An Adaptable International Volunteer Makes Every Moment Count in Africa

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American Volunteer Recently Shared Her Experience of a Lifetime while Volunteering in Africa through CrossContinental.org.

Volunteer Abroad Teaching and Assisting Orphans in Africa

Volunteer Abroad Teaching and Assisting Orphans in Africa

Make the most of every moment; Explore side streets; Take miracle walks; Smile; Count your blessings; Refuse to take things for granted; Spread laughter; Offer to help; Give hugs; Teach; Learn; Touch the world and Allow the world to touch you.

American citizen Sara Erickson recently volunteered abroad in Africa to care for orphans and teach young children through CrossContinental.org. The experience for Sara was life-changing, as she learned so much and was able to spread so much happiness and laughter around. She considered her primary responsibility to never take anything for granted and spread joy as much as possible, even with strangers. Among many international volunteers and interns, Sara was selected as one of the top role models for being positive, adaptable, and always willing to lend a hand.

  • Make Every Moment Count

While she was in Ghana, Sara made sure to make every moment count. After the first few days, Sara reported on what she had learned from Ghana so far: "Make the most of every moment; Explore side streets; Take miracle walks; Say hello; Smile; Take pictures and Share them; Count your blessings; Refuse to take things for granted; Play with everything; Blow bubbles; Spread laughter; Offer to help; Be aware that you are foreign and exotic; Hold babies; Giggle with children; Listen to people; Be brave; Sing out loud; Try something totally new; Give hugs; Teach; Learn; Touch the world and Allow the world to touch you."

Sara made sure that she tried everything that the culture in Ghana had to offer, and to smile at everyone as much as possible. At the end of it all, she was extremely thankful that she had spent her time there, learned a lot, and grown wonderfully in the process. She said, "I’m so thankful for my time here!" As an international volunteer, she was truly a role model to others. With a positive attitude and a willingness to learn and help, she made the most of this experience of a lifetime.

  • The Impact of the Work Project Abroad

During her time abroad, Sara got to see huge leaps made by the children she helped. She states that, “My most rewarding experience was seeing the progress of my students throughout the 14 weeks. I taught English to 5-7 year olds and in the beginning they were struggling, but because I was able to be there through their entire term I saw the fruits of my teaching. Teaching was challenging some days but those children always brought a smile to my face!"

  • The Local Support System

In Ghana, Sara was taken care of by local CrossContinental coordinators and a host family. She states, "My coordinators helped me to find an environment that I would enjoy and be most productive in. I didn't have very many problems while abroad but I knew that if something came up that I could have spoken to them." Also, Sara shares that she and her host sisters have formed a bond that will last a lifetime, and they will definitely stay in touch. Both international and local coordinators from CrossContinental checked on her throughout her stay to make sure that she would not face any difficulties alone while abroad.

  • Volunteering Abroad through CrossContinental.org

It may not be an easy decision to travel thousands of miles from home, but for Sara the decision was made much easier through the support from Cross-Continental Solutions. She shares, "When signing up to work in another country for a long period of time, being anxious just comes along with it. However Cross-Continental reassured me countless times and removed my fears. I would recommend this company to anyone."

She has also encouraged others to go volunteer in places where they are needed the most. Soon after Sara's trip to Ghana, her friend Jennifer Elkins joined an international internship project through CrossContinental.org to help empower local women. Jennifer is currently in Nepal and reports that she greatly enjoys her project.

  • Thoughts About Her Trip

Sara’s three months taught her more than she could have ever imagined, and she returned home with many wonderful memories from her time in Ghana. When Sara talks to people about her trip, the response she usually hears is, "I wish I could do that but I don't have the money.” However, Sara believes while traveling is expensive, that should never stop someone from living their dreams. Sara says, "Cross-Continental has the most affordable fees for individuals looking to experience life in another culture. In addition they carefully chose your host family so that you are safe and taken care of."

Sara summarizes her volunteer abroad experience by saying, “Cross-Continental made my dream of volunteering in Africa not only a reality but an experience that I will never forget. They were with me from the moment I stepped off the plane in Accra until I boarded for home 14 weeks later."

Access free resources or plan a life-changing trip at https://www.CrossContinental.org.

About CrossContinental.org:

Cross-Continental Solutions provides affordable yet flexible international learning programs, including volunteer abroad, intern abroad, cultural immersion, language study, and gap year programs. International internships can even be taken for university credit. A large variety of work placement options are available such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Development, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Microfinance, Tourism, Marketing, and more. Programs are available at many locations around the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By living and working side by side with locals, participants gain an exceptional cross-cultural experience and the opportunity to truly make a difference. For more details, visit the website CrossContinental.org and take a look at the video http://youtu.be/4YgkrLF3FZE. More videos available at http://www.youtube.com/ccsorg.

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Jian Leslie
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