Projects Abroad

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

Reviews

Default avatar
Evan
10/10

When I volunteered with Projects Abroad, I was a junior and biochemistry major at Northeastern University. I traveled to San Cristobal island, in the Galapagos, from Boston, Massachusetts during my summer break in May-June of 2018. One thing I would recommend, if traveling from the east coast, is to book a hotel room in Quito at the Wyndham near the airport. Typically, you arrive at the airport at around midnight, and the Galapagos flight does not leave until 9 or 10am; by booking a hotel room, we got a few hours of good sleep that worked wonders the next day. I volunteered with the ESL program, joining other volunteers to teach English at a rural location. When you arrive at the Galapagos, you are greeted by an open-air airport security center and a beautiful view. This is a far cry from dreary Logan airport in Boston! William Puga, the coordinator from San Cristobal, greeted me and my traveling partner Lindsay; from there, we took a pickup truck taxi ride (get used to these!) to our volunteer camp.
The volunteer camp is a beautiful, well-maintained row of dormitories about a 15 minute ride from the main town on the ocean. There are free bananas hanging from vines, comfy hammocks, and a clean common area where all the volunteers hang-out and get to know each other. We were taken care of by our host family, a couple in their twenties with a beautiful baby girl. My host family was nothing but professional and friendly. The rooms were kept clean, the meals were plentiful and nutritious, and I got a real taste of San Cristobal by living with them. The host “mom”, Abi, even did our laundry with a one dollar deposit per load! Speaking of food, they were also able to accommodate my traveling partners unique dietary restrictions, something that really left a positive impact on our experience.
As aforementioned, my traveling partner and I worked teaching English at a rural school in Northern San Cristobal, about a five minute walk from our placement. This was an incredible experience; we taught 7, 40 minute classes per day, from 7:15 to 12:30. If we had to form a lesson plan or do research, we would typically stay from 12:45 to 3pm at the volunteer office in town until our job was done. The teachers were very accommodating of our impromptu class scheduling and seemed excited about their students learning English; with so much of San Cristobal’s jobs being related to tourism, it makes future employees very marketable if they know even a little English. We formed our own lesson plans based on given material, and taught each age level at a different pace. I am happy to say that we finished the majority of what we had set out to teach by the end of our placement, namely high-yield vocabulary and verbs. Forming relationships with the kids and watching their English knowledge progress made getting up early really easy. All of the inside jokes and play-time during “Recreo” (recess) made teaching the kids a lot more fun and engaging. When the kids had a week of school off during our last week of placement, our coordinator, arranged for us to work in the tutoring center in the center of town. Here, we worked with three age groups and two other volunteers. It was very interesting to see how Lindsay and I viewed teaching English compared to the other volunteers, as we had been designing lesson plans independent of one another; the majority of the teaching was very similar and flowed cohesively with me and Lindsay’s knowledge.

How can this program be improved?
I have no criticisms!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Cecilia
10/10

Volunteering with Projects Abroad in Nepal was absolutely incredible! It was an amazing experience. When I first got to the airport in Kathmandu, I was picked up by a taxi organized by Projects Abroad and went straight to Prince Hotel in Thamel. I had my orientation there. During my time in Nepal, I did three projects. I did the Teaching Project, Himalayan Conservation Project, and Building Project. Each one gave me new and exited experiences and unforgettable memories. The staff was friendly and welcoming and they were always there if you needed anything. All three projects were organized, and I always felt safe.

Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Cecilia. It's wonderful that you got to be involved in so many different projects in Nepal! There are lots of ways to make yourself useful in this beautiful country so it's great that you were able to pitch in in different areas. Which one was your favorite?
Thank you for sharing!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sara
10/10

Hi my name is Sara Stewart. I am an early/childhood education major at SUNY Cortland. This past winter I went to San Cristobal in the Galapagos islands in Ecuador.
My project that I had was teaching children in Ecuador English. I taught four classes every weekday and I planned lessons in the morning for a hour. All of the classes I taught were very different from each other. The first class I taught was a beginners class. This ranged from students who were typically five to six years old who barley knew any English. The next class I taught was advanced. This class consisted mainly of seven to eight year olds. The advanced class has mediocre English skills and the aspect that these students struggled with most was grammar. The third class I taught was level five. Level five consisted of eight to ten year olds. These students spoke some clear statements, but these students as well struggled with grammar. The last class I taught was a conversation class. This was the most advanced class I taught. This class consisted of twelve to fourteen year olds. These students when I were there had a one on one helper and I was one of the students helper. The whole time you would talk in English and ask the students any questions that cam dot your mind. This program had many supplies that you can use in your classroom and were willing to add anything you thought would be beneficial to the classroom.
The staff support was amazing. They provided me with transportation the minute I got off the flight. They introduced me to mu host family right when I got there. Later on in the first day they showed me where I would be working. They explained to me what was expected of me. Then they walked me around to show me where some cool places were. The first day of volunteering they picked me up and made sure I learned the walk to the work place. They also help me meet other volunteers. They also helped me to get adjusted to teaching ESL learners. They provided me with the resources I needed to teach the children. They even let me work on the conversation for a morning to see the turtles.
There are many activities to do on the Galapagos. I wish I had more time because there was so much I wanted to do! One thing I would recommend when being on San Cristobal is doing the 360 tour. During this tour you are on about ride. The boat ride takes you to many beaches that you couldn’t get to other than by boat. It then it takes you to other amazing snoring sites, such as my favorite kicker rock! When Snorkeling in kicker rock I saw hammerhead sharks and a few Galapagos sharks. I also saw sea turtles and many exotic fish it was a great experience! This tour was very affordable and I would highly recommend it. San Cristobal has another beautiful site, which is the volcano. The volcano doesn’t have may tourists that come to visit, but it is one of the most beautiful sites on the island. On the island there are tons of beaches, there are tons of beautiful hikes and tons of water activities that are worth checking out. The wild life is also amazing! The turtles park is a must see., They have a conversation for the turtles. You can see really tiny ones up to ones that are huge and are older
than one hundred years old. San Cristobal is an amazing place. Anyone who has the opportunity to go I would highly recommend it. I would also suggest going to the other two islands, that is the one aspect that I regret not doing most!

How can this program be improved?
I wouldn't change anything about this program!
Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Sara,

It sounds like you had a wonderful time in Ecuador, both on your project and exploring the islands. We are glad to hear you made such strong connections with your students. Thank you for sharing!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Anneke
10/10

I had a great experience in Cordoba, Argentina, and I would recommend it again! I stayed in Cordoba for ten weeks as a human rights intern.

The human rights internship is good for any age or professional level, as it is flexible. We participated regularly in three to four main activities, but we often went to other events and were asked to create our own research projects. My favorite regular thing we did was act as peer mentors for young women in a correctional facility, and my favorite event was marching on International Women's Day in favor of safe, legal abortions and to bring awareness to femicide.

Cordoba is a good city to live in for volunteers with tighter budgets like myself. The city is centered in the Sierra mountains, so there are LOTS of places with day-trip potential nearby, and the buses were inexpensive and reliable. My favorite trips involved hiking--Capilla del Monte and Las Cascadas. In Cordoba, there are art fairs, street performances, and events all the time, as well as some really good art museums.

I would definitely recommend that volunteers brush up on their Spanish! I went with very little, and I was not able to afford PA's Spanish lessons, so I relied mostly on immersion to learn. I learned quite a bit, anyone like me with little Spanish would be able to do it and have a great experience--however having a better grip on the language will give you a more dynamic experience overall. Having spent two and a half months in Argentina I am motivated to learn more Spanish, so that my next experience will be even better. I am planning on taking Spanish when I start school next fall.

I genuinely recommend this project for anyone looking into human rights work as a career, like me. It gives a good, in-depth look at work in the non-profit sector. Additionally, Argentina's past struggles with human rights in the 1970s and 80s gave me context for everything we were working on--it is a good country to learn in and from if you need an introduction to human rights advocacy.

How can this program be improved?
There are parts of the main activities in my project that could have been streamlined to be more effective, however I understand that this partially due to our very new volunteer coordinator (who was really good, even though she was just hired) getting used to the position--in fact, as I was getting ready to leave the coordinator and other volunteers were planning how they could improve the project.
Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Anneke. It sounds like you had a great time in Argentina! There is so much to learn and observe first hand about human rights in this internship so we are glad to hear you were so involved and inspired to even write your own essays. We are sure that this will be an experience that is set to mark your professional path.
Indeed, we are always working hard to innovate and improve our programs and their design so we always welcome volunteers' feedback. Thanks for yours!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Shannon
8/10

Over the spring break, I went to the Taricaya Ecological reserve in Peru, and I loved it! This was technically meant for university students, however Projects Abroad was super accommodating and still let me go even though I am in high school. I received lots of information and my contact was incredibly helpful, and answered all of my questions quickly and thoroughly. They offered to book flights for me and sent me an option, but I ended up finding a cheaper option and booking them myself. Once I arrived in Peru, there were always staff around who were very helpful and kind. I loved working Taricaya, doing research and conservation work, and I felt like I was genuinely being helpful, rather than just volunteering to make myself feel good. The only thing that I wish could be improved is the overall cost, as it was a little expensive. All in all, I had a fantastic time, and Projects Abroad was very helpful during my travels.

How can this program be improved?
Cheaper Cost
Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Shannon. Thanks for sharing! We are indeed very flexible in terms of dates and projects. It's great that you were able to join us in Peru over your Spring Break. This is such a unique project and volunteers' help is much needed and appreciated. The cost of the program does include a lot more than what may be at the sight, so not only does it include the arrangement of your project, housing, insurance and food, but also the support from our staff 24/7, the partnership with the reserve, materials, training and workshop, and so much more! You do get a discount as a member of our alumni community so hopefully you can join us again in another one of our projects soon!

Yes, I recommend

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