I volunteered in the city of Cordoba for the Argentina Projects Abroad. The overall experience of the trip was absolutely incredible and had a large affect on my prospecitive of the world. I first decided to volunteer because I had a semester where I was not taking classes and was able to get the time off of work. I had only been out of the country once and had never traveled by myself. I wanted a trip that would place me out of my comfort zone and allow me to build my indepedence. This trip did just that! I do not speak Spanish very well so I was a bit overwhelmed traveling alone when I got about halfway on my journey as it took me some time to figure out the different airports but I wouldn't change a single thing. It tested my ability to figure things out for myself and my communication skills. Once I arrived in Cordoba I instantly felt extremely comfortable. I was picked up at the airport and brought directly to my host families house. My family was amazing and I had a blast living at the home for 3 weeks. I did have another volunteer as a roomate which was extremely nice because she had already been there for 3 months and could show me around the city as well as introduce me to other volunteers. During my placement I worked at a daycare facility with 0-4 year olds playing with them, planning daily learning activities, and helping out wherever I was needed with different task around the daycare. The kids were absolutely amazing and I instantly fell in love with them. It was a bit difficult at first because the other teachers and the kids spoke no english and I was not fluent in Spanish. I did pick up enough to communicate with the children and to feel comfortable instructing them on different tasks. We tried to focus on doing activites that would really help the children learn. We worked on colors, numbers, letters, made masks to learn the parts of the face, and colored Easter eggs to hang up the week of Easter. It was so great getting to know the kids and forming relationships with them. I loved getting to plan activities and really have freedom to plan what we would be working on each day. I also really enjoyed having the opportunity to meet so many other amazing volunteers! I made so many life long friends and it was so great to get all of there different stories. One of the weekends I was there was Easter weekend so we had Friday offf of work. Projects Abroad organized a volunteer trip for us that weekend to Mendoza which was incredible! We did vineyard tours, rafting, trekking, and mountain repelling off the side of the Andes Mountains. It was unforgettable. I would love to go back to Argentina or to travel with Projects Abroad to another location to volunteer for a second time. I learned so much about volunteering, the organizations, the country, and especially myself.
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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.
My overall experience with Projects Abroad was amazing and high beneficial. The staff that we worked with was accommodating and generally excited to be helping us and guiding us through our study abroad experience and the country.
I went on this study abroad opportunity with one of my education honor societies, and the trip was a chance for us to grow both professionally and personally. We all left feeling as though we gained a once in a life time experience and stronger educators. The Projects Abroad Costa Rica staff set up an amazing placement in a local day care with a staff that was excited to be working with us. In addition, they also set us up with a host family that was very supportive and happy to have us stay with them. The family was very nice and took wonderful care of all of us. Providing us with a safe and warm place to call home for the time we spent in Costa Rica.
Even though there was a huge language barrier for most of us (only a few of us had a Spanish background), I never felt out of place and confused by what was going on. Our guide was helpful and provided us with the necessary support and guidance that we needed. He was always up for the help and made our experience with it. During our trip, my roommate fell sick, and was taken care of by the entire staff at Projects Abroad Costa Rica and our host family.
This is a great organization to work with and I would highly recommend it to someone that is interested in working and studying abroad any time soon.
My time with Projects Abroad in Costa Rica was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was placed with an amazing host family who allowed me to strengthen my language skills and emerge in a new culture. For two weeks, I was given a variety of Costa Rican dishes including breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. I also loved that I had younger host siblings to interact with as well as other international students. The entire living situation improved my language skills in just two weeks.
During my volunteer experience, I, along with 13 others girls worked at a child care center where the children and teachers were mainly underprivileged. With our educational background knowledge, we were able to host workshops so the teachers can provide their students with a proper and meaningful education once we left. Knowing that we made a huge difference in the lives of the teachers and students alike was the greatest gift we could have received.
Working with underprivileged children is not easy but we had a great support group through Projects Abroad. We had a translator/assistant with our group at all times during the volunteer hours which helped in tremendous ways. Freddy, our translator/assistant, made our trip fun and worth it. I would volunteer in the future, especially with Projects Abroad.
Overall, the Projects abroad staff was incredibly supportive, helpful, and accommodating. Not only did they make us feel comfortable and welcome as soon as we got off of the plane, but they continued to offer their assistance in any way possible and the staff member that accompanied us throughout our daily activities was amazing and certainly added to the overall experience I had in Costa Rica. I was there for two weeks and always felt safe and taken care of. Not only did projects abroad help plan activities, like dinners, trips to the beach, and other excursions before we arrived, but they also helped us plan last minute activities after we had arrived too. They were able to make last minute zip lining reservations and were easy to work in. They made sure that we were happy and could do what we wanted. Our placement in a local host family's house was great and we had no problems with our living arrangement. I went with a group of 14 girls, and they were able to house almost all of us in the same home. The volunteer placement at a local daycare was only a 25 minute drive, and they provided transportation that was never a problem. The first week we were there, we were arriving to the daycare before the children, and we were a bit confused as to what our role was. But, they quickly adjusted the time that we were picked up, and we arrived an hour later the next week. We felt a little uncomfortable in our placement at first, as we were unsure what our role was and what exactly we should be doing. After a couple days, we got the hang out of and felt more comfortable. Projects Abroad also has a lot of information on their website for people to read before they travel to their destination, it was specific and incredibly helpful to read and have a checklist provided for us of things to bring. The travel guide on the website covered all of the possible elements to expect, like what to bring, what to expect with our host family, and the general culture that we would be immersed in. The staff contacted us multiple times via email and phone before our trip in order to make us feel comfortable and answer any questions we may have. Overall, I was extremely happy with the accommodations and staff. They really care about you and want to make you happy, the projects abroad staff even attended dinners with us and truly just wanted us to enjoy our time in the country. This was my first time traveling abroad and I would definitely do it again with this organization. If you are new or nervous about traveling, this organization will make is easy and comfortable for you, as they are happy to do so.
I had always been interested in volunteering abroad and decided on joining Projects Abroad for their 2 Week Care and Community project in Nakuru, Kenya. My parents we reassured about safety after reading through continuous satisfactory reviews, and through receiving emails and phone calls from both the Kenyan and New York Projects Abroad offices.
Upon my arrival to Nairobi, Kenya, I was greeted by two staff members who were very friendly, took my bags, and led me to a minivan with a driver, and two other volunteers who had also recently landed at the airport. We then drove to a guest house were we spent the night before our three hour drive to Nakuru. Once in Nakuru, we arrived at the house of our host mother, Miriam. Miriam had a beautiful, gated, five bedroom home. She was very kind, as was her caring housemaid, Lynette, who assisted us with anything that we needed and cooked our meals. I truly felt at home and comfortable at Miriam’s.
Our work consisted of renovating a classroom in a school that was in bad condition. We worked in the mornings to sand the walls, put in a new floor, and repaint the classroom. We would then go home for lunch, and later tend to children at care centers, such as a baby orphanage. I can’t describe how much our work was appreciated. We even took a Swahili lesson and a local dance workshop. On the weekends we visited lakes, went on a safari, and enjoyed the wildlife and souvenirs at local markets.
I was more than satisfied with my experience with Projects Abroad and I would certainly recommend it to anyone who is interested in seeing the world in a different light. My two weeks in Nakuru were exciting and adventurous, and I’ve created new friendships that I will never forget. I am grateful to Projects Abroad for guiding me through every step of the way of such an exciting moment in my life.
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