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Our special spring break volunteer trips are perfect for college students looking for an alternative way to spend spring break this year. Instead of doing the usual spring...
Projects Abroad offers the opportunity for volunteers of all ages to join our Care project in Costa Rica, This childcare project is based in day care centers and kindergartens....
Interning abroad in Medicine & Healthcare in Tanzania is an excellent way to gain experience combined with the chance to help people in some of the most under-resourced medical...
Ecuador has been named by ecologists as one of the world’s “megadiversity hotspots” and is one of the most species-rich countries on earth. The Galapagos Islands are...
Projects Abroad is one of the largest international volunteer organizations in the world, sending 10,000 volunteers abroad every year. Each volunteer who joins one of our...
If you are a teenager (16 to 19 years old) and enrolled in full-time education you can join us on a High School Special. Each volunteer project follows a schedule of taught...
Submitted by Kelsey Husted - UCSB | July 28, 2016
Diving into this project was one of the best decisions that I have made. When I arrived, I was greeted by the older volunteers who instantly became my close friends. The overall atmosphere of the shark conservation project was welcoming so I had no problem immersing myself into the project. The staff members were very insightful, supportive, and driven which permitted all volunteers with a sense of curiosity and willingness to learn more. In addition, the staff truly pushed the volunteers to integrate into the local communities and learn and participate within the culture. They made the volunteers feel safe 100% throughout the project. During the shark dives, the Beqa Adventure Divers (BAD) staff made the shark dive feel immensely comfortable and safe by being right there, standing right over each and everyone. This is an opportunity that one should not miss out on so I highly recommend for potential volunteers to step outside of their comfort zone and just do it!
Creative arts in Galapagos
Submitted by Liz Lengyel - Chicago College of Performing Arts | July 27, 2016
I had the pleasure of volunteering in San Cristobal, Galapagos as a dance teacher. I taught at the local dance academy and at one of the local schools. It was a truly amazing experience where I was able to use my expertise to help and inspire young boys and girls who share a love for dance. The Projects Abroad staff in the Galapagos did a great job of taking me to my project, introducing me to the children and staff of my project, and making sure I had everything I needed to teach comfortably. I had a nice of schedule of teaching at the school in the morning, enjoying a few hours off in the afternoon, and teaching at the dance academy in the late afternoon/night. My overall volunteer experience was highly fulfilling and one I will never forget.
Physiotherapy in Cape Town ,South Africa
Submitted by Theres - Siena College | July 22, 2016
This summer I had the opportunity to go to Cape Town, South Africa with Projects Abroad for three weeks. I volunteered at the Friends Day Centre on the Alexandra Hospital Grounds in Maitland. I worked closely with the staff on the children's physical therapy to improve their strength and flexibility. They were all so welcoming and I learned a lot! I stayed with a host in Grassy Park. Every day I was picked up from the home by a Projects Abroad Staff Member and driven to my work site. My host family was incredible. I felt at home despite being on the other side of the world. I lived with several other volunteers,, so there was always someone to explore Cape Town with (and there was plenty of time for that). The Projects Abroad staff was so supportive in the days leading up to my trip and while I was there. They were always checking in with a phone call and a visit.
Program: Projects Abroad in South Africa
Conservation, adventure & life long memories
Submitted by islandgirl - University of Oklahoma | July 20, 2016
I spent 6 weeks in San Cristobal volunteering in conservation. I was initially looking for a study abroad program but was uninterested in the classes that were offered. After some research I found this project. Initially I was worried that we would not truly be making a difference or working very hard. However, upon arrival I met the staff who were extremely dedicated and passionate about conservation and preserving the incredible biodiversity that exists in the Galápagos, I quickly realized this would not be the case.
We worked from 7AM to 12PM and 3PM to around 5PM Monday through Friday. On Fridays we had the afternoon off. On MWF we spent the morning in the Galapaguera which is the tortoise breeding center on the island. We would cut Otoy to feed the tortoises and spend several hours doing machete work to remove invasive species like blackberry and lanta. On Tuesdays we would go to the Otoy plantation to clear blackberry in the effort to later reforest with endemic species. We also spent a considerable about of time building a greenhouse which was difficult work but it was also very rewarding. In the afternoons we generally did less physically demanding tasks such as iguana monitoring, bird monitoring, and campaign. We also worked very closely with the National Park. I spent two weeks doing sea lion monitoring at 5:30AM every morning which was a spectacular experience. There is nothing like watching the sunrise on a beautiful beach full of sea lions in the Galápagos islands.
While not working I spent a lot of time with the other volunteers snorkeling or visiting the beaches near by. The animal life in the Galápagos is phenomenal! Every time I snorkeled I saw at least two sea turtles and while I was there I saw sharks, manta rays, dolphins, marine iguanas, sting rays, sea horses, sea lions, and of course a plethora of beautifully colored fish. The closest beach was only a 10-15 minute walk away. I also went island hopping with a great group of people. Traveling to Santa Cruz and Isabella is fairly inexpensive and I would advise everyone to experience the other islands while they are here. I also took a tour around San Cristobal which was fantastic.
Another aspect of the trip that I loved was meeting volunteers from all over the world. I did not think it was possible to get so close to people in just 6 weeks. I already have plans to meet with some of them in the near future. You will meet so many remarkable people in this program. We all went out almost every night and enjoyed learning about each others respective countries and cultures. I met volunteers ranging from 15 years old to 53 years old and we all got along wonderfully. There is a sense of community in this program that is extremely unique.
I cannot speak more highly of this program and I would do it again in a heartbeat. My only complaint is that I couldn't stay longer. Be prepared to work hard because you will be expected to. The work is rewarding and I loved every minute of it. Your Spanish will also improve greatly especially if you spend quality time with your host family. My host family was very kind and the food was amazing! I hope that you will consider the Galápagos for your next volunteer trip. I am so glad that I did!
A wonderful journey in Mongolia
Submitted by Jill Left - Branson School | July 12, 2016
I had the most wonderful and life-changing experience with Projects Abroad, which sounds cliche but is completely genuine. They staff supported me more than I could have ever hoped for and assisted me in adapting to a different culture and standard of living. Even though I'm still in high school, I desperately wanted to do a care project and there was no high school special at the time I intended to go. So, I participated in a standard care project. I was a little apprehensive because I knew there would be less support from staff and I would be required to be much more independent. However, Zulaa helped me so much in my adjustment and the first day I was in Ulaanbaatar she took me around and showed me which buses to take. Throughout my trip, she organized events with other volunteers and helped me truly learn about Mongolian culture. She also helped me set up my cell phone so I could text and take phone calls in Mongolia.
Besides the large amount of support from the Projects Abroad team, my home stay and volunteer experience was fabulous. My family was so kind and informative. The parents didn't know English but their three children all knew English and were able to bridge the language gap between me and their parents. I had my own room and lots of privacy while also being able to participate in traditional Mongolian games and eat family dinners with them. The father in the family ran a sightseeing business and took me and one other volunteer on an amazing trip to Terelj National Park with the whole family. I rode a camel for the first time and we all had a picnic together in a meadow amid yaks and cows. I volunteered at an orphanage a ten minute walk from my apartment and worked with the youngest children there. My job consisted mostly of feeding the babies, taking them into the sun, and playing with them in their rooms. I slowly grew accustomed to Mongolian names and formed real connections with the babies, connections I won't ever forget. I also realized my volunteering was needed because there would be days when the orphanage was short on nurses and I was required to fill in. Projects Abroad not only set me up with a great organization but also offered other volunteer projects after work. I helped work at a ger district community teaching English and playing sports with the children. I cannot thank Projects Abroad enough for helping me survive my first volunteering trip abroad and make it the best experience of my life. I suggest Projects Abroad to anyone wanting an exciting and truly life-changing volunteering trip.
Projects Abroad responded to this review July 15, 2016 at 10:37 AM
Hi Jill! It's amazing to hear you had such a fulfilling experience doing your Care project in Mongolia! I am glad we were able to find the right project for you at the time you wanted to do it. I am sure your host family and the children you cared for will always remember you as well! Thanks for your trust!