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Testimonials from United Planet Quest Volunteers
Our volunteers become part of the United Planet family. Contact us to get in touch with a returned volunteer.
- 94% of Quest volunteers say that their overall experience either met, was above, or was far above their expectations!
- 92% of Quest volunteers report that their in-country experience was good, very good or excellent
- 88% of Quest volunteers report that their pre-departure support was good, very good or excellent, according to survey results
"Everything about my Quest was amazing. The minute I arrived, I became immersed in everything... From the people who took me in as though I were family, to the overwhelming historical culture that was everywhere. Even though I was American, I became one of them and am eternally grateful to everyone who made my experience possible -- especially United Planet."
-- Marissa, United Planet volunteer
"I went to Ghana not knowing what to expect. Almost instantly, I noticed how friendly and welcoming the people were. It was amazing to see how happy the children were to get their shirts mended and new buttons put on. I don't think anything will ever come close to how it made me feel when I saw that big smile and heard the whispers of thank you."
--Aimee Dillion, Ghana 2012
"My time in Tanzania was everything I hoped it would be. The people were amazing and the children and teachers I worked with are unforgettable. At first, I was overwhelmed by the language and hustle and bustle of the city. But after only a few days, and with the help of my phenomenal host family, I felt as though I belonged there. The only thing I didn't like about Tanzania was having to leave!"
--Kaitlin Durant, Tanzania 2011
“Traveling to Ghana was an amazing experience. Volunteering in the hospital was a great way for me to learn how another culture and hospital works. I have so much respect for all of Ghana's doctors and nurses who care for patients with as much passion as those in the United States, but with limited resources. Everyone I met was extremely welcoming and patient. I can't wait to go back and see the beautiful country and people again!
--Danielle Lafond, Ghana 2012
“ My work experience was remarkable! Although I was only there a short period of the kids' lives, I could really tell that it made a world of difference. It gave the kids more support, more confidence, and it helped them to learn a lot about other people, countries, and cultures too.The most challenging part was probably leaving. After being with the kids for so 3 months we were beginning to get into a routine and I could really identify the progress that the kids made.”
-- Angelica Mack, South Africa, 2012
"It was the people I met along the way that made my experience. The school staff was amazing, and our host family was very welcoming. I can't say enough about the people! I am a teacher by profession and it was great to see how another country's education system works. I have gained valuable experience that will help me in my teaching here in Canada. We also went on various weekend trips, which helped us relax after a long work week."
--Caitlin Dollimore, Tanzania, 2011
“United Planet's in-country coordinator, Akos, was the most helpful contact to have in the country while volunteering. She went above and beyond to help us volunteers 24/7. My time in Ghana was one of the most challenging but rewarding times. I developed so many lifelong relationships and I learned more than I thought imaginable when I signed up for this unique experience.”
-- Brittany Gibler, Ghana 2012
"The Quest to Tanzania was amazing. Despite the Muhimbili hospital being full of some very sick kids the atmosphere was amazing. There were some great teachers who kept the children interested and happy through a mixture of songs, dances and activities. Even math and english classes brought a smile to these children's faces. It was a chance for them to escape the medical world of the crowded wards upstairs.
--Emily Deacon,Tanzania 2012
"I visited Nepal to teach children in a local orphanage. I was impressed by the level of local commitment and local organization in a third world, poverty stricken country. I enjoyed working with the staff, who were very friendly and cooperative. The children were obviously well cared for and healthy and fun to be around. My host family could not have been nicer and I felt that we became friends even though I only knew them for a short time."
-- James Dibdin, Nepal 2013
" The cave hike was very fun, the dip in the waterfall pool was refreshing, but most of all, teaching the children was probably my favorite part of the day. The kids are wonderful, sweet and rather thoughtful. They're good kids."
-- Tian Nie, China 2012
" As with my past volunteer experience with UP, the time spent at the Children's Development Organization in Cambodia was one of the best experiences ever. Planning interesting and fun English language activities for the children was of course challenging, but in the end so rewarding. In no time, I became so attached to the children in my classes and so enjoyed seeing how quickly they could learn.
-- Gloria Wells, Cambodia 2013
"I fell in love with the eager, bright, brilliant boys I taught in the slum; I left all fear behind when I repelled down the Rajmachi fort while trekking in the rain; I visited some of India's holiest places and was awestruck by all that I found around me.It was the most eye-opening experience of my entire life. I saw things and did things that will stay with me forever. The way that I see the world and make decisions has been completely altered."
-- Victoria Gan, India 2011
“Saying goodbye was probably the hardest part! I experienced so many new things and feel like I've grown as a person. I've learned to appreciate what I have and how to endure through difficult situations. Teaching English to the kids taught ME that I enjoy leading a class, and that public speaking isn't scary. Being in a rural community for an extended period of time was a completely new experience, but I would not trade that fresh mountain air and water for anything.”
--Samantha Huey, China 2012
"I spent the first two weeks helping rebuild houses that were still crumbled down from the earthquake a year ago, and then the second half teaching English to young monks at a Buddhist monastery. Both were fantastic experiences for me and I very much enjoyed them, but I wasn't there long enough to make a very significant impact in either job. But that's entirely my fault for only going there for 4 weeks :)"
--Sarah Daniel, Tibet 2011
"I loved meeting the people in the village. We summed up our experience with the age old saying of "It takes a village to raise a child". This is definitely what is happening there... It is like one big family and it was so hard to leave "my family" behind as I headed back home. I will forever remember those people as grandparents, brothers, sisters, and friends. "
--Lindsey Toma, Romania 2012
“My 8 weeks there were at times confusing and frustrating, and beautiful and satisfying. I began to learn a language I knew next to nothing about, I became friends with people who'd grown up in a completely different environment than me, and by the end there were two brothers, 2 and 3 years old, that called me Nana.They ran to the door and smiled every time I walked into their house. I felt very welcome in the community of Valea Screzii. I loved the food, LOVED it, and often ate lunch with the wonderful family in Casa Americana. There were so many people, adults and children, who made me feel at home in a place 6,000 miles from the city I've lived in my whole life. ”
-- Olivia Slusher, Romania, 2013
"Romania was a country I gave my summer to, without knowing anything about it, but I ended up falling in love with the people, the land and the culture. I was instantly thrown into the lifestyle of fast cars, horse carts, potatoes and bright eyed children. This experience was one of laughter and tears and hard work, but I plan on going back as soon as possible.
"Far removed from my day to day life in New York City, I could focus on others and leave every worry behind. The clarity, perspective, and maturity I gained over my one week stint is noticeable by others and by, most importantly, me. "
--Katie Ehrman, Romania 2011
"I pursued this opportunity because I wanted to do some exploring in between college semesters. However, it turned into more of a personal journey through which I gained perspective on my own life as I experienced and learned about the lives of the people at the orphanage. It was impossible not to appreciate the strength of human spirit and perseverance at this place where everyone has a difficult story to tell. I sincerely hope I made a small difference in the lives of the people I met in Romania, but I know for sure they made a profound impact on me."
--Kelsey, Romania 2012
"During the 10 days that I was working, I met a lot of amazing people. Even though I didn't know any Spanish, the locals there still included me. I had so much fun and it was really rewarding. I'd love to go back to do it all over again!"
-- Edith Ma, Chile 2012
"Working with kids in Quito was amazingly rewarding and the employees at Villa Ticca care so much for them. It was an incredible experience. In the Galapagos cutting down invasive species with machetes was hard work but also fun. Living on a farm is difficult but a great experience...My host family was absolutely amazing and the project taught me so much. I am so happy I went there and have that experience in my life!"
-- Kylie Wyse, Ecuador 2013
"I was a volunteer in Clinca San Juan de Dios, working with the disabled children who are hospitalized. The most enjoyable part was the complete Spanish immersion, both with my host and family and project. I was able to apply what I learned in my Spanish classes as soon I left. Leaving was honestly the most challenging part of my Quest experience. I grew so attached to the place, the people, and my project that it was very difficult to return back home. However, it definitely made me feel ready to go on another United Planet Quest soon!"
--Claire Ransom, Peru 2013
"I had an incredible time on my healthcare Quest to Guatemala. The balance between work, activities, and free time to explore on my own was perfect. I had a fabulous homestay, really enjoyed my work placement, and made friends while I was there. I learned so much from this experience and am recommending it to all of my friends."
-- Jessica Lowe, Guatemala 2012
“I made some great friends and fantastic memories. I loved all the travel I did, and it was cool to see the world from a different perspective. Working at the school was a great experience and I really liked the kids. Everyone made sure I was ok at all times and I felt safe. I look forward to take another quest with United Planet in the future!”
-- William Colby Ferro, Peru 2013
"I really suggest youngsters do projects like this to see more of the world, to be more thankful to the things you've already take for granted, and to have a open-heart. I look forward to my next volunteer project, hope to share my experience with others, and wish these projects can not only help the locals, and influence me!"
-- Yi-Ju Chen, Costa Rica 2012
" My host family was fantastic. I stayed with a single lady who spoke a little English. She was lovely and spent time with me on the weekends. I also had Spanish lessons each day at the language institute which I loved!"
-- Rebecca Lamont, Chile 2012
"I had the most wonderful experience in Jordan. I stayed with the most kind and caring family anyone could hope for. I saw so much of Amman, and Jordan as a whole, that three weeks later I returned, and met my family for dinner. I fully intend of returning to visit them, and for them to visit me so I can return the favours. I believe I have a lifelong friend from this family, and I was just so pleased I did the Quest. The organisation was brilliant, the coordinator could not have been more helpful, and I really felt at home. Thank you so much the Jordan team!!"
--Emma Crawley, Jordan 2011
“Traveling while volunteering was perfect! I was able to see what some of the daily life is like in Jordan through working at a school and following the work week schedule of the locals.”
-- Haleh Torbaghan, Jordan 2012
"I was challenged, surprised, and taught by my experience in Jordan. Working with children at the House of Tales and Music was a challenging but rewarding experience; I think that the work of introducing children to artistic and musical skills is very important and am honored to have been a part of it. I felt extremely welcomed by my host family and loved the family-oriented feel of the Middle Eastern culture."
-- Annalise Kean, Jordan 2012
"Jordan is not only a beautiful country but has beautiful people who treated me with respect and trust. My short trip gave me an opportunity to see not only the historical side but the cultural side as well. We seem to all seek the same things in life no matter where we live and that certainly starts with peace."
-- Rose Cohlmia, Jordan 2012