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

  • Emma Macadam
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Atlanta, Georgia
    University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
    Teaching in the Galapagos!!
    04/08/2015

    I went to the Galapagos Islands to teach English for a month though the program Projects Abroad. The staff was incredibly supportive, not only passionate about their work, but also personable and kind to every volunteer. Immediately I felt looked out for and like all my needs we're being met. For my teaching project, I worked at one of the local high schools. I was paired with an English teacher and helped him plan lessons, grade, and worked with him on his pronunciation. I lived with a well selected host family. Every volunteer had such a great experience with their families and the staff constantly checked in to make sure there were not issues. I had the opportunity to see so much on the galapagos, it was far and away better than I could have ever imagined. I met so many amazing people, locals and volunteers. Projects abroad really immerses you into the culture of the country and by the end you feel like a local, living with a family, working with locals, discovering the secrets to the country or area that tourists don't always know about. I always felt safe and loved every minute of my volunteer trip!

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  • Anonymous
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Australia
    Central Queensland University
    Diving In Cambodia
    03/17/2015

    Getting to the island was so scary. I was put on a bus with no other English speakers and told my trip would be 3 hours long, 8 hours later with no food we got to a beach where I was told to get out and ushered onto a small wooden boat that looked like it would sink. Luckily I survived the trip to the island.
    The accommodation and bathrooms were so unhygienic I got sick almost immediately. There's no septic system so you have to put all of your used toilet paper in a opened bin beside the toilet which is in the same room as the shower facilities. There's nowhere to wash your hands and to flush the toilet your pour water down the bowl.
    I also have a pre-existing medical condition that I was told I would be able to manage over there until I arrived and found the medical facilities on the island were very basic and almost non existent. I was apparently not the first person worried about this as diving is a dangerous activity and can require medical attention. I was also worried when I found out not one staff member knew first aid.
    The staff are very friendly at first then become immediately standoffish on the second day. The only time they lighten up is when they are drinking which is most nights.
    I'm a young person and enjoy a drink or few but not every night. I also felt very out of place because some of the people in charge were younger than I was and were almost only interested in sleeping with the volunteers. Even though most of the volunteers were already sleeping together or had done in the past.
    There are posters all over the accommodation that state no drugs on the program. This couldn't be further from the truth. Almost every volunteer was smoking marijuana and taking pills every day and would come back to the house out of their brains. Not to mention certain staff felt it okay to supply the volunteers with drugs and were happy to do it with them.
    There was also very little conservation work happening at all. Volunteers could work on their "own projects" which mostly consisted of us watching movies or reading each other's books. Only a few volunteers had actually collected any relevant data while most of them had not even researched anything, we just tagged along on the dives.
    I also didn't even see a seahorse in my time on the island. I was told they'd seen 4 seahorses but I find that hard to believe.
    The food was very mediocre to poor quality. If you don't like rice, don't go. That's what I survived on and occasionally ate fish. The chicken was disgusting and pork often still had skin and hair attached as well as parts of bones. There were so many times when no one even knew what the meat was. There are so restaurants on the island that do amazing food though so I recommend those.
    There is no interaction with the community other than the children saying hello every time you walk by. I was advertised that we would be teaching and interacting with children as well as teaching them about conservation only to find this was never a part of the program.
    When I left not one person from projects abroad contacted me or even saw me to the airport. I was simply put in a taxi and dropped off.
    Two weeks after I returned home the project manager emailed me and asked how I was as they hadn't heard from me, they weren't even aware that I had returned home.
    For the amount of money you pay it's definitely not worth it. Apparently a girl left before I got there, she changed her flights home. I wish I was fortunate enough to do that because I would have gotten out of there in the first week.

    On the plus side:
    I made some amazing friends who were equally as disgusted as I was at the organisation and overall let down of the program.
    I also enjoyed the experience of seeing another country and culture.

    I would not however recommend this to anyone unless they are into 'cheap drugs and alcohol' and watching movies every day and going for the occasional dive.

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    Response from Projects Abroad
    04/09/2015
    This review has astonished our community in Cambodia and overseas. We have received nothing but positive feedback through all of our official channels, and we have been working to identify the authenticity of this review. Our project is run by qualified professionals whose primary focus is marine conservation and dive training. Health and safety are a top priority and illegal activity of any kind is absolutely not tolerated by our team or by the community on the island. We are happy to provide evidence of our qualifications, impact and health and safety procedures to anyone concerned. We would like to connect with the author of this review, as these allegations are being taken very seriously, and do not represent the feedback from any volunteer on the project to date. Jessica Warner Operations Manager (Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam) & Head of Programme Development __________________________________ Projects Abroad
  • Chelsea
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Nadi, Fiji
    State University of New York at Fredonia
    Nutrition Project
    03/11/2015

    A spur of the moment decision to volunteer led me to find Projects Abroad and a nutrition project in Fiji. I spent a few days researching different organizations. Many were appealing, however, Projects Abroad seemed to be a very reputable organization that had nearly everything that I was looking for.
    From my initial submission of the application I was receiving emails and assistance on how to efficiently finish the other requirements. With the guidance of a volunteer advisor I was assisted on the application process, all of the required documentation, flights and itinerary, visa questions, travel insurance, as well as, general advise for travel.
    I spent 4 weeks on the nutrition project. I took part in the early stages of the projects and was given the opportunity to experiments and implement programs. Although I was unable to make any major contributions to the project in terms of new ideas, I played a role in the existing program. Much of my time was spent going into the public schools around Nadi and providing free health checks to the teachers. This included taking and recording their name, age, height, weight, waist and hip measurements, blood pressure, and blood sugar readings. From there we would consult with them on their lifestyle and health and introduce them to the "kana vin aka/healthy eating challenge" and exercise programs.
    My experience volunteering was so much more than just the project itself. There 4 weeks would not have been the same without the influence of my host family, the other volunteers, and the PA staff. I was so welcomed by my host family and was grateful for the experience and opportunity to learn about their culture. I was also glad to have met the other volunteers and I can now say that I have many new friends (from all over the world!). Vinaka vakalevu to the Projects Abroad organization and more importantly to the wonderful PA staff and host families of Nadi, Fiji.

    How could this program be improved?

    Since I have left the program the biggest setback has been taken care of. A new country director has been hired! The only other problem that I encountered was relating to preparedness for the project. Specifically with the nutrition project it would have been nice to know that we were expected to come up new ideas (which is fantastic!) but for me, if I had known beforehand, I could have brainstormed prior to reaching Fiji rather than spending a few days trying to come up with programs.

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  • Alexandra Lack
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Calgary, Alberta
    Other
    Nutrition Project in Fiji
    03/04/2015

    From the moment I stepped foot on the majestic island of Fiji, I knew I was going to have the most wonderful experience of my life!

    While I was in Fiji, not only was I able to experience a new and exciting country and meet some incredible people, I was able to make an impact on a developing country. During my stay, Projects Abroad was very good about giving the volunteers plenty of time to explore Fiji. In the evenings and on weekends we were able to go to different islands, scuba dive, snorkel and even sky dive. The best part was, even when we were working, it was the time of our lives.

    Seeing the locals during our health screenings, you could see the genuine appreciation. It was an amazing experience and I would do it again in a heart beat!!

    How could this program be improved?

    The only thing I would change about this program, is splitting the volunteers up a little more evenly. There were a lot more volunteers in Nadi than in Lautoka so a lot of my friends in Lautoka felt like they were not included in the activities with the other volunteers.

    Photos:
    Nutrition Volunteers on the Mini Bus from Nadi to Lautoka
    Myself with my Host Mom and Host Dad on my last day in Fiji
    Beautiful Christmas Eve sunset
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  • karen choe
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    United States
    New York University
    My experience in Nepal
    03/04/2015

    Nepal simply took my breath away and I still dream of visiting again. I signed up for the program because I was pre-med in college and wanted a new perspective of medicine, which Projects Abroad offered in their medicine program placed in Chitwan, Nepal.
    The program sets you up in a 5 day a week placement at Chitwan Medical College. You choose where to volunteer - I chose pediatrics and emergency for the first two weeks, then operating room for the rest of my time. I saw some seriously crazy surgeries first hand.
    You are given so much independence in the program. It is very much what you make it. If you reach out and talk to the doctors, they'll love to talk to you. If you don't reach out, you won't get anything out of it (as I saw some people struggled with)
    The staff of the program is so friendly and I miss everyone so much.

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