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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...
Submitted by NephroRN - Centreville | October 21, 2016
Projects abroad was a gateway for meaningful exploration. I was also looking for a break from all the stress of a Medical-Surgical nurse. I’ve had my nursing degree for 2 years and have been working at a hospital near Washington D.C for three years now. A change of scenery was what I needed from the burn out I was starting to experience. I was looking at going to Vietnam or Nepal. I ended up choosing Nepal because of the Himalayas, the recent earthquake in 2015 and from conversations with my charge nurse who is Nepali. In August 2016 I ventured out to my first cross ocean flight. Chitwan Medical College is top of the line when it comes to Nepal healthcare. People travel 4+ hours to get care for their family members. The doctors where very knowledgeable and the nurses where receptive to the skills I had. You really have to be proactive when it comes to hands on learning. I obviously only volunteered to do what I was comfortable and knowledgeable in doing. For example a motor cycle accident patient came into the emergency department and I helped with vitals and clean the blood of him while looking for debris embedded into his skin. The housing they provided is safe, had running water and electricity. The staff is available whenever and makes their presence known. They do as much as they can to get you to the departments you want to work at and the places you want to visit. The price is worth the experience as I only had to pay for clothes, souvenirs and hotel stay at a neighboring city. The high school program offers trips to local sites so you can join in the transportation and go for free.
Experience of a lifetime
Submitted by Phillip Price - Tempe United States | October 09, 2016
I spent 5 weeks in Cape Town, South Africa during the summer of 2015. These were 5 of the best weeks of my life.
My host family was amazing. My host mother was a sweetheart. She cooked me dinner every week night, had a packed lunch ready and waiting for me to take to work in the morning, and she even did my laundry! I felt so safe and welcome with the family that Projects Abroad placed me with. I even still stay in touch with host mother and sister through Facebook!
The work at the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office is split into two parts: legal and social justice. On the legal side, you act as a volunteer legal assistant. Meaning you research case study, conduct consultation with appropriate clients and businesses, and even possibly visit the courts or jails in the area. I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to be part of a serious criminal case and was able to visit the notorious Pollsmoor Prison. The social justice side is more laid back. You are able to plan and teach life skills classes to juveniles in local detention centers.
The overall atmosphere of the office was incredible. I got to meet and work with students and professionals from all over the world. Many of the friends I met at PAHRO I still stay in touch with today. My experience in Cape Town was something I will take with me forever.
A true fantasy...
Submitted by jordimus - Cincinnati United States | October 06, 2016
When it was time for me to leave Romania, I looked back at the amazing city of Brasov, with tears in my eyes. "I don't want it to be over…" I choked. My experience with Projects Abroad Romania this past August was one of the most beautiful and special things that I have ever done.
Projects Abroad offers a number of exciting volunteer opportunities in multiple destinations, including Bolivia, Fiji, and Morocco (I have participated in these programs, and I also give them highest recommendation). In terms of accommodations, Projects Abroad typically pays local families to host the volunteers. My family in Romania was incredible: they were a retired couple with a son who lives in Bucharest. There was no challenge they were not willing to meet to make sure that I had lots of delectable food, a safe and perfectly clean house, and a comfortable place to relax after a day of volunteering. Despite the fact that we did not speak the same language, we found ways to communicate that mere words could never achieve.
In terms of my volunteer placement, I had officially signed up to teach a drama program in August. Of course, August is the off-season for that project, and it does not officially exist. However, Alexandra from the Projects Abroad staff immediately set to work to make sure that I had a task that would benefit the community and help me grow as well. I taught a small video production workshop to two high school students, where they wrote and recorded their own commercial. I also worked as a mentor and care assistant at a foster home in Prejmer, a village about 40 minutes away from Brasov. The director of the home additionally asked me to record a promotional video, and to me, any placement that is happy to have me do video work is an amazing one.
Throughout my time in Romania, I made some amazing friendships both with the Projects Abroad staff and the other volunteers. One can never predict how well they will click with the other volunteers (of course, on every one of my Projects Abroad trips, my colleagues have been extraordinary), but as a general rule, if someone is willing to pay to do volunteer work, they must be of the highest caliber. It honestly broke my heart to leave them, but I am happy to report that I still keep in contact with my new Romanian family. Romania is a land of wonder and fantasy, and the best way to experience this is, without a doubt, on a Projects Abroad trip.
Projects Abroad medical volunteer in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Submitted by Taylor Anderson - Chicago United States | September 19, 2016
I was a medical volunteer in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for 4 weeks prior to applying to Physician Assistant school, and the only regret I have is that I did not stay longer! This experience was life changing. I learned an insurmountable amount of medical and cultural knowledge, made friends who I will have in my life forever, and cannot wait to return. In fact, I am in the midst of planning another volunteer trip with Projects Abroad in the spring.
Throughout my preparation and travels to Tanzania, the Projects Abroad staff was always available for me to contact, especially when I had flight delays. When I landed in Dar es Salaam, I was greeted by a staff member from Projects Abroad and driven to my host family's home. I instantly felt at ease, despite my trepidation, since I had never been in a host family situation. I was always comfortable, well taken care of, well-fed, hydrated and constantly learning about the culture and people surrounding me.
The Projects Abroad staff in Tanzania went above and beyond. On my first day, Godwin, my savior from Projects Abroad, went through the steps to take public transit to arrive at my medical accommodation, Sinza Palestina Hospital. Godwin also helped me learn how to get the money I needed, have my cell phone and wifi work, and constantly was in contact with me to make sure that everything was running smoothly. Even if there wasn't a problem, the Projects Abroad office was available for me to stop by and discuss anything, even if it was as trivial as what type of bug spray I should purchase.
I spent Monday-Friday, from approximately 9:30-3:30 at Sinza Palestina Hospital for the next 4 weeks. Initially, I was the only volunteer in minor theatre (minor surgery), which was a bit daunting, but I was quickly immersed in the culture of the hospital. I was able to observe, ask as many questions as I could, and assist with as many procedures and patients as I wanted. The staff was friendly, accommodating, and grateful for my assistance. In fact, I still keep in contact with my supervising physician, Dr. Maganga, months after I have returned back to the United States. Within the first two weeks, I learned some key Swahili phrases that helped put patients at ease, learned that high-fives are universal, and ventured to the mall to find stickers. I always kept the stickers in my front scrub pocket and gave one to each pediatric patient I saw. I suggest that any future volunteers bring something like a sticker or stamp to help put smiles on the children's faces! After my second week, I was joined by 2 other volunteers at the hospital and as each week passed I gained more confidence in my abilities to connect with patients and perform the medical procedures that I would not have had the opportunity to perform in the USA.
On my final day, the medical volunteers went to a local orphanage to perform health checks. We started off playing with the orphans, who grabbed our hands and asked our names. They showed off their cartwheels and asked if I could do any. As a former gymnast, I said yes…not realizing that the next hour would be spent doing gymnastics skills on concrete that I hadn’t done in years. I was sore for a week, but their smiles helped me ignore the pain. We were separated into stations where each child was weighed, measured, had their temperature taken, and had their teeth, eyes, mouths, skin, and hair checked for any obvious abnormalities or fungal infections.
Beyond the medical aspect of the trip, Projects Abroad helped my friends and I arrange trips for the weekend in order to gain the most out of our experience. We traveled to Zanzibar for a weekend and spent 3 days at the Selous Game Reserve on a safari. These trips were monumental in showing me different parts of Tanzania, and allowing me to explore the country outside of a purely medical setting. The friends I made in my home, at the hospital, and at Projects Abroad team dinners allowed me to make friends that I will have for the rest of my life. In fact, one of my fellow volunteers (a European who now lives in New Zealand) is traveling to the states soon to visit!
I had worried about my safety being a tiny, American female, but I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable. Projects Abroad did an amazing job making me feel welcome and appreciated. I gained more than I could have ever imagined from this experience. It truly changed my life and I miss Tanzania constantly. I recommend Projects Abroad, Tanzania, and the experience in general to anyone interested in volunteering abroad.
Projects Abroad responded to this review October 18, 2016 at 12:05 PM
Hi Taylor! Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience! Those are lovely pictures! It's great that you were able to gain hands on work with patients while also getting to see some of the wonders Tanzania has to offer. That sticker idea is wonderful, thank you for going the extra mile in making the children happier at the hospital! We would love to have you join us again in the Spring, where will your next volunteer adventure take you?
Public Health- great experience, highly recommend
Submitted by katied - Santa Clara University | September 14, 2016
I would highly recommend volunteering with Projects Abroad. The in-country staff was amazing. They were incredibly helpful. This program is slightly more expensive than other programs but it is worth it. I did the public health project. We worked in the poor communities around Phnom Penh, along with several other communities around Cambodia. I mostly lived in the apartment in Phnom Penh which was very clean with excellent food. It was very fun living with all the other volunteers. I also stayed with a host family for a week which was a great experience, seeing how the Khmer people live by actually living with them. For another week I stayed with the conservation group on King Island. That was a different experience and gave a good all around view of the country. At times the scheduling could be a little disorganized but it worked out in the end. The program managers that we worked with in public health really helped us get hands on experience and teach us about medicine. You have to really invest in the program and you will get out what you put in.
Program: Projects Abroad in Cambodia
Projects Abroad responded to this review October 18, 2016 at 11:58 AM
Hi Katie! It's great that you got to combine 2 different kinds of programs in Cambodia and experience living with a host family and learning about medicine with the incredible nature and environment of Cambodia. Scheduling can indeed be a bit tricky with many volunteers arounds, but thank you for your patience and your feedback!