Volunteering: The Best Part of My Exchange Experience

My name is Anouchka, I’m 19 and I’m French. During the summer 2015, I volunteered in Iowa through CCI Greenheart.

It wasn’t my first time visiting the United States, but it was my first time volunteering. I already knew a lot about the country and that American people are really into volunteering. I can understand that some people are kind of scared about leaving their home country and being in a new place with people that you don’t know, but trust me when I tell you there will always be somebody to help you!

My local coordinator helped me with all the information about my host family and my volunteer position at Kids Klub summer camp and it was really helpful. Every Sunday, my LC sent me an email to know if I was alright and to ask if I needed anything. She helped reassure me.

Staff at Kids Klub helped me a lot understanding the job, the staff and the kids. It was kind of tough to handle the kids because they’re little and some of them didn’t want to listen to me because I’m French and I was new. I sometimes had to talk to them to make them understand that what they are doing is wrong or bad, but a lot of people were there to help me so I didn’t have trouble coping. I had some challenges but it was not a big deal and I overcame them without much difficulty

The kids and the staff at Kids Klub are amazing people and I got to have a lot of fun with them! I went as many times as I could, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. As a volunteer, I didn’t have the opportunity to manage programs, but I was taking care of the kids: playing with them, reading and talking to them.

I think the best part was the activities– going to the pool or playing together. I’m still talking to some of my friends I met there and I think this is really good and important to keep in touch! I also got along really well with certain kids and I miss them a lot! I think this is the best part of my exchange experience: meeting new people, having fun with them and keeping in touch!

I volunteered not to earn money but to improve my English and to have a meaningful time there. It was a rewarding experience for me and my future. A lot of American people volunteer for any kind of things and I think this is really cool for the community and for other people.

I would recommend the CCI Greenheart Volunteer Homestay program if you want to live in an American family, improve your language, meet new people, make friends, volunteer in an American organization and obviously, HAVE FUN! Because this is one of the most important thing in this program! I think this was a really rewarding experience so I will volunteer again. I have no doubt about this!

If you would like to partner with Greenheart to have an exchange student volunteer with your organization, visit our Short-term Hosting page.