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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

Join Us On The Global Gap Year Of A Lifetime

🌍 Explore the world ⭐ Add valuable skills to your resume 📅 28 weeks of travel

This really is the opportunity of a lifetime! - We'll take you to five different countries around the world, where you'll gain a whole host of experience to make your resume shine & contribute to a better world.

Discover more & Apply! - Limited spaces available.

Reviews

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

I went from October-December (November has the best weather in my opinion) to do a childcare and teaching English project. In the morning I would go to a nursery on the outskirts of the city and help the teachers to give the children breakfast, organise craft projects and help with supervision at break times. I had lunch at home and then went to an English institute where I worked as a teaching assistant.

My host family lived in the suburbs which was perfect as it was a 10 minute walk to the park and we were only a block away from a main road with lots of bars and restaurants. I really liked them and one of the highlights for me was that there were two other volunteers living in my house who I got to know really well. I also enjoyed spending time with the other volunteers and even though we all did different projects we saw each other at least once a week for our socials which the Projects Abroad staff really put a lot of effort into and this made such a difference as we all got on so well and could organise trips to nearby places at the weekend.

The only thing I think I would change would be that I only worked at a public school one day a week and the English institute where I worked four days a week had fairly privileged students. However, I really enjoyed my afternoons at the institute as the staff were all lovely and one of the teachers has already come to stay with me in the UK!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make the most of your weekends and free time! If you have mornings or afternoons free, make sure to explore the city and immerse yourself in as much Spanish as possible. Also, if the Projects Abroad language lessons are too expensive I would recommend organising some at a language school in the city. At the weekends, take advantage of the bus terminal and train station and visit the surrounding area, also ask your host family for travel recommendations.
Default avatar
Merja
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was my best travel ever, mainly because I got to know a new country and culture and very nice people. The country is very beautiful and I travelled around it a bit. I also lived with a very nice vietnamese family in the buzzle of Na noi. The city has still its old charm and the real feel of the city hasn´t been destroyed. The traffic is terrible, at least if you come from Finland. Just crossing the street was like doing a trip to the djungle, but you cross the street one bike at a time. Food is fantastic. And of course one has to travel vietnamese style with bike taxis :)

I worked with a NGO that gave education to youth with difficult background and it required studies at uni. My job was to observe the NGO and come with recommendations for improvements and develop its activities according to western standards. I really felt that I contributed to the NGO and that they liked the advices I gave them. I also tought english to students, attended events to raise awareness of the NGO:s activities, wrote communication material and did research about handicapped peoples possibilities to get work. If you want to get hands-on job experience in a developing country, this is the place.

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

English version : I travel twice with Projects Abroad, frist one in 2012 for two months and a second one in 2018 for three months, in the same place : Barra Honda National Park in Costa Rica . I past the best time of my life, I learn so much about fauna and flora with the staff and rangers of the Park. They have a lot of mission and you are nevers boring. The Staff help us to many suggestions for visite other places : beach, volcanos...
For all I just say many many Time but : THANKS YOU!!! ¡¡¡GRACIAS y PURA VIDA!!!
I come back one day I'm Shure!!!
French version : Je suis partie deux fois avec Projects Abroad, une fois en 2012 pour deux mois et une autre fois en 2018 pour trois mois, au même endroit : Parc National de Barra Honda au Costa Rica.
J'y ai passé les meilleurs moments de ma vie, j'ai appris énormément au côté de l'équipe d'investigation de la faune et la flore sauvage ainsi qu'auprès des rangers du parc. Les missions sont multiples et on ne s'ennuie jamais. L'équipe est présente aussi pour nous suggéré d'autres endroits à visiter : plage, voacans ect...
A tous je leur ai dot mainte et mainte fois mais : MERCI!!! ¡¡¡GRACIAS y PURA VIDA!!!
J'y retournerai ça c'est certain !

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising and wonderful thing it's when you found and saw wild animal near of you (Monckeys, Amardillos, Coyotes, Scarlett Macao, Long tail white nose Coati...)
Default avatar
Trine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The company makes sure you are safe and placed into a good and sweet family and they really cares about you.
They make fun activities and help if you want to travel around with other volunteers in the weekends.

If you want to stay local and learn a culture from the inside, then you should definitely travel with Projects Abroad. Often you learn, that no matter how faraway from your home country you are, you still have a lot in common with the people in the new country.

I would recommend to travel with Projects Abroad.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
How fun it can be to travel on my own and how many good new friends I got.
Default avatar
Luzian
2/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Make yourselfes no illusions, the money you pay ProjectsAbroad is not really going to the cause. In the center in Saint Louis (Sénégal) the budget per week is 100'000 CFA. That is about 100 USD. I ALONE PAYED WAY MORE THEN THAT PER WEEK. The head of the local team drives an expensive Audi, that is something almost no one can afford there.
There is no structure in the teaching program. No books and no perminent teachers. There is not much for the kids that come there and are motivated to learn to profit from.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I went with a friend I made in Saint Louis to the annual pilgrimage to Touba. That was amazing, we traveled there on top of a bus and I slept with 30 people on a roof. All houses are open and offer accommodation and food to the pilgrims. The people are so nice and hospitable, it's was almost unbelievable for me as a European.
(That was not organised by ProjectsAbroad)
Response from Projects Abroad

Hello Luzian.

Thank you for taking the time to leave your review.

We take all feedback very seriously. A member of our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible to discuss the points you have made.

With the additional detail, we will be able to investigate further and take the appropriate action.

Best,

George.

Programs

Displaying 10 - 18 of 66

Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

I wanted to do something unusual and adventurous during the summer, and volunteering abroad was the perfect way to do this while sharpening my own skills and helping others. I chose to do a High School Special with Projects Abroad because of the stellar reviews the program had, as well as the very clear itinerary. I felt that I knew exactly what I would be doing and what to expect during the project.

The Projects Abroad staff were also very quick to respond to my questions, which made me feel really comfortable with the support I was receiving, and ultimately convinced me that I was in good hands. Because of that, I decided to take the leap.

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

Projects Abroad handled all in-country activities, hotel accommodation, all meals (excluding breakfast, which was provided at the hotel), all transportation (including to and from the airport), and organizing our placement at the varies institutions. They also offered to help flights, but I opted to make my own way to Mongolia so a friend and I could stop in Korea first.

The accommodations were clean, the food was great, the transportation was reliable, and all of our activities were insanely fun. I was really satisfied with the services Projects Abroad provided.

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

It took me nine months between discovering this program and finally deciding to apply. During that time, I agonized over whether it was the right decision. Was it safe? Was it worth the time and money? Would I enjoy the experience? I am so glad I followed through the find out the answers to those questions, which was 'yes' all around. I wish I had had someone to talk to beforehand to give me advice, so if you're looking for that person, let me be the one to say it's worth it.

As for something I wish I'd know, English isn't commonly spoken (which is fair), so I was relying on Google Translate quite a bit. It was effective to a point, but I wish I knew a few phrases in Mongolian beforehand.

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

On the weekdays, we would wake up at around 8 am and go to the hospital or our placement for the day (orphanage, community center, etc). We got to do really amazing things in our placements, my favourites being giving basic health checkups (blood pressure, blood glucose and wound cleaning) to the homeless, as well as sitting in on surgeries. I was super lucky because I got to see two deviated septum surgeries and one hysterectomy. I would never even get close to an OR as a high school student in Canada, so those were opportunities I cherished and that gave me a deep insight into the life and duties of doctors. Sometimes we would have workshops, like bandaging, inserting IVs, or CPR.

We'd be at our morning placements for 2-3 hours before heading to lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, we'd head to one or two other placements or activities, like a museum visit or the ambulance call center. Depending on the day and how busy the morning had been, we might take a break for an hour or two back at the hotel (but this was usually on weekends) before heading out for dinner.

After dinner, we generally had free time until lights-out, which was around 10 pm. We had a few later nights with ambulance calls; I think my latest one was 2 am, but I know one of my friend's went till 8 am the next morning. If you're not a morning person, you can opt-out of the night shift.

The weekends were filled with cultural activities like watching traditional performances, visiting the countryside, or doing karaoke (which was so fun! Everyone was happy to dance and sing, and we all had a blast). All the activities were done as a group, which made it really easy to get to know everyone.

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 had two biggest fears: the first was the travel. I'm from Canada, so heading to Asia with just me and my friend who was a year younger than me was a huge deal! I was terrified about the language barrier, and what I would do if my flight was delayed or canceled. I eventually realized that I had absolutely no control over what was going to happen. Rolling with the punches is a huge part of international travel. Treat the people you meet with kindness, be prepared and aware, and you'll be able to deal with anything. I was worried for months, but out of the eight flights, my friend and I took between our first stop in Korea and then over to Mongolia, only one of them was delayed, and only by 45 minutes.

My other fear was that I wouldn't make friends or get along with the people on the trip. After all, you're kind of stuck with them for a few weeks. On our very first night, we had a group dinner, and I was super scared about connecting with the other volunteers. I tried to be open and get to know the other volunteers, and what do you know, it worked! I left Mongolia with wonderful friends who I still talk to all the time. I realized that most people, if given the chance, are going to like you. And that people who are willing to spend their time volunteering are usually sweet, giving, and intelligent! I genuinely connected with everyone on my trip and I'm still in touch with them today.

What was your favorite experience while studying abroad?

My favourite thing we did on the trip placement-wise was going on ambulance calls. I would never have the chance to do an ambulance ride-along as a student in Canada, and it was a really cool way to see the city. It wasn't a tour or an attraction, though; you were in people's houses, treating their actual illnesses and injuries. It was really exciting and I learned a lot about my own interests in the field of medicine, all while getting to drive through all the beauty Ulaanbaatar holds.

My favourite activity that we did was our visit to the countryside. Mongolia's countryside is famous for a reason: its vast open steppes and green mountains are like nowhere else in the world. While in the country we visited a Buddhist monastery, crossed a rickety rope bridge, saw the famous statue of Chinggis Khan, climbed Turtle Rock, and rode horses and camels. They were truly unique opportunities that I don't know if I would have done on my own.

My favourite memory was when my friends decided they wanted to dye their hair and we were all like "Sweet, okay!" We went to the State Department Store, bought hair dye (via Google Translate because we couldn't find it on our own), and hunkered down in our hotel room. While the box came with bleach and colour, it didn't come with combs, so we had to use the hotel-provided toothbrushes to spread the dye in! Our dye jobs actually turned out relatively well for being done with toothbrushes, and hanging out in our hotel room with cups full of hair dye and toothbrushes full of bleach is something I will never forget.

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.

US visitors, meet us in person!

  1. Thursday 20 February
    La Jolla, CA Gap Year Fair
    La Jolla High School
    Fair:
    6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    Presentation:
    6:00 PM - 6:45 PM

Professional Associations

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