It was almost the end of my second year of college and with summer around the corner, my best friend and I were exploring our options. I told him that I wanted to do something big and important, and that's when he showed me Cross-Cultural Solutions. We decided to travel to Peru and intern as medical assistants.
When deciding on an international volunteer program, one of the main things that appealed to me about Cross-Cultural Solutions was the idea of the "full experience." When I saw that CCS placed equal importance on volunteering, educational activities, and opportunities for organic cultural exchange, I knew I had found my adventure. And while I knew that I wanted an educational volunteer experience, and I couldn't wait to learn about Thai culture, what I didn't realize was that these cultural activities are more than just educational. CCS includes them in the volunteer experience because they are a key ingredient in impactful volunteer work. Allow me to explain.
During my time volunteering in Salvador, Brazil as a member of the Eli Lilly and Company corporate volunteer group, I kept a personal journal. I wanted to share with you just a snippet of a "day in the life" of a CCS volunteer, in hopes that perhaps you'll be inspired to do the same someday. Happy reading!
A few weeks ago, we shared the incredible volunteer story behind A Fresh Chapter—a place for cancer survivors to find strength and fresh starts through a supportive community and international volunteering. Here's a beautiful video from The Fresh Chapter Alliance's most recent CCS group experience.
So you've decided that you need a change of pace. Maybe you have a week's worth of vacation days to use before the end of the year, or perhaps you're in a moment of transition and have decided that a 12-week adventure is exactly what you need to shake things up a bit. But either way, one thing is for sure: you're looking for an experience that will change everything. But with all of the options out there—all of the different ways in which you can choose to explore the world—how can you ensure that you're choosing the best international experience for you?
When you volunteer abroad with Cross-Cultural Solutions, you'll find that every moment brings with it an opportunity to learn about and explore the culture. And as every international adventurer knows, the number of ways in which local cuisine can offer insight into culture and heritage are endless.