5 Best Volunteer Experience Tales From Those Who Traveled Abroad in 2016


2016 has been an amazing year for volunteers who traveled from all across the world to different destinations and explored their passion of working for societal development. While each of them worked in different fields, contributed diversely and gather various experiences – Here are the 5 best experience tales from volunteers who traveled in 2016, and has an experience of a lifetime.


Sarin Jeghelian

Sarin, a volunteer from Lebanon who traveled to Nepal with her spouse


“You are in need of a career break?

Looking to do something out of the ordinary?

Looking to get far away and do something worthwhile?

Of course the solution is Volunteering Solutions.

There’s never shortage for amazing volunteers, interns, and teach abroad program experiences. Volunteering solutions are awaiting you.

This is my 4th year with Volsol, they are incredibly helpful with choosing program, choosing location, onsite assistance and with the support that they give throughout the entire journey is just always fantastic.

I volunteered with underprivileged kids at the “Parapokar Orphanage” in Nepal. I can honestly say that I was so lucky to have the chance of meeting those beautiful children, to have the chance to help and support them – they are just beautiful souls.

I also made some friends for life and hopefully, one day soon, I’ll return for a visit! It really was an unforgettable experience.

Whether you’re a student, or you’re taking a gap year, or you’re a professional or a career break traveler, you’re guaranteed to find a volunteer placement, language engagement opportunity with Volunteering Solutions organization.”


Juan Pablo

Juan, a volunteer from Mexico who traveled to Philippines with his brother


“Well…It’s true that I have talked about my experience many times since I left Tacloban, Philippines.

And yes, it’s difficult to find one story because I have a lot to tell – *smiles*.

Therefore, perhaps what I haven’t told yet is how much I miss being there and how sad I felt when my brother and I left.

The last day we stayed in Tugop, my heart just broke and I knew I had to go back.

That day, Nanay Nene cooked our last Philippine breakfast – fried fish with veggies in coconut milk, and those delicious rice cupcakes they call “puto”. It was not a sunny day as usual, it was raining that day as if it were crying because of our leaving 🙂 At Tugop Elementary school students were waiting for us with lovely letters they wrote to my brother and me. They also prepared a dancing and several songs that still remain in my heart 🙂 We had a great time at Tugop Elementary School…I laughed with kids, we played and I hope they learnt as much as I learned from them, even from the most restless and vivacious ones. We got all wet because of the raining but I didn’t mind jeje, I always enjoyed the tropical weather, there are many things I remember and give me great nostalgia; the jeepneys, balut, basketball in the afternoons…  it was hard to say: “Good bye!”


Victoria O’Sullivan

Victoria, a teen-volunteer who traveled from Kent to New Delhi, India


“One thing that I will never forget, is most properly my last day at the project and saying ‘goodbye’ to all the gorgeous kids. I was expecting it to be a very heartbreaking day, but to my surprise, the girls in my afternoon class, who were about 8-10 years old, organized a little party for me.

They had their mothers cook some delicious food and brought all sorts of snacks and cakes from the little money that they had. This was a very touching moment for me, because I had realized that those girls were not only my students, but they had also become my friends. We had lots of fun that day and they enjoyed styling my hair and giving me a “bindi”, so that I would look as if I just escaped a Bollywood movie.

There was also a lot of dancing and singing and I must say that these experiences with the girls had let me love the Indian culture more than anything else could have! After our little party and all of our laughter, I had to say ‘goodbye’ to everyone.

We all hugged each other a thousand times and didn’t want to let go. But sitting in the car on my way back to the accommodation, I had a grin on my face.

Because on the one hand I knew that I would miss these girls, which made me sad, but on the other hand I was so grateful to have taken part in their lives, because they have the kindest hearts and the brightest smiles,which I’ll never forget.”


Savannah Marie Schanze 

Savannah, who traveled alone to China from the USA, to volunteer with kids
Savannah, who traveled alone to China from the USA, to volunteer with kids


“I just recently returned from Beijing, China, teaching English to kids… it was one of the best experiences of my life! Thanks to my family for their help in getting me there where I could travel alone. I expected other volunteers but there were none, and that was ok. My own hotel room was sweet! It was hard to find anyone who spoke English.

Great opportunity for someone with a goal to fluently learn Mandarin.

I mastered the subway walks without help, and the currency issues with only a few questions. I took myself to the Zoo and Tiananmen Square, and signed up for the Great Wall tour and had a BLAST and took a million pictures. My students were amazing, I miss them. I was able to turn around helping an Australian guy at the subway find the right train because I had handled everything and the language myself. It was a great experience volunteering.

I returned home a little early for a couple reasons…I was also recovering from several injuries.”


Marlo Vernon 

Marlo, who traveled from Colorado to Thailand, all by herself
Marlo, who traveled from Colorado to Thailand, all by herself


“I kept thinking, ‘Hmmm what was my favorite part? The kids? They were so sweet and adorable, I just loved them! Oh but what about the elephants? Swimming and splashing with them in the river was incredible. Shoveling their poop every day wasn’t the best, though. And then there was the island. Lying by the pool during the day, and watching the sunset on the beach at night. That was pretty amazing too.’

On weekdays, I would take a taxi to the Kindergarten and work from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. I loved the kids! I cannot say enough how much I loved those cuties. They were playful, hard working, sweet, and even though we spoke different languages, I was able to connect with them.

Even though I loved them all, I made a special connection with one boy named Big. He would sit in my lap and read books, cuddle up next to me with a juice box after a nap, tickle my feet, and he would wait for me to put my shoes on, then grab my hand and run to the playground with me.

Those six weeks in Thailand were like living in a dream.”


It’s not just Victoria, Marlo or Sarin – but there were hundreds of others who stepped out of their comfort zone, traveled a thousand miles and shared their love & knowledge with a wider section of people.

If their story has inspired you in any way, then it’s time for you to create your own inspiring story and share it with the world.


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