Monday, October 27, 2008

Volunteer or Intern Abroad

Ever wanted to volunteer or intern abroad but didn't want to give up 27 months of your life to the Peace Corps or go overseas to just study for academic credit? Many students have the same feelings as I do until I stumbled across Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS). This is a international non-profit organization that was founded in 1995 and has no religious affiliations and no political affilations. The goals of this organization is to bring people from all over the world to work together and share perspectives while fostering cultural understandings. There are ten countries to choose from including Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Peru, Russia, Tanzania, and Thailand. Depending on which program you choose to enroll you will have the option of picking how much time you spend overseas volunteering.
The programs that CCS offers are volunteering abroad, interning abroad or insight abroad. Volunterring abroad is a short-term program where you will be working with local organizations in the country of your choosing. Some oganizations could include orphanages, childcare centers and schools, health clinics, hospitals, homes for the elderly, center for people with disabilities, and any other community organizations. In this program you are allowed to choose from the ten countries mentioned before and you can choose between two to twelve weeks of volunteering. Interning abroad is an international internship where you can gain work experience in the areas of health, education or social services. You may also be able to gain academic credit. This program also allows you to choose from the ten countries mentioned before and the amount of time you want to volunteer between at least two weeks to the maximum of twelve weeks. The last program CCS offers is insight abroad. In this program you will start and complete a group project within a community. Your choices are limited when choosing a country and you can only volunteer for a week.
CCS also believes that if you want a better understanding and experience in another country that you must have free time. The organization does have a home-base for their volunteers where you will be staying with other volunteers and CCS staff. They give you the evenings and the weekends off to go explore or simple enjoy yourself and the other volunteers. All of your daily needs are taken care of, including lodging, meals and transportation.
If this organization sounds interesting to you then i suggest you log on to their website www.crossculturalsolutions.org or give them a call at 1-800-380-4777 to design a plan. Get out there and do something great, engage in field work and reseach or simply go for an alternative break!

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