Build schools. Dig wells. Teach children. These are three of the most common types of international volunteering. The voluntourism industry, though in its infancy, has become a major player in global travel.
While we could sit here and debate the validity of voluntourism, it is our core belief that if you want to change the world for the better, then you need to really learn about it first. Good intentions, while good in nature, do not always have good outcomes, and while some international volunteer projects really do have good outcomes, many others simply do not.
Our programs are rooted in local leadership and are built in partnership with a variety of local stakeholders. Students participating in our programs – be it one of our 12-week university programs, or one of our 2-week immersive high school programs – don’t build anything. They don’t teach, nor do they impart; they meet, they experience, they engage, and they learn.
Our programs are different from the norm because we place the emphasis on learning through observation, through inquiry, and through engagement with local change makers. We’re different because we get to know each one of our students’ names, their stories, and their ambitions. We are deeply committed to developing programs that suit our students’ needs, while having a net benefit in communities we work in. Our programs are small, customized, and designed to challenge participants at the individual level, opening them to an increasingly complex, yet exciting, global world.