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...
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 Reviews
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.
Peru conservation trip
Submitted by Anonymous | April 08, 2018
Over the spring break, I went to the Taricaya Ecological reserve in Peru, and I loved it! This was technically meant for university students, however Projects Abroad was super accommodating and still let me go even though I am in high school. I received lots of information and my contact was incredibly helpful, and answered all of my questions quickly and thoroughly. They offered to book flights for me and sent me an option, but I ended up finding a cheaper option and booking them myself. Once I arrived in Peru, there were always staff around who were very helpful and kind. I loved working Taricaya, doing research and conservation work, and I felt like I was genuinely being helpful, rather than just volunteering to make myself feel good. The only thing that I wish could be improved is the overall cost, as it was a little expensive. All in all, I had a fantastic time, and Projects Abroad was very helpful during my travels.
Projects Abroad responded to this review April 12, 2018 at 6:22 PM
Thanks for sharing! We are indeed very flexible in terms of dates and projects. It's great that you were able to join us in Peru over your Spring Break. This is such a unique project and volunteers' help is much needed and appreciated. The cost of the program does include a lot more than what may be at the sight, so not only does it include the arrangement of your project, housing, insurance and food, but also the support from our staff 24/7, the partnership with the reserve, materials, training and workshop, and so much more! You do get a discount as a member of our alumni community so hopefully you can join us again in another one of our projects soon!
Adventures in Nepal!
Submitted by Augie Blackman - Oberlin College | April 07, 2018
This past January, I traveled with Projects Abroad to assist conservation work in the Annapurna Conservation Area. I wish I had stayed for longer! I couldn't get enough of our daily hikes, or the masala tea at the German bakery, for that matter. By far, my favorite part of my time on the expedition was our day hike to the rhododendron forest. Imagine stepping into a fairy-land from Lord of The Rings; that's what this beautiful forest felt like. While it got quite cold at night, and the hot water was known to be fickle, it was easy to forget the chills while looking over the beautiful Annapurna mountain range. The staff was also amazing--from start to end, there was always someone there to questions or relieve anxieties. Further, as a transgender person, I was a bit apprehensive concerning how I would be treated in rural Nepal. I did not encounter any problems--my host family, the Projects Abroad staff, and the other volunteers were incredibly accepting and supportive. I cannot recommend this trip highly enough!
Projects Abroad responded to this review April 12, 2018 at 6:25 PM
Dear Augie. It sounds like you had the time of a lifetime in Nepal! It truly is breathtakingly beautiful, isn't it? We are glad you were able to experience it for yourself.
As a community, we are very accepting and welcoming and we celebrate each other's differences so we accept volunteers from all walks of life. The Nepali people sure feel that way as well so I am sure they were happy to have you around! Thanks for sharing!
Thought of everything, couldn't ask for more
Submitted by Natalie - Australia | March 09, 2018
I spent two weeks volunteering in Cambodia with 5 other girls in the High School program. We got along so well and were all there for the same reasons- we wanted to contribute our skills to the placement.
Our day consisted of leaving for our placement around 8 which we were driven by our fantastic driver. We would then help build a playground and develop a veggie patch where they could grow vegetables to become self-sustainable. Our driver would then bring us Lunch and we would break for mid-day rest hour. In the afternoon we would then help out with teaching English to the kids, conversational English and the pronunciation is very important as they can learn grammatical from text book but not native pronounciation. We would finish at the placement around 5 and then head back to our accommodation for Dinner. After Dinner we would explore the local markets and everything else there was to see. The Staff at Projects Abroad were there to support us 24/7 in country and back Home.
Everything was organised and taken care of, no problem was too big or small for all staff. My placement was great, fun and I feel that what I contributed was of benefit in Cambodia. For what you pay and what you get; everything was great. Airport transfers, meals cooked every day, drivers to placement and PA staff at the placement. No detail was overlooked.
It was a well run program and I felt I was in safe hands. I recommended this program to someone else and they had an experience very like my own which was great to hear. It’s great to know that the team at Projects Abroad believe in what they do.
Program: Projects Abroad in Cambodia
Projects Abroad responded to this review March 09, 2018 at 5:37 PM
Hi Natalie. It is wonderful to hear you had such an amazing time in Cambodia. A fantastic aspect of our High School Specials is that we organize every activity for you so you can really seize the day and be as helpful as you can with the community, while also getting to explore everything they have to offer. It is also a great way to meet friends from around the world who share the same perspective as you, which is always refreshing. Thanks for sharing!