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Volunteering abroad for under 18s
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Puzzledmum · 12/02/2018 13:55

My DD 17 (year12) would like to do some conservation work (working with big cats) in Africa this summer. Has anyone's DC done this and how did you go about arranging it? Which companies would you recommend? Do you think this is looked upon favourably by the universities? She is looking into doing Biological sciences. TIA

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Lifeaback · 01/03/2018 18:54

Look into government funded schemes and avoid anything where there is a cost other than flights and basic accomodation. There is a huge problem in third world countries with big companies exploiting tourists and charging them huge prices to make them feel as though they're helping to save the world when in reality they're making little difference at all. There are a few unselfish articles online www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/nov/14/orphans-cambodia-aids-holidays-madonna

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1560244/Gap-year-students-wasting-time-on-projects.html

Just be sure to do lots of research and be very careful. In terms of universities, I think relevant work experience placements in the U.K. Are much more favourably valued- many universities and employers see volunteering abroad as an excuse for a holiday and little more than that in my experience.

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BubblesBuddy · 01/03/2018 19:18

This type of work certainly says you have money to support your DD’s aims. It has value in that it’s interesting and probably fun. Whether it gets you any further up the selection ladder is a moot point. Usually a university will list what weighting they give to the personal statement and this type of work would go on that. No harm in it, but widening participation may mean it is more or less overlooked as a step up. The learning experience is something to write about but I cannot see how/why it should trump engagement with the subject by people with less money available.

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