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Overseas Volunteer Enjoys the Security and Ease of a Professionally Planned Trip

Recent Volunteer to Nepal Reports a Life Changing Experience and Gives Thanks to the Organization that Made Her Dreams a Reality.


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Volunteering with orphans overseas is becoming increasingly popular with many altruistic travellers. As the need for volunteers continues to grow, a well-planned trip becomes ever more important. For many travellers, balancing a limited amount of vacation time between helping those in need and one’s own personal agenda can quickly become overwhelming. Registering with a professional volunteer service organization can eliminate much of that struggle, while ensuring that all needs are met on both sides. Leah Merigian, a college graduate from the USA, recently reported great personal growth and success on a month-long expedition abroad with CrossContinental.org.

Merigian’s trip was built around her desire to work with Nepalese orphans, immerse herself in local culture, and explore the land, all of which were accomplished on her limited budget and within her time-frame. As shown in the attached video (http://youtu.be/k_ZKg8HXVVg), she reports and showcases her first hand experience abroad.

Merigian spent the volunteering portion of her time in Nepal working at an orphanage for young boys. Both Merigian and the children under her care were enriched by the experience. “The boys are very well mannered and love anything that you teach them or any activity you do with them… I have learned that my presence there is what is most important [to them].”

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the volunteer experience is the unparallel immersion into local culture brought about by living alongside its people. Boarding with a host family is a unique way to understand the everyday lives of local residents. After a few days in Nepal, Merigian shared some of her initial thoughts.

“I love it here! The host family is wonderful and very welcoming. Saurab [the local coordinator] has been showing me around and teaching me some basics of the language, [and] we have already become good friends. I couldn’t be happier with the home I am living in.”

Merigian approached opportunities for cultural exchange enthusiastically, “Last night I tried to eat with my hands like the Nepali people do…I wasn’t very good at it..haha! It will just take some practicing!”

Merigian was very positive about her overall experience, including the benefits gained by travelling with a professional organization. “My host family has been wonderful and I consider them part of my family now. The orphanage was great too! All the kids were so respectful and always brightened my day. There really isn’t anything I can think of that would improve my experience. I loved every bit of it.”

The local coordinators also helped arrange weekend trips that made the whole journey just that much easier and more enjoyable. Merigian reported, “When I got to Nepal, not only did I get to experience a totally different culture, but anytime I wanted to visit somewhere the local coordinator would set everything up for me. Everything was so relaxed and I was always taken great care of!”

When being asked how Merigian chose her overseas program, she answered, “I chose to go abroad with CrossContinental because of how affordable it was and how fast the email responses were. They also got me in touch with previous volunteers so I could ask as many questions as I wanted with different perspectives…. I am so happy and grateful that I had this experience!”

The main goal of any volunteer abroad organization is to make the experience as easy and safe as possible. Professional organizations specialize in building a complete overseas package. Cross-Continental Solutions provides its volunteers and interns with a host family, work placement, and program coordinators who handle all aspects of the overseas experience. The entire trip is personalized and created to meet the needs of each individual volunteer.

Access free resources or plan a life-changing trip at http://www.CrossContinental.org.

About Cross-Continental Solutions:

Cross-Continental Solutions provides affordable yet flexible volunteer abroad, intern abroad, cultural immersion, language study, and gap year programs. A large variety of work placement options are available such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Development, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Microfinance, Tourism, Marketing, and more. Programs are available at many locations around the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By living and working side by side with locals, participants gain an exceptional cross-cultural experience and the opportunity to truly make a difference. For more details, visit CrossContinental.org.