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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
Raman
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My trip to Nepal was amazing. This was my first time overseas where I didn't know anyone prior to departure. I had great assistance from before the trip, so I knew what to expect. However, even though I had been well informed about Nepal and what I would be doing on the trip, nothing could prepare me for how amazing Nepal would be. My local guides made me feel at home as they would always be there to help me when I needed them. They were always very approachable. While in Nepal I was also kept very well informed by my supervisors. I also met some amazing friends who I have caught up with and am I still talking to them a month after my trip finished. Staying with people for two weeks that are not members of my family is something I have never done before. This allowed us to get to know each other very well.

My project that I participated in was the building of new classrooms for a school. The building project was an amazing experience. We were welcomed into the school right from the beginning. We mostly laid bricks and made/mixed concrete by hand. Although we had to do physical work, our engineers and supervisors always made sure the job was suitable for our age and skill level. Our supervisors always made sure we were hydrated and not too tired. As a group, we always tried to do as much as possible each day. We arrived towards the end of the construction of the school so we were able to see the fully constructed rooms. We also got to understand how much work went into the project before we arrived.

Other than working on the building site, we were able to experience Nepal. We got to eat traditional food at restaurants, visit temples and walk around the streets. Over the weekend, we were able to visit Pokhara. The 7 hours to Pokhara was definitely worth it. In Pokhara, we had amazing views of mountains. We even got to wake up early to experience the sunrise where the sun appeared from a sea of clouds. The sun managed to light up the mountains.
Overall, I really enjoyed this trip and would recommend it to any student my age!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make sure you embrace the experience with open arms. Come in with a positive attitude and make use of the two weeks, because, as many of us found, two weeks goes very fast. We were all having such a good time that we didn't want it to end.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hello Raman,

I am happy to hear that you had a great experience with the Projects Abroad team. Your amazing effort into the High School specials Building project is hugely appreciated. Let’s start planning your next Projects Abroad adventure!

Sajani Amatya, Country Director for Nepal

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

I really enjoyed the trip, the people were fantastic and helpful and I felt as through I experienced a lot. The school children were brilliant and we received all the help that we needed during the trip. Staff were perfect, couldn’t have been better particularly Sujan and Sunil. Would recommend this trip to many of my friends as they loved listening to the stories when we returned home to England. Only problem was the time it took to get there and the tough travel, but I personally didn’t mind at all.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The traffic and culture were very different to back home.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Kate,
Thank you for your review on our Care project in Nepal. I’m delighted that you had a positive and rewarding experience. Your involvement with the project is hugely appreciated by Projects Abroad and the local community. We look forward to you volunteering with us again.

Sajani Amatya, Country Director for Nepal

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

I had no idea when I signed up to join Projects Abroad quite how profound an impact my time in Ghana would have on me. I started out a young, probably naive, amateur football coach. I wanted to experience something different, have some fun, and learn how football was coached in a different country. I got this and much more. I can honestly say that I met some incredible people from all around the world, made memories to last a lifetime, and developed new skills that you just can't get without going outside your comfort zone. The football was amazing, the people were fantastic, and Projects Abroad couldn't have been more helpful. The Projects Abroad staff went out of their way to make me feel safe and help me settle in. They were there every step of the way. I'd recommend it to anyone with a sense of adventure - you won't regret it!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Throw yourself into it and take every opportunity that comes your way. It's natural to be a bit apprehensive if you've never one anything like this before, but the staff are there to help and before you know it you'll be having an incredible time and won't believe what you've been able to accomplish.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hello David,
Thanks for leaving your review about our Sports project in Ghana. It’s warming to hear about your story, what an experience you’ve had – I’m sure you’ll remember it for the lifetime!

Emmanuel Abaaja, Country Director for Ghana

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Freya
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My trip to Nepal was fantastic. It gave me the opportunity to fly alone (well with my now amazing friend Marnie), meet friends from all over the world (Hong Kong, California and Leeds to name a few!) and provide the privilege of being able to feel you made a small difference to a country. There were many highlights of my trip including seeing the birth of a beautiful baby boy, teaching school children how to brush their teeth and visiting a care home for children with a range of disabilities and learning needs. On top of this placements within hospitals provided an incredible insight into what it was like to work in a hospital in a developing country (and as a long term goal of mine was extremely useful). Like most trips however, what made it was the wonderful people I met who 6 months on I am still in touch with and we talk regularly on video calls. Chris our group leader was amazing taking us to the bakery across from our hotel almost every night. All the projects abroad staff were lovely and we even managed to have a favourite Nepalese song by the end of the trip courtesy to our drivers! Trips like these are ones that change you as a person and change your view of the world, I would thoroughly recommend undertaking a trip the projects abroad.

What was your funniest moment?
There were many funny moments along this trip but one that particularly stands out is when my very lovely friend Angela from California decided to make a pot noodle. She plugged in her kettle which her mum had packed from home causing a power cut across the whole hotel (and the rest of Bharatpur I’d like to imagine!) for around 5 hours. No air con, no fans and no lights!
Response from Projects Abroad

Hey Freya,
Your positive review is truly appreciated. Thank you for your commitment towards our High School Specials Medicine project in Nepal. Great things are achieved when our global network of volunteers come together. We hope to see you volunteering again with us soon.

Sajani Amatya, Country Director for Nepal

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Karen
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This is my first time to set foot on the land of Cambodia, I was a little nervous at the beginning, did not know whether I could adapt to the local climate and poor conditions, and I did not know whether I could live and work happily with other volunteers.But when I got there and met Rich (who was my coordinator), I knew I could make a good living here.

I live in the hotel together with volunteers in many countries, to be there the next day is Saturday, we don't have to work.On that day , Projects Abroad staff introduced the working content, matters needing attention for us, and arrange the cultural learning courses, let us in can understand the local customs and before the start of work.

Over the next few days, we began our child care work. We sailed to an island where we taught English to about 30 children ages 5 to 8 and played with them until their parents picked them up after work.This process is simple, but also very tired, because the children are very young, the class can be distracted, so we need to constantly use some ways to attract their attention.These children are very warm, every day when we arrive and leave will greet us loudly and warmly.They can only speak simple English, but they still keep chasing us to play and talk. They know that we can't understand, so they will use a lot of body language to express their ideas.This is very different from Chinese children. Cambodian children are warm and open, which makes us feel welcome and important to them.

This volunteer trip was very interesting both at work and on weekends. I made a lot of friends there and learned a lot about the economic and social situation in Cambodia from talking with them, which was like a new world for me.It can be said that this is a completely different way of experience from tourism, which allows me to have a deeper, more comprehensive and more real understanding of a country and a culture.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I will do more preparation before the trip. For example, I think the small gifts I bring to other volunteers are not very practical. Next time, I will bring some more distinctive Chinese gifts, because it seems that they are far more interested in Chinese culture than Chinese food.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hello Karen,
It sounds like you had an amazing time (I can’t say we're surprised!). Thank you for taking the time to share your positive experience with our global community. We’re so happy that you enjoyed the Care project in Cambodia. We look forward to seeing you again on one of our projects or Internships!

Chhoem Boeb, Country Director for Cambodia

Programs

Displaying 19 - 27 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.