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Transitions Abroad Magazine September/October 2003 Vol. XXVII, NO. 2

Information Exchange

Traveler’s Almanac

Independent Traveler
The Europe of Yesteryear Johanna Rodriguez
Coping with a Weak Dollar Tim Leffel
Loving the Lot Carmen Myers
Explore Slovakia’s Great Outdoors Steve Toth
Tip #4: Meet Strangers Jeff Goldman

Volunteer Abroad
Volunteering for an NGO Jim Hall
What it Takes to be a Highly Effective Volunteer Joseph Collins and Luke Wendt
Teaching in Ghana Carole Katz
Welcomed in Ghana Jane Sharpe
Agro and Ecotourism in Romania Kara McDonald
Volunteer Under Mt. Ararat Kim Lane
Cross-Cultural Volunteerism Vanessa Nichols

Back Door Travel
War and Peace: Never a Better Time Rick Steves

Alternative Travel Directory of Programs

Working Traveler
Learning a Language While Volunteering Abroad Susan Griffith
Work in Ecuador Christopher Sacco
A Medical Journey to Southern Vietnam Elise Gettings
Volunteering in Nepal Allison Lince-Bentley
Helping People in Sri Lanka Preethi Burkholder
Work for Travel in NZ Matt Kaiel
Japan's JET Programme Laura Mann
WWOOF in Australia Coran Lill
WWOOFING It Margaret Boyes

Work Abroad: The Best Resources William Nolting

Education Abroad
Teach Dance Around the World Laura Higgins Florand
Debunking Reasons Against Studying Abroad Brian Harley
Key Travel Tips Alice Driver

Program News & Notes

Classifieds

Transitions Abroad
Best Foot Forward
Robert Powell Sangster

From the Editor

Regrettably, I have yet to volunteer overseas, but one day when I get back out into the field I hope to. At that time I will keep in mind the insights I gleaned from reading this issue of Transitions Abroad, particularly the advice of Joseph Collins and Luke Wendt. In their article "What It Takes to Be a Highly Effective Volunteer" they tell volunteers, "Doing what is necessary often means letting go of grandiose plans and undertaking basic tasks." Having an open mind and not building up our expectations certainly would help to make for the fulfilling experiences that other volunteers—like Jim Hall who took photographs for NGOs in Cambodia and Carole Katz who taught mathematics in Ghana—write about in this issue.

We regularly focus on volunteering in the September/October issue because this type of cooperative and supportive global outreach remains essential to cross-cultural understanding. Since 2001, the first International Year of Volunteers, the U.N. has developed and maintained the World Volunteer Web, now an essential site.

Not only is volunteering an exemplary way to be an ambassador of goodwill (an idea that cannot be emphasized enough in this time of fragile world affairs); it is also an ideal way to live with locals, learn a language, and immerse yourself in a culture.

While lending a hand is sure to bring rewards to visitors and hosts alike, if money is tight, work abroad is also a healthy alternative for getting to know a place and its people. Whether you’re after a short- or long-term experience, you are sure to find plenty of ideas and resources in this issue’s annual Work Abroad Resources directory compiled by Bill Nolting.

Before leaving home, don’t forget to read Rob Sangster’s article on etiquette. In "Best Foot Forward" (page 64) he speaks to the fact that no matter how or where we choose to travel one given is the importance of learning the "local ground rules"—a very good reminder, and one we will follow up on in Transitions Abroad’s November/December issue, with its focus on community tourism.

Sherry Schwarz

Publisher and Editor
Sherry Schwarz

Founding Editor and Publisher
Dr. Clay A. Hubbs

Contributing Editors
Susan Griffith (Work)
Cynthia Harriman (Family Travel)
Zahara Heckscher (Volunteering)
Ron Mader (Latin America)
Deborah McLaren (Ecotourism)
William Nolting (International Education and Work)
Volker Poelzl (Living)
Rick Steves (Budget Travel)
Tracy Scharn and Pamela Houston (Disability Travel)
Christine Victorino (Volunteering)
Kathy Widing (Travel Books)
Arnie Wills (Senior Travel)

Advertising Manager
Kate McGrail

Webmaster and Web Content Editor
Gregory Hubbs

Cover
E.J. Baumeister Jr.
Women pause from their work in a field in Tichy Potok, a village in eastern Slovakia.