

In today's competitive job market, full-time teaching careers can be especially difficult to come by. One popular method of gaining experience in this, and many other fields of study, is volunteering overseas. Volunteer abroad and intern abroad opportunities offer students and graduates the chance to earn valuable skills before landing a permanent position in their chosen occupation.

Professional organizations are always grateful for a willing spirit and an extra set of hands. Florida, U.S.A. native Nilofer Bharwani became that extra set of hands for 3 “unforgettable” weeks, as she volunteered for a total of 60 hours in 6 different classrooms in Mexico, teaching classes of up to 40 students.

Recalling her introduction to the Latin American classrooms, Nilofer was impressed with her time spent in the school. She reports, “The teachers in Mexico really care about their students but have an extremely tough job, as do teachers in any other country. Nevertheless, they welcomed me into their classrooms and provided me with unlimited support.”

During this unique overseas volunteer expedition, Nilofer stayed with a local host family and really got to experience the culture firsthand. Cross-Continental Solutions also provided access to a local program coordinator, who was responsible for orchestrating placements and served as a contact should any unforeseen situations arise.

“During my placement, I had an amazing host family,” states Nilofer, “my host mother made me feel at home, and my local coordinator was very helpful, extremely professional, and super understanding anytime I had a problem.”

While the professional and educational benefits to travelling and working abroad are immense, there is also a very personal aspect to the experience. Immersing one’s self in a new culture so far from home, with no choice but to adapt, creates a sense of bonding that might not occur in similar domestic situations. These interactions with local residents, especially the children in her classes, were especially moving to Nilofer.

"The most rewarding part of my experience was the relationship that I developed with my students", Nilofer recounts as she recalls her last day at the school. "I was excited to see my students, and gave them some candy... then we took pictures. After awhile it was time to to say goodbye. Suddenly, a student came up to me and gave me a hug and a piece of candy, then another and then another. In about 10 minutes I had received 30 pieces of candy, flowers, bracelets, little purses and countless hugs. For the first time, I found myself about to cry in a classroom, as the students' little gifts had touched my heart.”

Overseas opportunities such as these, often provide interns and volunteers with a clear direction and renewed sense of purpose in life, which is something positions in the developed world don't always provide. Nilofer credits the organization she travelled with for providing such a positive volunteer abroad experience.

“I would definitely recommend the program to anyone who is interested in experiencing a new culture, making a difference and learning about themselves as a person. Right from the start, the online support staff at Cross-Continental were always available to answer all of my questions and reassure me of the safety and security of the program. The people of Mexico are extremely nice and welcoming and their food is amazing. My hosts were like a second family to me and my local coordinator has become a friend for life.”

The overall verdict? Nilofer says it best in her own words, “I loved volunteering in Mexico. It completely blew my mind. There were so many wonderful people that helped me and taught me about Mexican hospitality and culture. Teaching in Mexico has been a truly unforgettable experience.”

Explore the options or plan a life-changing trip at http://www.CrossContinental.org.

About Cross-Continental Solutions:

Cross-Continental Solutions provides quality yet affordable intern abroad and volunteer abroad programs, ensuring an exceptional cross-cultural experience for those who wish to make a difference. It is unique since participants live and work side by side with the local people. Covering a wide range of needs, opportunities are available in areas such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Work, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental, Micro-financing, Tourism work, Marketing, and more. There are also cultural education, language immersion, and gap year programs. Programs are available at many locations around the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

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Jian Leslie
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