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Illustrates Growing American Interest to Volunteer Abroad, Especially Among Students

NEW YORK – February 8, 2011 – Projects Abroad announced 2010 was a year of tremendous growth in the U.S. market with 1,196 American volunteer applications received, representing an 18 percent increase over 2009. The organization received a total of 7,445 applications worldwide, 16 percent of which were from American volunteers. These figures represent the organization’s largest number of U.S. volunteer applications in its history.

“We’re thrilled with our growing presence in the U.S., as we’ve continued to introduce a variety of new projects and destinations to meet the evolving interests of our volunteers,” said Projects Abroad Vice President Thomas Pastorius Jr. “With the increasing number of applications from Americans and others throughout the world, we expect Projects Abroad will reach a milestone of 10,000 worldwide applications this year.”

Students composed the largest portion of U.S. volunteers (66 percent), including undergraduate students, pre-university students and gap year students. Approximately 11 percent of American volunteers were recent graduates, 6 percent were graduate students and 4 percent were career breakers, while the additional volunteers were a mix of professionals, retirees and families. The most popular types of projects selected by U.S. volunteers last year were Care, Medicine, and Teaching, while the top destinations were Ghana, South Africa, Peru and Argentina.

Though most volunteers embark on projects that last one to three months, to accommodate the needs of its largest demographic – students – Projects Abroad continues to introduce special programs to accommodate their schedules. In October 2010, the organization kicked off the yearlong Global Gap Program, which welcomed recent high school graduates who decided to take a year off of their studies before attending college. In spring 2011, Projects Abroad will debut special one-week programs, designed especially for students who wish to spend their spring break giving back. Continuing this summer, two-week projects will be offered for high school students, which combine volunteer work with weekend excursions.

For more information on Projects Abroad’s variety of volunteer opportunities and destinations, 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 25 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Holland, 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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