I travelled to Nepal with Projects Abroad during my summer vacation looking for a way to experience a new culture and make a difference in a community. Not only did I accomplish both of those things, I also made amazing friends and memories to last a lifetime! Right from the start, Projects Abroad was extremely helpful and accommodating, answering any and all questions I had and providing guidance before I had even committed to a trip. The information they provided was always prompt, accurate, and accessible. Once you are accepted as a volunteer, you are given your own MyProjectsAbroad webpage where all the resources you will need can be easily found. Thanks to this page, I had no difficulty acquiring a visa, getting my vaccines, and preparing in every way for my trip. Projects Abroad also booked my flights for me, and while it was expensive, in my opinion it was worth it because they always booked me on very comfortable and safe airlines, and with relatively easy connections.
Because I am 17, the project I worked on was a High School Special, which means that from start to finish you have a coordinator or two assigned to your group that is always with you to help out, answer questions, and help you navigate a new city and culture. My coordinators were always kind and caring and I definitely would not have had the great experience that I did if it weren't for them. We stayed in a hotel with 2 or 3 people to a room. The hotel may not have been luxurious, but it was always safe and comfortable and a good place for relaxing and interacting with other volunteers after activities. As for the actual volunteering we were doing, we spent one week repainting the school building as it was pretty run-down. We even got to design our own murals to paint in the classrooms! This was fun and we got to see the immediate, lasting impact that our efforts had. On the weekend, we travelled to another city in Nepal where we did some hiking, sightseeing, and lots more cultural immersion. The second week was spent in the classrooms getting to teach and entertain the students. This was byfar the best part because they are so curious about other countries and eager to learn everything you can offer them. We taught them games, songs, and our mother languages and they were always so excited.
Now that I am home, I look back on those two weeks as the best of my life. I made friends from all over the world that hopefully one day I will get to visit in their own countries, and most importantly I really feel like I made a difference in the world.