Name: Sarah Baldwin
University: University Technology Sydney
Languages spoken: English
Past travel experience: Avid
Volunteer Abroad: Teaching English in Vang Vieng, Laos
Duration: 1 week
Start month: February 2015
Claim to fame: Traveled by herself for 3 months all over Europe.
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I have always dreamed of volunteering overseas, to experience and immerse myself in a different culture and way of life, while helping make a difference to those less fortunate than I. It reminds myself to be grateful for all I have and that I can help others have a better life. UBELONG had great reviews, was a reasonable price compared to many other organisations, and it truly lived up to this great reputation.
What is your favorite memory?
My favourite memory would have to be the children, just the smile on their faces or when you can actually see progress and understanding of what you’re teaching them. Nothing beats when they come up to give you a high five, a hug or call out to you in the playground. I will always remember the two little girls who absolutely made my day when they hugged me at the end of the lessons.
What advice would you tell a future volunteer?
Don’t hold back, live in the moment. Try to live the life of the locals and understand their hardships. Understanding breeds compassion in yourself. It might be hot, and hard work sometimes, but it truly is rewarding. Put your all in and live with no regrets.
In a sentence or less, how would you sum up your experience?
Volunteering with UBELONG, was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, to be involved in helping others and connecting with a different culture was an enriching journey and dream come true.