Projects Abroad

Fully Verified What's this?
9 / 10 after 257 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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.

Submit a review

I volunteered to teach English for one month om Nadi, Fiji. This was my first abroad experience. Overall I can say that I am glad that I went with PA. My placement, accomocdation and support were top notch. Even the gatherings where you meet with other volunteers was good. They doa good job of ensuring that you are happy with not only your placement but your living situation as well. I had the best host family ever. They keo the home immaculate and ensured that I never missed a meal. Always provided me with nutritious and tasty menu items. From what i gather this program was one of the more expensive ones. However, if its your first time out I highly recommend you go through PA.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 6, 2010
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
8
By: Anonymous
Age:

I`d say that if money is not an issue with you & you`re not experienced with world travel, sign-up with an organization like Projects Abroad. It guarantees a bit of safety and organization in some countries that can be overwhelming.
Unfortunately, money is an issue with me (I`m a university student) and I have travelled all over the globe, so I found that Projects Abroad (P.A.) took complete advantage and profited a LOT from what I paid them.
They are very quick to ask and receive your money, but every P.A. volunteer I spoke with agreed that once they get your money things (correspondence)slow down a LOT.
My teaching placement AND accomodation details were not kept up-to-date and I actually didn`t know exactly where I was going until I arrived in India and the staff took me there. This was extremely unprofessional and prevented me from preparing adequately for my project.
There were staff there to pick me up and take me to my accomodations. I did not have to worry about taxis or buses to get to my placement.
Other volunteers that had done more than one placement with P.A. told me that there are the SAME project fees from country to country, even though the cost of putting someone up in India in someone`s home is significanly less than having your own flat in Shanghai.....and yet we paid the same cost.
The in-country staff communicate almost exclusively via cell or mobile phones and expected me to pay for an Indian cell-phone plan once I arrived so they could keep in touch. Another volunteer there had no phone and basically had NO communication from the P.A. coordinators unless he found an internet cafe (good luck in rural India) to email them. I think it`s unacceptable to take so much money from volunteers and not have solid communication methods set up for them.
Almost ANY time I was told that my P.A. coordinator was going to call me for a phone meeting or come to my placement for a check-up meeting they did not show at all or were extremely late. I had a mobile phone and they wouldn`t even call to inform me that they weren`t going to make it. Again, for such a high price, I find this unacceptable.
I contacted the director of P.A. India enquiring about the allocation of the funds I paid to P.A. After a month in India I knew exactly how much accomodation and food cost. It was a matter of a few dollars per day. After calculations, there was about $1200-$1800 unaccounted for and P.A. could not give me any details about where that money could be. Apart from the costs of the staff, administration, etc. and what little community work they do, there is a HUGE misallocation of funds.
Most saddening is that I`M trying to do something good, but P.A. was profiting. My classroom had no electricity. The students had almost NO resources. There was no paper, pictures, books, teaching aids to work with. There were just benches and a blackboard. I didn`t mind that AT ALL! The children were fantastic. But more could be done to help the school.
There is SUCH opportunity to put my money to good, but Projects Abroad is clearly just profiting from the funds paid to them.
After travelling throughout India I found numerous volunteer opportunitites (especially in DHARAMSALA) where you just need to show up and you`re good to go. Also, Lonely Planet travel guides have a `volunteer`section with resources. If you`re comfortable with travel, can book your own travel insurance (I suggest `World Nomads`), and are going to have to pay for your own flight anyway: I`d suggest looking for an in-country volunteer program that has little/no administrative costs for you to pay.
BUT if you have the money and want the comfort of having things taken care of for peace of mind, I`d go with Projects Abroad...just don`t count where your pennies go because they`re a business. And businesses like to make money.

Program:
Location:
Posted: June 14, 2010
Overall:
6
Support:
6
Value:
2
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

Hello, Thank you for your straight up answer! I've been feeling the same way as I look into doing one of these trips! I can't understand if I pay for my ownflight and what not why I should then drop several thousand to volunteer? If I am volunteering it shouldnt cost anyone anything! Can you PM me so we can discuss some details surrounding this? I am going to India for at least six months and I leave in 6 weeks but I still have much to learn and figure out... any info you can help me with would be great! I contact you because it sounds to me like we are on the same page with all this stuff. Thanks!

Although my 1.5 month experience with Projects Abroad was expensive, I would recommend volunteering with a well-established organisation such as this one especially if it is your first time travelling abroad alone as it was for me. The experience of volunteering with the local children and living with a Peruvian family was an eye-opening and pretty humbling one. I think the home-stay is probably the best way to really get to know the culture of the country in which you're living as you can share (however much you want to) with the every day reality of your host-family. I found that Projects Abroad in Peru was good at organising social events to bring the volunteers together with monthly and weekly events such as the weekly Pub-Quiz although when it came to socialising in smaller groups I was just given a sheet on th day that I arrived with all the host-family's numbers on it for me to contact the other volunteers on my own. If you go for a placement with Projects Abroad you're mostly paying for the social side, the experience of genuine Peruvian life with your volunteering as well as your host-family and the comfort of the fact that it is a big organisation so you don't feel like you're alone. However, when on the placement, you're not given too much guidance for example, working at a nursery, you're expected to make up activities and games yourself for the kids rather than have it mapped out by Projects Abroad; it's a good way of building confidence and putting your initiative into practice but you can also feel a bit lost when you're at the school and you don't know where to start. Also - try to learn at least the basics of the language before you go as this will really help with your volunteering as well as maybe making you feel a bit less like a tourist. For first-time volunteers abroad, Projects Abroad is a good option.

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 26, 2010
Overall:
8
Support:
5
Value:
7
By: Anonymous
Age:

Projects Abroad was my connection to Espoir de Demain, the care project in Senegal. Espoirs de Demain threw me into a completely different style of work than i have ever experienced, hand in hand with Senegalese people my own age. My eyes were opened by the wonderful Senegalese volunteers as well as the little talibes we worked with. I learned how to not only look at the problem but deal with. Projects Abroad was helpful and always available. And I only experienced one of there many many programs but im sure that the placements and the staff around the world is just as caring and kind as in my new home Senegal.

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 25, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
8
By: Anonymous
Age:

Everything about my experince in Peru was insanely good! The system was soo easily set up and basically the only problem I had the whole time I was there was my Spanish wasnt that strong! Projects abroad staff of Peru (Urubamba) were so nice and really flexible. Their door is always open and always are willing to help you. They were also really organised when it came to things like the schools shut for the Swine Flu epidemic, so I got moved to community work with a bunch of other volunteers untill the schools re-opened and ofcourse.. Salsa time was always the best! I miss everything already about Peru and it most definatly wouldnt have been the same without the support of the Projects abroad staff :)

Program:
Location:
Posted: March 7, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
8
By: Anonymous
Age:

Comments

Which Organization you went through? I am thinking about sending my daughter out there for the summer? Please advise. Thank you.

Pages