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Recent Graduates Can Spend a “Gap Year” Volunteering Abroad with Innovative 27-Week Program

NEW YORK - May 18, 2011 - High school graduates still unsure of their plans for next year should look no further than Projects Abroad’s Global Gap program, an innovative 27-week volunteer gap year program designed for recent high school graduates. The program gives students an extensive international experience, which spans three continents, five countries and twelve volunteer opportunities. The Global Gap program is the ideal choice for recent graduates ready to explore the world, learn about important global issues, and make a difference in various developing countries.

The program, which is designed especially for high-school graduates taking a year off before college, consists of a one-week orientation program in Ghana, followed by one-to-two month programs in South Africa, Peru and Thailand, as well as a holiday break in the U.S. Each program allows volunteers to become involved in service projects that lend insight into important global issues including housing, education, environmental conservation and human rights.

“Projects Abroad’s Global Gap program offers high school graduates a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the world while helping disadvantaged communities,” said Vice President of Projects Abroad, Thomas Pastorius, Jr. “The program provides participants with a glance into an array of future career opportunities, while creating invaluable, memorable experiences.”

The Global Gap program helps make positive changes in the lives of host communities – a fulfilling accomplishment. The program itinerary includes:

Orientation in Accra, Ghana (Oct. 2-9, 2011)
Participants will begin their voyage at the airport, where they’re met by a Projects Abroad staff member who will transport them to their host family’s home. The orientation week includes workshops on dealing with culture shock, various international issues, and common themes that one can expect to encounter in all of the scheduled countries. The orientation in Accra serves as a time for volunteers to get to know each other and prepare for the next 26 weeks.

Stage One: South Africa (Oct. 10 – Dec. 9, 2011)
During their first two weeks in South Africa, volunteers will work as a group on a Community Building project, where they’ll work alongside local villagers to help with the construction of houses for families in Mfuleni, a town just outside of Cape Town. The remaining six weeks will be spent interning within the Human Rights program, which involves working closely with a trained lawyer to learn more about human rights through campaigning, community involvement, legal system education and the politics of governance.

Winter Break in the United States (Dec. 10, 2011 – Jan. 8, 2012)
Students will visit home in the United States for four weeks.

Stage Two: Peru (Jan. 9 – March 8, 2012)
In Peru, volunteers take part in an innovative English language teacher training program during Peru’s long school holidays from January through March. Participants prepare interactive lessons for small groups that are divided up according to their level of knowledge of the language. Throughout the training program, volunteers help teachers develop worksheets and lesson plans that can be used effectively in the classroom. Depending on the scheduling of teacher training, the volunteers may have the opportunity to spend a week in Projects Abroad’s Inca project, which involves different archaeological work, community work and expeditions throughout the area.

Stage Three: Thailand (April 21 – May 20, 2012)
Volunteers finish their journey in the city of Ao Nang, Thailand, where they will work on Projects Abroad’s Diving & Marine Conservation project. All volunteers spend the first week becoming Open Water Diver certified so they can fully participate in the underwater conservation work. In addition to analyzing reef damage and fish populations, volunteers help clear the reefs of trash on salvage dives. Out of the water, volunteers assist with beach clean-ups, mangrove reforestation projects and outreach work with local schools.

The all-inclusive Global Gap program fee is $29,995 USD, which includes all food and housing, medical and travel insurance, airport pick-up and drop off in each destination, as well as 24-hour support from trained Projects Abroad staff. The fee also includes all required plane tickets, as well as various sightseeing tours and activities in each destination. For more information, 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 26 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.

For details on volunteering overseas, visit Projects Abroad’s Web site at

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