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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

The Global Gap Year of a Lifetime!

🌍 5 countries 📅 28 weeks ⭐ a lifetime of memories

✔️ Discover Africa, South America & Asia
✔️ Immerse yourself in exciting new cultures
✔️ Make a real impact to local communities
✔️ Learn new skills to add to your resume
✔️ Make friends all over the world
✔️ Enjoy the experience of a lifetime

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Reviews

Default avatar
Anne-Claire
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Last year in july, I spend two weeks in the archeological program in Peru, and it was really short ! I am willing to stay or to return. I went for learn more spanish, and discover inca culture by visiting archeologicals sites. I didn't suspect that I met new friends form the over side of the world with who I keep in touch one year later. I didn't suspect also that I discovered my taste for Antiquity and archeology by learn more about the profession of archeologist. For that I thank very much Dan and Delsi, supervisors of the amazing team of Lucky Charm !
What I will remember for my life is when we go to a private collection for cleaning inca textiles. It was amazing to see a part of the collection and above all the "quipus" which are supposed to be the writing support of the inca culture.
Over thing I remember, it's how long it was to remove lichens on inca's wall. But when at the end we understand how important is, not only the result, but also the meaning of this act.
It was an experience that make me discover myself, improve my practice of langages, and meet new friends by making fun together.

What was your funniest moment?
I really like singing Disney songs at hostfamily in english. But it's one great moment among so many others.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hey Anne-Claire,

Thank you very much for leaving a lovely review, we so appreciate it!

That sounds like you had quite the adventure, learning new things about history, exploring new sites and practicing your languages.

It really is such a fascinating history and to think it really wasn’t that long really when that history was alive! What a great opportunity and experience you must have had.

Awh wow, that would have been nice! I am sure Umeres would love to have you again, as would Dan and Delsi - you would be so welcome!

We also do Archaeology in Romania too if you wanted to try that, if not let me know if you want to return to Peru, I will let the guys know to do a welcome back party!

All my best,

Caleb
Projects Abroad - Community Manager

Default avatar
Selina
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I spend four month in St.Louis, northern Senegal, teaching English and some French to motivated students!

During my time in St. Louis I lived with a nice host family with lots of children who welcomed me warmly into their family and showed my the authentic senegalese family life.

I worked at a center for the Talibé (kornic students who live under tremendous circumstances begging for food, wearing the same clothes everyday and sleeping next to dozens of other children on the floor in cold and dirty rooms.).
In our center we played with the younger ones and taught them some basic French. We gave them the possibility to shower, brush their teeth and in our small infirmary we treated their wounds. (Sometimes they get hit by their kornic teachers or they hurt themselves by playing on the rocky streets since they don't usually have any shoes to wear). Whenever the money allowed it we bought shoes and clothes for the children and at least once a week we cooked a meal for everyone!
I mostly worked with the older students (17 and older) who came and wanted to learn English or French. Most of them only speak their local languages and maybe a little French or Arabic since they only learn the koran (not Arabic in general but they learn the corn by heart). It was a great experience for me to improve my teaching skills and I had to get very creative with some of my student since we didn't speak a common language. As soon as I started finding solutions and ways to teach them it was the greatest feeling to see them making progress. They were always super friendly, grateful and patient not once complaining about my way of teaching.

The local staff was very friendly, helpful and open-minded! Every Friday we would meet with a staff member and all the volunteers and go to concerts, bars or just go dancing. It was a great way of getting to know both the staff members and the other volunteers.
Everything regarding my trip was well organized and I always had someone to contact in case of an emergency.

I'm soooo glad I went to St. Louis and made all these interesting, instructive experiences and meet all these amazing, kind and happy people who showed and taught more new things about life than I have learnt during my last five years in Switzerland!

PS: Don't worry if your French isn't perfect neither is mine and they are very patient and nice if you're still learning. Just be aware that most people don't speak English so whereas you don't need to be very good at French you should know some basics to be able to communicate with the host family and the other locals.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Please, please, please be prepared for a different world! Senegal really is fundamentally different from any European country I've ever been to. Be aware of the fact that you might not have warm water or wifi at your host family. Also know that their food is delicious but they use a lot of oil so don't go there trying to lose weight or something. Also know that Senegal is a mostly muslim country so especially in the north you will find people praying on the streets, girls wearing headscarfs and the muezzin might wake you up once or twice ;)
However this are NOT AT ALL bad things! It's just a different way of living and if you aren't ready to learn new things, adapt yourself and see beauty and positivity in foreign and for you maybe strange things I really wouldn't recommend you to visit Senegal since you might be shocked at almost everything you see!
If however you are an open-minded person who's interested in getting to know new ways of life, cultures and morals I'm convinced that you will love Senegal! It's a very nice country with friendly people, not once did I feel unsafe.

I hope my review helped you with making your own decision about going to Senegal or not!
Response from Projects Abroad

Hey Selina,

Thank you so much for leaving a review and your advice, I loved reading it!

I am so glad you had a great time, I can imagine how quick those 4 months went!

The local students would have loved having you and learning from you. Also, that is so good that you managed to improve your teaching and innovation skills, then see results - by the sounds of it, you are a natural!

Well, it certainly sounds like you have had an amazing 4 months immersing yourself in the culture and making a real difference, I am sure St Louis is not the same without you!

Should you ever want to come again or try your teaching and innovation skills elsewhere, let me know - we would love to help!

All the best,

Caleb
Projects Abroad - Community Manager

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

I arrived back in Nanyuki at a difficult time, just after the terrible events in Nairobi. This had an effect because of a heightened state of alert but the staff were excellent ensuring that we felt safe and secure.

At Queenstar, aged 71 (my 2nd visit). I worked with both the children (teaching English & Environmental Studies) as well as the staff team in developing the concept of community working. We explored a number of areas where community collaboration could be developed in ways that encourage sponsors & others to help them in meeting their objectives.

I was directly involved in the poultry project

After school it was good to be back sharing experiences with other volunteers. As before it felt like we were the United Nations.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be prepared to get involved - extend yourself - learning from those you are helping and those who are working with you..
Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Chris,

Thank you very much for taking the time to leave a review!

They were indeed horrible times but thank you for giving the country another chance and also for putting your trust in us, we pride ourselves on our Gold standard safety and support.
Your ability to connect across ages and community groups is something to be admired - thank you very much for time and service, it has been great having you!

Should you ever wish to go for your 3rd time (I believe they say everything goes in 3’s) or try your community collaboration skills elsewhere, let me know, we would love to have you!

Wishing you all the very best sir,

Caleb
Projects Abroad - Community Manager

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

I’ve took part to the Human Rights program (that can also count as a Internship!) for 2 amazing months.
I went to Cape Town with low expectation for this project not because I didn’t trust the company but because I didn’t expect to have so many responsibility as i did during the project. The PHARO office is amazing as also the work environment that they creat. During this journey i’ve met amazing people in and out of the office also because projects abroad encouraged us to explore the city and socialize with the others volunteers. The staff there is really good they understand the struggles that sometimes the volunteers feel once they arrived in SA and they really try their best to help you in every kind of situation.
At the start of the project I didn’t have any idea of what i was doing and if i was doing it wrong but the staff really followed us and thought us throw all the process and explain us everything step by step. At the end of the projects a felt confident with my work and even became a buddy for the new volunteers.

The houses that me and others fellow volunteers stayed in were overall good. What made the difference were the host family that opened up not only their houses but also their hearts to us making us feeling at home. Some houses were of course better than others for location or space but no volunteer during my stay did complain.

If you’re a Law student and you’re looking for a good project/internship in the human rights field or If you are a student passionate for social justice i strongly recommend this projects Abroad’s project

Taking part of this program has been one of the best decision of my life so far.

Response from Projects Abroad

Hey Francesca,

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

I am so glad you had such a great time, Sherwin and the team would be thrilled to read this! Perfect, that is always so key having staff that can just understand exactly where you are coming, I am always so proud (I can be biased though haha) of how great our staff are, I am glad you agree!

That’s so cool, who would have thought… at the beginning being unsure with low expectations, loving it and then being the buddy and happy face for new volunteers, great job.

That is so genuinely lovely to hear, I am sure Zelda and Justin would love to have you back again!

I couldn’t agree more - if you fancied doing a Human Rights project again, we run them in Latin America, Asia and other parts of Africa…

If you fancy extending your list of best decisions, let me know - it’ll be great to have you back again!

All the best,

Caleb
Projects Abroad - Community Manager

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

I joined the High School Special project in Peru for 2 weeks on the archaeology project and I loved it. It was only two weeks and I definitely should have stayed longer! It's such an amazing location and as a history geek, it was an amazing experience. Projects Abroad organised a trip to Machu Picchu as well, which I can recommend to anyone (it's a must see in Peru). My coordinator was so friendly and he really looked after us, and Dan on the Archaeology project is a brilliant teacher.
I then flew for one week to the Conservation project... again, I should have stayed longer and I would go back in a heartbeat if I could. That project was one of the best things I have ever done; living in the Amazon rainforest, surrounded by nature and helping protect one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet is an unforgettable experience. The staff here are great (special mention to Elvira who is so kind) and so passionate about what they do. You get a perfect mix of looking after rescued wildlife and conservation activities, so anyone who is passionate about animals should definitely join this project.
I can't recommend Projects Abroad enough!

Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Beth,

Thanks so much for the lovely review, it’s so nice to hear you had such a good time on both projects.

I’ll be sure to mention this to our in destination staff, they love to hear when their volunteers have had such a good time. As for Dan, I couldn’t agree more, he is a good teacher. He certainly knows his stuff when it comes to Incan and Wari History, it also helps with his vast experience, and passion for Archaeology!
It’s funny you mentioned that you wish you stayed for longer, as that is the most frequent feedback we get from our volunteers over all of our projects. If you join us on a Flexi trip next time around, you can always extend in country for as long as you want, and it only costs the difference between weeks.

If you loved the wildlife side of things, feel free to look at our Wildlife Conservation Volunteering in Botswana, our wildlife enthusiast love the work we do there!

Thanks again!

Chris

PS. If you do choose to do a Flexi trip, don’t forget about your Alumni vouchers to get £200 off!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 81

Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

My first trip whetted my appetite for both voluntary work and Kenya in particular. Working with youngsters in a school and sharing my knowledge while focusing on the curriculum I found very rewarding. This time there was an added element of working not just for the Queenstar school but also in contributing to the work of the Community Organisation, which seeks to support all members of that local community.

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

Projects Abroad made all the necessary arrangements, except booking my flight, as I was able to use some air miles. They met me at the airport and took me to my hotel. Thereafter I went with one of their staff by matutu to the town of Nanyuki where I was reunited with my original 'house mum' and was reunited with all the staff. Transport from home to school was arranged to and from by taxi (again, I knew the person from previously).

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

Perhaps it is not to over pack with things to take out with you to Kenya, particularly gifts for the school (or other place) where you are working. In Nanyuki, there are supermarkets and even specialist shops which will supply your needs.

The other piece of advice is to be careful where you take photographs. I arrived at a particularly sensitive time after the terrorist attack in Nairobi. Public buildings are out.

One further bit of advice: do not take large sums of money out with you; there are ATM's everywhere (well, perhaps not everywhere, but you know what I mean).

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

As a teacher, you will work a five day week mirroring the local situation. If you go on any programme, then while you are still likely to work five days the hours are flexible.

After working hours, there was always an opportunity to meet up with other volunteers and share your experiences. This extended to trips being arranged at weekends to other areas in the region. Weekend Safari's are a regular feature and give you the opportunity to see the television version of Kenya.

Other than that, I spent time at weekends in Nanyuki or walking the road towards the nearest township.

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

I can say that I had no real fears about going. On this occasion, there was, as I have already mentioned, the remaining impact of terrorist attack. This was handled well, particularly when the town was specifically named as a target area. The staff were very good in that there was a special meeting of all volunteers where advice and choices were given. My personal view was that the risks were so small I was not going to let that threat get in my way of enjoying the town. I also continued with my country walks as the risks there I deemed to be even less.

Any last thoughts?

Doing work abroad is so worthwhile. It brings new perspective to your own life at home and makes you appreciate what you have compared with those you are involved with.

During my trip(s), I have always been impressed by the friendliness of the people of Kenya and that had led into interesting conversations about life. Perhaps more so given my age.

Kenya is a beautiful place and well worth a visit. Nanyuki is perhaps different from many locations given its altitude (one of the highest town in Africa). [I was told that the altitude had affected a few volunteers in the past but I was not. It was good to walk in the clear air]

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Staff Interviews

Staff interviews 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.
women traveling

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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