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!
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.