Paige Bird is a junior in college at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne. She is a communication major seeking a career in journalism and enjoys playing for the golf team at IPFW and spending her free time with her dog, Lucy.
I chose this program because I have always wanted to study abroad, but with being a student-athlete it is unrealistic to go away for an entire semester. I have always loved animals and travel so I decided volunteering abroad was the next best thing!
I chose Iko Poran’s Costa Rica Sea Turtle Conservation program because it is very affordable and sounded like a fun way to help animals.
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
My program advisor helped me prepare to travel to Costa Rica. Being a female and traveling abroad on my own, he helped me feel safe and comfortable to make the journey. He gave me clear and direct instructions of travel and assisting me along the way, what I would be doing in my program, and had a representative meet me at one location and bring me to my final destination.
If I could give a piece of advice to someone going to the program, I would tell them to take advantage of every opportunity they get to experience the culture.
We were allowed quite a bit of free time and my favorite memory of the trip was going away for a weekend with a group of friends and doing excursions. The volunteering was fantastic, but the friends and memories I made will always be something I hold close to my heart.
This summer I had an unforgettable experience in South Africa. Thank you Iko Poran for this exceptional travel! Sure, I will do it again!
Working as a volunteer on Big Five Conservation, you will hel protecting lions, leopards, elephants, buffolos and rhinoceroses in the African Bush.
At the game reserve in South Africa you will carry out a spectrum of important tasks, including caring for the animals and monitoring in the African Bush. The nature of the volunteer work will vary according to the weather and season.
Tasks may include, but are not limited to:
There will also be tasks in the petting farm and stables, caring for the horses.
You will get to go out on game drives & wilderness walks, and work hands on helping with the care of animals in the rehabilitation and education centre. The volunteers on Big Five Conservation visit and work in different parts of the reserve. You will be given the opportunity to try a hand at all the different tasks and activities whilst you are staying in South Africa.
Even though you know that Africa and South Africa are so much more than the Big Five, the familiar images soon begin playing in your mind: lions roaring; elephants trumpeting; buffalos lurking in long grass; rhinos standing stately under a thorn tree; leopards prowling in the gathering darkness.
It was originally a hunting term used by the so-called ‘great white hunters’ in the hunting heyday of the 19th and early 20thcenturies, when professional hunters bagged as many trophies as possible in as short a time as possible.
Great White Shark volunteering in South Africa is a unique opportunity to monitor and conserve one of the most incredible creatures of the marine world. Volunteer in South Africa in our marine conservation project.
Today the population of sharks worldwide is under threat. This is your opportunity to play a vital role in helping to monitor and conserve one of the most incredible creatures of the marine world, the Great White.
You will be working alongside marine biologists researching and observing the sharks and their environment. You will have the task of sharing this research and knowledge with visitors going shark diving, and may get the chance to assist in tagging and tracking sharks.
Most exciting of all, you have the unforgettable experience of going cage diving to meet your subject face to face – just try not to drop your camera! In your spare time you will be free to enjoy and get to know the beautiful Western Cape and even travel further afield to explore the rest of South Africa.
Rescue Orphaned Monkeys: Make part of the vervet monkeys animal conservation volunteer program in South Africa. We need help with the integration of the foster moms of 23 little orphans back into the troops.
Join the family at this amazing primate sanctuary in South Africa. At this special initiative, orphaned primates come from near and far and are given a loving home where they are rehabilitated and cared for until they can be released back into the wild.
With over 500 cheeky monkeys in care at any one time, this sanctuary always needs an extra pair of helping hands. Your participation will help to ensure they are all well fed, cared for and loved; and will help raise funds to maintain the place up to scratch for its gorgeous guests.
This is an incredible option for those who go bananas for animals as you will get the chance to work hands on the vervet monkeys, under the guidance of experienced professionals. At other occasions, you will be helping to carry out all the back-stage tasks which really ensure the monkeys’ wellbeing.
“I’m having a wonderful time here and there is nothing that I don’t like.” Gijs van Suijlichem in our South African program
At the same time you will get to experience the amazing wildlife in the African bush, and make friends you will remember forever – some furry and some a little less so.