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 at the Music School in León – World Unite! in Nicaragua

Our participant Vivienne is currently living in Nicaragua, where she is doing a volunteer placement at the local music school in León. In this blog entry, Vivi reports about her life abroad and provides great photos as well as information about her placement. 

My name is Viviv and I am currently doing a volunteer placement at the music school in León. I mostly teach the clarinet as well as music theory, but from time to time I also sing with my students or teach them rhythmics.

However, all I do goes along with the Nicaraguan lifestyle and moto “tranquilo“ (take your time!). At the beginning I was quite surprised about the differences to the teaching structures in Germany: My students attend the lessons on a voluntary basis whenever they want and attending is not compulsory. All in all, I feel that there are less rules at the school compared to schools in my home country, although the director and the teachers are currently working on implementing some changes of the teaching system and to improve the organizational structures.

Anyways, volunteering here is absolutely worth it!

During the weekends there is lots to do around here and I am using my days off to explore León and its surroundings. I feel that Nicaragua is such a diverse country: There are mountains, forests, greenery, beaches, the ocean (which is only half an hour away), lakes and even volcanoes!

People here are open and friendly (except some “Machos“ that you meet from time to time and who sometimes whistle at women). In my neighborhood I love to walk home in the evenings and to greet everyone who is sitting in their rocking chairs with „buenas noooooches“.

All in all I can sum up my impressions of Nicaragua the following way: Yummi! (I love the food provided by my lovely and absolutely amazing host granny); from my perspective a little bit chaotic (which you get used to after some time); wonderful nature and of course – hot!

Best regards from in front of the fan,

Vivi

The music school in León is currently attended by youth (from around 13 years) and young adults between 20-25 years. The participation is free for the students, but since the school only has limited access to funds, the equipment is rather simple. 

Teaching hours are on Mon, Wed, Fri (from 8-11 am and from 2-5 pm) as well as on Tue, Thu (from 8-11 am). Three teachers currently work at the school and teaching is done in groups. 

Possible instruments are the guitar, piano, clarinet, saxophone, flute, tuba and trombone. Teaching contents include music theory, techniques (on Mondays), Nicaraguan music (on Tuesdays and Thursdays), singing exercises (on Wednesdays), and rhythmics (on Fridays).


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HIV/AIDS Prevention & School in Ghana – Jasmin’s & Svenja’s Social Work Internship in Cape Coast

World Unite! interns Svenja and Jasmin from Germany have completed a 2 months internship for their studies of Social Work in Ghana and have shared their experiences and some great photos in our blog.

We had the opportunity to complete our study-related internship abroad and have spent 2 months in Ghana’s beautiful fishing town Cape Coast.

Why did you choose Ghana as your internship location? 

After some consideration we decided to do our internship in an African country. A friend of us had previously been to Zanzibar with World Unite! for an internship and recommended the organization to us and it was definitely a good choice!

Since Ghana is one of World Unite!’s host countries and the project “Alliance of Youth Development“ was particularly of interest to us we finally decided to do our internship there.

We got lots of support from World Unite! before we even travelled to Ghana. Life in Ghana is quite different to what we are used to from Germany and World Unite! explained us the differences between values, customs etc. in a Skype preparation session.

Katharina (our contact person at World Unite!) was always there for us and whenever we had  any questions we could call or email her so that we felt well prepared for our trip.

Where did you do your internship in Ghana? 

At he NGO „Alliance of Youth Development“, an organization that operates a home and school for street children and orphans in Asebu, a village just outside of Cape Coast. The NGO also runs a comprehensive HIV education project in 20 rural schools.

Our work at the Alliance of Youth Development included teaching on HIV/AIDS every morning from Monday to Friday at different schools in and around Asebu. In the afternoon we took care of the children at the orphanage.

Our day started (depending on where the respective school was located) between around 8 and 10 in the morning. At the schools we taught HIV/Aids-related topics in English according to a fixed manual with various units, including about sexual diseases, puberty, hygiene etc.

In the afternoons we usually helped the kids at the orphanage with their homework, played games with them or simply spent some fun time with them.

What do you think about your stay in Ghana? 

Our time in Ghana was very exciting and full of interesting experiences and we have enjoyed our internship a lot.

People were always warm and welcoming and fascinated us with their laughter, singing and dancing. During excursions we got lost from time to time but the Ghanaians were always very helpful and often accompanied us until we safely reached at our destination

That’s one of the reasons why we always felt well taken care of and very safe in Ghana. Cape Coast is the perfect volunteer destination that we would choose again anytime. There are markets as well as a beach and there is always something to do, including a little party from time to time. After all we wish we could have stayed longer.

Best regards,

Svenja & Jasmin

You are looking to gain practical experience in social work by doing an internship abroad? We will be happy to inform you about our various options!

Here you can find the information about the Alliance of Youth Development, Svenja’s and Jasmin’s internship project.

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Teaching at a School in Navi Mumbai – World Unite! Internships & Volunteering in India

World Unite! participant Isabel did a 4 weeks teaching internship at an English school in Navi Mumbai and has learned and experienced many new things during her stay in India! In our blog, Isabel reports what she liked best about living and interning in India. 

Isabel, where did you do your internship placement? 

I have done an internship at the Mahima International Christian School/Kindergarten in Navi Mumbai. Teaching at Mahima is done in English and even though the school is a Christian school, children from Hindu and Muslim families can also attend. Many students are from families that belong to the middle class, but there are also orphans and slum children.

Where did you live during your stay in Navi Mumbai? 

During my internship I lived at a shared apartment that belongs to the school and that I shared with 4 girls between 10-13 years coming from disadvantaged families and who receive free accommodation and schooling from Mahima.

What do you think of your internship at the school and kindergarten? 

I alway felt well taken care of by World Unite! coordinator Sudipta during my time in Navi Mumbai.

My placement at the school enabled me to get a profound insight into the Indian school system. My colleagues at the school treated me in warm and welcoming way and I was always offered Chai (tea) or a small snack. I was also allowed to teach independently and was free to choose the methods that I wanted to apply.

The students were always friendly. As in most other nursery schools in India, at Mahima International the kids at the kindergarten also learn English, Maths and writing simple letters. The organizational structure is very similar to a school and I was first quite surprised about the structural differences, since nursery schools in Germany work in quite a different way and the focus is more on playing, painting or doing handcrafts. Nevertheless, I am very thankful to have made this experience.

What did you like best about your stay in India? 

Mumbai is an unbelievably exciting city and it was a great opportunity not only to get to know my host country as a tourist but also by living and working together with local people.

However, I did of course also spend my free time by visiting typical tourist attractions such as taking a boat to Elephant Island or a visit at the Museum of Mumbai. At the Gateway of India I felt like a star between all the people who wanted to take a photo with me.

I always felt safe and supported during my time in Navi Mumbai and am happy to have arrange my stay with World Unite!.

Kind regards,

Isabel

You can find all information about the Mahima International School & Kindergarten here.

 


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Chagga, Chagga – It’s Coffee Time! Coffee Farming & Volunteering in Tanzania

World Unite! participant Karin spent 5 weeks on a coffee farm and in a micro finance project in Tanzania. Karin shares her experience of living and volunteering in Tanzania in her blog.

During her initial 4 weeks in Tanzania Karin participated in a micro finance project in the Kilimanjaro Region, working with the so called “Village Community Banks“ (VICOBAs). Village Community Banks are an important instrument of development work, because they provide access to funding their projects to people who don’t have access to conventional banking.

You can find some personal photo insights of Karin’s volunteer placement here:

Karin spent her last week in Tanzania in the “Land of the Chagga“ on a coffee farm on the slopes of Kilimanjaro where she learned a lot about coffee farming in Tanzania:

We would like to thank Karin for the interesting insights into her live in Tanzania and hope to see her again in Tanzania soon!

You can find Karin’s blog here (although written in German, our non German readers can still enjoy the amazing photos).

You can find all details about interning or volunteering in micro finances in Tanzania here.

Please find the details about volunteering on a coffee farm in Tanzania here.

 


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Karin in Muungoni: Community Tourism Internship in Zanzibar

Since 2015 we can also offer internships and volunteer placements in sustainably community tourism development in Muungoni, on top of volunteering and internship options in teaching, education and animal protection.

 

There is a strong partnership between World Unite! and village of Muungoni in Zanzibar. For around two years there is now a local community tourism initiative in Muungoni that provides and permanently further develops ecotourism and cultural tourism offers.

The initiative currently offers educational and entertaining canoe trips through the adjacent mangroves, a nature trail through the tropical forest (including lots of interesting knowledge about the local plants), as well as a cultural village tour where you can get first hand experience about the so called „extended family life“ in Muungoni.

Today, Karin provides an insight into her internship and life in Muungoni:

 Hi! My name is Karin, 23 years old, and I am an intern at Muungoni, Zanzibar. I am writing my Bachelor thesis about the Local Community Tourism Initiative. The assignment is about providing marketing advices to the organization that will that will help them to develop and increase their amount of visitors. The organization offers several interesting activities for tourists, at which parts of the profit gained by the visitors go to community based purposes and environmental conservation. This is the part I was especially interested in, because I would like to support and provide added value to these types of starting businesses. I am staying in Muungoni for 4 months, which is quite long but I am really enjoying my time here. I live in a guest house in ZALA-Park, in the village, which means that I am experiencing how it is to be part of the local community. Everyone is friendly and hospitable, and I have lots of fun with the local people of the village. Other than that, I am free to take the Daladala (local busses) and experience all the nice places of Zanzibar when I want to do so, because there is a lot to see and to do on this beautiful island!

Please find further information about the Muungoni Community Tourism Initiative here.


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Local Involvement in Zanzibar – Permaculture Gardens in Muungoni

The sustainability of your internship or volunteer placement abroad is a major concern for us. Through local involvement we try to support the project partners at our host countries beyond providing them with volunteers and interns. In the village of Muungoni, several villagers have set up gardens using permaculture techniques, as the result of our sponsorship of Mr. Mohammed’s participation at a permaculture Seminar.

After World Unite! sponsored the participation in a permaculture workshop to local biology teacher and chairman of the „Muungoni Community Tourism Initiative“, Mr. Mohammed, he was motivated to initiate his own permaculture projects in the forest around the village of Muungoni along the initiative’s „Nature Trail“. On the „Nature Trail“ tourists and local school groups are taught about the plants and their many uses.

Mr. Mohammed then led a similar course for 6 locals from his community and encouraged them to get involved with the projects. Out of these six, four have started preparing permaculture gardens and permaculture vegetable plots. These are all in various stages, some are already producing crops while others are still in the stage of clearing and preparing the land for planting.

The produce cultivated is served as food at the eco-tourism accommodation run by the community initiative, sold to nearbyhotels and eaten by local families.

The pictures show the workshop and the resulting gardens.
We are more than happy about these fantastic initiatives and are proud to be a partner of the various projects in Muungoni! 
You can find further information about the projects in Muungoni on the following links:
Community Tourism Initiative:

http://www.world-unite.de/en/internships-volunteering/zanzibar/sustainable-tourism-development-ecotourism.html

Local schools in Muungoni:

https://worldunite.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/donations-for-the-community-primary-schools-in-muungoni-internships-volunteering-in-zanzibar/

Zanzibar Land Animal Park Muungoni:

http://www.world-unite.de/en/internships-volunteering/zanzibar/environmental-conservation-animals.html


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Marketing Internship in Tokyo – World Unite! Internships and Working Holiday in Japan

World Unite! has arranged a Marketing internship in Tokyo for our participant Janosch from Switzerland. Tokyo is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating and most fashionable cities in the world. Our internship program does not only allow you to get to know this fascinating city but also to gain work experience in your field of interest! Janosch has now spent almost 3 months in Tokyo and gives us some feedback about his internship experience. 

My name is Janosch and I’m from Switzerland, where I’ve been a student at the University of Zurich. My major subject was media and communication science at the department of applied social sciences.

After completion of my studies, World Unite! has been able to place me at a startup travel blogging company in Tokyo, that has now grown to about 20 employees. This company has created an app for travel logbooks, as well as an online travel magazine in Japanese, Chinese and English.

My position is in the English content marketing team, allowing me to write travel articles based on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Using different tools, we determine relevant keywords on travel-related topics in Japan, to then create high-quality articles.

Overall, I’ve been able to improve my professional writing skills and to learn about methods of SEO analysis – tasks that lie just within the field of my studies. Moreover, it’s been enriching to experience customs of the Japanese working environment, and I am more than happy to have decided to do this.

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We are looking forward to hear more about Janosch’ life and work in Japan soon! 
Are you interested in spending your holidays in a foreign country? Would you like to spend a gap year abroad? 

We offer an increasing range of internships in Japan including internships in Media, Engineering, Education, Fashion Design, Hotels, Agriculture, Business and others. An internship abroad is an excellent opportunity to gain work experience in another cultural environment, to broaden your professional skills as well as to gain intercultural competence.

We offer customized and individual internships according to your skills and interests! 
Have you always wanted to live in Japan? Visit us on our website and learn more about our Working Holiday program which allows you to stay in Japan for up to one year and even to earn money to fund your stay: 
http://www.world-unite.de/en/working-holiday/japan/working-holiday-in-tokyo.html