Last summer I decided to volunteer through Projects Abroad in Tanzania. I had the opportunity to work at a school and an orphanage in the local village of USA River which is a Dala Dala (a Tanzania taxi bus of sorts) from the city of Arusha. Initially I part took in the 2 week high school special. This was an amazing way to meet other high school aged volunteers from around the world, with the same commitment to volunteering. I met some of my closest friends to this day, and they are from Holland, Dubai, while I am from the USA. Projects abroad will provide you with an experience that you won’t forget! I decide to stay an entire month because of the amazing staff I met, and their support encouraged me to continue volunteering. They are extremely supportive from the very first informational email, to the taxi back to the airport the staff was there for you. When I arrived in Tanzania one of the staff members picked me up from the airport, introduced me to the host family I was living with, and then the next day took me around the town to orient me to where I would be living. The next day a staff member took me to my volunteer placement at the school and helped me find my way around. While having the chance to be fully immersed in the Tanzanian culture the office also provided language lessons to enhance your experience. I went to two separate sections of classes and loved both the local teacher and support staff. I would without hesitation recommend Projects Abroad for your Volunteer Organization! If you want to be the change that you want to see, contact Projects Abroad today!
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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.
Volunteering at Taricaya with Projects Abroad was one of the best months of my life. From the hands on activities to the supportive staff, I could not have asked for a better experience! It was amazing to be able to meet so many people from all over the world and to work with them to further the conservation of the rainforest.
All of the staff was so knowledgeable and ready to teach the volunteers everything they could. I learned so much not only about the Peruvian rainforest and animals that live there, but also about cultures and languages from all over the world. When we weren’t doing activities, the staff was more than happy to talk about their experience and what they have learned over the years and even sometimes gave lectures about their specialties.
All in all, I would not trade my month at Taricaya with Projects Abroad for anything! It was absolutely an amazing month and I learned so much! If you’re interesting in the rainforest and are okay with not living in 5-star conditions and doing some manual labor this trip is definitely for you. I would recommend volunteering at Taricaya in a heartbeat! Oh, but don’t forget DEET because you can’t buy any good stuff there.
I gained a lot of both knowledge and experience by volunteering with Projects Abroad. I was able to observe and sometimes assist doctors in a clinic, participate in workshops, and spend some time with other volunteers. I liked specifically about Projects Abroad that I was able to choose the dates I went there and came back. Not only do they have a plethora of programs to choose from, but you can choose a program that is focused on something specific. For example, I chose a program focused on medicine. I also liked that we did some sightseeing in the evenings and weekends. Although I picked a program focused on medicine, we did not just learn about medicine. I saw some tourist attractions and did fun activities with other volunteers.
The staff was very supportive of the volunteers. They helped us and explained everything as best they could. Also, the house I stayed in during my time in Peru was great. I was provided a clean, nice bedroom and bathroom with everything I need. A tasty and sufficient breakfast, lunch, and dinner were also provided everyday by my host family. The other volunteers in my program were very kind and I got along with them as soon as I met them. They have made the program more enjoyable. We still keep in touch.
All in all, volunteering abroad with Projects Abroad is a great way to go! I made unforgettable memories and got some once in a lifetime experiences.
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!
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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