COSTA RICA

My most successful fundraiser.

My most successful fundraiser was a girl’s only event held at a local hunt club. I sent out flyers to my parent’s friends, all my girlfriends, and every woman I ran into including the mail delivery person. I also created a Facebook event and invited every female on my Friends list. Social media really helped to spread the word about the fundraiser. I included a link to MyCCS page, in case friends could not make the event but wanted to help.

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Why I chose Cross-Cultural Solutions and Costa Rica.

I always had a dream of volunteering, traveling and immersing myself into another culture. I had heard wonderful things about the Peace Corps but knew that a 27-month commitment was way more than I was interested in at this phase in my life. I took to the internet and stumbled upon Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS).

With a little more research, I was hooked. Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) offered a variety of timelines and locations so that I could customize my experience. I decided that 3 months would offer me the volunteer opportunity I was looking for.

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How I raised $3,000 in 10 days to volunteer with CCS Cartago in Costa Rica

It doesn't take a certain kind of person to be able to ask for donations. Asking friends, family and acquaintances for donations can be a humbling experience. And by offering a contribution to your program fee, they become a part of the effort. It’s about more than simply making a donation but rather working towards a larger cause. Don't be nervous to ask - all they have to say is "no" if they'd rather not donate. Yet, you'll find that people really care.

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My alternative break made an impact

In my final year at UC San Diego, I led a group of 14 fellow students on a volunteer program through Cross-Cultural Solutions in Cartago, Costa Rica. We were looking for an experience that would be memorable, and more than just a typical spring break. Safety and pre-departure support were also top priorities for us since we were students and even had a few first-time travelers in the group. And this is how I found Cross-Cultural Solutions.

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Volunteering with CCS: The ultimate icebreaker

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.

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My gap semester in Costa Rica

My experience with Cross-Cultural Solutions began while I was attending Hartwick College in 2008. I had hit a roadblock that I'm sure you may have faced when you were a student, or perhaps you're not quite there yet, but we all tend to hit a moment in life where we just can't clearly see the road ahead. So I rather than a gap year, I decided to take a gap semester in Costa Rica in hopes that it would help me to determine my path forward.

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