Projects Abroad

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9 / 10 after 196 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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My name is Timothy, and I am from Central NJ. As a junior in high school, I became fascinated with the idea of traveling to Africa, and seeing another part of the world. I decided on Tanzania with Projects Abroad, due to the country’s safety and well known safaris. I worked in a total of four different hospitals, as I was in a medical based learning group. It was so interesting to see how different medicine was practiced, and how much local doctors cared about their community. I not only had the chance to shadow doctors during my two weeks, but I also was able to distribute drugs to the community, take vital signs, and interact with all the patients. In Tanzania, all of the patients were so thankful for my time there, and trusted us fully with what we were supposed to do.
When not working, I had some of the coolest experiences. One minute I was on a van through a National Park to see the big game animals, and then another moment I watched the Maasai villagers perform their traditions.
Projects Abroad provided a supportive and entertaining staff. I never felt in any danger or any point uncomfortable with my living space. Every morning, I would go downstairs to be warmly greeted by my friendly host family and other volunteers to have a nice authentic breakfast. While towards the end I definitely missed American meat, the experience was incredible and I tried many new dishes. Projects Abroad was the perfect organization to volunteer with.

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Location:
Posted: November 7, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: tscafaria
Age:
18

As an undergraduate student in the United States who plans to go to graduate school I am always looking for ways to make my graduate school applications look more competitive. The idea of volunteering abroad hadn't really come into mind until a guest speaker came to speak in one of my classes. I want to become an occupational therapist, and in one of my occupational therapy classes, a woman came to speak about her experience volunteering professionally abroad. I immediately knew that I wanted to do something like that. She recommended Projects Abroad and when I got home I immediately started researching.

Things happened really fast, I was filling out the application then I was submitting it, shortly after I was accepted into an occupational therapy program in Vietnam!

At first I was worried about being able to pay the fees (which are very reasonable considering the benefits of the program) but their website has a really cool fundraising page that makes it really easy for friends and family to donate money online. It didn't take very long for me to raise enough money to cover almost all of my program fees.

Projects Abroad staff does an amazing job of preparing you for your trip. When you are accepted you are given access to your own web page that explains everything you can expect about your trip. Months before I even left I felt like I was prepared fully for what I was going to be doing, what the culture was like, what I needed to bring with me, etc. I felt totally confident about the trip before I even left, and that's saying something as I had never left the United States prior.

As the staff does a fantastic job at preparing you for your trip, they do a great job of supporting you while you are there as well. My flight came in to Vietnam at about 11pm and they had set everything up for me ahead of time so a driver was waiting for me at the airport the very next day a staff member personally showed me around the city, took me out for lunch and gave me very detailed explanation of my project.

The next day, I started at the project. I was working at a rehabilitation center for children in a more rural part of Hanoi. Monday through Friday I would stay at the rehabilitation center in a volunteer room with other volunteers and our translators. We all got really close and formed really great relationships because of that. During the weekends we would go back to the main city of Hanoi and stay with other volunteers who were working on other projects. It was amazing because during the week we were able to work with the children, but during the weekends we were free to travel and experience the city. During my 4 weeks in Vietnam I was able to travel to Sapa and Ha Long Bay and visit many museums and sites within the city of Hanoi. I would not trade any of those experiences for anything.

Working with the children was the most meaningful though. Not only did I gain valuable experience with occupational therapy, but I was able to get to know each of the children that I worked with. It was sincerely an amazing experience, and I wouldn't have had such a great experience if it weren't for the staff constantly offering support and making sure that my time in Vietnam was good for me. If you want to have a valuable and transformative experience, but also feel safe and comfortable I highly recommend Projects Abroad.

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Location:
Posted: November 1, 2015
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
9
Age:
21

I went on my five week expedition with Projects Abroad in January of 2015. However, my experience with Projects Abroad started long before that point.

Projects Abroad came to my school every year during the volunteer fair at the beginning of the school year. The people at the booth were always friendly and knew a lot about the program. They sold its diversity and because of those booths, I kept this organization on the back of my mind. In the summer of 2014 I was finally ready to actually try going abroad and volunteering. The Projects Abroad website provided me with all of the information that I needed and it was easy to navigate. After I applied, the support I received was phenomenal.

In Tanzania, I was in the Medicine program at Mwananyamala Hospital in Dar Es Salaam. That experience was what made everything worth it. During the five weeks that I was at the hospital, I rotated through the laboratory, the minor surgical ward, the major surgical ward, obstetrics, gynaecology, and paediatrics. The doctors in most of the wards were extremely helpful and taught us a lot of the medicine that they were practicing. It was a very hands on experience and I not only got to learn a lot, but I got to do a lot as well.

A really cool thing that they did in Dar Es Salaam was have Dirty Days. These days wouldn't be spent doing the normal project, but would instead have all of the volunteers from all of the programs come together and help the community. I ended up spending a day at an orphanage and another day painting a couple classrooms.

The only critique that I have has to do with how I ended up choosing my country. There are so many places to go that narrowing down your choices has to do with 1) Your personal travelling desires and 2) The differences between the programs between countries. For me, the differences of the medical program were not clearly defined during my investigation phase and I was personally told that every country, in Africa, was the same. Part of me felt lucky that I had chosen to go to Tanzania and had gotten the hands on experience I did. However, because I did not go to any other country with Projects Abroad, I cannot conclusively say that my experience would have been any worse of better had I instead chosen to go to Ghana, which had been my original first choice.

Overall, the experience was completely worth it. There was so much support from Projects Abroad that it felt like it was impossible to go wrong.

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Posted: October 30, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10
By: tkimnp
Age:
23

The Project's Abroad High School Special is an excellently run program.Within that category I chose the program Medicine and Spanish for 2 weeks. I was thoroughly impressed with the immense variety of volunteer opportunities. I chose the program I did because it suited the fact that I wanted to become a doctor as well as it allowed me to practice my Spanish language skills. The program coordinators provided excellent support and provided transportation (a mix of public and private). As a minor, I found this very comforting as I was alone in a different country. The lady I stayed with, Dora, was very friendly and very entertaining. She took great care of me and made sure that I always had enough to eat. The volunteer placements were very unique and my activities ranged not only in type but also intensity. Some days we met locals and tried local culture and activities (such as zip-lining and going to the market), while other days we spent at hospitals shadowing doctors and watching surgery. Overall, I was thrilled with the quality of homestay family, food, and volunteer placement. The only advice I would give is to chose a month in which the weather is better in Argentina. I chose a month in which it was winter in Argentina and I would advice against that just so that you do not have to lug a jacket around and I did get a slight cold! As well, you can enjoy the scenery and vegetation. I strongly recommend that anyone who wants to go abroad and experience a different culture in a safe and friendly environment.

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Location:
Posted: October 17, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
16

In January 2015, I volunteered abroad in Arusha, Tanzania with Projects Abroad. I spent 5 weeks working on the Microfinance project, and had an amazing experience! I’ve always been interested in travel, volunteering and entrepreneurship, so this was the perfect project for me as we got to spend time working with women to build individual and group businesses.

My host family, staff, and other volunteers were very welcoming and friendly which made the experience even better. I’ve actually kept in touch and have visited some of the volunteers I met during my time in Arusha. The project was very interesting, and revolved around us managing microloans for the women we worked with. We would help them keep track of their books and we would spend time working with them on English and Math lessons. We also gave them feedback for their businesses and helped come up with new ideas for group businesses. On the weekends, I had plenty of time to explore the country. Two big highlights for me would be getting to go on a safari, and getting to visit a Maasai village. Overall this was an amazing experience that I urge everyone to try at least once!

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Location:
Posted: October 9, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: emcnulty
Age:
26

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