From teaching English to the sweetest students in a Thai school, to exploring the jungles of Asia with elephants, CCS Thailand fostered the most incredible experience for Ohio State University’s Kim Hosbach.
I spent the better part of my 20’s abroad, whether it was living out of a backpack for a year in Asia, eating street food (hey pad thai, I miss you!) or volunteering at various projects around the world while working with CCS (trust me, you can’t go wrong on country selection!) or even running an administrative office for two years in Panama. I loved my adventures, made friends that I still am in touch with weekly, and even fell in in love with a Panamanian, swearing I could live abroad for the rest of my life.
At CCS, our alumni carry a very special place in our hearts. Volunteers embark on their journeys as new friends, and leave as family. They often take their incredible service and travel experiences with them and integrate the lessons that they learned back into their daily lives. We believe that the power of international volunteering can build bridges of understanding through one simple act: service.
Over the Labor Day weekend, Cross-Cultural Solutions held our inaugural alumni weekend trip. The trip was for those who have previously been on a longer experience with CCS, and wanted to reconnect with an international community and meet other like-minded volunteers. With the recognition that many alumni don’t have the time to travel abroad for as long as they did on their initial program, CCS wants to continue to offer quick ways to increase cultural competency and make an impact with some of our partner programs.
By Farhana Rehman-Furs, Chief Programs Officer, Cross-Cultural Solutions
In Regards To:
Food is far more than fuel for our bodies—it reveals something significant about our cultural heritage and brings us together around the table. CCS volunteers consistently rave about the food at the Home-Base. CCS cooks are also trained in safe food preparation and cooking for a variety of dietary preferences, restrictions, and allergies. Check out these volunteer reviews and cultural factoids for our nine country destinations!
Countless cultures exist around the world, each with unique languages, histories, art forms, traditions, and beliefs. Yet, despite all of these differences, some things speak to our deeper selves that exist beyond any borders. Here are phrases from each of our country locations that reveal a little about their cultures—and maybe contain messages for us all.
Watch now: Want to Help Someone? Shut up and Listen!
Ernesto Sirolli started doing aid work in Africa in the 1970's—and quickly realized how ineffective it was. In a funny and impassioned TED talk, he suggests the first step is to listen to the people you're trying to help, rather than assume what they need.