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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Sea Turtle and Environmental Conservation on the Tropical Island of Zanzibar

Pauline from Germany spent 4 weeks in the Sea Turtle and Environmental Conservation program in Zanzibar. In our blog she describes her experience. 

My 4 weeks in Zanzibar have passed way too fast (book for a longer duration!!!), are among the best times in my life. Not only did I get to know lots of wonderful people among the other volunteers; also the aquarium staff is amazingly friendly and I felt welcome from my first day. If I needed assistance, I was always welcome to contact them and everybody was trying their best to help me. Except for my initial day, I did not feel homesick at all during the entire stay.

Working with the turtles was a lot of fun. Besides the daily tasks such as changing the water in the pools, there are other duties and tasks which vary on a weekly basis. The working atmosphere is quite relaxed and work never gets boring.

In the afternoons there are voluntary environmental conservation activities. Given the enormous waste problem on the island, plastic waste is recycled and in parts reused to build furniture or decoration objects.

You will also have enough free time to go on excursions. My personal highlight was a snorkeling trip to Mnemba Island, where we even saw dolphins next to our boat. Other trips I made were a spice tour (which is much more interesting than you would imagine) or a weekend on the east coast where you can go kite surfing. But you can also just spend the entire day in the project or on the beach.

I would definitely do this trip again, because of the amazing people I have met and the experience of living in a different culture.

Best wishes,

Pauline

You can find further details about the Marine Turtle and Environmental Conservation Program on this link.

Visit us on our website www.world-unite.de for further information about volunteering in animal or nature conservation.

 

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Electives, Medical Internships & Cultural Learning in Morocco

Wrivu, Bradley and Georgina from Australia traveled to Tangier, Morocco with us for their medical internship. There, they did not only get to know their  host country’s medical system, but have also immersed themselves in the local culture.

Thank you for helping us coordinate our time in Morocco. Morocco is a beautiful country with an incredible culture, and we really appreciate the way World Unite helped us make the most of our time. You have been professional, kind and gone out of your way to ensure that we are safe and comfortable during our stay, and for that, we are extremely grateful. We also opted take French lessons during our stay in Morocco and I would highly recommend this to anyone considering it, without hesitation. Madame Khadija is a wonderfully humorous teacher and will make the lessons extremely interesting. 

Thanks again,

Wrivu, Bradley and Georgina

Ready to intern abroad? Here you can find information about Wrivu’s, Georgina’s and Bradley’s internship.

In many of our partner programs, language skills of the country’s national language are not mandatory, but locals will for sure be delighted to see that you are interested in picking up a few words in their language! Even if you just learn a few words in the local language, this will be greatly appreciated. In Morocco, we organize French, Arabic and Darija language lessons for you.


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Happiness is contagious! Paula’s volunteer placement in Moshi, Tanzania

Paula has worked as a volunteer in Moshi/Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for 3 months. In our blog, she describes what was most impressive about her time in Tanzania.

I have spent 3 months volunteering in Moshi, Tanzania and it was literally the best time of my life! Moshi is a cute little town, located right at the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. It was important for me to be in a place together with other volunteers to be able to meet new people, to exchange experiences and of course to discover the country. Moshi is perfect for that!

I worked in an orphanage where around 30 children between 0 and 6 years live. The children are divided into two groups: the babies and the 2-6 year olds; I was with the older children. As a volunteer I assisted the children with their daily routines from morning to evening. I helped to feed, wash and change the baby’s diapers, put the children to bed and played with them on a daily basis. It was amazing to see how after a while I was more and more able to integrate into the work routines at my placement and how I was able to actively support the local team.

On the weekends, me and fellow volunteers often went on trips to other places around Moshi to see more of the country. I also went on a safari and travelled to Zanzibar for a week, which I highly recommend.

I am incredibly grateful for this formative, beautiful time and can not put into words how much I miss Moshi and especially the children. I would like to recommend this experience to anyone with an interest in working with children, but World Unite! offers other volunteering and internship options in Moshi as well.

In addition, the culture in Tanzania is unbelievably impressive and exhilarating, most people are so open, loving and hospitable that one immediately feel at home and welcome. During my time in Tanzania, I learned that it often needs very little to be happy and that happiness is definitely contagious!

Best regards,

Paula (Germany)

Visit us on our website to learn more about our programs!


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Catching „Zanzibar Fever“ – Sarah’s volunteer placement at the Dhow Countries Music Academy

World Unite! participant Sarah from Germany volunteered at the Dhow Countries Music Academy this summer. Here she tells us why she totally caught the “Zanzibar Fever“: 

 

 

„… Jambo, Jambo bwana

Habari gani, nzuri sana … „

If you visit Zanzibar, you will inevitably enjoy this catchy tune. In the streets of Stone Town, sung by children, tourist guides and of course by the numerous beach boys on the beach. Among other things, the song was one of my first impressions of my new work place – the Dhow Countries Music Academy Zanzibar, DCMA for short.

My main task at the Academy was to teach the students piano and piano improvisation. In addition, I assisted the academy with small office tasks or provided support in questions of musical theory.

As a music teacher, the student’s ways of learning are especially of interest to me. It was fascinating that although my students had a sound theoretical basis, they primarily played by ear. Often, they would also clap or sing passages in order to fully internalize them. Although most of my students had only started to play their instrument when they joined the academy, they were making rapid progress, had a deep understanding of music and never got tired of learning. An important learning experience for me was to see the relaxed way and how naturally people make music here. No matter what level they are, they play and sing together and support each other.

In Zanzibar, you will heard traditional Zanzibar and East African music and Western style music or classical music. Of course, there is pop music as well and the students make their own compositions which they would often play and which tell of their lives and their experiences.

Here’s a description of my usual daily routines in Zanzibar:

Between 5.30 and 6 o’clock the call of the muezzin from the small mosque directly opposite my apartment wakes me up. His voice mingles with the approximately 50 other songs from near and far and interweaves into a buzzing tapestry of sound, which the two neighboring roosters join loudly and persistently.

Getting up, showering, packing my bag for the day.

Breakfast at the Stone Town Café and then a pleasant walk to the Academy: Past Joe’s Corner, and the women preparing fresh chapati and porridge for their families and friends in front of the still-closed shops. Bicycles and scooters whiz through the streets. They contrast the general „pole pole“ way of life and it requires a high level of attention not to get involved into an accident.

The Academy is still quiet, hardly anyone is there yet.

At 9 o’clock my first piano student arrives and we start the day with a prelude by J.S. Bach. Gradually, the Academy starts to fill; the students arrive for their classes or to practice. Those who do not have their own instrument can borrow one from the library.

After four to six lessons, my teaching is over and I can spend the rest of the day as I wish. Be it jam sessions with the students or small office tasks to support the academy, or a beach trip with other volunteers or even a leisurely stroll through the city. Most of the time I spend the afternoons with the people from the academy or later attend one of their concerts.

In the evening I meet with other volunteers for dinner and we visit the Night Market, where spend the evening by having some spicy tea.

What I liked most about my stay on Zanzibar is the warmth and the contagious zest for life of the people here. One of my personal highlights was clearly the visit to a student’s family in his home village. It was a unique experience to gain insight into their culture and way of life.

Also my trips to a Spice Farm or the trip to the turtle project in Nungwi, including a snorkeling tour were quite worthwhile.

The four weeks at the Music Academy DCMA are among the best I’ve ever experienced. It was diving into the Zanzibari or East African culture and I literally caught the „Zanzibar Fever“.

My thanks go to World Unite! and to Professor Mitchel Strumpf, Academic Director of the DCMA, as well as to his staff and, of course, to the students of the Music Academy, who have made my trip to Zanzibar so memorable and with whom I am still in close contact.

From the first moment I felt at home in Zanzibar and especially at the DCMA – music is literally a universal language.

„…wageni, mwakaribishwa

Zanzibar yetu, hakuna matata.“

Sarah, Switzerland

Join the Music Academy here

 

 


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Education Internship in Bolivia: Jessica & Tamara in Cochabamba

World Unite! participants Jessica and Tamara from Germany recently completed an education internship for university credit in a childcare facility in Bolivia. Here you can read about their experiences!

 

As we study pedagogy, we decided to undergo an internship in a childcare facility. World Unite! and Katharina (our contact person at World Unite!) helped us to choose a country and made several suggestions according to our wishes and ideas.

In the end, the 3 of us decided to go to Bolivia. South America seemed particularly appealing to us because of its culture and nature. Shortly before our trip, our friend fell ill and could unfortunately not join us on the internship. Again, World Unite! was very helpful and understanding. Altogether we spent 2 months in South America, of which we spent 1 week in Chile, 4 weeks in Bolivia, where we did the internship in Cochabamba, and 3 weeks in Peru.

During the internship, we stayed in an accommodation belonging to the language school run by our local World Unite! coordinator Mauge.

Mauge and the rest of our contact persons on-site were all very warm and welcoming and always there to assist us if we had any questions (whether about visa, illness, or work-related).

The caretakers and staff at our internship organization were extremely friendly and did their best to make us feel comfortable, but we would like to point out that some previous Spanish knowledge would have been of advantage for our work.

Overall the trip was a very special experience and we would go back anytime and definitely recommend it!

Best regards,

Tamara and Jessica, Germany

You can find all the details about Tamara’s and Jessica’s internship on this link.

We will be happy to assist you with the arrangements for Spanish language lessons in Cochabamba! 

 


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Baby Turtles Hatching in Zanzibar

Emily and Elisabeth are currently volunteering at the sea turtle sanctuary in Zanzibar. Last weekend they have been able to watch 75 new baby turtles hatching. Thank you for sharing your experiences and photos! 

The sea turtle sanctuary in Nungwi is dedicated to protect the endangered sea turtles in Zanzibar from extinction. From time to time, the sanctuary staff also collects turtle eggs and relocates them to a natural aquarium at the lagoon. The turtles are grown and finally released to the ocean. In the wild, turtles have a mere 1% survival rate from egg to sexual maturity, while at the aquarium the survival rate is much higher.

During my stay Zanzibar myself and some other volunteers had the chance to join a trip to Tumbatu island to look for turtle’s nests. The island is not accessible to tourists and it was a great honor for us to be allowed to go there.

We knew that nests are only found on very rare occasions and were therefore not expecting to really find any.

We reached an incredibly beautiful beach in Tumbatu and started to look for the nests. Our third try was successful! Since the nest was located close to the water we had to evacuate it and took it to the sanctuary.

The eggs were buried deeply and we had to carefully dig them out. Each egg was placed in a basin filled with sand. It is very important not to turn or twist the soft little eggs in order not to affect the babies. While digging the eggs out, some premature turtles already hatched so that we were actually able to welcome our first baby turtles which was incredibly exciting and, as I said, an extremely rare occasion for volunteers.

After having prepared all 75 eggs for the transport back to the sanctuary, on our way back we looked out for animals captured in fishing nets, but luckily we did not find any.

Only two days later almost all turtles had hatched and after 24 hours in the sand (during which the plastron has to close), the animals are now in the water. It will still take them some practice to get orientation in the water, but so far all 75 babies look quite happy.

It was an unbelievable experience to be part of such a wonderful phenomenon of nature.

You can find all details about this volunteering program on this link

 


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Crossing Boundaries Through Music: Anna’s Volunteer Placement at the Music Academy in Zanzibar

Our participant Anna-Katharina has completed a 6 weeks volunteer assignment at the Music Academy in Zanzibar. In our blog Anna-Katharina describes why besides musical experience she also gained a lot of life experience during her stay abroad: 

During August and September 2017 I did a volunteer assignment at the Dhow Countries Music Academy in Zanzibar Stown Town and had a wonderful time there that I will never forget. The staff of the academy and, above all, the headmaster are incredibly warm and loving people who have integrated me into their work straight away. Also, the students at the academy were very friendly and immediately gave me the feeling of belonging to the them and to the Academy.

I taught violin at the Music Academy and I will also begin to study violin at university-level in October 2017.

The way of playing music in Zanzibar as well as the local music style, differ greatly from the way I learned to play music in Germany. During my time in Zanzibar, I tried both to learn about local music and to teach European music to my students. The students were always very ambitious and I was able to observe an immense progress while I was there.

Since my stay was partly during the holiday season of the academy, when no regular teaching takes place, I participated in other activities and tasks at the academy as well and there was always something to do for me.

My favorite part was getting drumming lessons from a local student. I also got lessons in Taraab music, the traditional music style in Zanzibar. However, Taraab is very different from the Western notation system that I am used to and it is very difficult to play it perfectly.

Since there were unfortunately problems with my airline, I could not bring my own violin to Zanzibar and I instead borrowed a violin at the academy. My recommendation if you would like to bring a musical instrument to Zanzibar, is to choose an older instrument that you can then leave in the academy as a gift.

I am incredibly grateful for the vast amount of musical and life experience that I have gained during my time at the music academy. For all those who are interested in music, I highly recommend a volunteer assignment there!

Best regards,

Anna-Katharina, Germany

Would you like to be part of a musical exchange, share your musical knowledge with people from another country and in return learn about local music styles abroad? Find more details about this program here