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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As a psychologist in Nicaragua – Judith’s volunteer placement at the Minibiblioteca

World Unite! participant Judith, psychologist, has been working as a volunteer in León, Nicaragua. After having returned to Germany, Judith is still in touch with her host organization in Nicaragua.

I have been doing a 1-month voluntary service at the Minibiblioteca in León, Nicaragua.

Before traveling to Nicaragua I was well prepared for my trip by the team of World Unite! who provided me with all kinds of practical information (i.e. about insurances, vaccinations, etc.) as well as information on culture in Nicaragua. My contact person at World Unite! was always available for any questions. They also provided me with information about my accommodation and was picked up and taken to my host family straight away on arrival.

My host family was very friendly and open-minded and was always happy to help me if I needed any assistance.

During my first days in León I was welcomed by a World Unite! staff member who showed me the city and accompanied me to my host project, the Minibiblioteca, where I first met my colleague, with whom I would also work together during my time there.

The next day I got to know the rest of the project, including the other staff members and the children. The project provides after school care for about 40 children. Besides homework tuition the Minibiblioteca also offers various other programs. My job was to establish a program for 7 children with behavioral problems together with my colleague. My working hours varied. Usually, at the beginning of the week, we would make a plan for the entire week, and we set up our working hours accordingly. During the time I was there, we developed a therapeutic group for the 7 children and started our meetings in the second week. In addition, we set up a parent/family group. In addition, there were weekly modules on anger management for the entire group of children. The work with my colleague was so much fun right from the beginning, and I think we made a great team!

On top of my volunteer placement, I tried to get to know the city and the country as much as possible. León is beautiful and has many nice bars, cafes and pubs. I did often go out in the evenings and joined the pub quiz or salsa dancing with other volunteers or with Nicas, whom I had met. On the weekends I did some tours (for example a hike to a volcano, a mangrove tour, a trip to Granada). I also rented a car with another volunteer to explore the country on our own. It was a lot of fun 🙂

The return transfer to the airport was again arranged by World Unite! and I arrived well back in Germany.

I am still in touch with the Minibiblioteca and will definitely go back to Nicaragua one day! I can  recommend this experience to anyone and I would also like to recommend World Unite! as an organization.

Judith, Germany

Join our programs and learn more about the Minibiblioteca and volunteering in Nicaragua here



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Cultural Learning through volunteering: Johanna and Justus in Tanzania

The example of Johanna and Justus from Germany, who are currently volunteering in a day care center for children and nursery school in Moshi, Tanzania, show how volunteering abroad can improves one’s own intercultural skills and contributes to cultural exchange between volunteers and the people in their host country. 

We are very happy in Tanzania and enjoy every day in our placement. Together with a local teacher, each of us has been assigned to one class so that we can get to know the children properly. After an initial adaption and learning period we were even allowed to start to teach on our own. The teachers always provide us with a small cheat sheet and, of course, are always there if we need help or assistance.

To be honest, when it comes to Kiswahili, we benefit as much of the teaching as the kids do. Every morning, the teachers provide us with the daily schedule and explain to us what we are going to teach, including Kiswahili meanings etc. Also, they regularly teach us songs, rhymes and clapping games that afterwards we teach to the children. After school, we always sit together with the teachers for around an hour and talk about the day, the country and also about our own home country/culture.

Conclusion: Not only you as a volunteer do provide your skills and time for a good cause during a volunteer placement abroad, but you get at least as much in return from your placement when it comes to cultural knowledge and new skills! 

Johanna and Justus, we wish you a great remaining time in Tanzania and would like thank you and your placement for your great work!

Here you can find more information about the day care facilities and schools that we are working with in Moshi.

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An experience of a lifetime: Sara’s elective placement in Moshi, Tanzania

World Unite! participant Sara from Canada just recently completed her elective placement in Moshi, Tanzania. In our blog Sara describes why her stay in Tanzania has been an experience of a lifetime. 

I had an amazing time in Moshi, Tanzania doing a medical elective at the Pasua Health Care Center! The staff were very welcoming and kind. On this placement, we were able to decide what we wanted to do every day to make sure we had a full experience based on our interests. We worked in the inpatient unit, outpatient unit, labour and delivery unit, laboratory, family planning clinic, and more. The staff being always happy to have our help was always explaining to us how and why they made their care decisions. It was very eye-opening experience to see that even with fewer resources they are able to care for these patients as they deserve to be treated. My only recommendation I would be to know some Swahili before coming to this beautiful country, as it will enrich your experience working with the patients. Luckily, the staff do speak English!

Moshi is a beautiful city to explore. It is easy to walk around and access everything. They have great coffee shops (we actually ended up going to the same one every day as their coffee was so good)! During our stay, many were celebrating Ramadan, which allowed us the opportunity to be introduced to the food and culture. We were even invited to prepare food with the locals, which was a wonderful experience.

To finish, World Unite! is a great organization! They were well organized and always available to answer our questions. Everyone was so nice in Moshi and very welcoming! We went on a day trip to the hot springs and on a weekend trip to the safari, all organized by World Unite! It was absolutely amazing! It’s very easy to plan and you have nothing to worry about.

Honestly, it was my first time visiting an African country and it was an experience of a lifetime that I will remember forever! If I could use three descriptors for my trip, they would be eye opening, amazing, and outside my comfort zone. As a last recommendation, I suggest you visit Zanzibar for a weekend, the beach is FANTASTIC!


We look forward to your visit on our website! You can find the details about our elective options in Tanzania here

Would you like to go an a safari? Or spend a relaxed day at the Hot Springs? Check out our options Budget Safari

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Volunteering and internship at bear protection program and nature tours in Japan

At Asasama Wildlife Protected Area (75 minutes per bullet train from Tokyo) we arrange volunteer and internship placements related to bear conservation and ecotourism.

There are around 160 Asian black bears living in the forests around the town of Karuizawa. The bears regulary come to town where they pose a threat to humans. In the past, the bears were hunted for this reason. The bear conservation organisation has therefore equipped many of the bears with radio collars which allow to track the movements of the bears. If a bear comes too close to town, a rapid reaction team moves out with a specially trained Karelian Bear dog, whose barking is pushing the bear back inside the forest. As a volunteer or intern, you help to track the bears‘ movements, to move out with the dog, to catch bears and equip them with radio collars, to free bears that were accidentially caught in deer traps, and to inform tourists and school classes about bears and nature.

There are also nature tours where you accompany and assist the guides. It is very popular for children to observe the Japanese Giant Flying Squirrels („Musasabi“) which are 80 cm (31 inch) large and can glide for up to 160 m (520 feet) from tree to tree. The placement is possible in English and accommodation of good standards is provided free of charge.

Find more details about this placement on the World Unite! Website:

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7 ways how to wear a Kanga

… did you know that there are several ways how to wear a Kanga, a traditional dress of women in Zanzibar and Tanzania? It’s hard not to fall in love with these colorful garments! Our participant Maike shows you how to wear a Kanga, depending on the occasion! 


Kangas are colorfully printed cotton fabrics worn by many women in the African Great Lakes region. In the eastern part of the region, the Kanga are usually printed with Swahili sayings or phrases.

Depending on the occasion, there are different ways of how to wear and tie the Kanga.

Maike presents 7 different styles used by women in Zanzibar:

Click on the photos to learn which occasion Maike is wearing her Kanga for!


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My medical elective in Tanzania in one word…

Medical student Claudia from Canada completed her elective placement at a hospital in Moshi/Kilimanjaro. She sums up her experiences in Tanzania in just one word: 

If I had one word to describe my medical placement in Moshi, Tanzania, it would be „eye opening“. I went into this placement not really knowing what to expect… My main goal was not so much to widen my medical knowledge but rather gain perspective into how things are done in a developing country with limited resources. I can safely say that this elective far more exceeded that goal. I think my biggest barrier was not speaking the local language and feel I would have been able to contribute so much more if I would have been able to. Nonetheless, the staff was lovely and very happy to teach us and show us their ways. The local coordinators were amazing and really made us feel safe and at home in Moshi. I loved that they included us into the local traditions. I really enjoyed learning how to cook local dishes and getting a peak at what life is really like in the local villages. A big thank you to the whole team at World Unite! for making this possible!

Claudia, Medical Student

Visit us on our website for further information about our internship options in medicine, nursing and therapies in Tanzania!

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Social Work internship in Tanzania: Marie at the Lutindi Mental Hospital

What do culture and psychology have in common? This question is answered by Marie, who recently completed a social work internship at the Lutindi Mental Hospital in Tanzania. You can read about her experiences here:

I have now been interning for almost one month at the Lutindi Mental Hospital, which is located in the idyllic Western Usamabara Mountains of the Tanga region in Tanzania. An almost one-hour, exciting Pikipiki ride over the steep and winding gravel track up from Korooge, leads you past just a few villages and directly to the clinic, which is located almost at the top of the mountain. At the hospital, more than 70 patients with mental illnesses are currently being treated by a multi-professional team.

The work here is very diverse and at the beginning I was thoroughly informed about everything worth knowing. It is striking and interesting how a mental disorder can be influenced by the predominant religious believes or superstitions of a culture. The direct patient contact varies due to the language barrier, however, many patients also have (good) English skills.

Because of the hospital’s remote location I feel that I am more in touch with the people here, their culture and the everyday life, because one is naturally part of it. That way I automatically learned the language basics as I constantly hear them around me. With some people, Swahili even is the only way to communicate. I have made lots of positive experiences with the local people here and am always touched by the warmth and openness of the Tanzanias.

Curious to learn more about this option? Click here

Our World Unite! intern Martine from Switzerland completed an internship at the Lutindi Hospital as well. You can read of her experiences here