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Projects Abroad Offers Meaningful Service Trips for Students during 2016 Reading Week

University and college students can participate in Care and Conservation programs in Costa Rica and Mexico

An Alternative Spring Break volunteer reads aloud to Costa Rican children at a Care placement

An Alternative Spring Break volunteer reads aloud to Costa Rican children at a Care placement.

TORONTO – November 11, 2015 – International volunteer organization Projects Abroad continues to offer budget-friendly volunteer trips for university and college students interested in travelling with purpose during their reading week in 2016. Next winter term, students will be able to skip the typical vacation experience in favour of volunteering abroad on an Alternative Spring Break Trip in Costa Rica and Mexico. Each trip emphasizes having a worthwhile experience in a short period of time and are all scheduled to coincide with major university and college breaks.

There are a number of benefits for students who elect to volunteer over reading week, as Kaisa Partanen, a Program Advisor for Projects Abroad Canada, explains: “Even though the break is only a week long, students stand to gain a great deal by travelling abroad to volunteer. They acquire new practical skills, have the chance to explore a different culture, and they learn the power of one person helping another. To be able to do all of that in just a week is remarkable, and this is exactly what our volunteers report experiencing every year.”

Christine, a second-year student at Seattle University, volunteered with Projects Abroad earlier this year. She chose to spend her break working with children as she was studying to be a teacher. “When I was searching for opportunities, I was looking for something that was a bit more relaxed than formal teaching, but still involved some sort of structure. Luckily, I stumbled upon Projects Abroad and their program that would enable me to volunteer in Costa Rica, doing a Care Project at a local day care centre,” she said. “I had a wonderful, extremely unique experience. I learned so much from the kids that I was working with, and after this opportunity, I feel like I will be a better future teacher because of it, as well as a more educated global citizen.”

In 2016, Projects Abroad will offer the following Alternative Spring Break Trips:

Care in Costa Rica

Working with children is a fun way to do something practical over reading week. In Costa Rica, students will be placed at a kindergarten or care centre, where they will help with everyday care, organize educational activities, and assist with general maintenance at the placement. This is a great opportunity for Social Work, Child Development, Education, or Psychology majors, as well as anyone who is looking to improve their Spanish or begin learning the language.

Conservation in Mexico

For students interested in environmental volunteer work, our Sea Turtle & Coastal Conservation Project based on the Pacific coast of Mexico allows volunteers to help protect endangered Olive Ridley turtles and their nests. Students get involved in a variety of activities, including patrolling the beaches at night to collect turtle eggs, re-burying the eggs in an enclosed area where they can safely incubate, and guiding newborn hatchlings to the sea. In addition, students will also participate in biodiversity studies at a nearby mangrove lagoon, beach clean-ups, work at the La Colorada Crocodile Centre, and promote environmental awareness in the local community.

These Alternative Spring Break Trips are part of a roster that also includes a variety of meaningful programs taking place in March in Argentina, Belize, Fiji, Jamaica, Ghana, and Morocco. Projects Abroad provides projects in a number of different areas, from child care to medicine, so students will be able to pursue a project that fits their interests and goals.

For more information about Alternative Spring Break Trips, please visit

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 30 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, 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

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