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Village Ventures Cultural Exchange is a networking project that aims to promote international exchanges between small scale entrepreneurs, community self help groups, families and individuals from different countries and those in our villages in Kenya.
Every year, thousands of young people from different countries take advantage of our Village Ventures Cultural Exchange program to serve marginalized communities on volunteer or internship basis where they learning by sharing their skills with local communities.
In an effort to increase international cultural awareness, and foster cooperation between Kenya and other nations, Our Village cultural exchange program allows participants to live and work at the grassroot village level with schools, hospitals, hotels and other small village enterprises, giving one a deeper connection to the native lifestyle, language and culture, and offering a more meaningful and rewarding travel experience.
The program offers homestays, where a local family will welcome you into their home, and provide room and board, as you “live like a local” for a specific period of time. The program also offers dormitory or hostel-style living arrangements in our mission houses where you have many opportunities to socialize and learn from other cultural exchange participants.
Choosing a Cultural Exchange Program:
There are many options to choose from, but there are some differences you should keep in mind when choosing a cultural exchange program:
- Language School Programs – Some organizations include several weeks of intensive language school classes before beginning your work or volunteer assignment. This is a great way to get acclimated to a new community or village in Kenya, make new friends right away, and kick off your cultural exchange experience.
- Excursions – This include cultural learning opportunities, excursions and activities Village ventures Cultural Exchange program that includes tourism. It may also include a tour guide, transportation and a meal for daily excursions.
- Job or Volunteer Work Placements – Village Ventures International will match you with a work assignment that fits your interests. Some cultural exchange placements can be customized to further your specific career or personal goals.
- Support Networks – Look for reputable agencies that can offer 24-hour support and in-country emergency assistance during your program term. As an added level of safety, be sure to purchase personal accident and sickness insurance for any unforeseen emergencies.
How Village Cultural Exchange Project Works:
Travelers apply to a program in a community and village enterprise that interests them. Cultural Exchange offers a variety of established Volunteering, Internship, Work & Travel, Au Pair Abroad and Camp Worker programs in several villages in Kenya
Check to be sure that you fit the eligibility requirements for the project you’re interested in. Some projects have an age range or specific requirements to obtain a work visa.
Speak to a program representative, and ask questions! These programs are dedicated to making sure it’s a positive and rewarding experience for you.
Allow enough time before your desired travel date to allow visa paperwork to be processed, and travel arrangements to be made. Because embassy review times vary, applying to the program at least 2 months prior to your desired start date is recommended.
The organization you work with will “sponsor” you while you are in a foreign country, and provide you with local contact information for their partner agency in that country. Often, they will conduct an in-country orientation to help acclimate travelers to the language and customs of that country. They will also answer any questions you have about your visa or the program rules, give you tips on how to avoid “culture shock”, and can often offer discounts and excursions that are only available to program participants.