Stephen Heavener, Cheetah, Wild Dog & Vulture Program, South Africa
Field of Studies: Majoring in Biology with a minor in Zoology (University of New South Wales)
Volunteer Field: Animal Care & Conservation
Program Duration: 4 weeks
Stephen volunteered at one of the oldest wildlife care and conservation projects for cheetah in South Africa. The project looks after a variety of animals such as cheetah, wild dog, brown hyena, serval, suni antelope, and vultures – including the very rare Egyptian vulture.
Why did you choose the Cheetah, Wild Dog and Vulture Program in South Africa?
I have always wanted to work with large predators, especially the cheetah. This program facilitated my needs.
Quickly explain what you were doing during your volunteer program:
I worked on a cheetah and wild dog property, helping out with everyday duties and large projects. Some projects included painting a bus for tours, building a road for kids tours and clearing enclosures. Everyday tasks included feeding, grooming, medicating and cleaning the animals as well as the preparation area.
What is your advice to participants who are planning to undergo a volunteer program in South Africa?
Be open minded and let your carer know what you want, without being pushy. Other than that let yourself go and enjoy a trip of a lifetime.
Australians Abroad was amazing and so was the program they set me up with.
Choose three words to describe your experience in South Africa:
Three things that you missed most from home:
To find out more about our volunteer program in South Africa please click here.
Gyongyi Horvath, Professional Internship Program, Singapore
Field of Studies: International Studies (University of New South Wales)
Internship Field: International Relations and Environmental Sustainability
Internship Duration: 12 weeks
Gyongyi interned at the vibrant and active branch of an international institute aimed at developing research, conservation and educational programs around the world.
Why did you choose Singapore for your internship?
I wanted to do an internship in Asia and for my field of studies, Singapore seemed like an ideal location. In addition, it is an English language environment, making adaptation and work easier.
Quickly explain what you were doing during your abroad program:
A variety of tasks, including media outreach, research, project management, event organisation, coordinating programmes, as well as admin tasks.
What is your advice to participants who are planning to undergo an internship in Singapore?
To come for an extended period of time – at least two months or more. It makes settling in easier and enables you to benefit more from the experience.
A great programme, very helpful staff, and thanks to that I had an internship at a great place – I can definitely recommend it!
Choose three words to describe your experience in Singapore:
Three things that you missed most from home:
- My own place
To find out more about our internship program in Singapore please click here.
Amy Greenbank, Volunteer Program, Ghana
Amy Greenbank, a 22-year-old journalism student from Brisbane, participated in a 6-week volunteer program in Ghana, Africa. Amy was involved in a Government campaign promoting AIDS prevention and awareness for children.
“Well my story all started with Australians Abroad. These guys set me on my way for my international adventure. It all began with a desire to put my media training into practice in a way that brings a positive change to a devel¬oping country. Ghana was my nation of choice, and I headed over there with little idea of what to expect. It was quite daunting to jump of a plane and find yourself in a country that looks totally unfamiliar. But the partner agency over there met me at the airport and helped me get my feet on the ground.
It wasn’t long until I was on my way to meet my host family, who over the weeks became as close to me as my real family. They laughed with me at all my cultural mistakes (well I hope it was with me) and fed me masses of food – seriously, I have never seen so much rice in my life! But the most rewarding part was my daily role of visiting the local schools and giving the AIDS awareness presentations. A hundred or more kids crammed into a little room – often three of four to a seat – to hear the ‘white ladies’ talk. The six weeks were over so quickly, and I would have extended my stay if I didn’t have to get back for my final semester. But it was an experience that will stay with me for a life time.” -Amy Greenbank
Volunteer programs are available in a range of exotic locations around the globe. Enticing programs such as the “Save the Panda Program” in China; the “Cheetah, Wild Dog & Vulture Program” in South Africa or the “Orphanage Program” in Ecuador are just a few of the humanitarian, wildlife conservation and social welfare programs available for Australians through Australians Abroad. Package deals are available for candidates wanting to combine language courses with volunteer programs. Volunteer Programs…A travel experience that makes a difference!
Samantha Hinds, Au Pair Program, U.S.A.
Samantha Hinds from Woongarrah participated in a one-year Au Pair program in the USA. There she was part of an American host family and looked after the two lovely little sons.
1. Why did you choose the US for your experience abroad?
I chose the States because I needed a change of scenery and was looking at experiencing the American culture. It was also a cheap and easy way to explore the whole country.
2. Quickly explain what you were doing during your abroad experience?
I was a nanny with an American family. I looked after two boys aged 8 and 2. They always had activities planned or we would play in snow or on the beach. I was also able to study while i was there. I made plenty of lifelong friends and I can’t wait to see them all again and visit their countries.
3. Choose three words to describe your abroad experience:
4. Three things that you missed most from home:
- Family, Family, Family
- And my friends
- Australian people and way of life
5. How will your year in the US influence your studies/ job/ life in general?
I was able to gain a lot of experience and also have some great contact that i will be able to utilize on my next adventure in becoming a Speech Pathologist. My way of looking at things in general in my life has changed for the better – i am much more positive and patient.
6. What is your advice to other students and graduates who are thinking about going abroad as an Au Pair?
Don’t think about it. Do it. You only live once and this is definitely something you are going to love. It is a challenge to be so far away from home and arrive in a country with nothing or no one but the people are amazing and very helpful. Americans love Aussies. It is a once in a life time opportunity that should not be missed. - Samantha Hinds
Australians Abroad offers Au Pair programs in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, the UK and the USA.