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!!
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Established in 1992, Projects Abroad is the world’s leading short-term international volunteer organization. Over 8,000 people a year join our programs in over 25 amazing countries around the world. All participants receive unparalleled in-country support from our full-time, professional staff to ensure that the experience is safe, worthwhile, and fun.
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!!
I participated in Projects Abroad High School Summer Medical Special in Bolivia. I am interested in the medical field so I thought this would be a great way to expand my knowledge, which it definitely did. We did medical workshops almost everyday along with activities to help the community. Some of the work we did included spending time with children at a burns unit and just giving them someone to talk to. Another day we went and learned traditional Bolivian dances at a retirement home for one of the resident's birthdays. Among these rewarding experiences, we got real experience in a medical environment that wouldn't be possible elsewhere! I spent one morning observing a consultation doctor's office, and the afternoon in the emergency room watching emergency procedures. We even got to watch a dental surgery. What made it even better was that the group of people I was with were all very friendly and equally as enthusiastic about all the great work we did. Plus, I got to stay with an amazing family which made my Spanish much better! I'm so happy with the time I spent in Bolivia and will never forget the great memories and experiences that I made there!
I recently just completed a study abroad trip with Projects Abroad in Shanghai and my placement was a medical internship. I am a pre-med student and I knew that Shanghai was becoming developed and I wanted to also experience the medical system of another country and of another culture. The hospital I was placed in was one of Shanghai’s top teaching hospitals and many doctors are well known in the country. A picture of me even went on the news for a liver transplant between father and son. I was placed in the departments I wanted to be in and being in the surgery room was very rewarding. Internal medicine departments were as well because I got to see patient medical histories and listen to how the doctors would treat these patients according to their day to day conditions. The accommodation was down to earth Shanghainese style but fully equipped and decent in size. There’s around five volunteers in a flat and the rooms are very nice (sheets and blankets provided). Tap water is not available for drinking in Shanghai so drinkable water was also provided. I do not think host family is an option for the Shanghai option for the China study abroad but if it is, I would think it’d be a more rewarding experience because it really lets you into the life of a Shanghainese family. The volunteers who I stayed with were coincidently all placed on a medical internship as well and it was so fun to go to and from work each day together, eat lunch at the cafeteria and share our stories. Getting around Shanghai was easy especially with the staff support. They picked us up and also help us call taxis to the airport. They checked up on us and was always there to help when we call or message them. We get an allowance for the trip duration (for food, sightseeing or other necessities) and even if you feel that it won’t be enough to spend, it actually will be. I used it on trying out the different local authentic restaurants. And it was also worth it to go souvenir shopping (so definitely go with your flat-mates). Overall it was a valuable experience and I hope I could apply to go abroad to another city.
I recently completed the two week medical special with Projects Abroad in Ghana. I am quite comfortable saying that it was a truly memorable experience. On arrival, despite the fact that I was traveling alone, the Projects Abroad team made me feel comfortable with the chaotic Accra airport. At no point was I uncertain where to meet Projects Abroad. During my time in Ghana, I was mainly located in Cape Coast. A unique aspect of the two week special was its ability to immerse volunteers like myself in Ghanaian culture. The friendly staff played a significant role in this; not only were they helpful but I feel as if I made several friends along the way. The host family also surprised me; the living conditions were acceptable and the food was good. The members of the household were also quite friendly. Finally, the medical experience I gained during this time was valuable, I always felt as if I was learning something new. Most importantly, you get the impression you are genuinely helping people in need. I would highly recommend Projects Abroad to anyone seeking a special experience overseas.
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