What people are saying about Outreach International volunteer projects
We're pleased to say that we get many great testimonials from our holiday, gap year and career break volunteers. Below is only a selection.
We also have a bank of over 600 evaluations which you're welcome to read – please just ask. Plus, we can put any would-be volunteer in touch with someone suitable who has already volunteered so that they can find out first-hand what to expect – again, please just ask.
We've grouped them by types of project, but bear in mind that some of our most popular projects may combine different activities and locations, so there is some overlap.
Click to read testimonials
"I had a brilliant experience, and I wouldn't change a thing. I now know what I want to do with my life… If you are a creative, positive, outgoing person, then this project would be perfect for you."
Joanna Tallis, Teaching Art and Craft to the Disabled project volunteer, Mexico
"Mr P and Mr D (the Outreach coordinators) have been absolutely outstanding…wonderfully friendly and helpful. We are lucky to have them as coordinators and are fully aware of that!"
Lucy Fraser, Art Therapy for the Disabled project volunteer, Cambodia
"I wanted to learn about a different culture whilst practicing my Spanish and using my dance skills. I thought finding something that would fit these criteria would be very hard but this fulfilled everything I'd hoped for."
Roxanne Nanton, Folk Dance School project volunteer, Mexico
"The Outreach organisation in Cambodia was absolutely grand. No complaints whatsoever. Business-like and friendly in equal measure, I don't think these the coordinator can be topped for professionalism and grace."
Phil Watkins, Teacher, Disabled Women's Art & Craft project career break volunteer, Cambodia
"We would like to take the opportunity to thank you and all the staff at Outreach International for making is possible for Rebecca to undertake and complete the Textile Project in Cambodia. It has been a wonderful experience for her and one that she will remember for the rest of her life."
Parents of Rebecca Gennard, Art and Craft project volunteer, Cambodia
"I have loved every single second of this experience. For me, I think it was definitely the best thing ever to come here alone and my Spanish has improved so much. This has definitely been one of, if not the most incredible experiences of my life, ranging from the project, to the school, to the people and the place."
Jeri Silverman, School of Contemporary Dance project volunteer, Mexico
"It was tough and immensely rewarding. It has been a great opportunity to think and reflect on who I am, what I am like and what has made me who I am. I have learnt patience.
"Every moment of every day I spent in the Sierras was incredible. I was constantly surprised, challenged and impressed by the people and the environment. The people I came across all made my time here memorable. I was surprised by their openness, their friendliness and their willingness to help you out."
Edward Shepherd. Gap year. Huichol Art Project. Mexico
"My project was a unique one. The dance show at Caletas is a magical performance to be involved with in some small way. The practical realities of filming and editing with a combination of European and Mexican equipment were a tough challenge. This was a speculative project but I really admire the way in which the Outreach gang helped me through the complicated hurdles of establishing a new and unique project. It was a tremendous learning experience – particularly as I will now be doing film studies as a part of my degree."
Luke Roberts. Gap Year volunteer. Film Project. Mexico
"I learnt a fantastic amount about life and culture…the beneficial experience I gained in Ecuador, along with a reference provided by Outreach International, has been invaluable in terms of gaining my first and second steps on the career ladder. It was one of the best experiences of my life."
Rachel Smith, Rubbish Dump Children project volunteer, Ecuador
""I learnt so much from my time away, formed some amazing friendships. I will never forget my three months in Mexico, and am more than willing to speak to anyone who is thinking about going or would like some advice on the projects I took part in."
Emma Burgess, Orphanage project volunteer, Mexico
"Being here has made me fall in love with teaching. It's been the best experience of my life and I really don't want to go home!!!"
Jade Chakowa, Rubbish Dump Children project mature volunteer, Cambodia
"Thank you very much, I really did have the most fabulous time there, and Mexico as a whole is a fantastic country and the people are treasures."
Jessica Emery, Coastal Village Teaching project volunteer, Mexico
"My experience of the Galapagos was outstanding and I am so grateful for the great memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life."
Victoria Purnell, Community English Teaching project volunteer, the Galapagos Islands
"I had the time of my life out there, I was absolutely devastated to leave. The family that I stayed with were the nicest people that I have ever met, and I had some wonderful friends out there too. Now I just have to start planning when I can go back."
Charlotte Kane, Teacher, Community English Teaching project career break volunteer, the Galapagos Islands
"From beginning to end, my 4 months in Cambodia have been the most inspiring, challenging and incredible of my life. I feel that I still have so much to do and 4 months is not long enough. It is impossible to predict that this is how you will feel before you have been here, but in a way I wish that 6 months had been the minimum stay so that I had been forced to commit to longer. I just don't want to leave!"
Rebecca Fitchett, Lawyer, Rubbish Dump Children project career break volunteer, Cambodia
"I am so excited to be fortunate enough to be in such a wonderful place and feeling that my work is so helpful and so needed. I hope to be able to make some positive changes in some people's lives while I am here... this is only the beginning."
Emily Evans-Galeski , Canadian Physiotherapist, Community project career break volunteer, the Galapagos Islands
"Working at the centre was an amazing experience. Not one of the animals that I met and looked after was one that I had met before in England. I never imaged that I would be so lucky as to get the chance to work so closely with such beautiful and incredible creatures. This feeling never lost its edge."
Henry Wagg, Animal Rescue Centre volunteer, Ecuador
"As soon as you see your first turtle, or catch a glimpse of a poacher running to hide from you, you realise just how beneficial your work is to the environment."
"I had a great 3 months in Ecuador and I will always remember this experience (how many people can say they turned 18 in the jungle?!!). Just remember, you will only get out of it what you put into it. I loved every minute of it."
"I know that having gone away has fuelled me to want to do it more, so working full time as well to try and save up for another project (yes, definitely would do another animal conservation project).Again, many thanks for organising such a great trip for me, for finding all the people who helped make it amazing, and for making me realise that I want to do more."
Alex Tivenan, Sea Turtle Conservation project volunteer, Mexico
"Fantastic. At times tiring, at others challenging, but always rewarding. I would like to think that, although in a small way in the grand scheme of things, we made a positive impact during our time there. Given the opportunity, I would happily return."
Peter Marlow, Andean Rainforest Conservation mature volunteer, Ecuador
"We are all so proud to be a part of Outreach. The countless hours of pint pulling to raise funds for the trip was definitely worth it."
"The project is going very well and Cambodia has beaten all my expectations. I absolutely love my work."
Charlotte Hemingway, Teaching Children at Horse Riding Centre project volunteer, Cambodia
"The time I have spent volunteering has been an amazing experience. In the last 3 months I have done things I never dreamt I would do. I had a brilliant time at this project and it is an experience I will never forget."
Jo Arch, Andean Rainforest Conservation & Community Support volunteer, Ecuador
"It's hard to even begin to write about how much I enjoyed my time in Mexico. The people, scenery, food and atmosphere are just the tip of the iceberg. Over 3 months you find yourself becoming immersed in the Mexican way of life, language and you find things out about yourself that will change your life forever."
Mark Hannon. Gap Year Volunteer. Turtle Conservation. Mexico
"Outreach stood out from other agencies due to its wide variety of projects. Having had time to talk to other people who have been involved in volunteer projects with other agencies it seems that Outreach provides an unusually good experience in terms of offering placements suited to the skills of volunteers. This is a real strength."
Jonny Wild, Disabled Women's Art & Craft project volunteer, Cambodia
"To say I was sad to leave is an understatement. It was the most tiring experience of my life but the hospital work coupled with trips around Ecuador (Amazon Rafting, Beach, Cotopaxi!) and the openness and generosity of the people made it unbelievable and unforgettable."
Michael Godden, Medical project volunteer, Ecuador
"It's changed me into a completely different person. This was an experience to remember for a lifetime. I went to Sri Lanka in my gap year with the thought of just working with disabled children being an Art therapist. But after a few weeks I ended up working at another school, with non-disabled children twice a week and working at the Deaf School five days a week in the afternoons. Working with all three projects was an eye opener. All three made me learn how to deal and cope with new surroundings and situations. Truly was worth it."
Jessica Foster-Berns. Teaching at Blind & Deaf Schools project volunteer, Sri Lanka
"My time in Cambodia is one that I will treasure for many years to come. I can't remember why I chose to do a project in Cambodia, but it was the best decision I ever made. I have so many wonderful stories to tell that I'm thinking of writing a book. When I first arrived in Cambodia I was terrified. I can't help but laugh when I think of this because after about a month in Cambodia, I never wanted to leave. It became a second home. I can't wait to go back!! Thank you Outreach."
Alvin Sornum, Teaching English in a Clinic project volunteer, Cambodia
"I have had the experience of a lifetime out in Ecuador, not only in learning Spanish, about Ecuadorian culture and cuisine, but looking after children. A huge thank you goes to you and your organisation for letting this possibility become a real live experience."
Hannah Hampson, Disabled Children Centre project volunteer, Ecuador
"This is a great project for anyone aspiring to work as either a nurse or doctor, because it gives the opportunity to see and do things which would normally not be observed until studying has begun."
"I found it was a broadening, life-changing experience, one I will treasure always."
Kathy Bell, American MBA Research Director, Business Administration for Street Girls project career break volunteer, Cambodia
"What can I say about my project; all the staff are amazing; I have never felt so accepted. I have made some life-long friends. Thank you Outreach for making this an easy and happy experience. Thank you for a wonderful placement and thank you my amazing housemates for being yourselves."
Emma Newman, Office Administration for Sexual Exploitation of Children project career break volunteer, Cambodia
"I am really enjoying it - they are such a lovely organisation / group of people, and whilst I am used to high pressure and working at speed I am just loving the reverse (temporarily) and having the time to learning so much about their culture and what they do."
Rebecca Swarbrick, Research Consultant, Humanitarian Research into Human Trafficking project volunteer, Cambodia
"I originally applied to work for a different project. James Chapman suggested I consider this one as their need for a marketeer would make better use of my experience, and I am so glad that he pointed me in that direction. A richly rewarding experience. I would recommend Outreach to potential mature volunteers."
Terry Young, Company Director, Teaching IT project career break volunteer, Cambodia
"Harry is having a great time. His emails are lively and great to read. He's obviously enjoying the street children project, working with the children and enjoying a good and multicultural social life. He is also enjoying living with Monika and having the benefit of her knowledge, experience and motherly wisdom. It is obvious that Outreach has got it right."
Dr and Mrs Hall, parents of Harry Hall, Street Children project volunteer, Ecuador
"In just a short period of time I have really grown to love Nepal, for its scenery, people and its wildlife. I really feel I have made some genuine friends in Nepal, In many ways English people have a lot to learn from the Nepali people's attitudes and way of life, I certainly did."
Charlotte Felton, Orphanage volunteer, Nepal
"Spending three fulfilling and exciting months of my life in Mexico is something that I will never regret, and I feel that I will remember it with fondness for the rest of my life. I met some amazing people and did some fantastic things which will stay with me forever."
Jenny Crosby, Orphanage project volunteer, Mexico
"I want to say a massive thank you for giving me the opportunity to experience the most amazing three months of my life. If I would have known how much I would have loved it there and how quickly the time was going to go I would have stayed for so much longer."
Kelly Gledhill, Orphanage project volunteer, Mexico
"I find myself thinking about the place fairly often, trying not to forget what i learned out there and devising strategies to get me back out there as soon as possible. Thanks again for allowing me to enjoy the best 3 months of my life out in Kampuchea."
Sam Walker, Orphanage teaching project volunteer, Cambodia
"During my placement I feel I achieved a lot. There is a huge sense of satisfaction at the end of your placement when you remember first starting and many of the children in my younger classes could only say 'teachaaar!' and now can hold conversations."
"It is difficult trying to put into words the experience I had at the orphanage. The children were fabulous and the staff were very welcoming. By the time we left it felt like we had been there for years, we had been so welcomed into to families of the village and the school and become very at home in the community.
Anna Witcombe, River Orphanage project volunteer, Cambodia
"The level of contact with Outreach before departure was very good. They were always able to answer my questions and set up days beforehand to come and meet people, such as the fund raising day and the teacher training day. The school has been a fantastic project to work on. Thank you very much for allowing me to have this experience, I've enjoyed pretty much every minute.
"I am very grateful for the time I have spent volunteering for this project, I have learnt a great deal over the last 3 months. Above all else I loved the country and the people and could not have done this without Outreach International.
Hannah Parsons, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy project career break volunteer, Cambodia
"It was great to have an insight from a previous volunteer at the interview as we could ask them specific questions prior to committing to a project. Hearing accounts from the previous volunteers on the information day was also useful. We were really excited about the project after the day in London! Now that we have completed and adored a project ourselves we understand Hannah's enormous enthusiasm! 3 months passed so quickly. If you have the time, a longer project would be even more enjoyable. If you get the opportunity, live with a local family. We wish we'd done it for the entire project. The locals have such a beautiful nature and are so welcoming. You learn a lot about true Khmer living.
David Roberts and Hannah Francescon, Student Physiotherapists, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy project volunteers, Cambodia
"I had gone straight from school to university and straight into a job without a break so I really wanted to take a break. I wanted to do something worthwhile to me and my career. I literally typed into Google 'physio in Cambodia' and came up with Outreach International. I read more about the project and it really appealed to me. It's challenging, but has really developed my physio, assessment and communication skills.
Sally Cox, Senior Physio NHS, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy project career break volunteer, Cambodia
"I found working at the project an unforgettable experience. Depending on what you want from your placement, whether it's to experience working in a different culture or if it's to promote occupational therapy as a profession will affect the amount of time you should spend in Cambodia. For me it was both and three months wasn't long enough.
"I had a great time! I have learnt SO much and can only hope that I have been able to give back at least half of what I am taking away from this experience. I would recommend it to anyone and would love to do it all again.
"Also fun was trying to teach netball with 40 children and one ball! Though the combination of hot weather, appalling textbooks, and naughty children can sometimes prove a test for anyone, I generally come back from the school day with a huge grin on my face.
Laura Stuckey, Teaching English project volunteer, Sri Lanka
"It has opened my eyes up to the world, taught me lessons i didn't know i had to learn. I am planning on returning to Sri Lanka to visit everyone again next year and going to do more fundraising. i want to get group games for the deaf kids, to encourage team work and for them to have varied activities to do. Sri Lanka will be my other home for life.
Rebecca Harper, Community English Teaching project volunteer, Sri Lanka
"I can honestly say that I have never been so happy in my life as I was in Chimo.
Victoria Lockley, Coastal Village Teaching project volunteer, Mexico
"I have truly had a great experience volunteering on the Galapagos. When teaching it is an amazing feeling when you feel like you have taught someone something. The 2 week intensive Spanish course was invaluable to me in learning Spanish but my grasp of the language was greatly improved by living and speaking with a family every day. Both the diving course and boat tour were amazing things to do. I feel like I have learned so much from the experience and it will really help me in the future.
Hannah Gilbert, Community English Teaching project volunteer, the Galapagos Islands
"Excuse the cliché but I honestly think I learnt as much from everyone there as they did from me - if not more. I am so grateful to everyone for letting me become a part of such a unique community. The work Outreach does really is commendable. They get really involved in the worthwhile projects.
Alice Ramsay, Coastal Village Teaching project volunteer, Mexico
"Less than 24 hours after arriving in Mexico I stumbled in a jet-lagged daze onto a dilapidated bus that bumped along a road so bendy that its hairpin turns must have inspired several roller coaster rides. Three and a half hours later, we nervously arrived in El Refugio, a remote but bewitching village hidden high up in the Cabo Corrientes Mountains, overlooking the ocean. The people we were living with were so friendly that within a couple of days we had adjusted to the laidback pace of live and felt like part of the family. My words don't even begin to show how welcoming, open and fun the family was and anyone who gets the chance to live with them is really lucky."
Alice Ramsay. Teaching English Gap Year Volunteer. Mexico
"For an unforgettable three months I totally immersed myself in a different way of life. The wonderful host family and community welcomed me enthusiastically into their lives and were as eager to learn English and about England as to help me improve my Spanish and to teach me about their culture."
Nathan Breeze, Teaching project volunteer, Costa Rica
"I was impressed with how much effort was put into ensuring that my specific skill set was used to its maximum and the project I eventually chose was absolutely perfect for what I ideally wanted to achieve. My time has been fantastic and I wouldn't change it for the world."
Sarah Bennett, English Teacher, Teacher Training project career break volunteer, Cambodia
"Outreach is a great organisation to volunteer through. The application process was simple and straightforward. The interview was informative and gave me the opportunity to ask some questions that I had and I liked the fact that it was face-to-face as it felt more personal rather than over the phone. As for the project, I have loved working here and would definitely recommend it – working with children really turns the whole experience into something else."
Becky Duncan, Montessori School volunteer, Cambodia
"I think this experience has made me grow up. I have just learnt so much and had the most amazing time. By spending three months here I really feel like I have got to know this amazing country. Though I want to know more and I know I will come back."
Mary Lester, Montessori School volunteer, Cambodia
"My placement at Kratie was an absolutely superlative experience and I cannot recommend it highly enough."
Laura Parker, Teaching English in Cambodian Clinic project volunteer, Cambodia
"I had a fantastic time. I was challenged and thrilled and surprised in almost everything I did, and I would like to thank Outreach International for giving me the opportunity to discover the remarkable country that is Mexico and to meet such amazing people."
Sarah Daly, Coastal Village Teaching project volunteer, Mexico
"I could go on indefinitely about the experiences I had. I learnt an enormous amount about Cambodia and about myself. I miss everything. I had the time of my life and I can't wait to go back."
Dale Hurd, Retired Teacher, Teaching English to Rubbish Dump Children project mature volunteer, Cambodia
"La Penita is for me the perfect placement. It's authentically Mexican. The apartments are great and it's all the better for eating with a family here. It gives us a chance to not only practice our Spanish but to immerse ourselves in the culture and way of life. It's great to have the balance between having our own space in the apartment and spending time with the family at mealtimes.
The teaching is going fine. The school is typically laid back. Most of the lessons are conducted in Spanish."
Janek Saldero. Gap Year Volunteer. Teaching English Mexico
"I think its almost impossible to put into words the absolutely incredible time I had teaching in Chimo in Mexico, nevertheless I will give it a try!! Before I start I have to say that the whole experience was fantastic and that I loved every single second of it!!"
Lindsay Simpson. Gap Year Volunteer. Teaching English. Mexico
You could make a real difference – to others and yourself!
Outreach International need volunteers to work abroad in schools, hospitals, orphanages, with the disabled, animals and
animal rescue, wildlife, physiotherapy, medical projects, sports and on humanitarian and conservation projects in South
America, Central America, Africa and Asia, including Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Cambodia, Nepal, the Galapagos Islands,
Kenya and Sri Lanka. We're always looking for Gap Year students or anyone who wants to take a career break, Summer
holiday, Easter or Christmas vacation break or a few months or a year out volunteering overseas.