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November 1, 2010

Volunteering abroad with STA Travel


I’ve always been rather fond of STA Travel. My only experience with them was enormously positive. My travel consultant had an awesome personality, she didn’t mind talking at length about different areas of the world, and she sure did find me a few plane tickets that were hundreds of dollars cheaper than anything I’d found on my own. STA also offers great opportunities every year like the Summer Internship program that sends 2 lucky people across the world to blog about their experiences. They promote travel as a fun and profound experience essential to enriching our lives. So far, so good.

I recently discovered STA’s Volunteer Abroad options. STA boast 80 volunteer projects in 34 countries around the globe in fields such as conservation and work with animals, children, and in community service. However, I was surprised that there was a price tag attached, and such a hefty one at that. I admit, I am always skeptical of volunteer organizations that demand a serious price for your services. The prices of STA’s programs typically include housing, most meals, and transportation once volunteers arrive at the location, and start at $999 and jump to $1549. As someone who has done a bit of volunteer work, I’m still surprised at the price. Most volunteer options are in economically underprivileged areas, so housing and food are incredibly cheap. It’s very easy to show up, find cheap local accommodation, spending next to nothing each day to live and volunteer.

Though, from what I know about STA Travel, I’m sure they provide a volunteer experience that is educational, carries an impact, and is a lot of fun, even if it does carry a bit of a price tag. And ultimately, any volunteer contribution is significant to the people it touches. Some people are willing to pay the extra price for the group experience; some people prefer to do it alone and on a shoestring.

Have you experienced one of STA Travel’s Volunteer Abroad programs? How was your experience?

(Image credit: statravel.com)

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Category: Volunteering Abroad, Working Abroad

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