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

  • 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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  • Elizabeth P.
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Other
    Amazing time in India!
    04/21/2015

    Projects Abroad made it very easy to arrange my trip to India. A staff member was always quick to respond to any questions I had before leaving, and they were just as responsive throughout my stay. I was extremely happy with the accommodations I had, although they were not the same family that was initially listed in my profile. Once I got settled into my veterinary medicine placement, I was extremely happy! I was placed with a doctor who made a sincere effort to teach me something new and different every day, and challenged me to constantly improve myself. I felt that I was making a big contribution as a volunteer while also learning, which was very important to me. Projects Abroad also provided several occasions to do some volunteer work outside of my placement, which I really enjoyed. I spent one day with about a dozen other volunteers cleaning up and painting an orphanage. We also got to interact with the children, which we all loved. Projects Abroad had weekly social gathering organized for all volunteers, which provided opportunities for us to meet each other and to plan other get-togethers on our own. Although I spent much of the week at my placement, I still had evenings and weekends to tour Jaipur and even take a few day trips to nearby cities, such as Agra. My host family always made sure we knew the best way to travel, and told us the expected cost for anything we planned to do. I liked that Projects Abroad arranged traveling to and from the airport, and had a long orientation day for each volunteer to help them adjust. Overall, I was very happy with my experience with Projects Abroad and would certainly travel with them in the future!

    How could this program be improved?

    I could have been more impressed with the communication when being picked up from the airport. When I arrived, there was no one there to pick me up like I was told. After about 30 minutes of looking, I tried to call every number that was listed on the emergency contacts of my information, and no one answered because it was late at night. No one showed up until I had been waiting outside the airport almost two hours.

    Photos:
    Elephants in Jaipur
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  • 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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