Preparing The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs


As the Executive Director of GeoVisions, it’s my job to make sure all of our programs are safe.  That is paramount.  And once we know safety issues are met, the next thing we look for to deliver the best volunteer abroad programs is uniqueness.

Last week, I made my pilgrimage to the WETM / IAPA annual meeting, this time in Lisbon, Portugal.  Each year we meet in a different location and as I had never been to Portugal in my 40 years in this business, I was eager to explore (and of course attend all of my meetings.)

The Work Experience Travel Market and IAPA Annual Conference (WETM-IAC) is the joint event of WYSE Work and Volunteer Abroad and the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) and provides a unique cost effective business-to-business opportunity for senders and receivers serving all aspects of cultural exchange, au pairing, volunteering, internship and work experience. WETM-IAC delivers an exceptionally targeted forum for your organization to establish and strengthen sector-focused partnerships, gain industry intelligence and tap into emerging global markets.

We love to visit with our overseas partners who also attend.  It gives us a chance to catch up, talk about strengthening our programs and relationships and to bounce ideas off one another for new programs that could one day be labeled as the best volunteer abroad programs.

It’s also a time to meet new, potential overseas partners and to find out how they can help GeoVisions expand our vision and meet our mission.

This meeting takes me out of the office for a full week and into other time zones.  And because meetings and workshops being at 8:00 a.m. each day and run until 6:00 p.m. and evening activities that can begin at 7:00 and run until after midnight … it is an exhausting week.  But if we’re going to own the best volunteer abroad programs, it isn’t always easy.

At GeoVisions we are committed to doing what it takes to keep 100% of our participants, host families, and students safe.  We work tirelessly to make sure each host family match and classroom match is complimentary for cultural and language exchange.  And working so closely with our overseas partners we can offer unique programs that will positively impact lives for many years.

I don’t know a better reason to travel for a week and exhaust myself!

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