I spent my winter break in Chengdu, China interning for a food promoting social media company. It was such an amazing experience. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a member of the Projects abroad staff who showed me to my apartment, workplace, language school, and the surrounding "hangout areas". My apartment was in a very central location about a 10 minute walk from my placement and my roommates were from all over the world! At my placement I made lifelong friends who showed me the "real China". They encouraged me to try the local food and experience life as a local. They were locals who were not much older than I was. Having the opportunity to become friends with my coworkers really allowed me to experience China in an in depth way. I even got to experience a family meal at one of my coworker's homes. In addition, Projects abroad offers language classes which made getting around Chengdu a bit easier (it is not a very westernized city so not very many people speak English). I learned more interning in China than any class or book could have ever taught me. It is an experience that I would recommend to any one. Stay open minded, try all of the food even if it sounds gross, make friends with the locals, and most of all soak in every moment. (If you're in Chengdu, go see the pandas! They are so cute!)
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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.
The summer after graduating from college, I volunteered for three weeks with Projects Abroad--Medical Project in Jamaica. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working in the medical clinic, where I was able to observe nurses, midwives, doctors, and even a nutritionist work with the local people. "Hands-on" work is generally limited and depends on the location of placement, but I was able to have more direct patient contact experience the last week/week and a half I was there, due to becoming more familiar with the system and the medical staff being confident in my abilities. I really enjoyed observing the various doctor-patient interactions and going on house-call visits with the midwife. I feel like this was definitely a worth-while experience, but those planning to eventually pursue a career in medicine and are hoping to gain a substantial amount of "hands-on work" should really talk through with their trip advisors and make sure they are being placed in a setting that best fits their requirements.
As for living situation, I had the best host family. They made me feel at home and did everything they could to be as accommodating as possible. I was also living with one other volunteer for most of the time (which I highly recommend). I also recommend staying for a minimum of four weeks, not only to be able to explore the country adequately, but mainly so that a sense of routine can really be fostered at the placement site and you can maximize your time volunteering. I really hope to return some day!
After an extensive amount of research, I think that Projects Abroad was the best organization that I could have chosen to go through to volunteer abroad. The thing that attracted me most to this organization was the amount of options I had to choose from on places to go and projects to choose from. I ended up choosing a medical mission in Ghana and I could not have been happier.
The process leading up to my trip was exceptional in the amount of help, support, and information projects abroad provided me with.
When I got my location, I was so grateful in how welcoming the staff was. They always made themselves available to me and the group I volunteered with. I knew that if I ever had any concerns that getting support would be so easy. One of my favorite things about the Projects Abroad staff was how protective they were of the volunteers. It was easy to see that they truly cared about us and wanted us to feel safe and have a good time.
I had the most amazing experience in Ghana and I know that I have Projects Abroad to thank. They made the whole process easy and provided me with so much support.
Projects Abroad provided me a way to see the medical field in Guadalajara,Mexico. I was fortunate to see so many cool things. It really affirmed my career path and made into a strong, young woman. As soon as I signed up, Projects Abroad supported me every step of the way. The host family I stayed with was incredible and I really enjoyed getting to know them. The only thing I would have done differently would be to extend my trip!
Was truly an amazing and life-changing experience. I attended their High School Special for medicine. The vast amount of clinical experience I got was amazing, and something I could never have dreamed of in the states. My in-country pickup from airport was wonderful and comforting, and my accommodation at Zaya's Hostel was splendid. Staff are all very friendly and informative. Projects Abroad truly sells their programs for what they are. I highly recommend using them, and would definitely attend more of their projects!
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