Projects Abroad

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9 / 10 after 216 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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.

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In May of 2016, I spent 4 weeks in Ghana with Projects Abroad. My project was being a veterinary intern at La Veterinary Hospital in Accra, Ghana. Overall, my experience was a fantastic one and I wish I could’ve stayed longer.

All of the people I had the pleasure of meeting from my host family to the other volunteers to the people I worked with through Projects Abroad and the hospital were extraordinary. The people really do make all the difference in a good trip and a great one. Be sure to make the most out of the time you have with them because it goes by so quickly and before you know your time abroad will be over. The projects abroad team members are very invested in what they do and I was surprised to find how often that they check in with you and make sure everything is going okay. Not only do they help with any issues that could come up with your project or your accommodation, but they organize fun activities such as language lessons, dance lessons or even just getting the group to have a nice meal together. So not only do you get to volunteer in an incredible place and gain experience like no other but you leave having new lifelong friends and endless stories to tell. Not to mention these friends that you make are from all over the world and learning about their culture as well as the culture of the country that you are in, is a learning experience that you would never be able to have in a classroom.

My project, like I said, was a veterinary intern at La Veterinary Hospital. The veterinary technicians and veterinarians were amazing. It was definitely an eye-opening experience coming from America where we are a bit spoiled when it comes to the resources that we have available to us. Innovation is extremely vital to success in places such as Ghana whose resources are not as abundant as other wealthier places. The only thing about my particular project that was a little misleading was what animals I would be working with while there. From the website and My Project webpage, I was under the impression that I would be working with domestic pets, livestock, and visiting zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. However, while I was there it was predominately dogs, a few cats, and a few small farm animals like goats and chickens. We did make one short visit to a resort that had some wildlife and exotic animals which was extremely cool! I basically just thought we would be doing more of things like that, so it was slightly disappointing. But besides that I have no complaints! The people were great and I learned a lot about the veterinary profession from the cases I assisted with while there.

You just can’t put into words how this kind of experience impacts your life and your future. And you also can’t put a price on this kind of adventure. If you are looking to volunteer and make a difference while meeting extraordinary people along the way, I highly recommend traveling with Projects Abroad.

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Posted: September 26, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9
Age:
21

The 4 weeks I spent as a medical volunteer in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania through Projects Abroad was the best experience of my life. I learned invaluable experiences socially, culturally and medically, and regret that I was only there for 4 weeks!

The Projects Abroad staff was amazing, they assisted in the preparation for the trip, transportation to and from the airport, connecting with me during flight delays and organizing an amazing homestay and work accommodation.

My host family was amazing. It consisted of myself, "Mama," her housemaid "Dada," her 8-year-old granddaughter Juliet, my American roommate Hannah, my American housemate Ashley and my Dutch housemate Mark. The family did an amazing job making sure that the three volunteers felt comfortable, were well-fed and hydrated! We truly felt like one of the family.

I spent my days at Sinza Palestina Hospital working in the minor surgery ward under the supervision of Dr. Stanley Maganga, who I remain in contact with nearly 3 months after my trip! He and his staff allowed me to observe, ask questions, and assist with as many patients as I wanted. Dr. Maganga would even push me to perform procedures that I was nervous to do, helping me gain the confidence necessary to actually be of assistance to him. The staff was grateful for my service, accommodating and amazing to be around.

On my final day in Tanzania, Projects Abroad gathered all of the medical volunteers to perform health exams at a local orphanage. The children loved it and enjoyed playing with us in between examinations. It was torture for me to pack up after we were done and go to the airport as I did not want to leave.

Projects Abroad was great at helping me establish a social group outside of just my housemates. On my first day at the hospital, he made sure that other volunteers came to find me and introduce themselves, which eased my anxiety significantly. My first weekend, my roommate and I went to a local beach hotel to relax and met up with a bunch of other volunteers from the UK, Netherlands and Denmark at a local night club. The following weekend, all of the girls traveled to Zanzibar for a weekend of sightseeing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and swimming with sea turtles. The final weekend was spent at the Selous Game Reserve, a 6 hour drive from Dar es Salaam. We spent an evening on a boat for a water safari, a full day at the game reserve on a more traditional safari and the third morning on a sunrise walking safari at the reserve.

The Projects Abroad team had various social events including a dinner out at a restaurant, Tanzanian dance lessons, Swahili lessons, and the medical checkup day at the orphanage. This helped me meet volunteers who stayed with other host families, arrived later than I did, and who worked at different hospitals. Even when there was nothing planned, we could stop by the office at any time and someone would be there to chat with you.

I had worried about my safety being a tiny, American female, but I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable. Projects Abroad did an amazing job making me feel welcome and appreciated. I gained more than I could have ever imagined from this experience, and am already planning on using Projects Abroad with one of my friends that I made in Tanzania. We plan to go somewhere (not sure where yet!) in the spring before I begin Physician Assistant school.The friends I made will be in my life forever, in fact, one of them is visiting me in my hometown of Chicago in a week.

This experience changed my life and I miss Tanzania every day. I recommend Projects Abroad, Tanzania, and the experience in general to anyone interested in volunteering abroad.

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Location:
Posted: September 20, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
29

I would highly recommend Projects Abroad. I did the public health program in Cambodia. The staff support was excellent. All queries were answered quickly prior to my program. The staff was very friendly and did everything from airport pick up, settling into apartment, and orientation. The apartment was clean with excellent food. During my time I was able to work in several areas in Cambodia including a week long homestay. The homestay was with a Cambodian family who was extremely welcoming. The staff tries very hard to make sure you experience everything you wanted to. It was occasionally disorganized as far as scheduling for public health placements and where we would be working each week but it worked out in the end. It was an amazing experience and the support from projects abroad was great.

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Posted: September 14, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
6
By: kdewane
Age:
21

My time in Thailand with Projects Abroad was truly memorable for a number of reasons. From the in country volunteer communicator who answered any and all questions prior to my arrival, to the welcoming dive staff, I will hold Thailand closely to my heart because of this incredible experience. The organization of the project was probably the most spectacular thing to witness since you saw several people working around the clock to provide you with a comfortable, rewarding, and novel experience. Although the marine conservation was rewarding, the staff was friendly, and the food was delicious at the accomadation; the price was steep. I appreciate all the organization of the trip and it didn't go unnoticed, but a similar trip organized on your own could cost much less. With that said, I am still happy with my decision and recommend that everybody try out a volunteer trip with Projects Abroad!

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Location:
Posted: September 10, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
7
Age:
18

Projects Abroad was an amazing experience I wouldn't change for anything. From the first moment I decided to volunteer abroad, their staff was in contact with me 24/7. They booked my flights, organized my placement, and gave me my own personal travel advisor. My travel advisor answered all my questions about what to bring and where to go once I landed. It was especially beneficial to call her and talk about any questions I had.
Arriving in a new country alone can be a bit overwhelming. However, the staff knew just where to find us volunteers. They take you straight to the hotel, where all the food and water you desire is included. In the morning another staff member meets you and goes over everything you need to know: your volunteer placement, host family accommodations, and where to get a SIM card so you can make local calls. I especially love the cultural education you receive immediately (appropriate gestures, customs, etc.).
Volunteering was wonderful. The hospital was very welcoming to its volunteers. The only downfall I'd say is the lack communication between Projects Abroad and the volunteer placement; there was only one medical coordinator for all the physical therapy/medical volunteers within Kathmandu. Although the coordinator was very busy, she did make time to check on all the volunteers in our placement regularly. We even participated in a few educational workshops during our time there.
Overall, I think Projects Abroad is fantastic for first-time travelers and people interested in volunteering across the world.

Program:
Location:
Posted: September 4, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
20

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