I had the most fabulous time volunteering in Mongolia and immersing myself in a different culture. The three aspects of my trip, home stay, volunteering, and support from the Projects Abroad staff, were phenomenal and better than I could ever ask for. I had never gone abroad without my family before and was nervous about being in a foreign country alone. The staff working at projects abroad made sure I felt adjusted and comfortable in my new situation. Zulaa picked me up from the airport and drove me to my home stay. The next day she took me all around Ulaanbaatar, showing me where and which buses to take to get to work and downtown. She bought me a bus pass and SIM card as well as giving me a cultural introduction so I wouldn't accidentally offend someone. Her support didn't end with that first day. Throughout my trip she continued to check in with me and offer assistance whenever I needed it. She also organized events to bring all the volunteers together, whether it be volunteering adventures or cultural presentations. My home stay experience was one of the best parts of the trip. My family was welcoming and funny. The children spoke English and were able to bridge the gap between myself and their parents. I had my own room and lots of privacy while at the same time playing traditional Mongolian games and eating the delicious dinners they prepared for me. Whatever food I said I enjoyed they would put in their kitchen the next day and their generosity was unending. On my first weekend my host family took me on an amazing excursion to the Terelj National Park. I rode a camel and had a picnic in a meadow surrounded by cows. It was one of the best days of my life. The volunteering part of my trip was definitely the best part. I worked at an orphanage with infants and helped the nurses feed the children and bring them outside for a daily dose of sunshine. The orphanage didn't always have enough nurses so I would help out in various ways and sometimes take babies to the hospitals for check ups. The babies were all so cheerful even though their lives weren't privileged or what most would consider pleasant. Orphanage work was extremely hard but at the same time so fulfilling and life altering. I will never forget my experience with Projects Abroad and will always suggest it to people wanting to work abroad.
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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.
Over winter break, I participated in a 3-week public health internship in Dodowa, Ghana assisting the nurses of the Shai-Osodoku District Hospital by weighing and vaccinating children 0-24 months at child welfare clinics and administering first-aid (treating malaria, ring worm, cuts/sores, etc.) to school-aged children during school and orphanage visits. I really enjoyed this project because it was very hands-on. I really felt like I was learning a lot about public health outreach in a developing country, all the while giving back to the community that was helping me learn these lessons. The experience has motivated me to pursue a nursing degree upon college graduation.
I stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Armah and their four children. The family took very good care of me. Despite frequent community-wide power outages, the accommodations were adequate and comfortable. I also very much enjoyed meeting and spending time with fellow volunteers from across the world, and traveling independently across southern Ghana on the weekends.
When I was looking for a program to go abroad with I was recommended to look into Projects Abroad. I was taking a semester off and was looking for a program that had internship opportunities as well as volunteering. Specifically my time in Ghana, I was able to work on a microfinance project which worked with my school schedule, and I was also able to be a volunteer on a teaching project at a local school.
During my stay there every thing was easy and well organized. I loved the support from the staff and always felt very secure. I enjoyed my time in Ghana with projects abroad and would love to use this program again!
Volunteering in Sri Lanka with Projects Abroad was an incredible experience. The staff was extremely helpful, friendly, and always available to answer any questions I had. I did a two-week medicine volunteer project over the winter break of my sophomore year in college. My host family was very kind and welcoming, and provided a delicious dinner every night and plenty of filtered water for us to take with us during the day. I spent most of my time shadowing doctors at the local hospitals in Panadura, Sri Lanka. I was always with another volunteer, and it was nice to share my experiences with someone else. All of the doctors were very kind and always willing to slow down and explain a procedure to us. It was slightly intimidating to be surrounded by local medical students and residents, but everyone was excited to help us learn. We also spent a lot of time at a children’s home, teaching them about health care and preparing for the Christmas holidays. On the weekend, we took a trip to Kandy, where we went to an elephant reserve and many local markets. I learned so much about the rich culture of Sri Lanka and also about healthcare abroad. I would love to return to Sri Lanka again, and volunteering through Projects Abroad was a wonderful experience.
I was a medical volunteer for projects abroad in Cordoba, Argentina for 2 weeks. The host family I housed with was very warm and welcoming from the very first night. My accommodations were very comfortable and pleasing and my host mom encouraged me to clean my living area while helping me clean it at the same time. Most of the time in the first two days was taken up by being introduced to the Projects Abroad staff and touring the city. The staff was very helpful and treated all of us as if we were their little brothers/sisters. After the first 2 days of meeting everyone and becoming familiar with the environment, the volunteer work began.
Work consisted of waking up very early in the morning. One of the staff would pick my group up and take them to the hospital we were assigned to. At the hospitals, I witnessed multiple surgeries and shadowed many doctors. The staff member would walk around with us to make sure communication was efficient (everyone spoke spanish, no english). The key to being involved in the hospitals would be to simply ask the doctors to see a surgery. All of the doctors and nurses were very respectful and they all made an effort to teach us their practices. Work was every morning from about 6 am until 12 pm, and then we went back home to a delicious home-cooked meal, and then we had 2 hours of spanish lessons, and then the evening consisted of group activity.
Group activities included soccer, tango dancing, and restaurants. On weekends we went on day trips to the mountains to go ziplining and other tourist attractions. My housemates instantly became my family and I still talk to them currently. Overall, the experience is phenomenal and it will open your eyes to a wonderful culture and way of life. 10/10 would recommend.
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