Projects Abroad

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8.9 / 10 after 161 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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For the past two years I have been researching for the perfect program and organization to volunteer abroad. I finally made the decision to travel to Cambodia as it is one of the poorest countries in Asia in need of English speaking volunteers. This trip turned out to be everything I expected it to be. The Projects Abroad staff was helpful and available every step of the way, the volunteer apartments were comfortable and very clean, the food was delicious, and every individual I met while volunteering was grateful for the work I and other volunteers were doing. In just two weeks it felt as if I completed a month’s worth of things on the Khmer Project. I not only was able to help a family in the rice fields and teach English in a school; but, I also learned about Cambodian culture through making a traditional Khmer puppet, cooking traditional Cambodian food, learning traditional Khmer dancing, learning the basics of the Khmer language, visiting the national museum, visiting the ancient temples in Siem Reap, visiting a floating village, meditating in a Buddhist temple in Phnom Penh, and visiting the areas of Cambodia that were used during the devastating Khmer Rouge. All of which was covered in my expenses. The experience was life changing in the way I was able to make friends with volunteers from all over the world, learn about Cambodia first-hand from my Cambodian coordinator who was with me every day, and most importantly how I was immediately exposed to the unfortunate circumstances of this very poor country by teaching young children and simply travelling around the country.
Volunteering is the best way to travel and the only way to truly understand and empathize with the inequalities of this world. As a student studying to become a social worker, this experience gives me an advantage on my resume, as well as the confidence to broaden my career goals to a global level. I left Cambodia an even greater advocate for change and I am already planning my next volunteer trip with Projects Abroad as my trip would not have been what it was without them!

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Posted: August 30, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Kyra
Age:
19

Searching online, I stumbled across the Projects Abroad website one night while investigating some volunteer programs in developing countries that focused primarily on medicine. First off, their website is super navigable and user friendly if you want quick and brief information on a myriad of different service trips ranging from the USA to the villages of many African countries. Within a day or two I was able to select, register and pay my first deposit to my choice of location and program: a 2 week high school program focused on medicine and its impact in the city of Cochabamba,
Flights can be booked through Projects Abroad at relatively cheap rates and they give you a step by step list of what you should bring and what your entire stay will be like. Arriving in Cochabamba I was greeted by a staff member with a Projects Abroad sign and was at my host family's house within the hour. The close proximity to the airport was efficient and surprisingly a very safe and protected suburb. My host family spoke 100% Spanish (just like most of the citizens and even staff, so I was also surprised by the accuracy of their background on the host families). Everyday for 2 weeks, the mother always had a breakfast, lunch and dinner fresh and ready for us at a specific time slot. One of my fellow volunteers was a die-hard vegan and the mother was even able to accommodate to his needs with extra veggies.
Lastly, the other volunteers were just as dedicated to learning about the culture and workshops that the staff provided, at least one per day, as I was. My volunteers came from the UK, Brazil, Canada and the USA so we all differed in culture as well as exposure to these experiences. Getting to know some of them in the two weeks made us so close and I can say that I'm sure I will stay in contact with them for awhile and hopefully visit.
This trip really opened me up to experiencing new things that I would never think I would try, and it is truly a worthwhile opportunity to pursue. My only regret was that I was only able to stay for two weeks.

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Posted: August 28, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: rbeck
Age:
17

The three month microfinance project that I worked on through Project’s Abroad not only deepened my knowledge and understanding of micro lending , but it also provided me with a hands on, multi-cultural experience. From the day that I landed in Tanzania, Project’s Abroad was very intentional about making sure that my volunteer experience was top notch. After my second day in Arusha, Tanzania I began working on my microfinance project. Through this project I received a lot of experience on how to do business counseling to poor and illiterate small business owners. As a team we worked with nearly 50 women in order to help them further their livelihoods and better their businesses. I was able to help and educate these women in need. Through my three months that I spent on my project I felt like I was able to make a lasting impact on the women who we served.

Another aspect of this organization that I really thought was beneficial to the whole experience was staying at the host family. The host family that I stayed with was incredible! They treated me as if I had been their son from the day that I got there. They were able to help me with any questions/concern that I had not only with my project, but also with the culture in general. My experience would not have been the same if I had not stayed at a host family’s home. This opportunity also gave me the chance to meet other volunteers that were staying at the family with me. In the short time that I was there I was able to make some of my best friends through Project’s Abroad. I would highly recommend Project’s Abroad to anyone.

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Posted: August 27, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: jakejeran
Age:
20

Over the summer I worked in a burn unit with kids in Bolivia. It was an experience I will never forget. I was able to get hands on experience with the kids right away even though I am still an undergrad in the US! It was amazing being able to stretch and massage the burns while also being able to get to know the kids and their stories. These kids were the happiest, sweetest kids I could have hoped to work for.

Outside of work I was able to travel with other volunteers during the weekend. I'm so glad Projects Abroad organized events every Thursday so that throughout my stay I was continuously meeting new volunteers from around the world. I think one of the best nights Projects Abroad organized was learning salsa because a week later I went to a salsa club and was able to use what I learned!

My host family from the very beginning was extremely welcoming. They showed me where they shopped, prepared different traditional Bolivian meals everyday and always was ready to share a story with me. The family helped make the transition to the Bolivian lifestyle very smooth because they knew when all the events were happening around the city and had great advice to give me when I traveled.

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Posted: August 25, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: szafer3
Age:
21

I volunteered with Projects Abroad with a position as a teacher in Costa Rica for four weeks. Those four weeks I spent in Costa Rica were remarkable! To elaborate, this trip was the most significant trip I have taken thus far. Spending four weeks in a public school where I had the opportunity to teach English and Math to 3rd, 4th, and 6th graders was an experience that I encourage all future Educators to pursue. Being able to see the difference between the Education system in Costa Rica and the United States, seeing the difference between student’s eagerness in school, and the extracurricular activities offered in the schools was an eye opener.

At my placement in Escuela Cubujuqui I got so much support from the teachers I was working with as well as from the Project’s Abroad Program staff. Whenever I needed something or had questions there was always someone communicating with me in a prompt-timely manner. I also got weekly visit from the Project Abroad Staff at my placement, which I really enjoyed because they were able to address and answer any concerns I had at that moment. Furthermore, the staff always asked me how was everything and if I was enjoying and learning at my placement which showed their concerns about my comfortability and learning.

As for housing accommodations, I was fortunate enough to be hosted by an incredible family who lived in San Joaquin de Flores. My host family was very welcoming and attentive to all of the volunteers. My host family took me out to their dinners, took me to the activities they participated in such as cooking class, bible talk, and hosted a potluck for all of the volunteers in Costa Rica. Living with a host family granted me the opportunity to really learn more about the Costa Rican culture and experience it firsthand.

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Posted: August 24, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: zuleymad
Age:
23

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