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Projects Abroad

I recently went on Projects Abroad's 2-week High School Special Care and Community program in Jamaica to volunteer at a summer camp for children 4-17 years old at a local primary school. It was everything they described on the "project info" page on their website and much more. My volunteer advisor, travel team advisor, and other Projects Abroad administration officers were very helpful with answering my pre-departure questions and getting me ready for the trip. The Projects Abroad taxi drivers, staff, and host family were all so wonderful. The Jamaica staff did everything to make sure all the high school volunteers from all the different programs present had enough food and water, materials and supplies at our placements, and felt comfortable at our host family's home and our placement. They made us feel very safe and kept an eye on us wherever we went. The staff came up with fun and creative activities for us to do with the children every day from arts and crafts to scavenger and treasure hunts to quiz competitions to acting. We all had so much fun at the daily social events for volunteers at the Projects Abroad office after working with the children... whether it's cooking class, reggae dance class, games evening, or supervised free time. It was so great to get to learn about such a beautiful country, help unprivileged children, and meet and become close to people from all over the world. I felt very welcomed from the moment I arrived to the moment I departed. I definitely recommend Projects Abroad!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location:
Posted: Jul 29, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

I just completed the 4-week high school medicine special in Panadura, Sri Lanka. I got the chance to work at three different hospitals, attend multiple medical seminars, and get immersed in Sri Lankan culture. It was an amazing adventure that I would love to share about.

Before I left, the support that I got from Projects Abroad was very impressive. My parents and I had countless questions and they were always answered very quickly and very thoroughly. Part of my story volunteering with Projects Abroad was that I was actually supposed to go to Nepal until the 2015 earthquake happened there. The support I recieved in trying to make a decision between staying in Nepal or switching to Sri Lanka was very helpful and allowed me and my parents to make the decision to switch projects.

I went to my host family right after arriving in Colombo. My host family provided three meals a day, and were accomodating to whatever times we had to wake up or when we had to be out late for something. The language barrier was sometimes challenging but one of our supervisors was an amazing translation help! They were extremely generous and gave me a very good glimpse into what Sri Lankan life truly is.

Working at the three different hospitals allowed me to see a very wide range of the Sri Lankan medical scenario and allowed me to compare/contrast it to my own country. It made me even more interested in medicine than I already was. I also loved being able to work with people from all around the world and get to learn about their cultures. We became lifelong friends and we got a very deep experience together.

I would very highly recommend any project with Projects Abroad. My parents were very interested in how high school students would be handled in a foreign country, and I can honestly say that I felt safe at all times. We were supervised at all times when we weren't at home, and we were never allowed to go anywhere by ourselves. I was nervous to be so far away from home for so long, but the support that I received from the Projects Abroad staff was so helpful that it made it very easy for me to get used to life there and thrive throughout the project. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Jul 29, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

My name is Laetitia and I am half French half Sri Lankan, but I am at university in Newcastle in the UK. My stay here has been exceptional. I have experienced some things that I will never forget. I stayed with a host family, (Michael) who were beyond welcoming and friendly. Their food was amazing and the whole family was very close and had a great sense of humour! At first, I thought I would be the only one staying with this host family, but turns out there were several other volunteers from all over the world. I met some amazing people whom I shared unforgettable memories with. Regarding the orphanage, it was a lot of hard work but it was very rewarding to know that we were helping them out a lot. I grew very attached to certain kids and the whole experience really opened my eyes as to how lucky I am. I strongly recommend individuals, no matter what age, to try such an experience at least once in their life. Weekends were free to us and so I was able to travel to nearby places just for a little break along with the other people I had met. All in all, this is something that will stay in my heart and I would already like to come back to see how the kids have grown and changed throughout the year.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Jul 28, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

I arrived at Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi Kenya several days before the visit of Obama. After I got my visa,one of my hosts Jackson picked me. Then he drove to the place where i will live for 3 weeks. On our way home, Jackson told me a lot about the Nairobi. He showed me where the downtown area and the tallest tower. The place where I live is located inside the slum Kibera.The environment is soso but worth to experience. In the afternoon,Leah(volunteer from Canada) and I went to the YAYA center and had our money exchanged and we got local Sim card with 3G network access too. This was basically what happened on the first day. On the next 4 following days, I worked at a Children Center inside the slum. It only costs around 10mins to walk there. When I went the the first day, the kids were a little bit shy. They were curious about me. Later, I was assigned by the Domitila(founder of center this children) to teach the class 2. When the kids first saw me, they were yelling Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee all the time because I am from Hong Kong, China. They really wanted to learn Kung Fu and, fortunately, I have learned Kung Fu when I was a kid. I do not want to let them down so i decided to teach them Kung Fu on the following two weeks. We truly had a good time and 8 of them will performance Kung Fu at the following school festival. Besides teaching Kung Fu, I graded their English assignments and helped the kitchen to serve breeakfast and lunch to the kids. I also helped the teacher Tarson to cut out the letters for the following school festival. In a word, this place is definitely worth coming and the coordinator Barnabas will take good care of you. Kenya welcomes you and the kids are waiting for you.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Africa
Posted: Jul 28, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

TRACC Borneo

I stayed on Pompom Island for more than 4 month at the end of 2013 for an unbelievably amazing time! After completing my Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology I was looking for a conservation project in southeast Asia where I could learn how to restore coral reefs. I chose to stay with TRACC as a volunteer for 6 weeks but ended up staying another 3 months after that - because it was exactly what I had been looking for. During my stay I also completed my PADI Advanced and PADI Rescue Diver courses - all inclusive!

TRACC has two main goals on Pompom island: Enhancing the state of the surrounding coral reefs and securing the survival of the local sea turtle population. Our daily life on the island was structured accordingly: On a typical day, we would get into the water right after breakfast to collect broken coral fragments from surrounding reefs. We would then stabilise these, using a range of techniques, before securing them once again on damaged reefs on Pompom, enabling and accelerating natural recovery processes. In addition, we maintained various different coral nurseries which were used to allow collected coral fragments to grow before they were being used for reef restoration. At night, small teams would walk around the island along the beach, looking for freshly laid turtle eggs. When a new nest was found, we would carefully collect the eggs and transfer them to a turtle hatchery where they could then hatch in peace - my favorite part was releasing the little baby turtles after a couple of weeks!

Life on Pompom was simple and yet unbelievably fulfilling - every day was seized to the max! The island truly is a small paradise, exactly how one would imagine - warm, clear waters, white beaches, amazing underwater-life, unforgettably beautiful sunsets and unique dives, also on surrounding islands. Tents are provided for a good night's rest and food is prepared in a basic open-air kitchen. The communal area was our meeting place for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a bit later in the night, also for the occasional cold beer (or two). There was always a great group spirit and a generally relaxed atmosphere.

If you are looking for a really "different" experience, far away from the daily hustle and stressfulness of a "normal" life then you have to come to Pompom! If you can imagine to live in a tent for a couple of weeks and spend every day in the water or on the beach then you have to come to Pompom! If you want to learn how to conserve and enhance coral reefs with a sustainable approach then you have to come to Pompom!

My last stay was so fulfilling, educational and meaningful that I decided to go back to Pompom once again this year to do my PADI Divemaster training - I cannot wait for the day to finally arrive - I will see you there ;)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Malaysia
Posted: Jul 28, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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