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Projects Abroad

About

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.

Headquarters

80 Broad St Floor 32
New York, NY 10004
United States

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Reviews

Default avatar
Noa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I’ve already been to Kenya before I traveled with Projects Abroad, but it was still a new way of seeing the country.
The staff in Nanyuki are the best, sweetest, professional, funny and most friendly people I’ve ever met. They help you with everything and they make you feel welcome from day one.
It’s a good experience to live with a host family and you feel more like home because you’re part of a Kenyan family.
I did my volunteer program in a school where there was a feeding program. We played and made creative things with the kids, and every time I go to Kenya, I go visit the school and the kids and it’s so nice. I did my volunteering with a girl from Italy, and today we are very good friends who still meet up and we traveled back to Kenya together after the program was over. So all in all it was an amazing experience and I’ve made friends for life all over the world. I can only recommend people to go with Projects Abroad and see the world.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
How friendly the Kenyan people are! They are so helpful
Default avatar
LUCA THOMAS
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hi everyone, my name is Luca and I am a young 19 year old who lived an unforgettable adventure last summer that has changed many of my certainties.
I left Parma to go to the other side of the world, literally, to the Fiji Islands where I spent 5 weeks with the project of environmental conservation and protection of sharks managed by Project Abroad.
The organization of the pre-departure run by the project staff, the personal online page that gave me all the answers and dedicated phone calls helped me to prepare well for this adventure, maybe even too much since my parents didn't miss a single line of the recommended material finding myself so super equipped with everything.
The start saw me ready, equipped and a little anxious about what was waiting for me but full of energy and curiosity.
On arrival I found assistance at the airport for the first necessities and I was escorted to the bus stop that would take me along the last leg of my journey to get to the Pacific Harbor project site.
The beginning, like all the beginnings I believe, found me a bit out of phase with 11 hours of time zone to dispose of, lots of people to meet between staff and other volunteers, spaces to explore rules to learn, different food to try.
The first impact was strong, the atmosphere of the place immediately infected me and the voices around me told me about all those countries of origins that seemed to me so many: China, America, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, England, Japan and others.
The first phase of the project was the achievement for me of the diving license and already here I can say that I discovered what I hope will remain a great passion for my whole life, I fell in love with the marine world, the thrill of diving, the possibility to discover incredible things and fantastic animals at each dive.
It seems to be in another world completely alien but indescribable, some have had problems with the first approach to the diving experience, but for me it was as if I had always done it, no fear or hesitation, just calm and serene wonder .
At the beginning of the journey that led me to choose this experience, I was thinking only of doing something in the scientific field that would help me to know and understand better what I wanted for my future path of university studies, I was perplexed and a little worried about the part of volunteering in the villages or schools, on the environmental part, worried about finding myself living in an area so different from the protected and comfortable one of my house.
I could not have been more mistaken, certainly I do not want to say that it was all rosy, but the knowledge that with my hard work I was helping to preserve this wonderful environment, I helped people who welcomed us with joy, always cheerful but smiling above all really grateful for everything we did, it made me feel useful and important.
Of course I also experienced unpleasant situations such as missing the initial briefing, due to the change in my arrival flight, group punishments without my real responsibilities that penalized me in the dives, rudeness of some volunteers who, although not signing up, got meals and took part in them, filling the plates and leaving the regularly marked ones without dinner, but in conclusion the positive aspects were so many exceeding by far the negative ones.
I have made friends that I hope will last over time with wonderful people from all over the world, I discovered what I can do and in some cases what my limits are, I discovered in myself an immense love for the marine world and the environment that inspired me and made me realize important things about my future university career and about who I would like to become in the working world, I lived in a world and a culture very different from mine but full of charm and interest.
In short, I changed, matured and I had a great time doing it.
My goal for this last school year that begins ... to save in order to return in the summer to live another experience like this in another part of the world!

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Elizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I did the Nursing Internship in Cusco to decide whether I wanted to peruse a career in nursing or public health. Though it didn’t make my decision any easier it was still one of the most incredible experiences of my life! I felt like I gained more exposure here than I would at a health care facility in the States while feeling totally immersed in the culture. I had a wonderful host family (though I heard some complaints from others about their families. Some, however, were for cultural differences and other complaints were similar to ones you might hear from a son or daughter about their parent lol). I also felt that I had plenty of time to travel and good people to travel with. The people who work with Projects Abroad have plenty of gathering opportunities. They also host workshops based on your field, so I was able to do a suture workshop at the office! No regrets and no hesitations of doing it again!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Stay as long as you can! I was there for 5 weeks and I wish I would have done a least 3 months! Try as many programs as you can! I did nursing but wish I would have dabbled in English or archeology.
Default avatar
Evan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My trip to Argentina was great. I highly suggest having conversational Spanish because it will give you more opportunities while you're there. Cordoba is a beautiful city, and there are a variety of things to do there. Projects abroad happily accommodate to your needs. I wanted a very hands off experience, so I didn't interact too much with the staff. Every interaction I had, however, was very positive and they pointed me to interesting activities and locations in the city and Argentina. Working at the hospital let me see medicine first hand, something that's nigh impossible in the US until you're over 18. I spoke Spanish well enough that I was able to form relationships with the staff their that allowed me to help with some of patient care as well.

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Janneke
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience in Nepal was one of the best of my life. I volunteered at a centre for children with disabilities, wich is a hard but rewarding task, also my own choice there is a lot of other stuff you can do. I was able to do what i was good at and also stepped out of my comfort zone. Projects abroad organized a lot of fun stuff to do with all the volunteers and I got to meet so many amazing people! They also have great info to prepare yourself for the journey. And when things got hard or difficult i could always call Them, and they never failed to respond quickly when i got into Trouble (me and another volunteer got lost on a hike and they send people to save us haha). It is a slightly more expensive organisation but worth every Penny. I felt prepared, safe and cared for. I got to expierence so much. Would not hesitate to travel with Them again.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Me and another volunteer went on a hike. At the end of IT there was supposed to be a small town with a bus stop and a bus back to Kathmandu. There however was not, and it started rain and thunder started as well. A few locals (in the 7 words of english they knew) wanted to call us a taxi. But we were out of money (bad preparation on our part) . So we called projects abroad and they sent someone in a jeep to come pick us up.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 79

Alumni Interviews

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

Greg Harries

A history aficionado who loves to travel and meet new people.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Seeing an opportunity to travel to Romania, being fond of the history there, including being a fan of Vlad Dracula, I couldn't turn down an opportunity to see the sights and work with people to help catalog and collect a part of history in any way they saw fit. It just happened to be my luck that I'd be stationed to work in Transylvania so I could appreciate the history and the locations in person.

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

The program provider assisted with living accommodations and communicating with others having a language barrier to work around, as well as being as helpful as possible with anything else that came up.

Just before I got started with working where I would for most of my time in Alba Iulia, I had a few days to spend in Brasov, which was a great start to my journey - being able to traverse the city all by myself after being greeted by someone who showed me around and got me lunch at a traditional restaurant to add to the experience of it all.

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

Don't be afraid to ask questions and be yourself. The program workers are always looking to make the experience as fun and easy as possible. Also, if you have somewhere you'd like to visit, let someone know and they will make it happen. Don't think people don't want you to be there or aren't willing to talk to you. I ended up talking to some people for most of the time on the site I worked on and there was never a dull moment.

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

Working on a particular site outdoors, if the weather is good enough other days, or if weather impacts the site, working indoors cleaning collected ceramics from the outdoor site is done typically those days.

Be ready to work hard for a few hours out of each day, but don't think you'll have to figure out what to do by yourself. Very easy to follow instructions, that after a few days it'll be another routine that ends up being fun and very good exercise.

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

Not being able to communicate or getting lost were two worries of mine. But even with a language barrier, I was understood and we tended to travel together if we actually had different places to go to.

Being bored with nothing to do was another worry, but the people in charge of your day to day activities will always have something fun to do outside of the volunteer work itself. I got a chance to see many castles and landmarks outside of working on the site and we always were looking forward to the next different plan for a weekend or an off day. One time, we drove out to an open field with small mountains to collect ceramics. I had a chance to climb up one them and get a killer view of the landscape, followed up by an awesome close encounter with a snake, so in short, i was never bored.

What is your favorite memory of this trip?

Near the end of my time with Projects Abroad, they were able to organize accommodation for me to visit a castle I had been eager to see. After staying with a host family, I was on my way to see the castle, or so I thought. I had taken the wrong bus and got lost, but thankfully, someone guided me the right way back step by step, as I was hopping buses to get there. So don't worry if anything goes wrong because the program is there to help in any way.

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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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