Projects Abroad


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

  • Izzy T.
    Age: 19-24
    University of Chicago
    An Incredible Year

    This program is for anyone with an adventurous spirit, compassion, and a good sense of humor! Since there are so many countries included in the Global Gap program, I will focus on stories from my ten week experience in South Africa. The projects offered are challenging and rewarding, and I have learned a lot about myself during them. In Cape Town while we worked at the Human Rights Office, I spent most of my time visiting three juvenile detention centers. I have never been so humbled and happy to work with people before, from playing games to creating constructive workshops to giving informative presentations. You are given a lot of freedom and responsibility in the project, and I appreciated that.

    You can have the rare combination of being both a tourist and a volunteer on this trip. The projects give you lots of time to explore and even connect you to activities outside of the project. Two of my favorite things I did on this trip were shark cage diving with great whites and jumping off the tallest commercial bungee jumping bridge in South Africa! These are two completely optional weekend activities that are priced separately, but well worth doing. The wonderful balance between enjoying what the country has to offer and giving back to the community is what makes this program superb.

    My favorite moments in South Africa are centered on my fellow Global Gaps. During Halloween our whole global gap group dressed up in hilarious costumes and took a bus into Cape Town's downtown, and I remember when we climbed Table Mountain together and celebrated at the top. Never underestimate the friends you will make on this trip. Project's Abroad was exactly what I wanted when I was searching for a gap year program. I did not want to travel without an organization, but I also wanted an organization that gave me freedom to tailor this trip to what I would get most out of it. I found both in Projects Abroad.

    I can assure you the other countries have equally impressive stories that you can experience as well. I would highly recommend this program, and it can be made your own. This trip is what you make it!

    Diving in Thailand
    Teaching in Peru
    Beach in South Africa
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  • Emily
    Age: 19-24
    Portland, Oregon
    Linfield College
    Incredible Trip!

    I could not have asked for a better experience volunteering in Argentina with Projects Abroad. I have traveled internationally before doing volunteer work and this was by far the most organized company/organization I have ever been with. Everyone at the office is so helpful and will personally assist you with any issues or concerns you may have. For example, I had trouble finding an ATM that would allow me to withdraw money and one of the coordinators walked me from bank to bank to help me solve the problem.

    The Law & Human Rights project is awesome! The coordinator, Vicky, is amazing! I spent 3 months working with this office and found my work diversified and challenging. I was able to work with young children and teens who were living in government institutions, along with the homeless, incarcerated youth, and victims of all sorts of human rights abuses. The office staff is great at getting you plugged in, but you also have to be willing to dive in head first! I worked long days, at least 8 hours but the staff is so understanding and easy to communicate with about work and personal issues.

    My host mom was great! I must admit I had some concerns regarding a host family but it turned out better than I could have hoped. I was assigned a roommate and I am so grateful! I made friends with other volunteers and was able to see some of their homes as well, and I can say that all of the host homes I saw were very clean and the families were so friendly! The office is great about planning social events so that you can meet other volunteers - one week they do a social and the other they do a community day where volunteers get together and...volunteer! This is an awesome way to meet volunteers from other projects outside of Law & Human Rights.

    How could this program be improved?

    Having fluent Spanish speaking be a requirement for volunteers! Due to the nature of the work with the community and vulnerable people, it is critical that you be able to communicate with clients! Knowing as much Spanish as possible will absolutely alter your experience.

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  • Lauren
    Age: 19-24
    Sonoma, CA
    Sonoma State University
    Conservation/ Teaching English

    I spent 6 weeks on the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador working on preserving and restoring its delicate ecosystem. That project lasted 4 weeks, and the last two weeks I spent helping teach English at a local high school.

    The family I stayed with was completely wonderful. They provided three meals a day (always filling and delicious) and even had a housekeeper! I was given my own private room and bathroom that had a separate entrance from the house itself. While I did not get as close to my host family as other volunteers did, I always enjoyed talking to them and their large extended family. My house was in a fairly central location and I could easily walk anywhere in the city in no more than 20 minutes!

    In regards to my volunteer experience, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. During the environmental portion, I was able to see and do things all over the island that tourists are unable to do. I fed tortoises over 100 years old, walked through and restored parts of the island that no tourist has been to before, etc. We ended each day by 1 o'clock, so I had the rest of the day to explore or just hang out on the beach with other volunteers!

    The teaching experience was OK. It was very easy (but slightly boring). I helped grade homework and tests, as well as helped the teacher with punctuation and grammar rules.

    The staff was extremely helpful in answering all questions I had and even helped me and my friends plan a weekend getaway to another island nearby.

    I would definitely recommend the environment program to anyone interested!!

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  • Alyssa Steinhoff
    Age: 18 or younger
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    University of Michigan
    Fiji Shark Conservation- An experience of a lifetime

    The Projects Abroad Fiji Shark Conservation Program was an amazing experience from start to finish. The staff were supportive and helpful before, during, and after my journey.
    Each day I was greeted with the warm faces of other passionate volunteers and friendly staff all ready for a day of hard but fun work. We were either preparing for dives, community outreach, or other activities such as planting mangroves that all contribute to shark conservation. Dive days were always my favorite because people would wake up energized and excited for the day. The atmosphere was always cheery and bright because everyone was so excited to get in the water. The staff were always supportive and encouraging but also effective in teaching us necessary work methods and techniques. Diving was new to me but I was trained well by the dive center in Pacific Harbour and my training continued each day in the water with the other volunteers and Projects Abroad staff.
    I would recommend this project to anyone passionate about conservation and saving our marine habitat.

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  • Kieran Tebben
    Age: 19-24
    Ohio State University
    Teaching for 4 weeks in the Galapagos Islands

    For four weeks this summer, I had the incredible opportunity to volunteer in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador through Projects Abroad teaching English to students ages 6-15. From the very first minute that we signed up for the project, Projects Abroad staff was incredibly helpful and supportive. The volunteer coordinator called us multiple times to make sure all of our questions were answered and we were prepared for the experience. In the country, the staff checked in with us daily about how we were adjusting and if we had everything we needed. They made it clear that they were there if we needed anything, even something as small as asking where to buy a water bottle or something as large as helping us plan a weekend trip. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and made an effort to get to know us and welcome us into their work family.

    Staying with a host family instead of in a hostel was an incredible decision and I'm so glad that Projects Abroad could set that up for us. I also didn't know when applying, but found out from the staff in the country, that a lot of our program fee goes to paying the host families to help them support us while we stay with them. My host family was amazing and I never heard any bad reviews from any other volunteers. The staff also made it clear that if we weren't comfortable with our host family, all we had to do was speak up and they would help us solve the problem. Staying in a host family's house really allowed us to grasp the culture and get a much closer look at how daily life on the islands looks.

    Teaching was such an amazing time! Although it was challenging that we did not have a curriculum, the kids were so great and working with them every day was so much fun and so rewarding that it made the challenge almost disappear. I really felt like we could connect with the kids and make as big an impact on them as they made on us!

    I would truly recommend Projects Abroad to anyone. They facilitated an amazing experience!

    How could this program be improved?

    Instituting a curriculum into the teaching program in Ecuador would make it 100 times better. When volunteers are placed, they likely have no ESL experience and the fact that no curriculum is in place makes it hard to know whether or not lessons are appropriate, helpful or constructive. While it is possible to make up lessons on your own and creativity is encouraged, a curriculum of topics that the children should cover would be helpful so that volunteers do not constantly re-teach what other volunteers already covered and really help to advance the students' knowledge.

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