Projects Abroad Programs
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...
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....
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...
Interns in the Occupational Therapy project in Vietnam of Projects Abroad live and work in the city of Hanoi. Occupational Therapy interns provide crucial support to staff,...
The Himalayan Mountain Conservation in Nepal program of Projects Abroad is a spectacular opportunity to preserve and enhance the biodiversity in the area. The Himalayas are...
Projects Abroad Reviews
Teaching English in Ecuador!
Submitted by Evan Offord - Northeastern University | June 20, 2018
My traveling partner and I worked teaching English at a rural school in Northern San Cristobal, about a five minute walk from our placement (where we lived). This was an incredible experience; we taught 7, 40 minute classes per day, from 7:15 to 12:30. If we had to form a lesson plan or do research, we would typically stay from 12:45 to 3pm at the volunteer office in town until our job was done. The teachers were very accommodating of our impromptu class scheduling and seemed excited about their students learning English; with so much of San Cristobal’s jobs being related to tourism, it makes future employees very marketable if they know even a little English. We formed our own lesson plans based on given material, and taught each age level at a different pace.
I am happy to say that we finished the majority of what we had set out to teach by the end of our placement, namely high-yield vocabulary and verbs. Forming relationships with the kids and watching their English knowledge progress made getting up early really easy. All of the inside jokes and play-time during “Recreo” (recess) made teaching the kids a lot more fun and engaging. When the kids had a week of school off during our last week of placement, our coordinator, arranged for us to work in the tutoring center in the center of town. Here, we worked with three age groups and two other volunteers. It was very interesting to see how Lindsay and I viewed teaching English compared to the other volunteers, as we had been designing lesson plans independent of one another; the majority of the teaching was very similar and flowed cohesively with me and Lindsay’s knowledge. Overall, it was an incredible experience and something I would recommend anyone with a interest in teaching pursue!
My public health volunteer trip In Belize!
Submitted by Denise Colon - University of Massachusetts, Amherst | May 17, 2018
Hi there! My name is Denise and I am currently an undergraduate student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. I am a Public Health major and have always aspired to travel abroad to do volunteer work, and I came across Projects Abroad online and saw that their volunteer opportunities and work absolutely aligned with what I wanted to do, as well as my academic schedule. Therefore, on March 2018, on my spring break, I flew to San Pedro, Belize, in order to partake upon Public Health volunteer work.
When I arrived in Belize City, I took another plane which brought me to the tiny beach town of San Pedro. The plane minuscule plane flew over the Caribbean Sea and the view was absolutely spectacular! I was immediately picked up by one of the volunteer coordinators upon my arrival and brought to a local restaurant where I was introduced to the other volunteers. Later on in the day, we had our house induction where we met our host family who accommodated for our stay though out the week. My house family was so generous and kind. They prepared us breakfast every morning, as well as dinner if we did decide to eat at home. The house had all the utilities we needed - a modest bedroom with a comfortable bed, and a bathroom with clean running water. I will never forget the discussions we had with our "host mom" about the culture in Belize, the economic status of the people, and the history behind the diverse population of the country! We were very much immersed into the culture and I certainly felt like I was a citizen of the country.
The most exciting part about my journey in Belize was the amount of community work that I was able to do through Projects Abroad. We conducted mobile clinics all throughout the town, namely the town hall, the district of San Mateo, and Central Park. We called upon random people and would encourage them to take part in the mobile clinic by getting their blood pressure, blood sugar, and BMIs measured. So many people were willing to do so, as access to a hospital is quite difficult since San Pedro doesn't have one. Instead, they have a polyclinic. Once we encounter abnormal vital signs, or measurements, we write them referrals and raise their awareness in regards to healthier lifestyles. We then proceed to input the information we collected into the Ministry of Health database, which allows Belize healthcare to have the most accurate information they could receive about their patients.
I also enjoyed visiting local schools because I personally love interacting with youth, as their enthusiasm is always rewarding to see. One of the first schools we visited was a primary school, where me and my fellow volunteers conducted lice checks on the students. However, in order to make a more lasting impact, we created an educational interactive activity focused upon combatting the stigma about lice. The fact that the kids were willing to take part in the activities and learn from us, was a feeling greater than no other. We also visited San Pedro High School towards the end of the week where we gave a presentation about college access and the importance of obtaining higher education. In the beginning of our presentation, it seemed as if only half of the students were willing to go to college. However, after the presentation, more students raised their hands after being asked as to whether or not they are willing to continue their education beyond high school!
My time in Belize was nothing short of inspiring. Our volunteer coordinators always ensured that we were safe, and were available whenever we needed them. Our public health supervisor, Diomne, stayed with us through all of our assignments and gave us advice and encouragement throughout the way! We came to her for anything, whether it's information about a restaurant, ideas about what to do for our presentations, or details about how to get to a particular location. I felt so at home in Belize because of our the helpful staff, our kind host family, my down-to-earth fellow volunteers, and most importantly, the people. If you're wondering about what organization to volunteer with, and where to go, I HIGHLY SUGGEST volunteering with Projects in San Pedro! It will be an experience you'll remember forever.
Projects Abroad responded to this review May 18, 2018 at 3:54 PM
Dear Denise. It sounds like you had a wonderful time in Belize! It is amazing how much you can learn in so little time about a foreign culture - and about yourself and the role you want to have in the world. I am sure you helped inspire many young students and hopefully this whole experienced inspired you as well to keep helping those in need. Thank you for sharing!
Projects Abroad Nepal
Submitted by Cecilia - St Peter Secondary School | May 14, 2018
Volunteering with Projects Abroad in Nepal was absolutely incredible! It was an amazing experience. The staff was friendly and welcoming and were always there if you needed anything. All three projects I did were organized, and I always felt safe.
Program: Gap Year Abroad with Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad responded to this review May 18, 2018 at 3:43 PM
We are glad you had such a good time in Nepal. Our staff is always happy to help make your stay as significant and comfortable as possible. Thanks for sharing
Human rights internship in Cordoba, Argentina
Submitted by Anneke - Mount Holyoke College | April 17, 2018
I volunteered as a human rights intern with Projects Abroad in Cordoba, Argentina for two and a half months.
After deciding on a gap year before I start college next fall, I started checking out various volunteer programs and Project Abroad immediately caught my attention. I chose the Human Rights project in Argentina because of its balanced structure, its location, and its contextual awareness.
The Human rights internship in Cordoba has great balance of experiences--we worked with both local, grassroots NGOs and national, more policy-oriented NGOs. As a person who wants to study public policy in school and go into the non-profit sector, it was perfect! As volunteers, we spent time interviewing and socializing with the local homeless population, going street to street. But we also got to gather research for an advocacy organization on topics like the promotion of breastfeeding, prison transparency, consumer rights, and indigenous peoples' rights. My favorite obligation, however, was working with young women in a correctional facility. We visited the girls twice a week, bringing activities intended to teach human rights or even just to have fun. I was able to act as a peer mentor to them while also improving my Spanish.
Cordoba is a great place to live! I lived in the city center, right near one of the main streets. My host mother was kind and patient--my Spanish was/is far from perfect (I plan to study it in college) but she always spoke slowly and clearly, and often taught us new words and phrases over dinner. The city itself is a good place for people with a tighter budget, like myself. Cordoba is close to many places of interest, and its buses are inexpensive and reliable. There are so many potential day-trips! My favorite trips included Capilla del Monte, Las Cascadas, and Alta Gracia. The Sierra mountains are nearby, so the hiking is absolutely beautiful! In the city itself, the weekends are full of craft fairs, street music, parades, and other events that always have a celebratory atmosphere.
My favorite part of this project was its contextual awareness. Argentina's struggle with human rights comes from its dictatorship period in the 1970s and 80s. Everything we did as human rights interns was given context by this history. We even sat in on crimes against humanity hearings going on in Cordoba's provincial courts, listening to the testimony of victims and their families. We participated in the women's march, where thousands of women took to the streets to ask for safe, legal abortions and bring awareness to femicide. I wrote an essay on Argentine "escraches," or ritual protests, which led me on a research exploration of public shaming, vigilante justice, and generational trauma. All of the work we did made us hyper aware of the cultural, social, and political state of the country we were visiting--which I think is a very important experience for anyone who is interested in human rights.
Projects Abroad responded to this review April 17, 2018 at 6:12 PM
Dear Anneke. It sounds like you had a great time in Argentina! There is so much to learn and observe first hand about human rights in this internship so we are glad to hear you were so involved and inspired to even write your own essays. We are sure that this will be an experience that is set to mark your professional path. Thank you for sharing!
Submitted by Sarah Westin - High Point University | April 09, 2018
The Italy trip was really cool. I think I had a bit of a culture shock doing this project, however. I have been to Italy before, predominantly north of Rome and Sicily. I thought I knew what to expect but I was mistaken. The Calabria region of Italy is VERY different from the other regions. Its more run down, the people are different and there's a very different vibe. Camini, the town where the project is based, is a tiny little mountain village where everyone knows everyone. There was a very strong sense of community and integration between the locals whose families had been there for generations, and the refugees. However, there is still a lot of work to be done there, with the first priority, in my opinion, being language. Volunteers for this project help teach the refugees and locals who may be interested English, take care of the refugee children, and organize events for the locals to enjoy, such as womens night, teens night, etc. This is a newer project, so there is lots of room for improvement. However, the bonds you make with the people are just astonishing. One night, I gave a presentation about women empowerment and body confidence to the ladies, and they absorbed it better than I thought they would. I knew it was a risky topic, but I was so happy with the outcome. I was even invited to one family's home for dinner, which is a massive honor. Being able to get to know them and bond and hear their stories is something I will never forget.
The living conditions are superb. We lived in apartments right in Camini, all with air conditioning, kitchens, and a laundry machine in the main house. The only downside is that there isn't much to do in Camini, at all, regarding free time. You can catch a bus down to the beach, but it's rather frustrating. However, if you put the effort into getting the bus on time and have patience, the beach is wonderful.
Overall, the project is really great and you really get to know the people you are working with, which I think is more valuable than anything
Program: Volunteer with Refugees in Italy
Projects Abroad responded to this review April 12, 2018 at 6:18 PM
Thanks for sharing, Sarah! Indeed, this is one of our most recently launched projects which is why there is a lot of room for creative volunteers such as yourself to bring their own ideas. It's great that you were able to give a presentation on such an important topic! Thank you for your passion and commitment, I am sure the refugees were very grateful for your help as well.