Projects Abroad

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9.1 / 10 after 356 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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I volunteered over on the Cambodian Marine Conservation project with Projects Abroad in 2009. It was seriously one of the best experiences of my life!!!

My project was based around conservation of marine life through scuba techniques and also land-based conservation. As I was not a scuba diver when I arrived, I spent majority of my month gaining my Advanced Scuba diving certificate. It couldn't have been a better place to learn a new skill, considering I had one-on-one sessions with my diver instructor Danny and had support whenever I needed it. It is rare to learn how to dive in this type of circumstance as well, so I found I came away with a lot of confidence as not only a diver, but a person.

Apart from the diving, I was involved in jungle-treks and teaching on the island. Teaching kids who haven't got the same opportunities as the majority children in the world is a really enriching experience. There is such a high level of gratitude from them, and I found I learnt alot from the children as well.

I am really happy with my choice of Projects Abroad, as I was only young when I volunteered. I really needed the support and the guidance before I left and also while I was in Cambodia; being only 17 and going to a brand new country can be daunting. I found that throughout my time, even though it was short, I met alot of amazing people who I will still call my friends for a very long time. I really cannot stress the amount of appreciation I have for my diver instructor Danny, and also carers of the island project at the time. Without them, and without their help I wouldn't have gotten half the experience out of my month in Cambodia.

I have given value as a 9 for Projects Abroad as my placement was rather expensive. But in hindsight, I did learn how to Scuba dive and I got to do it one-on-one in one the most beautiful parts of the world! I would really recommend searching on Projects Abroad's website as there are so many placements available and the support is absolutely endless.

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Location:
Posted: December 8, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9
Age:
19

My volunteer experience in Senegal from July-October 2011 with Projects Abroad was absolutely incredible. I was supported by the organization's staff from the day I first made contact with them, and have felt that contact through this day-- even after my experience has ended. I reviewed several organizations before making the choice to volunteer with P.A., and I would not have changed one thing about my decision.
Through Projects Abroad, I found the perfect balance of support and independence, which is exactly what I was looking for in an organization. I didn't feel confined or overly directed while in Senegal, but someone was always there to help me if I needed assistance. The desk officer, social manager, and on-site staff were available 24/7, which is certainly a comfort to many individuals who volunteer in a foreign country. The excursions and social activities allowed for the chance to get to know other volunteers, and the projects themselves were extremely fulfilling and enlightening. Most of all, the structure of the program allowed for true immersion into the local culture. This is a vital element for volunteers to gain as much as possible from an experience while giving back to the residents of the community in which they work. The only reason I am giving eight starts for "value" is because the cost of the program seemed a bit high compared to some others, but for me, it was worth what Projects Abroad had to offer.
The time I spent in Senegal genuinely changed my life, and Projects Abroad made that possible.

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Location:
Posted: November 30, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8
By: LJB1209
Age:
26

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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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.

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

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