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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.


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Yes, I recommend this program

I went to Tanzania for tree weeks, together with my daughter, working in a private school in a village outside of Moschi. It was very interesting to see how they where teaching the kids, the languise was only Englisch, i think it would make more sence wen they explain the exercisis in Kishuaeli.
I was together with tree teachers, taking care of 40 kids between two and five years old. Even the smallest children was tought the letters, i would prefore if they would play more and learn that way!!
I had a lot of fun learning the kids to wasch hands after Toilet etc. Drinking water during the day, all kind of better hygieine avoing illness.
All teachers were very kind and open minded, very exited to hier how we do in Europe. And how we treat children, also talking about Childrens Right!!
The Family we were living with, was the most lovely people you can think of. Me and my daughter had a great time, i really apriciate having this fantastic expirience together with her. The hold journie was an extraordinary expierience and i higly can recoment Project Abroad as an Organisation, i would choose them again.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Two years ago I spent six weeks in Costa Rica, volunteering in Barra Honda National Park. I was sleeping at the entry of the national park. Outside there was only nature. In the morning I would come out of the room hearing the sound of birds and howler monkeys, seeing butterflies flying around and enjoying the smell of the forest. After a good breakfast we would usually go hiking for around three hours, doing some kind of survey on monkeys, butterflies or birds. We'd do some camp activities in the afternoon and then go out to do bat surveys sometimes. Being the only volunteer for the first three weeks enable me to get to know the staff better and have a deeper insight in the life of locals. During the weekends I was able to travel a bit. I even did some diving were I saw beautiful fishes, octopus, rays and some sharks. I was feeling connected to nature and myself again.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I was there during the finals of the football worldcup. Football is quite a big deal in Latin America so we were watching one of the final match on TV. At some point, the guy on the TV screamed "GOOOAAAAAL", poeple were cheering and then we all heared howlings behind us. We turned our heads and saw a group of howler monleys on the trees behin us. They were watching the match with us, cheering with us. It was such a wonderful moment!
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Yes, I recommend this program

It’ll be a bit of a stretch to give you a proper insight into my experience, and at the same time not say too much because part of the magic is that you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Here’s my attempt: I was 18 when I started my roughly four month long trip, which is over a year ago now, had just finished school and wanted to go abroad before starting university. I loved the idea of a fairly small country with high mountains as well as tropical climate and a rich culture. And I love Asia. Arriving at a crowded airport alone, in a different part of the world, anxiously waiting for my luggage to finally show up, knowing I had this big trip ahead of me, felt very surreal but fantastic. A Nepali lady offered to wait with me for my luggage. The transport to the hotel was organised perfectly well, as was everything else during the trip, without exception. I spent the first day exploring Kathmandu on my own before other volunteers arrived with whom I travelled to our final destination: Bharatpur, the second biggest city of the country, located farther south. This in itself can be quite the experience as the roads are in questionable conditions, especially during monsoon season. As a medical volunteer, this is the usual location as there is a large private hospital of relatively good standard, but it is also possible to stay in Kathmandu for the medical placement, which from what I’ve heard, is great too. We had a lovely welcome and were brought to our wonderful host families. From that point onwards, new, incredible memories were added each day. Medically speaking, It is fascinating to see how different medical care is there to what one is used to from home, what the interaction between nurses/doctors and patients is like and how patients and their families deal with diseases, and especially psychiatric conditions. You’re getting the chance to get an insight into all kinds of medical specialties and experience how medical care works in Nepal. There is a lot to learn, watch and observe. It is also possible to teach hygiene to school kids and participate in other outreach projects. All in all, It is the combination of everything being new and exciting and so very different for a while and getting into an entirely different routine after some time, that truly makes the experience. The amount of wonderful people, other volunteers and locals alike, that I have met during my time still overwhelms me. I still sometimes find myself in disbelief about it. I would also like to mention the time of the year that I travelled to Nepal: I was there from summer to late autumn/early winter which meant experiencing monsoon season as well as the start of the cold season, being there for trekking season and experiencing almost all of the big Hindu festivals first-hand which was absolutely incredible and magical. I definitely recommend this time of the year. I could talk all day about some of my dearest moments of the trip, but I’m sure you’ll make your own marvellous memories. So take all the numerous opportunities thrown in your way to make some once there ;).

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Stay for as long as you can. Dive head first into the adventure and soak everything in. Get immersed in the culture whenever possible. Do everything the local way if you can. Explore alone from time to time. Learn the basics of the language in advance if you can make some time. Don’t think very much about your expectations, they won’t matter once there. Enjoy the ride.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I went to Mongolia with a friend at 17. While I had travelled alone before, I had never gone so far by myself. The Projects Abroad staff were easy to reach and made me feel supported throughout my travels, and were easy to find at the airport when I arrived in Mongolia. Though few people outside the staff spoke English, we were able to get by with a combination of hand gestures and google translate.
The project itself gave me opportunities I would never get as a student in Canada. As someone who is interested in a career in medicine, I was able to ride along on ambulance calls, sit in on surgeries (I was 2 deviated septum surgeries and a hysterectomy), play with orphaned and special-needs children, as well as get hands-on while helping to treat patients with a local doctor. I learned how to insert an IV, measure blood glucose levels, bandage wounds, perform CPR, and take blood pressure.
The social aspect was also awesome. We had a small group, about 13, of kids from all over the world. We had 4 girls from Canada, 2 kids from the USA, 2 boys from Japan, 3 girls from Taiwan, a girl from Korea, and a girl from Italy. I made great friends who I am still in touch with. Together we got to go to a karaoke studio, visit the Mongolian countryside, see tons of national monuments and museums, and take pictures in traditional Mongolian costumes. I had an amazing experience in Mongolia, and I would definitely travel with Projects Abroad again.

What was your funniest moment?
Two of my friends decided she wanted to dye their hair on the trip! We went to the State Department store and bought some hair dye and spent the night dyeing their hair with toothbrushes, because we didn’t have anything else to brush the dye in with. We were aiming for silver for one of them, but her hair ended up being pretty orange. The guy who’s hair we dyed pink ended up looking great though!

P.S. If you have the chance to get a Mongolian massage, make sure to go for it! Me and my friends still laugh at the stories to this day.
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Yes, I recommend this program

During my time in Costa Rica I had an amazing time volunteering in the local school. I visited Costa Rica during the school holidays which meant I was volunteering on a holiday program for children who's parents were at work during the day and needed help with childcare. This meant that we had a lot of agency to teach what we wanted to in lessons. At the weekends we travelled around different parts of Costa Rica with the other volunteers, getting to know the country and doing as much as possible. Staying with a host family was something I was initially worried about but as soon as I arrived my mind I realised they were so friendly and I loved staying with them and getting to know them. It was an unforgettable experience; the country is beautiful, the children were so sweet and willing to learn and the other volunteers were all very friendly. I would 100% recommend this project to anyone wanting to make a difference and visit an amazing part of the world!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
The advice I would give to people is make sure you come prepared and with the best attitude possible. It can sometimes be tiring and you need to make sure you are motivated and dedicate to making a difference.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Maria Teresa Brachi Patierno

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program firstly because I am a lot into children. Plus, this program allows doing at least two different things. On the one hand, I had to teach English to local kids, and on the other, in the afternoon I had to do manual work such as painting, planting and reorganizing the garden. Secondly, it doesn’t require a specific qualification and age isn’t an issue.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I really organised all on my own, except from the comments that at least one of my teachers needed to send to Projects Abroad in order to assure that I was suitable for the project I chose.

I was still in high school and I just wanted to go for myself with a friend to make an experience and discover new things. It was my mother and I that contacted the assistance of Projects Abroad, which helped a lot for all the organisation (also with the flights).

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Sincerely, I didn’t feel so lost when I arrived in Ulaanbaatar, even if I had a little problem with my luggage to arrive. Perhaps I wish I had know ahead of time some basic sentences in Mongolian; Projects Abroad usually send it to the volunteers, but I just didn’t consider them too much. Fortunately, all the tutors are very fluent in English.

A piece of advice is: really leave without any expectations, be ready to face completely different culture and society.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

So, almost every day of the week is programmed in the same way, except for the weekends and other extras activities.

You wake up around 8 o’clock in the morning, then take your breakfast in the hotel with the rest of your team. Right after, the tutor comes to pick you up with a car and brings you to the typical houses, which are higher than the city center.

The morning you stay inside with the kids. Then there is lunchtime. In the afternoon, there are practical activities as, for example, garden restructuring. Dinner time... Everybody is a little tired but it is a very pleasant moment. Bedtime is a bit early perhaps, but it is important to sleep and have all the energies.

In the weekend, activities are organised, usually to visit the city and main attractions.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Going into my experience abroad, my biggest fear was to find some difficulties with the locals and their daily routines. I overcame it by thinking to take all the positive aspects of that wonderful experience. In fact, I learned a lot about their costumes and I continued to di some things also at home in my country.

Did this experience also help you creating new relationships or friends?

I am a really closed and shy person and because of that, I have some difficulties socializing. I have to say that Mongolian people have been very kind and open. I continued writing to my tutor also after going back home. Furthermore, the locals made them understand and it was so interesting talking with people of the same age. We exchanged our Facebook accounts and sometimes keep in touch. It was also very interesting talking to all the other volunteers which are from all over the world.

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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Natalia Raquel Gomez

Job Title
Volunteer Advisor
Natalia was born in Argentina; she studied tourism and worked as a travel agent, receptionist and in customer service both in Argentina and abroad (Ecuador, Colombia and Panama). She is currently living and working in Mexico.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory was having the chance to visit the coffee farmers in the central jungle in Peru. I got to see the entire process of coffee farming and the realities and life stories of the families working there.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I was able to grow both personally and professionally by traveling abroad and experiencing different ways of life. I was taught the importance of working as a part of a team and getting to know the different staff members, personally or via email or Skype.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Hearing the experience that one of our medical volunteers had when given the chance to witness a birth.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would choose one of the marine conservation projects that are a great help to communities by contributing both with cleaning beaches and species research, and teaching children the importance of the environment.

Another project that I would be interested in joining is the nomad project in Mongolia. It will give you an amazing chance to experience a different culture first hand and learn a lot about their traditions.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I am very proud to be a part of this excellent team. I feel that we offer a great opportunity to people that wish to travel and make a difference, as an alternative to just tourism.

Projects like the Disaster Relief in Nepal after the earthquake, Teacher´s Training in Peru, Building in Ghana, Marine Conservation in several locations, and working with refugees in Italy are only a few examples of the different things that make me proud about Projects Abroad.

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