Projects Abroad

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9.1 / 10 after 313 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.

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For a month I spent one heck of a month on a continent I had only seen on the Discovery Channel and Lion King. From when I touched down on the ground in Dakar, until I boarded the plane to head back home, Projects Abroad was always just a phone call or 30-minute walk away for support, questions, internet and anything else I need they provided. Their hours were very convenient and I was always so welcome in the office meeting new people, getting handshakes from some and smiles from everyone. They almost always had answers for me and even one of the staff took me to a market and taught me how to bargain getting me almost 80% of what they would have asked from a white person like me in Africa. I spoke decent French when I arrived, but when I left I felt fluent. Anyways, I only have one thing I want to point out that made me not give all 10 stars.

The summer school I was teaching English to 28 teenage students at was very supportive, welcoming and allowed me much freedom in doing whatever I wanted to do for lessons and provided me with a couple books. I have no complaints there, but every evening at the Talibé center, the director of the center hardly worked at all and watched the volunteers do most the work when I feel like he should have helped with translation between the local African languages and French. I really don’t feel like he was a great representative for Projects Abroad because everyone else in the organization I met was superb, but this guy flirted with the girl volunteers and make everything take twice or three times longer than it should have. But even that made experiences and stories to tell and laugh about for everyone that worked there. I want to see about working at Projects Abroad someday and volunteer with them again because they allow much independence, that’s why volunteers of all ages go with Projects Abroad, but there was also a perfect amount of support for you when you needed it a plenty of opportunities to meet with the other volunteers who are now friends for life and I am visiting some of them in England in the next year or too. Absolutely the best month in my entire life to look back on.

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Location:
Posted: November 2, 2011
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9
Age:
18

A small city in the Eastern European country of Romania is not where many people would go. However, for me, it was the most amazing 1-month experience I could have asked for and my choice to volunteer with Projects Abroad was the best decision ever. This summer I spent 1-month in a medical internship in Brasov, Romania through Projects Abroad. Preparing for my trip, I had no idea what to expect but the PA staff were with me from the time I considered a project. With frequent check-ups before my arrival in Romania, my friend and I felt ready to go to a new place. After travelling across time zones we arrived in Romania and it was unlike any place I had been before. The structure of the Projects Abroad program is what made it such a special experience for me. I lived with a host family and had a placement at a local care center for children with Down Syndrome. When I wanted more medical experience, the PA staff immediately gave me an opportunity to work in a local hospital as well. The freedom and flexibility of this program appealed to me the most. After being taught transportation and directions to work and the city center, we were responsible for attending every day. We could plan our own trips with other volunteers and if we ever had any questions, the PA office was just a 10 minute walk and the staff was more than happy to help plan. Romania was a place I had never before thought about going to, but ever since I returned to America, I can't stop talking about it. The friendships I made through my 1 month in Romania are more than I could have asked for. Projects Abroad was fantastic in every aspect of this trip and made my experience the way it was. Projects Abroad is a wonderful organization and I hope to participate in another program with them. I feel that everyone should participate in such eye-opening and life-changing experience.

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Location:
Posted: October 12, 2011
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
8
By: Manasa
Age:

I spent 10 weeks in Sri Lanka at a teaching placement and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I could have ever imagined. I applied for the program about 2 months in advance and I was quickly accepted into the program. They helped arrange my flights which was great when I ran into some unexpected delays on my departure day and needed to talk to a travel agent because the airport couldn't find one of my flights. Upon arrival, there was someone waiting for me to help me get a local cell phone and take me to the hotel and to help me arrange to go to dinner with a member of the staff. There isn't anything better, than walking into the main part of an airport pushing the cart with all of your belongings on it, feeling like a you're going to melt in the heat and to hear someone calling out your name because you may not exactly know where to go but someone knows where you're supposed to be. My host families were so warm and inviting; they did their best to bridge the language barrier and tried to find ways for me to feel better when I was sick. The in-country staff were very helpful and always available to help solve a problem or to help me find a creative way to teach a lesson. Overall, it was worth the money that I had to spend because the experiences themselves are priceless and life changing.

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Location:
Posted: October 5, 2011
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
9
By: KimH
Age:
21

I honestly did not know what I was expecting before I arrived, but the noise, colours and shouts of the market certainly exceeded anything I could have imagined. My host family lived in the centre of Cape Coast, just above Kotokoraba Market, the main shopping area where you could find pretty much anything. Having said that, one of the main aspects of Ghanaian life that I miss is being able to buy anything you could ever want out of a Tro window! You sit there in your seat and you can buy your weekly food shop, a new watch and kit yourself out in a whole new outfit from the sellers who carry all their goods on their heads and you don’t have to move a muscle! Now that is laid back living for you!

My main placement was in Central Regional Hospital near Abura and it was here that I spent most of my time. Once again I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect and I arrived to find what looked like a fairly modern hospital from the outside, but when I went onto the wards and really opened my eyes, it was then that I realised how wrong I was. I guess realistically this was what I had expected, and in an awful way, it actually meant that I could gain even more from my time in the hospital. I spent two weeks on each ward of the hospital and my daily tasks varied from taking patients for x-rays, offering support to a mother giving birth, taking patients vital signs as they arrived in A&E and assisting Doctors on their daily Surgical Ward Rounds.

Other than the hospital I visited a local Leprosy Camp each morning and along with a few other medical volunteers, we cleaned and re-dressed all of the inmates’ wounds. I have to say that this was one of the most rewarding experiences of my time in Ghana, as you really did feel like you were making a difference to these men and women and their faces clearly showed the appreciation.

I could honestly go on all day about my experiences in Ghana, but I just want to finish by saying that it isn’t all about your placement. Almost every weekend I travelled to other areas of Ghana with other volunteers, and I even made it over the border to Togo for my 19th birthday! The placement was challenging, my host family were friendly and supportive and the country is beautiful, if not slightly crazy! It was a once in a lifetime experience and I loved every moment of it.

Projects Abroad support you every step of the way and are on hand 24/7 in destination to resolve any issues you may have, however small! I am also completely happy with the price that I paid, as you pay for experiences that you will never forget and friendships that you will never lose. If only for the sake of an enhanced C.V I would thoroughly recommend anyone to get involved in the experience of a life time. You pay for your Accommodation, Food and your Placement and I honestly say that they were all good value for money, with Projects Abroad there to deal with any issues and act as your safety net.

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Location:
Posted: September 13, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8
By: Hattie
Age:
New User

I looked for a program that I could take my two children, ages 7 and 13, to volunteer in another country. After doing a lot of research, I found Projects Abroad and ended up working in an orphanage in Bolivia. It was important to me to have my children actively participate. From the moment we arrived, we were well taken care of by the Projects Abroad staff and placed with a host family that generously accommodated me and my family with their hospitality and home. Working in the orphanage was an incredible experience, one that neither me or my children will ever forget. I highly recommend this organization. There was a lot of pre planning that went into the process of going to Bolivia and Projects Abroad answered every question and guided us through each step. We were made to feel safe and felt if any problems should arise we could contact them at any time of day. Fortunately the program is very well run and we had no issues. I am hoping to do a lot more volunteering abroad and am relieved to have a lot of the leg work already done. It is scary to trust that an organization is reliable and responsible, but rest assured that is what we found. Lastly, this may or may not be within your budget. Students are often limited with funds, and wonder why they need to pay for volunteering. However, don't forget that food and shelter are covered, and you absolutely do need a well run office in case of sickness or the unexpected occurring. That was important to me having my two children, and probably important to a lot of parents sending their kids down to volunteer in another country. It was well worth it.

Program:
Location:
Posted: August 13, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: karinkess
Age:
New User

Comments

Lastly, this may or may not be within your budget. I´ve did a project in an orphanage in Bolivia with Bolivia Volunteers. They charged me US$750. Projects Abroad wanted US$2895 for EXACTLY the same deal. Accommodation, food,project,local 24/7 support. BIG DIFFERENCE !

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