I traveled to Akuapem Hills, Ghana for one week as part of the alternative spring break trip. I did the care project, so I volunteered in an orphanage and school for that week. I have traveled a good amount, so I was not nervous about navigating to and around Ghana. I was more concerned with learning about my roles and responsibilities while at the placement. The Projects Abroad staff helped me learn what my roles and responsibilities for the week were, introduced me to my placement's staff, and showed me how to get to my placement. My host family provided delicious Ghanaian meals during my stay. The other Projects Abroad volunteers and I got to know each other by exploring the area such as hiking, visiting the botanical gardens, and going shopping at the markets. The children that live in the orphanage and the students that attend the school are energetic, curious, and playful. They welcomed me with hugs, holding my hand, wanting to read books together, throw the Frisbee together, and much more.
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Established in 1992, Projects Abroad is the world’s leading short-term international volunteer organization. Over 8,000 people a year join our programs in over 25 amazing countries around the world. All participants receive unparalleled in-country support from our full-time, professional staff to ensure that the experience is safe, worthwhile, and fun.
I volunteered in Vietnam as an Occupational Therapy student over a period of four weeks during my summer break. I was recommended Projects Abroad by a friend, and after doing some more research and making contact with the team who answered all the questions that I had, I decided to head to Vietnam for my placement. The Projects Abroad team in Vietnam really know what they're doing, and are good what they do. They understand and have a vision of what it looks like to facilitate sustainable placements that are of benefit to the host organisation.
I volunteered at Hanoi Friendship Village, home to 120 children and 60 veterans all affected by the Vietnam war. The village provides medical care, therapy and both educational and vocational classes for its inhabitants. I spent the majority of our time there in the therapy room providing occupational therapy focused therapy for children and adults that came in daily.
Personally, I gained so much out of this experience. I became a lot more independent, found that I was a lot more resilient than I initially thought, and I really opened up to new experiences and meeting new people. I think that through this experience, I have also become a more globally conscious individual. The Projects team made it clear that there were only ever a call away, and they not only looked after us on placement, but ensured that we were immersed in the Vietnamese way of life. They organised activities with other volunteers including Vietnamese cooking class and pottery making. I stayed at one of the volunteer houses with fellow volunteers from different countries around the world. On the weekends, we explored and visited many of the attractions of Hanoi together, and spend many a night sitting on low plastic stools and tables eating food on the footpath with the locals as motorbikes and cars rushed by beside us. Vietnam is a beautiful country, rich with history, and being able to make a small positive contribution to the lives of the Vietnamese people through this volunteer experience is something I will always hold close to my heart.
I decided to volunteer with Projects Abroad for their new "Refugee Project" in Italy. This was a life changing experience. Every step of the way I felt comfortable and confident in my placement and the support of the program. I had the opportunity to work with newly arrived minor refugees to build relationships with them and help teach them basic business skills. During my stay we also had a boat of over 800 refugees arrive. Working along side the red cross and helping the new refugees feel confident we are there to help was life changing in every way possible. I highly recommend this project to anyone who wants to no longer sit and watch the refugee crisis from your TV and actually make an impact
I volunteered with Projects Abroad in 2016 in Mandeville, Jamaica. I am a full time college student at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas, studying biology as a pre-medicine major and minors in psychology and chemistry. To graduate Tabor, I needed to complete at least forty hours of an internship. I spent a lot of time researching opportunities online and found Projects Abroad fairly quick. I studied their web page and organization thoroughly and finally decided to pick the medicine program in Jamaica. I had always wanted to travel internationally and I felt that this was a good opportunity to travel and appreciate the different views of a new culture.
As soon as I applied to the program, I felt supported and valued. My personalized webpage outlined all the tasks I needed to complete before my departure as well as what to expect from my program. I was relieved to have a local staff member meet me at the airport after my travels. My host family welcomed me and instantly made me feel like a member of the house. My room was storage sufficient and nice. All food and clean water was provided. A local staff member met me Monday morning and gave me a tour of the town, my placement, and the staff office. At my work placement, I had flexible work hours. I rotated between family planning, curative, and maternal and child health. All of the staff members were welcoming and helpful in letting me be proactive in the clinic. I took weights, heights, blood pressures, blood sugars, interviewed patients, and assisted with six week check ups including vaccinations for babies.
There were plenty of opportunities to travel the country on the weekends. The staff was helpful in answering any questions. Traveling abroad teaches you patience, resilience, confidence and problem solving. You appreciate what you have and it’s very rewarding to help those less fortunate. We may have a lot to give but they also have a lot to teach us in return. Overall, I would highly recommend Projects Abroad for volunteering/interning internationally!
I volunteered with Projects Abroad in 2015 in Tanzania, Africa. I had been working full time as a midwife and decided I wanted to work abroad to really appreciate how different things were. I spend a lot of time researching volunteering companies and I am so glad I did because I found Projects Abroad. From the minute, I sent off my first email I felt supported and informed. I was set up with a personalised web page that outlined everything I would need to know and get ready before I set off on the trip of a lifetime.
After a long journey from across the other side of the world I was relieved to have a local staff member pick me up from the airport and transfer me to my host family. My host family treated me as one of their own. I stayed with another volunteer who was able to show me around and introduce me to some other volunteers. My accommodation was different but certainly comfortable and all my food and water were provided.
A local staff member picked me up the following day and took me to my workplace and introduced me to the local staff. Each day I learnt new skills and was able to rotate through the antenatal and postnatal wards, attend some surgeries, take a patient in an ambulance and assist women to birth their babies. My hours were flexible and the staff were friendly and appreciative.
I spent the afternoons with the other volunteers. We went to the local markets, tried out local dishes in the cafes, went hiking, tried some local dance classes and attend language classes. There were plenty of opportunities to travel on the weekends and this is easily organised within the country once you arrive. I met some of the most amazing friends and we were always there to support each other. Projects Aboard organised a Thursday night social night and it was great to catch up and share stories and plan our weekend safaris. Travelling abroad teaches you patience, resilience, confidence and problem solving. You appreciate what you have and it’s very rewarding to help those less fortunate. We have a lot to give but they also have a lot to teach us!
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