Projects Abroad Volunteer with Refugees project in Italy

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Projects Abroad has partnered with local Italian organizations to work directly with refugees immigrants. Volunteers will get involved in 'second response' work, helping refugees integrate into life in Italy and teaching them valuable skills they need for adapting.

Visit Project's Abroad website for more details.

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Questions & Answers


8.67 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 33.33%
  • 7-8 rating 66.67%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9
  • Support 8.3
  • Fun 8.3
  • Value 8
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
Yes, I recommend this program

Working with refugees in Italy!

Overall, I had a lifechanging experience in Italy with Projects Abroad. As a future social worker who wants to work with refugees in the future, I was really excited for this experience and to gain experience in my future career. This experience really gave me a hands on experience to help with my career and has become increasingly important when it comes to my job for the next year. Throughout my time in Italy, I was able to work with Syrian refugees and refugees from African countries, along with working with the local population. Most of the time, I was in a community building role where we were working on integrating peace in the community. This was done whether working with a children's summer camp or with the local women.

I also had a great time with the other volunteers and staff members. I stayed in a newly redone house with 5 other volunteers. Once more volunteers came, it was a great experience and we created some really strong bonds. All of the volunteers ate meals together, had social events, and worked on the projects together. The bonds that I made with other volunteers are ones that will last awhile and I was able to connect with so many other young adults who were interested in the same ideas that I am. It was a great networking opportunity! The staff was also mostly wonderful. There was a bit of a managerial changeover while I was in Italy, which caused a lot of tension and caused many of the projects to not be completed. If the staff turnover had been resolved more quickly, I feel like I could really have made an impact on the project- it was just unfortunate timing.

As far as the projects go, there was such a wide variety of things to do that you were really able to get involved in whatever you were most interested in. Most of the projects involved working with children, which was great for me- but just beware! I also felt that some of the projects weren't entirely useful to creating long-lasting future and involvement with the refugees. My only flaws with the program would be that we didn't get to interact with the refugees in the project and that the projects could be better worked through if the refugees were more involved.

Overall, this was a great program and I would love to go back!

What would you improve about this program?
This program can be improved by having more involvement with the refugee community. It is important to increase longevity to have the refugees trained in the projects and more involved. I also think this program could be better improved by having staff and manager changeover happen in a time when there are less volunteers, like in the winter.
1 person found this review helpful.
Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Emma. Thank you for sharing! Your role was indeed very important and I am sure the women and children you got to help are very grateful for your assistance. I am glad you had an overall positive experience and that it will be helpful to further your career. We would love to get in touch with you and speak about what you feel we could have been done better in your project. Let me know if you would like to arrange this and what the best way to reach you would be.

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Yes, I recommend this program


I volunteered at the refugee project in Italy for my school's practicum for 4 weeks and it was one of the best things I've ever done in my life. I went into the program not really having much of an idea of what would be expected of me or what my jobs would entail. I quickly found myself doing things I had no idea I could do, such as teach english and fitness classes (thank god for Google!) The project coordinators are really accommodating to make sure that you only have an amount of work that you are comfortable with and try to help you with any extra travel plans you may wish to do on the weekends. Many of these travel abroad projects you live with a host family, however in Camini you live in a communal house with other volunteers and all eat together in the dining hall at the office. Cosimina, my new Italian Nonna, cooked for us breakfast, lunch and dinner and never disappointed! The food was always amazing and she is very accommodating if you have food allergies/dislikes. My first week in Italy I got my bearings around town and my duties. The second week I began to make connections with the refugees and the locals alike. My third week I really deepened those connections, and my fourth week I began to see all my hard work come together as I saw some of the changes I had made in Camini and the people in it. Overall, the experience was an emotional rollercoaster with many highs and lows. But I'm so glad for the lows because the highs wouldn't have been as high. I made connections with people I never would have had an opportunity to make otherwise, not only with the refugees but with the locals and the other volunteers as well. Camini truly stole a place in my heart and I hope to go back one day.

1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Camini, Italy

My experience had its ups and down. The positive parts of this experience involve getting to know volunteers as good friends, meeting people from around the world, and learning new things about yourself through being in a complex environment. The downsides include possible bad roommates, bugs, and heatstroke.

Basically what happens is that the volunteers become good friends with you, almost to the point where you can bond with some of them as if you were family if you luck out and you both are there for similar amount of time. That doesn’t mean that everyone will get along with you, and like any other place out there in the world, there is the possibility of bad roommates. For me, it was just the age difference that showed maturity gaps because I was on average at least 6 years older than the other women in the house I was staying in. If I had been there longer with them in the room, I would’ve requested a room switch, but the universe made it so that I was in a room by myself for most of my trip. I had forgotten that I’m not 18 anymore when I applied for the project, and I think being aware of this stuff is something that is crucial for someone if they are to stay there for a month, for instance.

Depending on where you get placed (work wise), you can get to know the refugees quite well. I enjoyed this part the most because I got to dance with them, eat with them, meet women who spoke 7 languages fluently, and experience many other things. As a woman, I was encouraged heavily right off the bat to work with mostly children in daycare, and I knew right away that it would not be a good fit for me. The people who work in the project are very accommodating and are eager to help you make the most of your experience. Realizing I couldn’t work with the children too much for a number of reasons (attachment being the main reason), I found myself much happier with the adult refugees and when I worked within the library. You become very attached to people in this tiny town because you are around them all the time, and when I got heatstroke, I felt very cared for by everyone despite going through the very un-fun experience of getting sick in a foreign country. There’s also the bugs, which can be beaten with bug spray on at all times. The times I forgot, I regretted it deeply. I came home with around 20 bug bites due to forgetting to put on bug spray for 2 hours on my last day there.

Nevertheless, you really get to experience a community like no other when you go on this trip, and while it isn’t perfect, and by no means a vacation, you leave with memories that make you wonder when you’ll visit again to see how much the town has changed in a couple of years.

What would you improve about this program?
Be aware of possible roommate issues. They tend to just organize the rooming situation solely by gender, and don't take into account age too.
1 person found this review helpful.