When I first signed up to volunteer abroad with Cross-Cultural Solutions, I knew that things were about to change for me, but I really had no idea just how much the experience would impact my life. I was thinking about the service, the adventure, the amazing photos that I would take. It hadn't even crossed my mind that I would be making friends that would last a lifetime. But that's just what happened.
In 2009, at age 30, Terri Wingham found out that she had cancer. Two years later, after 15 months of treatment, she enrolled to volunteer in South Africa with Cross-Cultural Solutions. Now an alumna three times over, Terri's story has gone from one fraught with obstacles, to an incredible inspiration that has touched the lives of countless individuals around the world.
After six weeks volunteering with Cross-Cultural Solutions in Morocco, Hannah had learned so much about herself and about the world around her. Read this excerpt from Hannah's blog to find out what she learned at each of her three volunteer assignments.
During my time volunteering in Bangkok with Cross-Cultural Solutions, it often felt as though I was there as a member of the community, rather than somebody who was just passing through. I found it very easy to make real friendships, which often led to new and exciting experiences.
During a recent, inspiring volunteer abroad experience with Cross-Cultural Solutions, I had the privilege of teaching advanced English to adults in Rabat, Morocco. As a communications and marketing executive, I had never taught anyone before this volunteer experience. So I knew this experience was pushing boundaries for me. Big boundaries.
When I arrived at the Cross-Cultural Solutions Home-Base in Dharamsala, India last month, I instantly felt at home. The CCS Dharamsala team introduced themselves and shared a bit of their respective stories as we all sipped chai tea in the cozy living room. After we finished our tea, introductions, and a quick Home-Base tour, I went into the bedroom that I'd be sharing with a fellow volunteer and began to unpack and settle in. It's amazing to think back and remember how in just 3 short weeks, every part of it felt like home.
Did you know that just about everyone who works at Cross-Cultural Solutions' HQ is a former volunteer? So when you call and ask a question, we're not reading from a manual. Instead, we're speaking from the heart about our own experience. We're sharing why, when we were in your shoes and doing our own research, we picked CCS.
Before traveling abroad, I had almost no idea the rest of the world existed. It seemed like everything I saw in the news or read about in books was almost like fiction. I mean, I knew these places existed, but I just didn't realize that I could actually go there, and how much there was to learn in each new place.
The Seven Wonders of the World are some of the most sought-after travel experiences around, and lucky for you, Cross-Cultural Solutions offers volunteer opportunities within traveling distance of some of these epic sites. So if you're trying to figure out just where to kick off your life of international exploration and volunteer travel, why not start with one of these.
Volunteering with Cross-Cultural Solutions is an incredibly effective way to take a step back and evaluate the path you've chosen. Whether you're interested in taking a career break abroad, you're a recent grad ready to experience the life of an international volunteer, or you're just trying to figure out your next big move, the CCS experience offers you an opportunity to shake things up, and change everything.