Projects Abroad

Provider

Projects Abroad is a global organization formed around the need for gap year programs abroad designed for students taking a break from studying. Since its inception, Projects Abroad has expanded to offer high school volunteer programs, and a vast variety of programs geared towards those taking a gap year or a career break. Visit the Projects Abroad website for more details on volunteer, teach, study and internship programs abroad.

Projects Abroad Volunteer

Programs from Projects Abroad

Program Reviews

  • maisiem
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    New Hampshire
    Dartmouth College
    Samoa Victim Support Group
    08/03/2015

    This summer, I spent 5 weeks volunteering with Projects Abroad in Samoa. I volunteered with Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG). I taught a classroom of 20 children aged 4-11. Having never taught before, I was nervous, but the Projects Abroad staff and the other volunteers provided an enormous amount of support. The Projects Abroad staff provided resources and facilitated conversations with other volunteers in which they shared their experiences and offered ideas. The Projects Abroad staff organized weekly socials in which we experienced Samoa together. These socials consisted of events like preparing an umu (a traditional way of cooking in Samoa), zumba class, and going out to dinner together. My host family was amazing! My host mother also worked with SVSG, and that connection provided another level of familiarity and comfort with the organization. As a vegetarian, I was nervous about being able to eat enough food, but my host mother experimented with her favorite traditional dishes and made vegetarian versions. My host siblings were so welcoming and I enjoyed playing rugby and soccer with them in the yard. The Projects Abroad staff was there for me during my entire experience. On my first day, they showed me around Apia and pointed out many important places including the main bus station which I would be using to commute to my placement. The Projects Abroad staff hosted workshops during my time which included a cultural workshop and a goals workshop. It was great to meet other volunteers from around the world and travel with them around Samoa during the weekends. My favorite things to do included hiking Mt. Vaea, snorkeling at Pololo Deep, and exploring the island of Savai'i. I would recommend this experience to anyone looking to volunteer abroad!

    How could this program be improved?

    I would organize a better line of communication between SVSG and ProjectsAbroad.

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  • Kayla
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Pensacola, Florida
    Care and Community-High School Special in Jamaica
    07/29/2015

    I volunteered for Projects Abroad's 2-week Care and Community High School Special program for a summer camp at a primary school for children 4-17 years old around the Knockpatrick community. From the moment I signed up 9 months prior to my trip to Jamaica, my Projects Abroad volunteer advisors, travel team advisors, and other administration officers were very helpful and quick to answer all of my pre-departure questions, find the cheapest flights for me, and make sure I packed everything I needed for the trip. The Jamaica staff asked us how we were liking Jamaica, our placements, and accomodations, and if we had enough to eat and drink, if we have enough supplies to work with at our placements, and if we felt comfortable at our host family's home frequently to make sure we were all doing well during our stay. The children we worked with were underprivileged; some do not have much to eat at home, some do not have access to technology and other school supplies we deem necessary, and others do not receive much love and support from their families. The staff at our placement came up with numerous fun and creative activities for us to do/help the children with; some of which include many different arts and crafts projects for the children to enjoy and take home, scavenger and treasure hunts, photography, quiz competitions, acting out life lessons like being honest and helping the elderly, and teaching etiquette and sign language. Seeing the big smiles on the children's faces and hearing their loud laughter when they finished their arts and crafts, when we let them use our phones and cameras to take pictures, when we played all sorts of games with them outside, and etc. Our host family made us feel so at home. They always made sure we had plenty to eat for all our meals, and let us choose what type of sandwiches we wanted to take with us to our placements for lunch each day. The other volunteers at the home and I really felt like we were part of their family. The daily social events at the Projects Abroad office let all of the volunteers from the different high school special programs to get to be together with everyone, instead of only seeing people from our individual programs for 2 weeks.Since we were on the high school special program, the staff made sure we were always with at least one of the staff members, our host family, or a taxi driver for Projects Abroad to keep us safe. It was great to be able to learn so much about Jamaica's beautiful culture, provide joy and love to the underprivileged children, as well as become great friends with and learn about the other volunteers from all over the world. The girls and I could not believe that we had only been together for such a short amount of time, because it felt like we had been friends for years... but the 2 weeks went by so quickly, it felt like it was only 4 days! If you are a high school student looking for a great program to work with children, learn about Jamaica's food, language, way of life, and see some of Jamaica's beautiful scenery, I definitely recommend going on one of Projects Abroad's high school special programs!!

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  • Jordan
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Minneapolis, MN
    University of Minnesota
    Earthquake Disaster Relief
    07/27/2015

    Projects Abroad made my time in Nepal volunteering so, so amazing! As a volunteer, I was supported so much by them throughout every step of my trip - before even leaving my country all the way through being dropped off at the airport at the end of my project. I had never traveled outside of the United States prior to this trip, so I was quite nervous about pretty much everything. I needn't have worried, however; the staff had planned out everything to make the whole process run smoothly, and were well prepared to take on any problems that arose throughout my time there.
    On the Disaster Relief Project, volunteers stayed in large guest houses, with about 20 volunteers as well as the host family that lived there. Living conditions were, admittedly, a bit crowded with this many of us, but it was all a great part of the experience. Also, you really get to make some great friends with other volunteers from all over the world while living together, which is truly amazing.
    At work, we were given the task of rebuilding a school that had been destroyed in the earthquake. I went in knowing nothing about construction, building, or anything of the sort, but with the help of other volunteers and the staff, you pick up on everything very quickly. We spent our days digging, mixing cement, passing bricks/buckets of sand and dirt, making walls, painting, and laying floors, among other tasks. On top of that, being monsoon season in Nepal, conditions were very wet, rainy, and muddy. Walking across the site often consisted of slipping through the mud, or sinking ankle deep in muckier areas. Everyone is in the same situation, however, which really makes it quite fun, and the rain provides some relief from the hot Nepal sun that can make all of the hard work even more exhausting.
    Volunteers also have the opportunity to spend one or two days at the end of every week going to one of three sites - and children's HIV center, a malnutrition/earthquake victim center, and a school - and spend the day with the kids there. This is such a great way to have a direct impact on the children of the area, and it's so much fun, as well as a nice break from the hard work being done all week on site.
    Weekends consist of either traveling to the major tourist sites of Nepal - Chitwan National Park or Pokhara - which is all organized by Projects Abroad, or staying in Kathmandu, where volunteers get to see many of the major attractions and sites around the city.
    This project is truly so amazing. In the short period of time I was there, I watched the school we were building come along so far. It's really great seeing first hand the impact you're making. Projects Abroad does a great job taking care of their volunteers, and I highly recommend them to anyone looking to do a trip abroad.

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  • Ruby
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    New York
    High School Medical Special in Bolivia
    07/21/2015

    I participated in Projects Abroad High School Summer Medical Special in Bolivia. I am interested in the medical field so I thought this would be a great way to expand my knowledge, which it definitely did. We did medical workshops almost everyday along with activities to help the community. Some of the work we did included spending time with children at a burns unit and just giving them someone to talk to. Another day we went and learned traditional Bolivian dances at a retirement home for one of the resident's birthdays. Among these rewarding experiences, we got real experience in a medical environment that wouldn't be possible elsewhere! I spent one morning observing a consultation doctor's office, and the afternoon in the emergency room watching emergency procedures. We even got to watch a dental surgery. What made it even better was that the group of people I was with were all very friendly and equally as enthusiastic about all the great work we did. Plus, I got to stay with an amazing family which made my Spanish much better! I'm so happy with the time I spent in Bolivia and will never forget the great memories and experiences that I made there!

    How could this program be improved?

    There isn't much I'd change about this program, especially since I believe it was the first time they had done this trip in Bolivia so any problems were understandable.The only thing I would've liked to see was a more finalized schedule for each day so I knew exactly what to expect and how to prepare.

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  • Elizabeth
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    University of Pittsburgh
    Fun and Valuable Experience
    07/20/2015

    I recently just completed a study abroad trip with Projects Abroad in Shanghai and my placement was a medical internship. I am a pre-med student and I knew that Shanghai was becoming developed and I wanted to also experience the medical system of another country and of another culture. The hospital I was placed in was one of Shanghai's top teaching hospitals and many doctors are well known in the country. A picture of me even went on the news for a liver transplant between father and son. I was placed in the departments I wanted to be in and being in the surgery room was very rewarding. Internal medicine departments were as well because I got to see patient medical histories and listen to how the doctors would treat these patients according to their day to day conditions. The accommodation was down to earth Shanghainese style but fully equipped and decent in size. There's around five volunteers in a flat and the rooms are very nice (sheets and blankets provided). Tap water is not available for drinking in Shanghai so drinkable water was also provided. I do not think host family is an option for the Shanghai option for the China study abroad but if it is, I would think it'd be a more rewarding experience because it really lets you into the life of a Shanghainese family. The volunteers who I stayed with were coincidently all placed on a medical internship as well and it was so fun to go to and from work each day together, eat lunch at the cafeteria and share our stories. Getting around Shanghai was easy especially with the staff support. They picked us up and also help us call taxis to the airport. They checked up on us and was always there to help when we call or message them. We get an allowance for the trip duration (for food, sightseeing or other necessities) and even if you feel that it won't be enough to spend, it actually will be. I used it on trying out the different local authentic restaurants. And it was also worth it to go souvenir shopping (so definitely go with your flat-mates). Overall it was a valuable experience and I hope I could apply to go abroad to another city.

    How could this program be improved?

    I could not think of what needs improved actually because I like the authentic Shanghainese lifestyle in the accommodation and placement.

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