GeoVisions Blog

Live With A Family In France Blog-French Pressed

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Fri, Sep 28, 2012

From French Pressed BlogJody Fox is one of our Au Pairs in France.  When we see a blog by one of our participants, we like to point people in that direction.  There are testimonials and there are online reviews.  In fact, we use Rate My Study Abroad for online reviews and you can read online reviews about GeoVisions' Au Pair in France program here.

But reading an active participant's Blog about the actual experience as it's happening is the very best you can do.  It's live, it's relevant and it is much more complete than an online review.

We have volunteer abroad Blogs you can read here.

So back to Jody Fox.  She has a very cool Blog running right now called French Pressed.  If you want to know what it's like to be an Au Pair in France with GeoVisions, look no further.  Check out her Blog.

Are we missing any Blogs?  Do you have one running we haven't mentioned or do you know of one we should read?  Let us know in the comments section, please.

Tags: Conversation Corps, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad

Another Volunteer Blog In Spain

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Kayla and her two new studentsKayla Walnock arrived recently in Madrid on Conversation Corps-Spain.  As a member of the GeoVisions Community Pages, she is writing a great travel journal about her experiences.  If you're thinking about Conversation Corps (or Spain--or both) give this travel journal a good read.

Kayla is having a great time.  You absolutely have to look at the photos of the two girls Kayla is tutoring (sample on the left).  When you open the most recent journal entry, look over on the right under the map.  As I write this, there are 6 photos.  As you look through the photos, you can see Kayla is having a great time and she has some great students in those two young girls.  Very precocious, I think!

We love to share travel Blogs and travel journals from our volunteers and teachers.  Just click here.  We have a lot of them to share with you!

We hope you will have a look, maybe subscribe to Kayla's pages and find out if Conversation Corps is for you!  We hope so.

Tags: Conversation Corps-Spain, Conversation Corps, Volunteer Blogs

A New Volunteer Abroad Blog From Costa Rica

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Wed, Mar 07, 2012

Costa Rica Kisa Blog logoWe get a lot of questions about other volunteer and teacher Blogs.  We get so many of them, sometimes they fall through the cracks to be quite honest.

If you click on this link:  GeoVisions Volunteer and Teacher Blogs you will see all of the ones we have highlighted over the years (and more recently) and we hope you will see something you like.  If you do, let the author know by subscribing and commenting.

You can also go to our GeoVisions Community Pages and choose a country that interests you.  Read those journals if you like.  You'll need to join the GeoVisions Community if you want to comment.

So there are two places for you to go and read from our own teachers and volunteers.  We don't edit anything so what you see is exactly what we got.  And besides, if everything was perfect...like reviews...wouldn't you wonder who actually wrote that stuff?  I mean, seriously.

We have a new Blog from one of our volunteers in Costa Rica.  Named Costa Rica Kisa, you will find this Blog to be fun to read and very informative.  Plus, the Blog is full of great photographs.

Enjoy!

Tags: Teacher Blogs, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad, Costa Rica

Conversation Partner Italy-Two Volunteer Blogs

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Mon, Feb 27, 2012

CP ItalyRobin Vaughn is an amazing cook, an amazing teacher and an amazing traveler. GeoVisions is so lucky to have Robin in Italy right now living with a host family and helping Italian teachers there teach English. Robin will be in Italy February, March and April.

Robin is very active with her host family. She keeps them busy…and they keep her busy as well. She's a great teacher. She also writes a travel journal on the GeoVisions Community Pages. You want to click the link below that will take you to her travel journal and read her entries and look at her photos (and cartoons).

In addition to that she writes a cooking Blog, A Bird In The Kitchen. I have subscribed to the cooking Blog because the recipes for Italian cooking (which she's doing onsite all the time) are amazing and the photographs capture all Robin is experiencing these 3 months.

If you're interested to know how you can use the GeoVisions Community Pages, Robin has it going on. You can learn a lot looking through her journal pages.

If you're interested in Italian wine and food…check out that food Blog of hers.  I'm sure you'll be a subscriber, just like me.

A bird in the italian kitchen blog logoAnd if you're interested in Conversation Corps-Italy or the program Robin is on, Conversation Partner-Italy…her two Blogs will help you make up your mind to choose one and put your butt in an airline seat.

And if you're interested in one of our THREE summer camps, being a counselor and teaching some English during camp activities…Robin is in the Marche region, exactly where two of the three camps are located.

Italian Summer Camp
This camp is on the ocean, you live in an apartment and bicycle to the camp each day.  You can view a video of last year's camp experience right here.

Italian Summer Camp-Macerata
This camp is a 30-minute train ride to the beach.  You live in student accommodations or shared apartments.

Coming Soon:  Italian Summer Camp-Naples

Robin's two Blogs are model Blogs and you can't go wrong taking a few minutes to look them over. We hope you'll be in touch and let us help you get to Italy.  Perhaps you'll add to Robin's recipes.  Or you'll start a painting Blog...or you might write your first novel.

Tags: Conversation Partner, Conversation Corps-Italy, Teacher Blogs, Conversation Corps, Italy, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad

Wandering Whim--A Volunteer Abroad Blog Worth Blogging About

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Wed, Jan 18, 2012

Apple computer with a geovisions blog postIt isn't often I'm at a loss for words.  I can find a subject to write about easily.  And I've no problem wading into a controversial issue.  But when Sara in our office introduced me to Lawrence Mattingly's Blog about his trips with GeoVisions (yes, trips as in plural) I was speechless.  You just have to see this.

First of all, let me just humbly say that when an organization provides a "big ticket item" we don't expect people to come back again and again.  Most of our volnteers and teachers use GeoVisions as a spring board to help them reach goals.  They do magnificently.  We don't see them again.

Lawrence went to the Galapagos with us.  And now he's in Chile with GeoVisions.  When our volunteers and teachers choose GeoVisions, we listen.  When someone like Lawrence goes twice and then writes the kind of Blog he's writing, we sit straight up.

I'm in Washington, DC right now on a business trip.  And I'm meeting one of our volunteers today who will be leaving for China soon.  We like to meet as many volunteers and teachers as possible.  It helps us understand their goals, their needs, their drive.  I'm going to learn a lot this afternoon from Martin, who is leaving soon for China for 6 months to be a volunteer teacher.  Wow.  So I could go on and on about the Martins and Lawrences of the world.

Instead, I'll head out to the station and provide a link to Lawrence's Blog.  Hundreds of photos, an incredible job, I'm so envious of his Blogging ability and when you read some of his posts and find out more about Lawrence and also realize he's on his 2nd volunteer journey, you will be blown away.  His Blog is not like others you have seen.

So, I'd like to introduce Lawrence Mattingly to you, and his blog Wandering Whim.  Please click the link, sit back and enjoy.

Tags: Conversation Corps, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad, Conversation Partner-Ecuador, Galapagos

Featured Participant Journal: Conversation Corps Spain

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Mon, Jan 09, 2012
Photo from Conversation Corps Spain

Scott has just arrived in Spain for GeoVisions' Conversation Corps Spain program.  He'll be in Spain for 2 months tutoring children and living with a host family.

As you can see from Scott's journal entry this past weekend, he has fallen in love.  Well, like everyone else, he has fallen in love with the food in Spain.

We are thrilled Scott is already writing his online journal with GeoVisions' Community Pages, and he's only been in Spain 3 days!  We can't wait for him to write more when he actually starts his lessons with the children...which in fact happens today.  "The kids go back to school tomorrow, which means I also start teaching my classes! I'm pretty excited to do this. I looked through their English books today, and its basically the same as my Spanish books have been, just in English."

Until then, Scott says, "So yeah, thats what I have been up to. Eating, drinking wine, playing soccer, and playing video games. Life is great."

If you're interested in reaching out to Scott, here in the link to his online journal.  Even if you're not a member of the Community Pages, you can still "shout out" to him.  And we'll stay in touch with Scott because we're eager to know how it goes when the kids come home from school.

Tags: Conversation Corps-Spain, Conversation Corps, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad

Teach English In Spain And Live With A Family

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Thu, Dec 29, 2011

From Lauren's travel journal on spainWe're here at the end of the year and I'm going through a lot of travel journals from our volunteers in 2011. There are a lot of great journals in our Community Pages.

One of my favs was by Lauren Linares. Her journal, Vino,Besos y Mas, was joy to read. I am linking to her final entry entitled Ciao for Now. But if you check it out, take a look at her other posts and photos as well. But Ciao For Now provides a great list of "I will miss" sentences.

For example, Lauren will miss the olives, the kisses goodnight from the children she tutored on our program, "Live With A Family In Spain And Teach Them English."

If you plan to go to Spain with GeoVisions, this travel journal is a great place to start. Even if you're going elsewhere, try starting here and then browse through the subgroups where we have more journals from other countries.

Live With A Family In Spain And Teach Them English is a great opportunity to teach English in Spain but have the security of a host family and 3 meals each day. It's a great way to travel to Spain or teach in Spain.

Did you know this program is one of the very few with a "low season" price?

Try to beat 1 month is Spain, living with a family and teaching them English, 3 meals each day and your own room for $895. Yep. Under $900 for the month. And if you can stay for 3 months the fee is $970…less than $100 more for 60 more days. At 3 months, you're spending $11 per day. Try to live and eat in your apartment for that!

Seriously. Check out Lauren's journal and then the program and maybe I'll see you in Spain real soon!

In the meantime, here are some interesting Blogs and posts about living and teaching in Spain I came across and recommend:

Teaching English in Spain: An Interview with Cat Gaa (Part 2)

The Truth About Teaching English In Spain And Beyond

Tags: Conversation Corps-Spain, Teach Abroad, Conversation Corps, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad

Top Career Break Volunteer Destinations for 2012

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Mon, Dec 19, 2011

This Blog post is pulled with permission from Sherry Ott of Ottsworld and Meet Plan Go.  Meet Plan Go is the leading career break movement in North America; encouraging and teaching others how to travel the world and have it be beneficial to your career.  You can also "like" Meet Plan Go on Facebook. As of this post, they can smell that 3,000th fan.

Volunteer ChroniclesSherry participated on GeoVisions' Conversation Corps Jordan program in 2011.  We can't begin to tell readers how moved we were when Sherry proclaimed in her Blog, "I don’t like to travel any more.  This was the ultimate cultural exchange and in a weird way I have a hard time assigning it the term ‘travel’. I felt as if I lived there."

And so, of course, we were delighted to read Sherry's most recent Blog post, Top Career Break Destinations For 2012.  Jordan was right up there at Number 1, and Sherry provided a link to the Conversation Corps Jordan page as a resource if you're planning on visiting Jordan in 2012.  And, we're very pleased Jordan is the Number 1 destination of people considering a Career Break.

Here is the part of Sherry's "Top Destination" post about Jordan:

Don’t know where to go on your career break? We asked our event hosts for their top destination picks for 2012 and hopefully they will be added to your list.

From Sherry Ott of Ottsworld
Jordan should be on your career break travel itinerary not only because of the mind blowing ancient city of Petra, but more so because of the people. Jordan surprised me in many ways, but the most surprising thing was the generosity, kindness, and openness of the people. It was the first country in which I didn’t feel like a walking dollar bill, simply a tourist to sell to. Instead I felt like people really wanted to get to know ME, understand my culture, family, background, and thoughts on the world. It was an exchange in the true sense; normally all over a glass of tea.

Young Jordanian girls near PetraThe people are enough reason to go to Jordan, but if you need more, then consider the sites of Petra, the ancient ruins in the city of Amman, floating in the Dead Sea, and hiking in some of the most stunning landscape you’ll see in the world. The food is also a perk of travel in Jordan; falafel, hummus, flat bread, fresh vegetables, delicious coffee and tea cooked in ways you’ve never experienced will make your taste buds sore! Cost to travel there are relatively low and it’s simple to travel independently as the country is small, but has good infrastructure.

Put this gem of the Middle East on your career break list as it’s a chance to really see the Middle East that we hear so much about. It will provide you a chance to form your own opinions on the Middle East instead of the one we are fed on the news.

Resources to help you plan your travel to Jordan:
Explore Jordan
Conversation Corps Jordan

If you're interested in taking a Career Break, Meet Plan Go has a lot of resources, one called Basic Training.  There is also a national event each year for people to gather to learn more about Career Breaks, and to start planning.  There are also online classes you can take with them to learn how to make this happen for you, and how it can enhance your career.

If you're interested in the Conversation Corps, contact us and we will happily talk to you about the 19 different countries where you can be a member of the Corps.

Tags: Jordan, Conversation Corps-Jordan, Conversation Corps, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad

Gloves-On Volunteering In Peru

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Thu, Oct 06, 2011

Our program, Health and Wellness in Peru, is really about as good as it gets if you're wanting to volunteer on a medical project.  All of GeoVisions' medical volunteer projects are hands-on, making them perfect for nursing and medical students.

This program is a great hands-on opportunity to work toward improving health care in Lima or Cusco, Peru. Our volunteers work directly with local Peruvians who have little access to health care. GeoVisions provides ample opportunity to work with locals of various age groups to bring adequate health care, intervention and prevention to the people these clinics serve.

Alex Cabble is a GeoVisions volunteer onsite right now.  She is documenting her trip on Tumblr with her Blog, Across The Equator.  Here is an excerpt from a recent post:  "Last week I was in Topico and I was able to clean a wound on a woman’s toe by myself! I also talked to a man who was getting stitches on his arm after a dog bit him about New York for a while! Topico was interesting and I definitely had more of a hands on experience there. It was nice to talk to some of the patients and I liked seeing all of the babies and helping to break their fevers. The kids here are sooo adorable!"

Kelsey and Alex in PeruAlex writes about other hands-on cases she has had recently, like "my first patient was an older woman who didn’t have a toenail on her big toe."  And, "a 7 year old boy who fell and had a gash right above his left eyebrow. The gash, at its widest, was probably about the size of a dime and went pretty deep.  He ended up getting stitches inside the gash and then stitches on the outside to hold it together."  Alex' day ended here, "another patient was a 10 month old baby that had a fever. I took her temperature and it was 38.9 degrees C when the normal temp is 37 degrees C. We put some wet towels on her to bring down the temperature and by the time that I left, it was normal again!"

Be sure to read her Blog for more details and she has included a lot of photos as well.

Oh…and as I prepared this Blog to go live, we received this email from Alex' friend Kelsy who is also on the same program:

"Just checking in to say hi - everything here has been absolutely amazing so far! Alex and I have been doing great, our host family is wonderful, and the clinic has been so great. I worked in gynecology and obstetrics the first two weeks which was really neat - I got to see a few live births too so that was cool. I'm working in the pharmacy now which is good, because I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get there at all. Our Spanish is improving tremendously. The ruins and views here are so incredible. We just went to Machu Picchu yesterday, which was amazing, and we've also been to Ollantaytambo, Pisaq, Saqsayhuaman, Salineras, Maras, and Moray. The night life in Cusco is a blast too. We're both learning lots of salsa! Overall, everything's been wonderful and I would definitely have to say I've been having the time of my life. Learning tons, and having a blast too!"

GeoVisions founded the Conversation Corps, and specializes in medical volunteer projects for the traditional volunteer abroad program.

Tags: Peru, Medical/Health Projects, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad

Conversation Corps Russia--A Tale Of Two Cities

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Fri, Sep 09, 2011

Meet Plan Go logoOn August 30, Katie embarked on a year long journey through all 15 countries of the former Soviet Union.  She got the idea by attending a Meet, Plan, Go event last fall.

In one of her Blog posts, Katie wrote that "The next nationwide Meet, Plan, Go! event will take place October 18, 2011 in 17 cities throughout North America (up from 10 last year!): Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington DC and Toronto, Canada.  If you have given even the slightest bit of thought to stepping back from your career to travel, I highly recommend you try to attend."Katie

We hope you will follow Katie because for 2 months of her journey, she will be on the Conversation Corps Russia program.  One month she will live with a family in Moscow and tutor them in English, then she moves outside St. Petersburg for a month and does the same thing.

Katie Going Global, wandering along a road less traveled is a great read.  Enjoy!

Tags: Conversation Corps, Volunteer Blogs, Conversation Corps Russia