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

  • Vanessa McFarlane
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Tucson, Arizona
    Smith College
    Spring Break 2015- Jamaica
    05/13/2015

    I applied to Projects Abroad as recommendations from friends who volunteered with the same program. I had an incredible experience in Jamaica! The people were so nice, the culture and food was amazing, I had a terrific host mother, and the volunteers and project were great! I was put on a building site at a primary school in rural Mandeville. We were on the site for a couple of days just doing the foundation of a bathroom for the school children. We mostly mixed cement and poured it into the holes for the bathrooms. On one of our work days, we redid a house (which was one room with no running water) for a man and his daughter. We redid his roof, painted his walls, and replaced the floor. The most rewarding part of this day was when all the volunteers bought the man a new mattress for his bed. The work was challenging because it was all hard labor and there weren't any tools or equipment we could use. We mixed the cement ourselves. However, it was a lot of fun and I would definitely do it again! I had the best spring break I'd ever had!

    How could this program be improved?

    The program was a little too pricy. Fortunately, I got my school to help me fund this trip, but for anyone who doesn't have the necessary funds, they might find it quite difficult to be able to do something like this. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to volunteer abroad.

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  • Christine R
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Seattle, WA
    Seattle University
    Volunteering in Costa Rica
    05/11/2015

    I really enjoyed volunteering through Projects Abroad. From the very start, I was given very specific and clear instructions on how to prepare for my trip. I was confident that I could always get in touch with a staff member and receive the proper assistance. Once I actually arrived in Costa Rica, I had a great time. I enjoyed having the opportunity to live with a host family, which came with many benefits, such as learning about Costa Rican culture, as well as being able to participate in the activities they enjoy, such as taking a Zumba class. Furthermore, I was able to live and volunteer with another volunteer, so it was nice having another person there while I was trying to figure out how to get to and from my volunteer location. As for the volunteering itself, I loved it! I worked with a classroom full of hyper 3 year olds, and while it was exhausting, it was well worth it. Intially, I was concerned that my inability to speak Spanish might be an issue, but I quickly learned other ways to communicate, such as through gestures and body language. There seemed to be a good balance between volunteering and free time. Most of the time, I was free by 4pm, giving me the chance to explore a little and/or rest early, to combat the exhaustion. My general tips for people are to be prepared for how different the climate it: I got dehydrated easily, and really had to drink a lot of water to combat that! All in all, I had a wonderful experience, and I would recommend this program.

    How could this program be improved?

    One thing I recommend is connecting past volunteers with those who are either considering the program or are definitely going to use Projects Abroad. Having the perspective of someone who actually has completed a particular program would have been great, as it offers more than just a review or what a staff member can share.

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  • Katharine Lane
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Boulder, Colorado
    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
    Himalayan Conservation Project
    05/09/2015

    The time I spent in the beautiful Annapurna region of Nepal was the best time of my life. Our day to day schedule included either a bird or butterfly survey in the morning and setting out camera traps in the afternoon. We also went on many primate surveys. The camera traps we put out are to capture photographs and video footage of this region's rare mammals. Because this evidence is so rare, it's incredibly exciting when something does show up. The time spent with my fellow volunteers was the best part of the project. We became like a family by the end of my time there. The home stay families are such lovely people and love to embrace you into Nepali culture. I spent many afternoons learning to cook Nepali food in our family's kitchen. There is never a lack of activity on the weekends and because we got work off, we also planned a fun trip down to Pokhara or to the hot springs in a village nearby. I would definitely recommend this project and I would absolutely return myself!

    How could this program be improved?

    The one warning I would give is that it is a lot of physical activity. Our days are mostly filled with hiking and there really is no way out of it. Definitely be prepared if you're considering this project.

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  • Jessi
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    My Time with Projects Abroad
    05/07/2015

    As I am still in high school, I wasn't able to spend months abroad, so I decided to stay closer to home, North America, and travel to Argentina, to volunteer at a child center for a week. While I do wish that I had been able to stay longer, my time abroad was absolutely amazing! From the moment that I arrived, the Projects Abroad staff members met me with full support, and although I was extremely nervous to be by myself in a foreign country, unable to speak Spanish, they quickly helped me adjust. I was immediately taken to my host moms' house, where she greeted me very kindly, and then allowed me to sleep off my jet lag.
    From the day I arrived to the day I left, my host mom was wonderful; she loved to have conversations, she told me all about Argentina and its history, and the food she prepared for me was ridiculously good. On my first day there, she took my to this place in Argentina called the Artisans Market, where she showed me all of the hand-crafted, homemade items some Argentinian people were selling. On my second day in Argentina, I was picked up by a staff member who gave me a tour of the city, showed me how to get to the office, my placement, and a general idea of how to navigate around the city. For me, this was so helpful, as I am absolutely horrible with directions, yet, with his help, I found myself able to navigate around the city with ease. He answered any questions I had, and made sure I found the Projects Abroad Facebook page, so that I would be able to easily connect with other volunteers.
    Because I was only in Argentina for a week, I wasn't able to volunteer as much as I would have liked; however, I still had an amazing experience. I was placed at a child center in the outskirts of Cordoba, Argentina, where I helped care for toddlers. Because I was there around Easter, we were able to make chocolate Easter eggs for the kids, and decorate the center, which was such a fun activity! I will say that being around kids who speak only Spanish was a little intimidating at first; however, I found that communicating with 3 year olds isn't necessarily the most difficult challenge, so I resorted to playing games, puzzles, and watching cartoons with the kids. One of the little girls did keep pointing at a bracelet I was wearing, while asking me what it was, but I found that if I just kept smiling at her, or pulled out a different puzzle, she would quickly lose interest in my bracelet. (I couldn't answer because I have absolutely no idea how to say bracelet in Spanish).
    Overall, volunteering in Argentina was an amazing experience; the country is beautiful, the people are so kind, and the Projects Abroad staff in Argentina was so helpful, and they were constantly making sure I had everything I needed. I'm so happy I was given the opportunity for such a wonderful experience, and I am already planning a second trip through Projects Abroad for next year!

    How could this program be improved?

    Making the program more inexpensive.

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  • Cheyenne Turcotte
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Missoula, Montana
    University of Montana–Missoula
    Journalism in Cape Town
    04/28/2015

    My summer spent with Projects Abroad in Southern Africa is one that I will never forget. I stumbled upon their website inquiry form late one night while researching internship opportunities in Cape Town and was blown away by how supportive and helpful their staff was right from the get go. Within hours of submitting my request for more information I was connected with a volunteer coordinator who was able to answer all of my questions and help me get the ball rolling. This support was only intensified once I arrived in country. The entire staff at the Journalism Project (and head office) in Cape Town was always willing to share advice about great local activities, day trips, and sometimes, just a friendly face when you were feeling a bit homesick. A trip with Projects immerses you in the local culture immediately upon arrival. By living with local host families you get to experience the country in a way that you simply wouldn't as a tourist. Not only was my host mom a blast to be around, but she took care of us when we got sick. was always interested in how our day went, and would give us the inside scoop on amazing local places to check out. I felt so welcomed by her that the overwhelming stress of being jet lagged in a foreign country was gone right after she gave me a tour of the house, joined me for lunch, and helped me get settled. The Journalism project was a great experience and our editor in chief made it a point to get us out of the office and away from our computers and into the city. We attended other projects, were able to sit in on local Press Club luncheons, and got to hit the pavement and explore all of the different stories Cape Town had to offer. She also was incredibly flexible and helpful when it came to my college credit requirements. Filling out a pile of paperwork and surveys for me without even batting an eye. Down time was spent exploring with the other volunteers who quickly formed a close knit community even though people were coming and going quite literally every single day. Overall this trip was enlightening, exciting, and fulfilling in more ways that I could have ever imagined. I would recommend Projects Abroad to anybody looking to have an authentic work experience abroad with a safe and reliable company (who still know how to have a good time!)

    How could this program be improved?

    In all honesty the only thing that was stressful about this program was the price. My experience overall was fantastic but I would have appreciated a better breakdown of where my money was going. If you ask me, host families do NOT make nearly what they are worth.

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