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It’s Never too Late for a Volunteer Gap Year Abroad

Projects Abroad facilitates meaningful travel opportunities for career-breakers and older volunteers eager to make an impact in developing countries

A Projects Abroad volunteer holds an infant at her medical placement in Ghana.

A Projects Abroad volunteer holds an infant at her medical placement in Ghana

TORONTO – December 3, 2014 – Putting your university career on hold to take a gap year and travel the world is a relatively new phenomenon that more and more students and millennials are opting for. Traditionally, gap years are students transitioning between high school and university, or for recent university graduates, but the concept of a gap year is not is set in stone. Taking an extended break to travel abroad and gain a fresh perspective of the world is a tremendously exciting and invaluable opportunity for people of all ages. Career breakers and seniors have a wealth of experience and professional and life skills to draw on as volunteers in developing countries and Projects Abroad has a variety of programs that give them the chance to push themselves out of their comfort zones and travel with purpose.

For many career breakers and seniors, volunteering abroad is a welcome break from their regular routines and the change of scenery is hugely beneficial – they experience cross-cultural exchange while supporting and serving communities and individuals in need. It is a great opportunity for those who are also striving toward self-improvement.

“I wanted to give back and experience something other than travelling from a corporate perspective,” says Ann Cope, a successful businesswoman who resigned from her position to join her daughter on a volunteer gap year that will take them across the globe. The first stop on their trip was China, where Ann volunteered at a Business placement. “I immersed myself in the Chinese culture which was a real eye-opener. I am used to travelling on business so it has been invaluable for me to live how the locals live and adapting my lifestyle. It has also been a rewarding experience working with young students.”

Projects Abroad has a wide selection of projects to fit all skill levels and interests. Popular options include Care, Teaching, Medicine & Healthcare, Law & Human Rights, Business , Microfinance, as well as specialized Projects for Professionals.Programs are designed so volunteers make a positive impact and help affect long-term change at their placements, as well as put their skills to work in a new setting. The organization offers a great deal of flexibility, which is especially important for career breakers – volunteers can choose their exact start and end dates and most projects run continuously throughout the year. Projects Abroad also have a selection of short-term volunteer programs with fixed dates, most notably the Winter Break Trips, which are placements that run for two weeks over the December/January holiday season.

Volunteering for Families is an increasingly popular option for volunteers who do not wish to leave their families behind while they go abroad. For many families, living and working together on a service program abroad brings them together in a way that little else could. It is also perfect for teaching children and teenagers about the importance of helping others and facilitating their exploration of the world.

For more information about volunteering abroad in developing countries, please visit www.projects-abroad.ca

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.

Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 29 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.

For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.ca.

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