World Unite! Volunteering, Internships, Cultural Travel

Volunteering, Internships and Intercultural Learning in Tanzania, Zanzibar, India, Morocco, Israel, Nicaragua, Bolivia, China, Japan, Ghana, Galapagos, Ecuador


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Volunteering as a Nurse in Morocco – Nicole in Tangier

Have you always wanted to deepen your professional abilities through a stay abroad and to learn about work styles in a different culture? World Unite! participant Nicole volunteered as a nurse in a clinic and a medical outpatient clinic in Tangier, Morocco for four months and gained memorable experiences. Read more: 

I spent almost four months volunteering in Tangier (Morocco) and it has been the best time in my life so far! Thanks to World Unite! my work schedule was well organized. Nevertheless, I had enough free time to explore Tangier and Morocco. I volunteered in a private clinic three times a week, and in a non-profit medical outpatient clinic two times a week.

As for my time in the private clinic, I spent the first four weeks in a general medical ward (including an intensive care unit). In this ward, patients were cared for after surgery and also patients with internal medical problems. I was very fortunate because the Moroccan nurses and doctors allowed me a very hands on approach. I was allowed to change dressings, infusions and to measure vital signs (blood pressure, blood sugar, etc.). In the beginning a was a bit worried whether the patients would trust me or whether they’d refuse to be treated by me, but rather the opposite was the case.

Everyone was very positive about organizations like World Unite! that make such cultural exchanges possible.

After four weeks, I switched to the operating theater. I was very excited to be given this opportunity because I haven’t had much chance to work in OR during my training as a nurse in Germany. The surgeons and nurses were incredibly friendly and received me very well. In the beginning I spent most of my time observing, but after a short while I helped with the patient preparation and follow-up. I was able to join many surgeries in visceral or fascial surgery, traumatology, gynecology, urology, ophthalmology, and oncology and I’ve learned a lot. After some time, I was allowed to to establish vascular access, managed the sterile instruments (holding them and handing them over to the surgeons) and applied dressings. My personal highlight was to learn how to sew surgical wounds. I am really grateful for this experience and for the openness and trust of the doctors and nurses. I felt so comfortable in the surgery theater that I stayed there until the end of my placement.

On top of volunteering in the clinic, I helped out in a medical medical outpatient clinic on two afternoons a week. The clinic is run by the two nurses Meriem and Zohair. Each afternoon, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, they provide treatment to people who can’t afford a doctor’s visit. Medicines and medical supplies are donated to the clinic. Around 20 people get treatment on a daily basis. I helped to prepare the instruments and materials and cleaned and stowed them after the clinic closes. We have treated patients of all ages and with all types of health complaints, often burns, cuts, abscesses or postoperative follow-ups. When there was less to do, we would have a cup of tea together and fold compresses in the meantime. I’ve learned a lot from Meriem and Zohair, especially about life in Morocco. We often talked about different health systems, living standards and about our work in the clinic. This was an amazing chance to learn with and from local people in Morocco and to practice my French.

Combining a placement in two clinics has given me a great insight into the Moroccan health care system and I am extremely grateful for that! On top of gaining work exposure, volunteering in another country and amount local people has definitely helped to broaden my culture competences as well.

Despite having a busy work schedule, I had enough time to go on excursions on weekends. I travelled to the beautiful cities of Chefchaouen and Assilah and explored lots of places and sights in Tangier, for instance the Hercules Grotto. My time in Morocco was an absolutely unique experience and I can definitely recommend it.

Best wishes,

Nicole

Read more about Nicole’s placements in Morocco:

Hospitals in Tangier

Charitable Medical Centre and Nursing Centre in Tangier

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Agricultural Internship in Myanmar – Friederike on the Tropical Eco-Farm

An internship abroad does not only offer you the opportunity to put the knowledge gained from your studies into practice, but also to expand your intercultural skills! Our participant Friederike is a student of geo-ecology and did an internship at an eco-farm and agricultural school in Myanmar. She experienced the culture and way of life of this fascinating country first hand and made very special friendships. Read more about her exciting experience:

For my one month internship I decided to travel to Myanmar to work with an organization called “NEED-Myanmar“. “NEED“ stands for “Network for Environment and Economical Development“ and is a school and teaching farm that teaches sustainable agriculture methods and environmental conservation topics to young farmers in Myanmar.

My day started with classes in the eco school at 8:30. During class I answered questions, helped the students with group work or taught myself. We talked about topics like erosion, river regulation, permaculture, risks of coal mining and renewable energy. The lessons were in Burmese and English. Classes usually finished at 3:00 pm. From 3:30 pm till 5:00 pm we worked on the fields and watered the plants, harvested, built new beds or fixed the chicken house. Afterwards, there was always some time for Badminton or Volleyball!

The students were open, curious and kind. Some pupils taught me traditional dances or showed my how to apply Thanaka (a traditional paste from bark that’s applied on the skin). Even though there were some communication problems due to the language barrier, we were able to build a strong friendship.

I lived on the farm and had my own bedroom and own bathroom, but without running water. But I got used to living without running water pretty quickly.

I could learn a lot about tropical and sustainable agriculture as well as about the problems and difficulties burmese farmers face. Just to name one example: Burmese farmers have to change the structure of the beds depending on the change of dry season to rainy season, otherwise the rain would wash away the soil.

But I could learn the most about Myanmar and its people! Everyone told me a lot about their culture, their hometowns, their families, their wishes and dreams. I learned things about Myanmar that I would’ve never been able to learn on a holiday or from a book.
When you decide to go to Myanmar and work on the NEED-farm you will meet the kindest and friendliest people, you will learn a lot about their culture and ways of life and you will lose your heart to the people and the country.

Best regards,

Friederike (Germany)

Friederike in Myanmar 2

Here you can find all information about Friederike’s internship in Myanmar.

Contact us at info@world-unite.de – we are happy to advise you on your volunteer placement or internship in Myanmar.


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Pre-Medical Internship Abroad – Agnieszka in Morocco

For many (soon to be) medical students worldwide, a “pre-medical internship“ (or nursing internship) is part of their studies. Many medical schools allow their students to spend a part of these internships in hospitals and clinics abroad – a great opportunity to gain practical experience, learn a new foreign language and get to know the medical system in another country. World Unite! participant Agnieszka did her pre-medical internship at a clinic in Tangier, Morocco. Read more: 

My pre-medical internship in Tangier was a great experience. I would especially like to thank the nurse anesthetists and the Director of the clinic who were very kind to me and had a great sense of humor. Through their pedagogical approach I had the opportunity to gain lots of interesting learning experiences. Many of the doctors have studied in France and generally speaking, I got along very well with all of the staff at the clinic. They were always there to answer my questions.

Furthermore, I really liked the fact that I was able to rotate through various departments of the clinic. I shadowed the doctors and nurses in the surgery theatre as well as in the maternity ward, which allowed me to see things that I had never witnessed before, such as a caesarean section or circumcision, just to name a few. Overall, I highly recommend this placement to all future students of nursing or medicine and I hope to return to Morocco for my elective placement one day.

Finally, I would like to thank my local coordinators for providing me with lots of information prior to my arrival to Tangier, which I found very useful. I was very grateful for the support that I got on-site, including a very good introduction to the city of Tangier as well as to my placement. The local team was always there to answer any of  my questions and I generally feel that they did a very good job as coordinators.

Thank you once again!

Agnieszka

We help you arrange your pre-medical or nursing internship in a variety of countries. Contact us at info@world-unite.de or visit our website www.world-unite.de/en for some travel inspiration!


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Human Rights in Israel – Natalia’s Research Internship in Haifa

Our participant Natalia did her internship at the Coalition Against Racism, an organization committed against discrimination and racism in Israel. Find out more about her experience in our blog!

I did my internship in one of the most beautiful and multicultural cities in Israel: Haifa, as part of the organization called „Coalition against racism“. My apartment was located in the same building as my working place, so it was pretty easy for me to get to work every morning. The building I was working and living in belonged to the Arab-Palestinian community in Israel, so a lot of other important NGOs were located there, such as the biggest advocacy center for Arab citizens in Israel „Mossawa“ or the organization of psychologists who work with Syrian refugees „Humanitycrew“.

 

I was the only intern at the Coalition against Racism, but I did not feel alone. The house was full of pupils and students who did their English or mathematics courses there, as well as volunteers from other organizations. It was a very international and friendly atmosphere.

 

The community house itself was located between two very different regions: the so called „German Colony“, one of the oldest and most beautiful areas in Haifa that was founded by the German Templers in 1868, and the „Hadar“, the district which is mostly inhabited by Russian-speaking population. Whereas in German Colony you could enjoy a lot of fashionable and expensive restaurants and bars, mostly in European style the Hadar was a place with hundreds of Russian and Arab locations with the fairest prices that I found in Israel. This feeling of multiculturalism and peaceful coexistence of different religions and nations that I experienced in Haifa was absolutely fascinating.

 

The Coalition against racism, where I did my internship, was founded in 2003 as a joint project of 8 civil society organizations which represented different minority voices of Israel, from Arab- Palestinian communities and Mizrachim (Jews from Middle East and South Africa) to Russian speakers and Reform Jews. The Coalition deals with the cases of institutional and structural discrimination of minorities, provides legal support and initiates public campaigns against racism and discrimination.

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In my first month at the Coalition I also dealt with some cases of discrimination that happened mostly to the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel. One of such cases was about a woman who bought a car at a car dealer but was rejected for delivery to her home because she was living in the Arab village. Of course, in most such cases it’s very difficult to prove that the discrimination took place. The seller did not say „we won’t deliver the car to your home because you are living in the Arab village“, but they found other reasons why they would not do this. Unfortunately, the everyday life of minority groups consists of such „small“ cases, where you’re refused access to the clubs because of your skin color or aren’t invited to a job interview because you have an „eastern name“, like in the case of Orient Jews (Mizrachim) who in fact change their surnames in order to sound more European.

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Impressions after two months in Israel

When I planned my trip to Israel I wanted to know more about Jewish religion and Zionism. But the experience that I received when I started my work at the Coalition was seeing the land through the eyes of minorities, through the eyes of „others“ who are not entirely part of the ruling orthodox-religious and Zionist world. So that in my second month I’ve been travelling all over the country and met the leaders of different national and religious communities to interview them. We spoke about the current situation with the minority groups in Israel, about the cases of discrimination that they’re facing and also about the strategies how to improve the current situation. The director of the Coalition against racism elped me a lot with getting the contacts and managing the meetings. And at the end of my internship I had 16 expert interviews with the representatives of almost all the main minority groups of Israel. In addition, I would say that it was an incredible experience to speak with the people who dedicate their lives to helping others and who work every day to make the land they are living in better! I am very grateful for this precious experience to the Coalition against racism and to World Unite!

Natalia


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Best time of my life! – Clara from Germany volunteering with children in Moshi, Tanzania

Have you always wanted to get to know a new culture and ways of working while at the same time providing your time and skills to a meaningful project? Last year, our participant Clara from Germany spent 3 months in Moshi, Tanzania and helped out in a care facility for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Here you can read about her experiences:

In my care centre about 45 children aged 0 to 7 years are cared for. I was responsible for the group of the one to five year old children. Most of the time I spent the whole day with the children from morning to evening and helped with the everyday tasks: feeding, changing diapers, playing, preparing the younger ones for their naps and of course playing a lot and giving as much attention to all children as possible.

The work was not always easy for me. The family backgrounds and stories of the children are not always easy to digest. On the other hand, the work has been incredibly fulfilling and enriching. Especially now that I’m back in Germany, I often miss my time in Tanzania a lot.

For those of you who like to spend time with children and want to contribute something to their well-being, I can very much recommend this placement. Also Moshi is definitely recommended as a place to stay: It is a small and lovely  city, located close to  Mount Kilimanjaro. The city’s vibe, its people and what the city offers were just perfect for me. I felt very comfortable and spend my free time in one of the cafes, or walking through the souvenir shops or had handmade bags made by the wonderful seamstresses.

In addition I had the chance to travel to Zanzibar as well as to go on a safari and several day trips, e.g. to the hot springs or the Materuni waterfall. These trips and excursions are a great way to get to know the country even better.

I’ve been home for several months now and would love to fly straight back to Moshi.

I miss the work with the children and the open and happy vibe of the Moshi and its inhabitants.

Yours, Clara

Here you can find more information about Clara’s project.

Fancy a safari? As a World Unite! participant, you will receive a 15% discount on all offers on Budget Safari Tanzania

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Internships & Volunteering in Myanmar (Burma)

We are happy to announce that we can now also arrange internships and volunteer placements in the land of the golden pagodas and breathtaking natural vistas – Myanmar (Burma). Here you can find an overview of our exciting volunteering and internship options in Myanmar and we hope that you will have fun reading and seeing some recent photos from our new placement options. 

Social Work, Nursing and Medicine at Buddhist monastery: 

The Thabarwa Center is a Buddhist monastery, providing a home, nutrition, and nursing and medical care for around 2500 people in need. You will live with and meditate with the monks and nuns, and you support the centre with social work related activities. Volunteers with experience in nursing, medicine and therapies are particularly needed. You can also get involved in communications and teaching English.

Click here to find further details about this placement.

Urban development and building conservation in Yangon: 

For many people in Myanmar, tourism provides an important source of income. This is especially the case for producers of handicraft products and artwork. Hla Day supports artisans and local groups with the design and sale of their products. As a volunteer or intern you can make use of your creative skills in Marketing or Design.

You can find further information about this placement on this link.

Sustainable Handcrafts from Myanmar: 

For many people in Myanmar, tourism provides an important source of income. This is especially the case for producers of handicraft products and artwork. Hla Day supports artisans and local groups with the design and sale of their products. As a volunteer or intern you can make use of your creative skills in Marketing or Design.

Click here to find further details about this placement.

Tropical organic farming in Myanmar: 

Many agricultural practices in Myanmar are inefficient and even harmful to the environment. NEED Myanmar is training young farmers in sustainable organic farming and environmental conservation. As a volunteer or intern you can work on the farm of NEED and learn about tropical farming, you can teach related topics, you can assist the organisation in marketing, or you can do research for your dissertation.

You can find further information about this placement on this link.

Hotel or Tourism Internship in Myanmar: 

Tourism in a larger scale has only recently started in Myanmar, but is strongly growing. You can get to know tourism in Myanmar and gain valuable practical experience through a hotel or tour operator internship in Myanmar.

Click here to learn more about this option.

Please visit us on our website for further information about our programs!


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Local Community Engagement Abroad: Fundraising for Village School in Zanzibar

As an active part of the local community in their host countries, many of our volunteers and interns contribute to the local community in a variety of ways, even beyond the actual activities in their host organization.

One example is Alina, a participant in the sea turtle conservation and recycling program in Nungwi, Zanzibar.

During her time in Nungwi, Alina did only actively participate in her own project, but also helped out in a small village school. The school was founded to provide access to education for children who can not afford to attend public school and to provide them with a safe place to study and play. A large number of students now regularly visit the school, which is fully funded by donations. Thanks to the motivation and dedication of many helpers, there are now four classrooms, a staff room and a schoolyard.

Back in Germany, Alina started a donation campaign in a local newspaper. Just a few weeks later, two large packages of notebooks, pencils, pencil cases and board games arrived in Nungwi.

The participants of our sea turtle conservation and recycling program handed the donations over to the children and the school teachers.

Thank you very much for your commitment Alina!

Best regards,

Lisa, World Unite! Environmental Coordinator in Nungwi

Read more about our committed volunteers around the world. 

Visit us on our World Unite! website and find all the details about Alina’s volunteer program here