Projects Abroad Programs
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...
The coral reefs and mangrove swamps on the coast of Thailand are stunning places and they're doing well. They are threatened though. Threatened by fishing, by tourism, by...
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...
Projects Abroad Reviews
Medicine in Sri Lanka
Submitted by APOORVA SUDINI - Great Valley High School | November 14, 2016
As a rising high school senior in America, I was surrounded by college: college applications, college meetings, college visits. The want to separate myself from all other applicants led me to seek out Projects Abroad, which allowed me to pursue a medical internship in Sri Lanka. This was definitely some thing so drastically different and I was extremely excited to experience it. Diving headfirst into a new culture is always intimidating at first, but thankfully everyone from the staff to the host family to the other volunteers made the whole situation wonderful. From the first day I signed up for Projects Abroad, I was constantly in easy contact with someone. My advisor granted me access to a webpage filled with every nitty gritty detail that assuaged my parents' worries and pointed me towards what I needed to know. Safety and security was something heavily emphasized and this remained true as I was always with someone when I needed to go out into the streets or into the hospitals. However, Projects Abroad also stressed the idea of proactivity, as I was pushed out of my comfort zone to constantly converse with the doctors and try to get the most out of my experience. There was definitely a good blend of experience and enjoyment as well, for as a group we went on a cultural excursion to a popular tourist place in Kandy, but also took part in orphanage outreaches and medical camps. The host family was absolutely sweet and fantastic, providing enriching meals and tastes of Sri Lanka. Overall, the experience was something so marvellously unique that it was perfect for college and perfect for inspiring me on my journey to success!
Care project in Senegal
Submitted by Sophia Bylsma - UC Berkeley | November 11, 2016
I chose to spend 5 weeks in Saint-Louis, Senegal over this past summer because I wanted exposure to hands-on medical work that could help me decide whether I wanted to become a volunteer aid worker. Projects Abroad staff were very helpful from the get-go, providing advice on how to choose a country to travel to, and booking my flights for me. After doing some of my own research as well, I was ready to visit Senegal.
When I arrived, I was picked up from the airport by a Projects Abroad staff member and driven to my host family. They were very kind and made sure I always had more than enough food and water, and that I was comfortable. I quickly became close with my host sister and usually helped her prepare meals or do chores around the house.
My placement, which was a care project at a talibe center in the neighborhood, was a short 5-minute walk away from my house. The first day, I was shown around by other volunteers and quickly became accustomed to the flow of the work at the center. I learned how to clean and disinfect wounds, bandage them, and clean the infirmary. Other activities included teaching English and French, cleaning the places where the kids lived, and preparing meals for them every Thursday.
Every Friday the volunteers and staff members met up at a hotel for drinks and just to hang out and chat about the week's events. This was nice because during the week the volunteers normally do not get to see one another, as we all worked on different projects. Staff members also met with volunteers individually to check in and make sure our accommodations were acceptable and we were having a good time in placement.
Overall, staff members, my placement, and the other volunteers made this experience worthwhile. I had an amazing time in Senegal and I can't wait to go back!
Four life-changing weeks in Kenya
Submitted by Casie Strausbaugh - University of Pittsburgh | November 04, 2016
For years I had been eyeing up the Projects Abroad website, in hopes of gaining the courage to take part in one of their projects. In the summer of 2016 I finally made the decision to participate in a Kenya Care Project for four weeks, and I can confidently say it was the best decision of my life. When I first arrived at the airport in Nairobi I was greeted by two staff members who took me to a pleasant, nearby hotel for the evening. The next morning we departed for Nanyuki, a small market town about 3 hours north where I'd be staying and working.
The first place I was taken to when I arrived in town was to meet my host family. Since I had never stayed with a host family before, I was certainly nervous. However, the nerves subsides almost immediately. My host family was so loving, welcoming, fun, and just all around amazing people. I was provided with great living accommodations and plenty of food the entire duration of my trip.
I was required to volunteer at my placement during the five weekdays, and would on occasion (usually once a week) get to partake in a special outreach program at a different site. My placement was a home for children with disabilities ranging from 5-16 years old. The children resided, attended school, and received rehabilitation at the facility. I was able to help in the classroom with tutoring and teaching English, and also helped in Occupational therapy with activities and mobility. The staff was incredibly friendly and welcoming, and I could tell they appreciated any assistance I was able to give them.
While in Kenya I had plenty of free time to explore, socialize, and relax. In the evenings, myself and other volunteers would do an array of things such as hang out in the Projects Abroad office in town, relax at a coffee shop, or go shopping. On the weekends we would often times go on excursions outside of town. I went on a day-long safari, visited a nearby animal orphanage, and traveled back down to Nairobi to shop in the markets. Other volunteers also hiked at Mount Kenya, or even flew to Mombasa for a few days. The possibilities are endless when staying in Nanyuki, and everyone can find some sort of adventure that peeks their interest.
All in all, I cannot imagine my life having not gone to Kenya through Projects Abroad. The people I met, the places I saw, and some of the challenges I faced while there have changed me for the better. I highly recommend taking advantage of any opportunity you have to travel through this organization; I know I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Law & Human Rights volunteer placement with Projects Abroad
Submitted by Jordan - University of Western Ontario | November 02, 2016
I spent an incredible eight weeks in Cape Town with the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office (PAHRO). Most of my time was spent travelling to townships to meet with clients and researching and drafting legal documents alongside PAHRO’s staff. On Wednesday afternoons, I helped run educational workshops at the Bonnytoun youth juvenile detention centre. While much of what I worked on was challenging, I always had a strong support system in place. PAHRO’s staff were open to any questions and checked up consistently to make sure I was comfortable with my role. As well, I became close with several other law students from around the world who were volunteering within the same placement.
Cape Town is an amazing city, and Projects Abroad encouraged me to take advantage of all it had to offer. During nights and weekends I took part in a number of activities with other volunteers. My favourite memories include surfing at Muizenberg together every Friday, Braais at Mzoli’s, climbing Table Mountain, and Saturday mornings at the Old Biscuit Mill. I also enjoyed spending three days on the Garden Route along the African coast. Undertaking meaningful volunteer activities while experiencing Cape Town’s culture made for a trip that I’ll never forget.
4-week medical internship in Nepal
Submitted by Sophia Bylsma - UC Berkeley | November 02, 2016
I chose to spend a month in Nepal last summer to intern at the Chitwan Medical College Teaching Hospital in Bharatpur, and it was one of the best and most interesting experiences of my life. From the beginning, Projects Abroad staff were available for support and any questions I had. When I arrived at the Kathmandu Airport, a staff member was waiting to pick me up and take me to the hotel, where I met a few other volunteers and explored the city of Kathmandu with them.
During my placement in Bharatpur, I was in the hospital every day from 7am-1pm in various wings, including OB/GYN, OR and ER, the pathology lab, the pediatrics ward, and the orthopedics department. I witnessed three live births, a C-section, and some ER cases, and it was always interesting to talk to the doctors and nurses on call about their experiences. This is so different from any experience I would have gotten in my home country, so I truly value the insight I have gained from talking to the staff at the hospital.
Projects Abroad staff continually checked in with each volunteer to make sure that there were no problems with the host family or culture shock. We met with all the other volunteers and the staff members weekly to discuss what had happened during the week, placement changes, and plans for weekend excursions. This was also helpful to hear what other volunteers had to say and make sure we were all having a beneficial experience.
Nepal is a beautiful, diverse country with so much to see and do, and the Nepali people are some of the most accepting, curious people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. I will definitely return when I have a chance, and would recommend a visit to anyone!