Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Tanzania

Video and Photos

About

Projects Abroad offers a variety of volunteer programs in Tanzania including Teaching, Care, Sports, Building projects, as well as a Culture & Community program with the Maasai tribe. We also offer internships to help you gain experience in your career of choice, including Microfinance, Law & Human Rights and Medical projects such as Nursing, Midwifery, General Medicine, and Dentistry.
Whether your placement is in Arusha or Dar es Salaam, this is a great opportunity to explore the wonders that East Africa has to offer.

Highlights
  • Choose a project you are passionate about that fits your interests
  • Select your own start date and duration
  • Get 24/7 support from our local staff
  • Live and work in the local community
  • Have fun exploring the country and its culture over the weekends

Questions & Answers

Reviews

93%
based on 24 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 8.7
  • Value 8.7
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 15 of 24
Default avatar
Amanda
10/10

High School Special Medical Program in Arusha, Tanzania

I have always had a passion for science. As a high school student, I decided to use my Semester Break to discover whether medicine was what I wanted to do I my future. I found the Projects Abroad program online and after a lot of research, found the perfect program for me: spend two weeks in Tanzania where I would learn about the basics of medicine while engaging with the culture of the place and doing volunteer work. Gaining support from the Projects Abroad staff from the moment I signed up until the moment I came back home, I couldn't be in better hands. With the help of their websites, calls with my supervisors and advise sessions with past volunteers, I felt secure and confident about the trip - even though it was the first time I was travelling internationally by myself.

I stayed at The Haus accommodation, where the staff was exceptionally kind and helpful, and where I could meet volunteers like me from all over the world. For two weeks, we became like a family, which helped us all with the culture shock. Today I still have contact with all of them and also with our amazing supervisor, Daniella, who I could not be more grateful for having on this trip.

This program actually overcame my expectations. It made me not only discover that medicine is what I want to do in the future, but also allowed me to seriously engage with the country's culture and live memorable experiences. We would have workshops about medicine and visits to hospitals to experience what we learned in first hand, as well as workshops about the Tanzanian culture, cuisine and art, which were all really interesting. There were even trips to the Tarangire National Park (my first safari ever!) and the Mount Meru Waterfalls on the weekend. The most unique experience for me was to visit the Maasai Village, where I had the amazing opportunity to see their traditional celebrations (jumping ceremony and drinking goat's blood -
yes you read it right : goat's blood ) and to engage with such a culturally rich African tribe. That is one of the reasons why I say this program made me more of a risk - taker and open minded person, which are benefits for a lifetime.

I am not the same person I was before participating in the High School Special Medical Program in Tanzania. It was the best experience I have ever had so far, and my regret was not living this experience for longer - I just wish I had chosen the four weeks program instead of the two weeks one. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to become more culturally rich, knowledgeable and open - minded, and to who wishes to gain new perspectives about the world we live in while helping others.

How can this program be improved?
We had a little bit of problems with our accommodations' toilet and shower, which were in poor conditions. Sometimes we would also not have enough food as we would like. Maybe that could be improved.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Rebecca
10/10

Incredible Experience

I volunteered in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. My time in Dar was the best experience of my life. I think back on my time there every single day of my life. My host mother was the sweetest woman I've ever met. I actually called her "Mama", because that's what she was to me. Her housekeeper was lovely as well. Our meals were fresh and unique every day. The relationship I formed with them truly touched my heart and I plan on visiting them again.

The staff in Dar were constantly working hard to ensure we got the most out of our experiences. Anytime, day or night, they were available. If we had any issues with anything, they were immediately there to help. They also encouraged us to get to know the culture and we were invited to participate in several events at the office to help us do this.

My roommate is now one my dearest friends. She and I bonded instantly. We did everything together when we were not at work. The other volunteers were also incredible. We had our own little family on an entire different continent! We have all kept in touch and plan on getting together at some point in the near future.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Alana
10/10

Leaving My Heart in Tanzania

My project was the perfect combination of volunteer work, cultural immersion, and travel. Living with a host family created an environment where I was truly allowed to live the local life--I ate African food for every meal, practiced Swahili with my host family, and gossiped with the house girl while she would braid my hair. I lived with another volunteer, my new Japanese sister, who I would ride the daladala (Tanzanian public transportation) with to work, the Maasai Market, and the office. The staff at the Projects Abroad office in Tanzania was always incredibly helpful and welcoming to all of us. On the weekends, the other volunteers and I viewed amazing animals on safaris, laid on the beaches of Zanzibar, hiked Mount Meru, and swam in the Hot Springs. I made connections with people I’ll consider friends and family for the rest of my life.

Next, I couldn’t imagine how much I would fall in love with my work placement. At the orphanage, there were about 60 children with ages ranging from three to nine and only two teachers. Projects Abroad also has a child database so that volunteers are able to monitor and track benchmarks for the children at the orphanages. This allows for consistency despite volunteer turnover. I was placed in the middle classroom with the older students and immediately worked to adapt to their daily routine. We always began the classroom with ten minutes of song and dance and despite seeing it almost every day for a month, it never stopped being cute. The teacher would write the lesson on the board and I would help the children who were struggling and grade their work when they were finished. We would then have break where all the students would play together and I never once found myself alone. Whether I was getting my hair braided by the older kids, holding a younger one on my hip, or playing “Muziki” and dancing with them all, I kept busy. Everything about my placement I fell in love with; the children, teachers, cook, chickens, all of it.

How can this program be improved?
The only improvement I would recommend is for the cost to include the transportation and food for the weekly social dinners between the volunteers. One day a week, Projects Abroad will organize a social dinner but the volunteers must pay for themselves. These dinners are a fantastic idea but the volunteers who are a little tight on money have some problems attending them.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Eric
7/10

What an expierence

My experience in Arusha, Tanzania was amazing. To start my project was very educating and enabled me to practice many of the techniques that I have been observing. I was used heavily to take the heavy burden off of the limited staff. I was able to watch and assist with several births and help for extensive hours in the baby clinic. Overall, I am leaving the experience much more knowledgable about women's health and skilled at managing large groups of individuals. In terms of my accommodations and host family, both were amazing. My host family was located very close to the city so I didn't have to travel far to do anything or go to work in the morning. I was also located very close to the other volunteers so I got to spend a vast amount of time with them and gained so many new friends. The food in my household was very traditional yet as a picky eater sometimes I did not like the food. But if I asked for something different then the maids would make something to my liking. The best part of the experience and one that probably made the opportunity go so smooth was how helpful the Projects Abroad staff were. I arrived very late at night yet a Projects Abroad staff member was at the airport to meet me and answer all of my questions that night as well as they all followed up numerous times ensuring that I was comfortable in every setting. Overall the experience was remarkable. What an experience

How can this program be improved?
By letting volunteers be located in the maternal ward more, i was in the baby clinic too much
Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Eric! We are delighted to hear you had such a wonderful experience in your volunteer project in Tanzania! Our local staff is always happy to help our volunteers get installed and continue to check up on you to ensure everything is going smoothly. Thank you for joining us, hope to see you again soon in another one of our projects!

Yes, I recommend
Taylor
10/10

Projects Abroad Medical Volunteer in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

My 4 weeks in Dar es Salaam were the greatest experience of my life. My only regret is not staying for longer! The staff at Projects Abroad was phenomenal- they arranged a great homestay and medical placement, made sure I felt safe and comfortable, and were truly invested in me having a positive experience. They always checked in to make sure I felt safe commuting to the hospital, was eating enough and staying hydrated. They also assisted in transportation to and from the airport, with packing, and with organizing weekend trips.

At the hospital, I was in the minor surgery ward, where I assisted in a variety of minor surgical procedures alongside Dr. Maganga and his nursing staff at Sinza Palestina Hospital. After two weeks, additional volunteers joined me, and as a group we gained the confidence to assist as much as possible. The staff was gracious for our assistance and were happy to answer any questions we had. We all saw procedures that we would never see in the United States and had the opportunity to assist with procedures that we could have only dreamed of.

During the weekends, my friends and I traveled to Zanzibar and the Selous Game Reserve for a 3 day safari. We also went out to dinner, explored the city and learned about the culture surrounding us. The friends I made will remain in my life forever.

I learned a vast amount of knowledge medically and culturally, never felt safer, and miss Tanzania daily. I am looking forward to participating in another Projects Abroad trip this spring before I begin graduate school and remain in contact with my friends, supervising physician and Projects Abroad staff to this day!

How can this program be improved?
They could suggest that 4 weeks may not be enough, depending on the person's travel experience. They could highly suggest that new volunteers reach out to past volunteers to get advice, knowledge, and a sense of comfort before they leave for their trip.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Katie
10/10

Nursing In Tanzania

I was a first timer in Arusha, Tanzania going overseas to volunteer in a hospital and gain experience. I found so much more than just a volunteer experience and educational gain. Before I left and while I was there in Tanzania, Projects Abroad was with me every step. They helped me get a visa and work permit and placed me with the most wonderful host family. I felt incredibly safe the whole time I was there and was very prepared for most things I would encounter. I was placed in the labor ward at Mount Meru Hospital and assisted with the birth of countless babies. While I was only there for ten days, this trip made a huge impact on my life. I would have never been able to do it by myself and going overseas with Projects Abroad is a choice I will never regret.

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing about Projects Abroad it would be that before anyone leaves they receive some pictures of what the city is like right outside the home!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Kim
10/10

An Amazing Experience at Mwananyamala Hospital

I went on my five week expedition with Projects Abroad in January of 2015. In Tanzania, I was in the Medicine program at Mwananyamala Hospital in Dar Es Salaam. That experience was what made everything worth it. During the five weeks that I was at the hospital, I rotated through the laboratory, the minor surgical ward, the major surgical ward, obstetrics, gynaecology, and paediatrics. The doctors in most of the wards were extremely helpful and taught us a lot of the medicine that they were practicing. It was a very hands on experience and I not only got to learn a lot, but I got to do a lot as well.

Also while in Dar Es Salaam, we lived with a local family. Being able to eat the home cooked food was definitely another wonderful addition to the expedition. The food was so good that there were days where all I could think about was going home for lunch and dinner. Hearing the stories of those who I lived with for those five weeks was also spectacular.

A really cool thing that they did during the volunteer program was Dirty Days. These days wouldn't be spent doing the normal project, but would instead have all of the volunteers from all of the programs come together and help the community. I ended up spending a day at an orphanage and another day painting a couple classrooms.

Overall, the experience was completely worth it. There was so much support from Projects Abroad that it felt like it was impossible to go wrong.

How can this program be improved?
The only critique that I have has to do with how I ended up choosing my country. There are so many places to go that narrowing down your choices has to do with 1) Your personal travelling desires and 2) The differences between the programs between countries. For me, the differences of the medical program were not clearly defined during my investigation phase and I was personally told that every country, in Africa, was the same. Part of me felt lucky that I had chosen to go to Tanzania and had gotten the hands on experience I did. However, because I did not go to any other country with Projects Abroad, I cannot conclusively say that my experience would have been any worse of better had I instead chosen to go to Ghana, which had been my original first choice.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Maddie
9/10

A Summer In Tanzania

Last summer I decided to volunteer through Projects Abroad in Tanzania. I had the opportunity to work at a school and an orphanage in the local village of USA River which is a Dala Dala (a Tanzania taxi bus of sorts) from the city of Arusha. Initially I part took in the 2 week high school special. This was an amazing way to meet other high school aged volunteers from around the world, with the same commitment to volunteering. I met some of my closest friends to this day, and they are from Holland, Dubai, while I am from the USA. Projects abroad will provide you with an experience that you won’t forget! I decide to stay an entire month because of the amazing staff I met, and their support encouraged me to continue volunteering. They are extremely supportive from the very first informational email, to the taxi back to the airport the staff was there for you. When I arrived in Tanzania one of the staff members picked me up from the airport, introduced me to the host family I was living with, and then the next day took me around the town to orient me to where I would be living. The next day a staff member took me to my volunteer placement at the school and helped me find my way around. While having the chance to be fully immersed in the Tanzanian culture the office also provided language lessons to enhance your experience. I went to two separate sections of classes and loved both the local teacher and support staff. I would without hesitation recommend Projects Abroad for your Volunteer Organization! If you want to be the change that you want to see, contact Projects Abroad today!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jacob
10/10

Helping Women in Need

The three month microfinance project that I worked on through Project’s Abroad not only deepened my knowledge and understanding of micro lending , but it also provided me with a hands on, multi-cultural experience. From the day that I landed in Tanzania, Project’s Abroad was very intentional about making sure that my volunteer experience was top notch. After my second day in Arusha, Tanzania I began working on my microfinance project. Through this project I received a lot of experience on how to do business counseling to poor and illiterate small business owners. As a team we worked with nearly 50 women in order to help them further their livelihoods and better their businesses. I was able to help and educate these women in need. Through my three months that I spent on my project I felt like I was able to make a lasting impact on the women who we served.

Another aspect of this organization that I really thought was beneficial to the whole experience was staying at the host family. The host family that I stayed with was incredible! They treated me as if I had been their son from the day that I got there. They were able to help me with any questions/concern that I had not only with my project, but also with the culture in general. My experience would not have been the same if I had not stayed at a host family’s home. This opportunity also gave me the chance to meet other volunteers that were staying at the family with me. In the short time that I was there I was able to make some of my best friends through Project’s Abroad. I would highly recommend Project’s Abroad to anyone.

How can this program be improved?
If this program interests you I would recommend going at least for 6 weeks. When I worked on the program we had a few volunteers who stayed for 3 or 4 weeks and that was just not enough time to get the whole experience that every volunteer deserves. Since it is a very hands on project I would recommend going for a longer period of time.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Wendy
8/10

Amazing experience at a hospital in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Last year, I spent two months volunteering at Mwanayamala Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. There, I rotated through the different departments of the hospital, bandaging wounds, growing lab samples, observing surgeries, and conversing with doctors. The doctors at Mwanayamala Hospital were incredibly friendly and taught me a lot about medicine, infectious disease, and Tanzania. Outside of my time at the hospital, I was also able to visit breathtaking beaches and waterfalls, and go on a safari with other volunteers. Although I didn't always feel safe in Dar es Salaam because it is a large city with a certain amount of crime, the support provided by Projects Abroad was amazing. They gave me a tour of the city on my first day, made sure I knew how to make my way around town, and they were very easily accessible for any sort of assistance throughout my stay. Volunteering with Projects Abroad also helped me become comfortable with travel abroad and helped me discover my passion for service and for public health. Although Projects Abroad is quite pricy, the memories I gained and the friendships I've formed are priceless.

How can this program be improved?
The price. It is a lot pricier than other comparable volunteer programs.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
SarahS
9/10

Medical Volunteering Dar es Salaam

During my volunteer internship at a local government hospital in Dar es Salaam I was able to have the most eye opening experience of my life. Day to day I would work under the supervision of doctors, nurses and students who were always more than willing to take time and talk you through everything that was happening in the hospital. I was assigned to work in a certain ward each week, but if I felt uncomfortable in a certain place I was free to change that schedule. The staff was welcoming and allowed me to assist in as much as possible.
My home stay was by far the best part. My family opened their arms and treated me as one of their own. This experience made me completely immersed into the culture. I ate all of my meals with the family and participated in family parties and outings.
Though the people in Dar aren't strangers to outsiders, you will be stared at and treated differently. You will have a safe and fun experience if you listen to the Projects Abroad staff on safe travels.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
medgirl4
10/10

Medicine at SEHA with Projects Abroad

This placement was a life changing experience for me. I loved every minute at the hospital and if you show yoourself to be enthuastic then the staff will afford you some great opportunities. Projects Abroad allocated me a really nice host family, and were there to answer any queries I had. They also arranged an outreach medical clinic which really opened my eyes to rural medicine in Tanzania. I was advised on safety in Arusha and at no point felt this was comprimised.

How can this program be improved?
More information on the healthcare system and possibly a switch from a city to a rural hospital if the placement is long.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jgrace
10/10

Wonderful, life changing experience

I was placed in a hospital outside of Arusha in the summer of 2010. I had lived in Africa before, but in a different country and context. My experience in Tanzania was amazing, and much different than anything I could have imagined. I loved my host family, and still keep in touch with them from time to time. The Projects Abroad staff was supportive and available when I needed them, but the program is not overly structured like a tour package or anything, which I liked. Working at the hospital was a very humbling experience, for which I am very grateful. I learned, saw, and did a lot more than I thought I would. The hospital was short-staffed most of the time so I kind of did whatever was needed. Sometimes it got rather gruesome. My advice would be to remain open-minded, and remember that you are there to learn. Also, it helps to have a strong stomach. All in all, I'm happy I went, happy I chose Projects Abroad, and I can't wait to go back to Tanzania.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Laura
9/10

Life changing experieces.

I volunteered with Projects Abroad in Tanzania back in the winter of 2010, and would not change my experience for the world. I was living with a host family in a small area just outside of Arusha and I loved my host family, I was able to learn so much more about their culture than if I were to live in just some sort of hostel. I volunteered at Good Hope orphanage with kids ranging in the ages of 3-18. I helped teach English, math and science in the morning, and in the afternoon we'd do many different fun activities, sometimes I would even walk down to the river with them and fetch some water or help with their laundry. I learned a lot from the children and adults at the orphanage that changed my outlook on life. Once every week, on Thursdays, all the volunteers with projects abroad would gather for a social event, which was usually dinner and then a trip to via via, the local nightclub. This was always a fun event to look forward to, because I would get to meet new volunteers and catch up with the older ones and gain friendships all over the world. I also had the chance to go on safari with some of the other volunteers, and I loved every minute of it. I would highly recommend projects abroad, even though their prices are a little high, but for a first time traveler like me, it offered more safety and I always felt secure everywhere I went in Tanzania knowing I could always go to the projects abroad staff whenever I'm in need.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Breanna
9/10

An Experience of a Lifetime in Tanzania with Projects Abroad

I loved the 2-Week High School Special Medical Program. I had the opportunity to experience Arusha's medical system and gained a lot of knowledge that will surely help me in my future studies. We also visited the orphanages where we got to play games and truly interact with the children. The best experience of all however was definitely living with my host family. Some of my best moments were spent with my host family. They made me feel right at home and I made friendships that will certainly last a lifetime. This trip was the best experience of my life and I am already in the process of planning my trip back!

Yes, I recommend

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

Meet the Staff

About Projects Abroad

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...