Testimonials

"The Laos leaders were so approachable and friendly and made me feel so welcome - as did all the volunteers! Thank you - had the time of my life and will never forget it! "
Rebecca Aspinall – University of York - Laos

"I am really glad I did the program because it opened my eyes to a whole other culture. I got to see and try things that I’ve never imagined. The staff are very friendly and approachable, I even missed Shona and Jake when we were away on the jungle tour! The construction work was so rewarding and fulfilling. I think this program is a great way to get students interested in travel, humanitarian issues, international studies and foreign culture. You guys do a great job and created a lot of memories for everyone!"
Callie Montour - Concordia University - Ecuador

"The Fiji Islands program has been such an incredible experience. I have loved every minute of it- from the village experience, school kids and kava to the awesome island activities. Thanks so much for an experience I will never forget. I have made some great friendships with both villagers and volunteers. Good luck for future programs. I hope all of the volunteers can get the same fulfilment and enjoyment that I received."
Sarah McCrostie - University of Otago - Fiji Islands

"I’ve had a fantastic time in South Africa. The staff have been very friendly and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. I feel that we contributed to a really worthwhile project and I feel proud to have been a part of it. Well done VESA"
Carole Pritchard - West of England - South Africa

"The whole trip was a fantastic education, cultural and enjoyable experience. I have experienced enough of Laos culture to be very comfortable and almost feel at home there. The content of the program has been made to a very high standard, packing the days with things to do as well as providing adequate downtime."
Emma Garner – University of Lincoln - Laos

"I have had such a great time in Ecuador helping with construction and exploring the jungle. The two weeks have been packed with so much to do and every part was fun! Thanks!" Alessia Beebe - Southampton - Ecuador

"Absolutely loved it! There were bits that were rough, parts that I found difficult and parts I was incredibly daunted by- but this made it an exponentially more rewarding experience. Learnt so much about the Fijian culture and way of life. Personally though, the best part was making such incredible friendships- both on tour and within the family."
Monique Biady - University of Sydney - Fiji

"I have absolutely loved my time in South Africa. I have made lifelong friends and experienced a new culture. I really loved the volunteer week and felt like we really made a difference to some disadvantaged families. I have fallen even more in love with Africa. Thanks for such an amazing experience."
Pippa Curnick - Derby - South Africa

"This was my third trip with VESA and I absolutely loved it! Visiting three contrasting places in Laos enabled me to experience the different lifestyles of each. Activities were varied and a lot of fun. Thank you for the wonderful experience!"
Stephanie Horton – Hope University - Laos



"The VESA trip to South Africa was amazing. The feeling of being able to help so many people in such a large community has made me grow so much as a person. The tour leaders were amazing and did everything to make the trip enjoyable and fulfilling. I loved this program so much!"
Tori Hancock - University of Notre Dame - South Africa

"It was a great experience to help people in a Fijian village and having the opportunity to meet so many great people. The tour leaders were very friendly and were very supportive when we needed it most!"
Shelby Weston - Victoria University - Fiji

"My experience in Ecuador has been life changing. I have learned so much about myself and other people, all of which was very positive. This experience that VESA has allowed me to have has changed my life and opened my eyes to the difference people can make…"
Stephanie Roberts - Trent University - Ecuador

"The trip to Laos with VESA has been one of the best experiences of my life. I loved every moment! The activities were all enjoyable, enriching my life in some form or another allowing me to do things I would never normally do without VESA. A huge part of the trip being incredible, they always ensured we were making the most of the opportunity, were so easy to talk to, and essentially great fun."
Abigail Fulton – University of Surrey - Laos

"My experience with VESA in Ecuador has been amazing and life changing. The volunteer work was incredible, a lot of hard work but fulfilling to see your finished project knowing that you helped a family that really needed it... I will never forget my time here in Ecuador with VESA and wouldn’t think twice about participating in the program in the future. Thank you to VESA “staff” for making these the best two weeks of my life."
Toni Lucas - Trent University - Ecuador

"My experience with VESA is something I will never forgot. I had a great time meeting new friends and creating new memories. The Fijians are some of the friendliest people I have met and I am glad I could do just a small part to make a difference in their lives. Thanks VESA for this opportunity."
Makyla Moen - Brandon University - Fiji

"I have loved every aspect of this trip! The atmosphere is magical! Although the work was hard it was very rewarding to know that you’re changing someone’s life in such a huge way. I have loved this trip."
Abby Gillett – Southampton - South Africa

"Most amazing opportunity being able to volunteer with the program. Could not fault the experience, the Laos leaders were amazing at their job and made everyone feel so comfortable straight away."
Siobhan - Non student - Laos

"The village stay was beyond anything I could have hoped for. I learned so much about Fijian culture and everyday life. I will never forget my stay with my second family."
Alex Sferrazza - McMaster University - Fiji

"Best time of my life. The experience I will never forget. I am so happy I participated in this experience."
Jason McSweeney - University College Cork - South Africa

"The jungle trek was incredible! I had such a fantastic time and all the staff where incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. I loved how laid back the structure of VESA is and how staff members like Shona and Jake would come out and have fun with us. Though our schedule was action packed we always had time to do our own thing as well. I love Ecuador; thank you so much Shona and Jake!"
Meg Labron - Trent University - Ecuador

"I originally picked Laos in VESA for the elephants, and that was amazing, but I never considered the rest of the activities. The kids, the zip lining and waterfalls were incredible. It has made me want to carry on volunteering for sure. And the trip was made, start to finish, by the tour leaders. Thank you so much! <3"
Steph Baker – University of Surrey - Laos

"Definitely one of the coolest experiences of my life. I would never have thought I could do so many neat things within two weeks. This is definitely something to experience. I liked the variety of activities. I also loved every single staff member. Ecuador definitely felt like home. I am going to recommend this program to people at home!"
Tara McKay - University of Guelph - Ecuador

"Thanks. Life changing experience."
Lisa Skitich - University of Guelph - South Africa

"I had the best time of my life in Fiji!!! An experience that I’ll never forget."
LeAnna Kalvi - Lethbridge University - Fiji

"This was an amazing experience. It was amazing to be with the family and that was the best way to truly discover the Fijian culture and appreciate what we have in Canada. I would recommend this to everyone at home, as this is truly a once in a lifetime experience and truly awesome."
Adrienne Dechief - Fiji

"Honestly, coming on the VESA tour has been a real highlight to my year. All people; volunteers and staff have been fantastic. Doing further volunteering at the Elephant Conservation Centre is of high interest to me."
Kieran Hopkinson – Stirling University - Laos

"I had an amazing time and it was an awesome experience. I would definitely do it again! Shona and Jake were great leaders, full of energy, friendly and knowledgeable of the areas we were visiting and staying at. The family was great. I though the area was amazing and cozy. I loved staying in Misahualli!"
Jessica Stewart - Algonquin College - Ecuador

"It was a good trip and opens your eye to the ways of life here. The construction volunteer part was really good. It was hard work but when you can see how much your help is needed matters, it’s a good experience. The conservation part was really amazing."
Amy Azevedo - Kings College - South Africa

"Absolutely fantastic, lovely people made the trip. First week was incredible, learnt a lot and really enjoyed the farming. Second week was great and it was a brilliant opportunity to see more of Laos."
Mikey Nation – University of Plymouth - Laos

"Fiji is beautiful with wonderful, friendly people – the village was perfect and we were looked after so well. It was brilliant to fully be immersed in their way of life. I could have stayed a lot longer. It was a delight to have so much work to do on the projects. We left behind so very valuable renovations and changes. The islands were spot on. Fantastic accommodations and awesome activities. A shame it’s over so quickly. Thank you so much!"
Becky Calnan - Portsmouth University - Fiji

"The trip was one of the best experiences of my life. It was a perfect combination between volunteering and getting to see the country of Ecuador with knowledgeable guides. The leaders were amazing and made us feel comfortable. They knew what there were doing and were also a welcome part of our group. I’m so happy I had this experience and got the chance to meet so many amazing people. I will definitely do another VESA tour."
Alexandra Arditi - McGill University - Ecuador

"The experience with VESA was great and extremely worthwhile. I learned a lot of new things while experiencing the lives of others. I also made a lot of great friends."
Matthew McGregor - Concordia University - South Africa

"Amazing, inspiring experience! Thanks."
Karen Burns – University of Strathclyde - Laos

"It was a great trip! The leaders were friendly and made you feel welcome right from the beginning. The tour of Suva was great! The village was amazing and so welcoming. The family made you feel right at home. I love my Fijian family! So great! Each island had its own charm and own uniqueness."
Adrianne MacGowan - Grant MacEwan University - Fiji

"I’ve been looking to do a volunteer abroad trip for the past 5 years and this was the only one that offered a near perfect package. Great idea with the first week volunteering and the second week tour of the culture. I had an awesome time throughout the entirety of the trip."
Sarah Carter - Brock University - South Africa

"Thanks so much for providing me with this amazing opportunity! Most fun I have ever had! Best I have ever felt!"
Jessica Lockyer - Carleton - Ecuador

"Best experience of my life. Life Changing."
Alex Russell – NUI Galway - Laos

"The village stay was beyond anything I could have hoped for. I learned so much about Fijian culture and everyday life. I will never forget my stay with my second family."
Alex Sferrazza - McMaster University - Fiji

"As my first travel experience, I really enjoyed the opportunity to work among the community and to get to know the area. This has been a real experience. One that I will never forget. Thank you VESA."
Shayna Engen - Surrey College - South Africa

"So fun! Would love to do it again!"
Mallory Isenor - Durham - Ecuador

"I just wanted to say this has been the best experience I have had so far in my life. It was so enjoyable and fulfilling. The work was sometimes tough, but rewarding. I especially loved working in the Laos school. The children were so appreciative and I was so impressed with how much they had learned and how good Cat, the tour leader, was with them. As the weeks went on I felt like we all, leaders and volunteers, became good friends and I will miss everyone so much!"
Niamh Holohan – NUI Galway - Laos

"Amazing trip. Loved the villages and proud of the work we did."
Daniel Pott - St. John York University - Fiji

"Absolutely incredible! Had the time of my life and met people I will never forget! This is my second time as a VESA participant and I am still amazed at how amazing everything was."
Rosey Lieu - Wilfred Laurier University - South Africa

"The trip has personally inspired me to do more for the people in the world who need it. Thank you VESA so much for this experience. It was life altering!"
Jeff Rosenberg - Concordia University - South Africa

"What an amazing two weeks - The best time of my life! Thank you so much for the opportunity ti make a difference. Laos has been a huge eye opener and I am extremely thankful for the VESAbroad program for letting me better myself and others around me. The tour leaders were such a team and they worked so well together. Overall a life changing experience, and I will be entering the video contest to hopefully win another chance to change lives. The Laos people and children will be forever in my heart."
Annie Strickland – University of Colorado - Laos

"This trip was an amazing experience. It gave me the opportunity to see the world from a new perspective. The people I met were some of the nicest in the world. Thank you to the tour leaders, host families and trip organizers. I would love the opportunity to work with everyone in the future."
Mark Norris - Nipissing University - Fiji

"This was the most eye opening experience I have had in my 19 years, feeling as though I have made a difference in the lives of the children of Laos we helped will be with me forever. Mackenzie Zarudny – Trent University - Laos This was one of the best experiences of my life. I owe it all to the AMAZING Laos leaders! Each of them were so amazing and I seriously cannot express how grateful I am to have had them on the trip."
Brittany Jackson – Concordia University - Laos

"It was a great experience - great mix of volunteer work and sightseeing/fun activities. Everything was organized well, overall, fab time!"
Katarina Simikic – Aston University – Laos