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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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

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Hotel Jobs at a Ryokan – Working Holidays in Japan

Our participant André has recently completed his Working Holidays at a “Ryokan“, a traditional Japanese Hotel. In our blog, you can read about André’s experience in the land of the rising sun. 


I came to Japan through a Working Holiday Visa which gave me the opportunity to work in a Ryokan in Nukabira for around 4 months. Nukabira is a small town in Kamishihoro in Hokkaido, 1 hour North from Obihiro. It is located close to lake Obihiro, surrounded by mountains. The region is famous for its hot springs, as well as for wintersports and it is also a huge conservation area, so that wild animals like deers or foxes could often be seen close to the Hotel.

The Ryokan is a family run hotel and I felt right at home straight from the beginning, thanks to the family’s hospitality and helpfulness. Despite my moderate Japanese skills, they allowed me to help in all areas of the hotel, from house keeping to preparing meals, helping with service and guest relations, for instance welcoming the newly arriving guests. Thanks to this, the work was always different and I have been able to learn a lot.

The owners were very patient and also encouraged me to speak to the guests, who were sometimes surprised about being welcomed by a non-Japanese staff but were usually open and interested. Whenever I needed any assistance, my colleagues would give me a hand.

I will never forget the trips in the surrounding area. The Ryokan serves both local and seasonal dishes, and whenever the weather and the flow of guests would allow it, we went out into the nature and collected a variety of the seasonal ingredients ourselves.

Last but not least I want to mention the centerpiece of the Ryokan, the three Onsen. The first one is a mixed bath outside; and then there is one for women and one for men inside the hotel.

I would also like to mention my accommodation at the Ryokan: Every staff member gets an own room and three meals a day.

There is also a small shop and a post office including an ATM. A bus departs from Nukabira four times a day (via Kamishihoro-shi to Obihiro and back).

I had a wonderful time in Nukabira and will leave Japan with lots of great memories and new friends. I am very happy and thankful to have been give this opportunity.


André, Germany

Would you like to work in a Japanese Ryokan as well? Here you can find all details about this job opportunity. 


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Wildlife Conservation in Kenya: Léa & Nadege’s volunteer placement in a National Park

Today’s report reaches us from our volunteers Léa and Nadege from France, who have carried out a volunteer placement at the Lumo Wildlife Sanctuary in Kenya.

We really enjoyed our placement at the Lumo Sancturary in Kenya. Our stay was perfect, we learnt so many things and we met great people.

All the staff at the sanctuary was really nice to us. We particularly enjoyed talking to the rangers about their lifestyle, their culture, the differences between our country and their country, etc.

We stayed at a volunteer accommodation in the sanctuary, in a room with two separate 2 beds, and there were also other volunteers staying at the sanctuary during our time. There were also Aafrican students wo were doing an internship at Lumo which was really nice, because they taught us a lot of things too.

There was a cook, who cooked for us everyday. We learned to prepare traditional Kenyan dishes from him which was really interesting.

There was a European shower and running water, although there was no hot water available (but it didn’t matter). When it was chilly, the cook just heated some water for us, so we had warm water to shower.

Everyone was so nice to us and we are still in touch with some rangers and the African students.

We want to thank everyone at World Unite! who helped us to find this place and to arrange this stay, particularly the World Unite! team members who assisted us when we were in Africa, especially Miriam (the local coordinator who took care of us during our induction and orientation in Moshi. At the beginning, we were a little nervous about traveling to Kenya by ourselves, but Miriam provided at lot of useful information and advice so there was nothing to worry about anymore.

We are really happy because volunteering in Kenya was just a great experience, and we think we will do it again one day. We would definitely book again with World Unite! Thank you all for enabling us this wonderful experience that we will never forget.

Kind regards,


Excited about joining a wildlife conservation program in Kenya? Find the details here