Projects Abroad

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9 / 10 after 284 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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During my time at Projects abroad, I had the opportunity to both participate in the medical project, and partially the human rights project. This was not my first time going abroad, however if it had been, I would have found the support staff of projects abroad to be more than sufficient. One of the nicest things to have when traveling is someone to meet and guide you from the airport. Projects abroad staff was there from the beginning at the airport and helped to get me comfortable with the city of Cordoba. While I interacted with my mentor during the medical project every day, it was rare to actually coordinate something during my six weeks with the medical staff at projects abroad. This was probably due to being the only medical volunteer for around 4 weeks. My normal day consisted of waking up around 7 and being by the bus stop around 730. Arriving at the hospital around 830, I would then observe 2-3 operations, and ask questions whenever I liked. Afterwards I would go home where my family would have lunch ready for me. During the night, I would then be free to do as I like. Often that would be going on to participate in the human rights project, where we would interact with homeless populations. This was often one of my favorite times because it meant I was able to interact with the local population in a new way. The projects abroad staff with the human rights project were extremely active with the activities. This actually was one of my favorite parts of my time in Argentina. Other volunteers were interesting to interact with as they brought many other perspectives, cultures, and languages to the table. The time spent with them felt much like the time on my exchange. The culture of argentina was also interesting to interact with as an American, and I learned a lot about how to be more relaxed with my time. It was also an adaptation to become accustomed the food or Argentina, which is very different to that in the US. Overall, it was a great experience, and I learned a lot about my future career, and own culture during my time with Projects abroad

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Posted: August 24, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
7
By: willyd
Age:
22

My experience had its ups and down. The positive parts of this experience involve getting to know volunteers as good friends, meeting people from around the world, and learning new things about yourself through being in a complex environment. The downsides include possible bad roommates, bugs, and heatstroke.
Basically what happens is that the volunteers become good friends with you, almost to the point where you can bond with some of them as if you were family if you luck out and you both are there for similar amount of time. That doesn’t mean that everyone will get along with you, and like any other place out there in the world, there is the possibility of bad roommates. For me, it was just the age difference that showed maturity gaps because I was on average at least 6 years older than the other women in the house I was staying in. If I had been there longer with them in the room, I would’ve requested a room switch, but the universe made it so that I was in a room by myself for most of my trip. I had forgotten that I’m not 18 anymore when I applied for the project, and I think being aware of this stuff is something that is crucial for someone if they are to stay there for a month, for instance.
Depending on where you get placed (work wise), you can get to know the refugees quite well. I enjoyed this part the most because I got to dance with them, eat with them, meet women who spoke 7 languages fluently, and experience many other things. As a woman, I was encouraged heavily right off the bat to work with mostly children in daycare, and I knew right away that it would not be a good fit for me. The people who work in the project are very accommodating and are eager to help you make the most of your experience. Realizing I couldn’t work with the children too much for a number of reasons (attachment being the main reason), I found myself much happier with the adult refugees and when I worked within the library. You become very attached to people in this tiny town because you are around them all the time, and when I got heatstroke, I felt very cared for by everyone despite going through the very un-fun experience of getting sick in a foreign country. There’s also the bugs, which can be beaten with bug spray on at all times. The times I forgot, I regretted it deeply. I came home with around 20 bug bites due to forgetting to put on bug spray for 2 hours on my last day there.
Nevertheless, you really get to experience a community like no other when you go on this trip, and while it isn’t perfect, and by no means a vacation, you leave with memories that make you wonder when you’ll visit again to see how much the town has changed in a couple of years.

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Posted: August 23, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
7
Age:
24

After 4 exhilarating weeks in Phnom Penh, I completed Projects Abroad's Human Rights project. I was 22 and I was a fresh graduate from university. I completed a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and History, indicating my natural gravitation towards participating in a Human Rights project. My interest in participating in this volunteer project also heightened as I learn more about the country of Cambodia prior to my journey there: the mysterious landscapes and dark history that the country is built upon. I have a strong passion for travelling and I was fortunate enough to learn more about distant places, its histories and political landscapes throughout my academic career. Let me also preamble that I am also simultaneously pursuing a career in law and was hoping that I could gain quantitative and qualitative legal experience in my volunteer endeavor.

Preparing to embark on my volunteer project, I had a ton of help from the Projects Abroad staff, who consistently kept in touch via phone and email, and also a friend of mine who recently completed a Projects Abroad project in South America. The Projects Abroad website provided me with a personal webpage of my own that contains all instructions relating to my upcoming travel to Cambodia. It is organized by a timeline of before, during and after your project. This layout extremely helped me in keeping myself organized before I travel, as well as the smooth arrival that I experienced when I landed in Phnom Penh.

I worked for a Cambodian NGO, the Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF), that seeks to advocate for human and housing rights in Cambodia. Cambodia, as a country, offers many learning experiences starting from its diverse history all the way to its culture and modern identity. Until today, I still look back on my 4-week experience working side-by-side with justice workers, human rights defenders and legal officers and I remain in awe. My work mainly consisted of researching and writing numerous case studies. The research component was what I found the most exhilarating. I had an opportunity to look closely into Cambodian and internationally-binding laws, mainly targeting human rights and housing law aspects. I was also very fortunate to experience most of my research on the field: I witnessed and observed numerous human rights protests, housing developments, political meetings and human rights trials. HRTF also actively participated in meeting and collaborating with other local and international NGOs that provided me with a whole new system to work with and be a part of.

I was also very fortunate to call a place ‘home’ during my stay in Phnom Penh. I lived in a project Abroad volunteers’ apartment in the heart of the city and was surrounded by people who helped me feel at home, fed me amazing local dishes and made sure I was driven to work and brought home safe every day. The people I lived with came from different parts of the world and have become very close friends of mine. Volunteering abroad was improved a hundred-fold when my experiences turned into friendships and life-long memories.

I highly recommend Project Abroad’s Human Rights project in Cambodia for various reasons, most of which are outlined in my review. It helped me shape my understanding of the world, its realities and also its wonders.

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Posted: August 18, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
8
By: jmuir
Age:
23

Visiting Mexico and participating in the medical internship through Projects Abroad was probably one of the best experiences I have ever had! As a high school student, I was able to see and do things I never thought I would be able to. During my stay, not only was I given the opportunity to tour the city of Guadalajara, I was able to work alongside doctors and nurses at local hospitals and observe several patients. In regards to the program itself, Projects Abroad provides the best service; I had a wonderful project coordinator who made sure I was always safe and getting the resources I needed in order to get the most out of this once in a lifetime experience!

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Posted: August 18, 2017
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
9
By: Jamie Lee
Age:

In May 2017, I had the opportunity to teach at a Day Care Center in Krabi, Thailand through the Projects Abroad Organization. My time in Thailand was such an eye opening and humbling experience. I decided to embark on this journey because I needed a break from my work/studies and I can honestly say that I had the time of my life. Teaching the kids was incredibly rewarding. In the end, I realized that the kids taught me more than I could every teach them. They taught me things about myself that I was never in touch with. It is also incredible how many great people I met along the way that shared common values and interests.This trip challenged me in so many ways and pushed me many times beyond my comfort level.

The accommodation was comfortable and the food well, I couldn't complain... (as I can eat pad Thai and fried rice every day). One of the things that I liked the most about Projects abroad is that I always felt like I had their team's support 24/7. The Projects Abroad staff and other volunteers instantly made me feel welcomed and like family. I have no regrets in choosing this organization and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an enriching experience.

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Posted: August 17, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
9
Age:
22

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