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Articles About Projects Abroad

August 2009, The Daily Record

Gap-year teens staying away

Gap-year students are trying to extend their overseas stays because of the UK's rising unemployment. Projects Abroad said it was receiving growing requests from young people who did not want to return home because of the grim prospects of finding jobs. More than 130 requests have been made this year on behalf of youngsters working in third world countries.

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August 2009, The Birmingham Post

Women graduates beating men to the jobs

Women graduates are finding it easier than men to get jobs in the recession, according to new statistics. One in ten men (10.3 per cent) were still unemployed six months after graduating, compared to 6.5 per cent of women, according to statistics published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

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August 2009, The Daily Telegraph

Jobless graduates are sent packing

A GOVERNMENT-funded scheme for 500 out of work graduates to spend 10 weeks on social projects in overseas countries is matched by the private sector with the result that openings are being provided for 1,000 jobless former students.

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June 2009, Flybe Magazine

Small Business Directors and Entrepreneurs Mind the Gap

More than half of the 60% increase in older volunteers leaving on gap years in developing countries are British small business directors and entrepreneurs according to Projects Abroad, the world's leading commercial volunteer organisation. Over 500,000 small businesses have ceased trading since the credit crunch began, which has led to the increased interest in gap-year programmes.

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June 2009, Mobile Business Magazine

Vodafone launches Link for Life programme

Young female volunteers working in care situations are being offered the opportunity to 'adopt' a child, as part of their volunteering programme, if they have built a strong link with a particular child in the family. They will be presented with a mounted and framed photograph of them with the child, plus a pay as you go Vodafone mobile phone is given to the child funded by Projects Abroad.

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June 2009, The Times Online

Gap travel benefits still far outweigh the risks

Peter Slowe, the founder of gap organisation Projects Abroad, chaired the first Gap Year Safety Conference in London this week. Held in response to growing concerns about the risks faced by gappers, it follows a series of high-profile gap-year tragedies.

But it is important not to exaggerate the risks involved, said Dr Slowe. “Our watchword is ‘reality’,” he told the conference. “There is a certain amount of over-hype about safety and the risks of gap year travel.

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June 2009, Inside Track Magazine

Leading from the frontline

Experience for life. Dave, 29, was selected for the programme in 2006. This year, he decided to use funds set aside under the programme to travel to South Africa for a month-long stint as a volunteer with Projects Abroad – an organisation that runs benevolent projects overseas.

The Cape Town project Dave joined was set up in the wake of country-wide unrest last year. In a troubled economic climate, migrants in South Africa became the target of xenophobic violence inflicted by disaffected locals.

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May 2009, Glamour Magazine

Do something useful with your time

International volunteer service Projects Abroad recently announced that 70% of its recruits are female. Faye Stickings explains why she signed up...

Surely volunteering is mainly a student gig? “Actually, women taking career breaks, perhaps due to redundancy, are the fastestgrowing group of volunteers. And it doesn’t just appeal to philanthropists, but women wanting to improve their skills or to see the world in a safe environment."

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April 2009, Wharf

Wharfers urged to test their skills abroad

It's hard to believe the world is open to you when you're sitting at your desk - or cleaning it out. But there are amazing experiences to be found beyond the cream walls of your office.

Scott McQuarrie was on the verge of being made redundant from his job at Bank of Scotland when he traded in his suit for a coach's tracksuit in Ghana.

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April 2009, The Glasgow Herald

Recession boom in overseas volunteers

'Enterprise volunteering' in countries such as Brazil, China, Ghana and Moldova has become increasingly popular among volunteers who want to contribute to worthwhile ventures.

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April 2009, Air France Magazine

Be an ecovolunteer

Inject purpose into your vacations by taking time out to work on conservation projects. Volunteers don't need any special skills other than an open mind and an adaptable spirit. The ecovolunteer trip is not merely an alterntive type of vacation. Volunteers may work in difficult weather and live in Spartan conditions.

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March 2009, Company Magazine

Travelling alone was a challenge - but got me a job back at home!

Wendy Mawson, 22 is an occupational therapist from Leeds. Last winter, she took a three-month career break in Brazil

“When I finished university last year, my friends were applying for jobs and I was booking up flights to Brazil. I’d qualified as an occupational therapist but really wanted to go travelling before I started working full-time. I knew people who had taken gap years and their stories sounded really exciting.

‘I went to see famous sights and threw myself into the Brazilian lifestyle’

Yes, at the same time, I didn’t want to fall behind in my career ambitions. I found out about Projects Abroad, who offer volunteering placements in rehabilitation centres, on the internet and thought they sounded perfect. I could spend three months in South America while getting some overseas experience in occupational therapy.

I was really worried about travelling on my own and so was my mum. She kept asking me if I was sure I wanted to go, and convinced me to only sign up for three months in case I didn’t like it. But we were both reassured when I was told I’d be met at the airport and given accommodation in a safe place.

It was amazing working in the centre in Rio. I looked after adults who’d suffered strokes and spinal injuries, and helped children with Downs Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. You learn that you don’t need expensive materials and equipment to improve their lives – they can spend hours playing with bits of old newspaper.

I went to see famous sights, like the statue of Christ in Rio and the amazing Iguazu Falls, and I threw myself into the Brazilian lifestyle to try and make more friends.

The whole trip cost me over three grand, but it was worth it. I’m starting my new job as an occupational therapist this year and in my interview they asked me what I had that was special compared to other applications. The answer was easy – I’d worked in Brazil!”

March 2009, The Argus

Axed Sussex staff go back to college - or gap year

Going back to college, volunteering overseas or jetting off on a redundancy-funded gap year these are some of the increasingly popular options for workers whose jobs have disappeared.

University admissions body UCAS revealed that it has seen a leap in applications from mature students while travel and volunteering companies have reported a corresponding rise in people wanting to work abroad.

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March 2009, The Mail on Sunday

Student life appeals after redundancy

Going back to college, volunteering overseas or even jetting off on reduncancy funded 'gap years' are becoming increasingly popular options for workers whose jobs have disappeared.

Peter Slowe, founder of volunteering organisation Projects Abroad, based in Goring-by-sea, West Sussex, says he saw a 55% rise in applications in December, many from workers who have been made redundant.

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February 2009, The Times Online

Natural Farms India Environmental Project

The neem tree is a godsend to Indian farmers, but few of them are aware of it, so your job is to spend at least a fortnight in Tamil Nadu marketing its miraculous properties. The premise is simple: you roll into town like a snake-oil salesman, set out your stall and sell tiny bottles of neem oil to curious farmers.

It's an easy sell, because not only is the oil an incredibly effective natural pesticide, it's totally natural, cheap and readily available. By now, you'll have them in the palm of your hand, so it's time to invite them to lunch on your model farm, just down the road, where you can show them your worm compost, tree nursery and other sustainable farming ideas. The trip is available year-round and costs £995 for the fortnight with Projects Abroad.

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February 2009, Scotland on Sunday

The recession has actually freed people to pursue their dreams

Scott McQuarrie had been working for the Bank of Scotland for five years when he first suspected the financial sector was heading for a fall and a round of redundancies might leave him jobless.

He decided he wasn't going to wait for the axe to fall. Months later McQuarrie, who has a sports degree from Edinburgh University's Moray House, quit his job and set off to coach football to children in Ghana.

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February 2009, Sky News

Old people volunteer due to crunch

The number of older people volunteering for overseas projects has shot up due to credit crunch redundancies, according to gap year firm Projects Abroad.

The number of over-25s signing up to volunteer abroad was 60% higher last month than it was in January 2008, spokesman Ian Birbeck said.

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February 2009, The Independent on Sunday

An army of altruists

Organisations offering voluntary work in developing countries are being inundated by applications from middle aged professionals.

Ian Birbeck, recruitment director at the global volunteering company Projects Abroad, said his organisation had introduced 1,000 extra placements this year.

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January 2009, The Telegraph

Jobless Britons opt to volunteer overseas

Projects Abroad, which runs volunteer schemes in 24 countries around the globe, recorded a 55 per cent increase in applications last month from Britons who had recently been made redundant.

"We have seen an increase in the number of people in their thirties applying," said Dr Peter Slowe, founder of the organisation. "We currently have people from all sorts of professions: welders, care workers, staff from local authority finance departments and construction workers."

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May 2008, Pakistan Daily

Dragons Den investor sets up Pakistan gap year trips

He's best known as one of Britain's richest and most successful businessmen, and one of the fearsome panel of investors from TV's Dragons' Den.

But now entrepreneur James Caan has found a new project to work on - helping British people of Pakistani descent rediscover their roots. The businessman has set up a gap year teaching project that will give young British people the chance to work in Pakistan.

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May 2008, You Can Magazine (The Independent)

Natalie Cook, 21, is in her second year of a geography degree at Royal Holloway University in London.

'Last year I spent three months in Peru with Projects Abroad at an agricultural secondary school up in the Andes. Another volunteer and I were taking all the English lessons for every year except one.

Not speaking Spanish was a barrier to start with, but it also helped the students to see the teacher making mistakes with her Spanish, which they found hilarious. A lot of the students were so shy about saying anything in English - you would ask a question and it would take 10 minutes for an answer. But the look on a student's face when they got it right was so satisfying.

Since coming back I've done some summer-school teaching in Eastbourne, and at the end of my first term I got involved with a volunteer project teaching refugees English - young asylum seekers who had just come in to the country. If I hadn't gone to Peru I would probably have passed that by. This summer I'm doing a two-week placement in a school in Reading - that will be my first experience of an English classroom and English students.'

April 2008, The Daily Telegraph

Enterprising Dragon

James Caan, of BBC television's Dragon's Den fame, is launching a drive to send Pakistani Muslims back to Pakistan with Projects Abroad, the gap year organisation, to hone their enterprise skills.

Those taking part in the scheme will also have the chance to have their ideas backed by Mr Caan if they show potential. Lahore-born Mr Caan recently built a school on a plot of land he bought in his birthplace.

January 2008, The Independent

Not enjoying your journalism work experience? Head for Shanghai!

Breaking into the British media has never been easy. Now, budding journalists are heading off around the world for valuable work experience.

"My journalism internship in Shanghai is certainly nothing like the rubbish jobs I was given back home when I was interning with our local paper," says Emma Lloyd, 19, a student at London University, interning at the Shanghai Star. "I am actually working as a real journalist. Someone else makes the tea and does the photocopying."

Emma arranged her internship through Projects Abroad. This UK-based organisation arranges volunteering and internships for 3,500 students a year. They have some 250 internship posts for would-be journalists in Argentina, Bolivia, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Ghana, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Romania, Senegal and Sri Lanka.

January 2008, Real Travel Magazine

"Legodimo - paradise in Botswana? I was about to find out! With the future of my grand-children to think about I felt it was about time I did something to help preserve the animals and land in other parts of the world, and so I trawled the internet for volunteer opportunities. Projects Abroad's conservation trip in Botswana caught my eye. The main requirements: aged between 18 and 100 and must be fit and well!"

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January 2008, The Independent

"The club are taking Ghanaian players and basically giving them a shop window for bigger clubs around Europe," I'm told. "They're eager for Man United to be involved as obviously it's the one club most young footballers really aspire to. The project is the brainchild of Dr Peter Slowe, a director of Projects Abroad, a company which specialises in organising overseas volunteer work.

December 2007, The Times Online

Fresh from her successful trip to Sudan to free Gillian Gibbons, the teacher jailed for the teddy bear naming incident, Baroness Warsi met James Caan, the newest dragon in Dragons' Den on BBC Two. Warsi and entrepreneur Caan - who left Pakistan at the age of two and is now chief executive of Hamilton Bradshaw, the private equity firm - are to work closely with Projects Abroad, which sets up overseas placements for volunteers on gap years or career breaks.

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December 2007, FourFourTwo Magazine

Results in the second tier of the Moldovan championship don’t usually raise too many eyebrows outside the former Soviet republic. But if an ambitious new project comes off, Eikomena PA could soon become a handy stop off for scouts scouring Europe for young African footballers.
The side was set up in July by British-based Company Projects Abroad to act as a shop window for players looking to break into some of the continent’s bigger and more lucrative leagues.

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November 2007, Real World Magazine

Hannah is in her final year of a communication studies degree at Sheffield Hallam University. She took a gap year between A-levels and starting university. Through Projects Abroad she went to Ghana for three months. Most of her time was spent working in an orphanage. For the rest of the time she was working in a school: teaching, dancing, singing and generally keeping the children entertained.

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October 2007, The Times Online - In the City: October 23

It is easy to become jaded by idealistic sermonising but there was genuine weight behind statements last week by the chairman of the Bar, the vice-president of the Law Society and the vice-president of Ilex at the Stand Up event in Lincoln’s Inn Fields on the importance of assisting developing countries in governance, legal training and the application of the rule of law.

If you are interested in doing something positive in this area then take a look at the work of Projects Abroad that is recruiting volunteers for the Africa office of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in Accra, Ghana.
Go to

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October 2007, Woman’s World

With her children now doing their own thing, Kathy, 51, felt she needed a challenge and tentatively floated the idea of overseas volunteer work to her husband. Ken’s response, “Off you go,” put her on the spot, propelled her into action and six months later she was in Tamil Nadu, South India, helping at a home for disabled boys, all from very poor backgrounds and affected by polio or cerebral palsy.

From the moment she walked through the gate and met the home’s wheelchair bound director, Kathy knew “this was where I was meant to be”. In a way she is still there. On her return back to the UK, Kathy did not go back to her lecturing post; instead she and Ken, who had already taken early retirement, set up the Neem Tree Trust, a registered charity dedicated to supporting the boys’ home and named after a tree renowned for its healing properties. The Trust’s fundraising activities include talks given by Kathy and the sale of Neem oil products, gift stationery and articles made by the boys themselves.

Kathy’s original trip was organised by Teaching & Projects Abroad. This company offers a range of placements worldwide for durations to suit each volunteer, from two weeks to a year…….As well as the placement itself, the ‘gap’ package typically includes accommodation, food, briefings, insurance, on the ground support and, excluding flights, costs anything between £500-£2,500, depending on where and for how long.

September 2007, London Metro

I’d already graduated from Keele University with a degree in physiotherapy and been working as a physio for just over a year at Wolverhampton City Primary Care Trust when I went to Nepal for four months. I went to Nepal with Teaching & Projects Abroad and it cost me around £2,000.

Once there I heard about a hostel which had 30 children with mental and physical handicaps and a few needed a stretching programme set up. In this country a child would have special shoes and chairs and splints, but there, they had three in a bed. We used a small room and taught the carers stretches to make the children comfortable.

I also learned the Ponseti technique while I was there, which is a way of using a cast to reshape a child’s talipes or clubfoot.

In Britain, you have to go on a course to learn it, but they taught me there and I was able to do it on some of the kids. It was great because I learned a lot about just getting by. The splints they used would be copied for an eighth of the price they are here. We had some postural cushions made for some of the children – made within a day at the shop down the road. You couldn’t do that here because of all the restrictions. There, they just have to get on with things. I came back to the same hospital in Wolverhampton – I love it here, it’s a small rehab hospital – and I had a lot more confidence and better communication skills.

Going to Nepal was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I feel really lucky that I was able to do it.

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September 2007, Real Travel

Inspiration for Katie Parsons, 24, was all of these things. "I wanted to go somewhere I could completely immerse myself in the culture and also give something back," she says of her ten week teaching English in a small school near Cusco, Peru... Her placement was organised by Projects Abroad, cost £1500, and was part of a six-month trip through Mexico and South America. "It was a lot of money but included insurance, meals and transport. For me though it gave me peace of mind that everything was arranged for me, and peace of mind for my parents who knew they could contact me easily," she says.

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August 2007, The Independent

Working on an Indian newspaper will teach you a lot about the Sub-continent – as well as about life as a journalist. Will Parkhouse shares his experiences...

Teaching & Projects Abroad, as well as sending volunteers to join the media in countries as diverse as Mexico, Moldova and Mongolia, offers a different angle from the others, in that it has three placements – in Bolivia, Romania and India – on magazines the organisation has set up itself, to guarantee that volunteers will receive proper attention.

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August 2007, The Guardian

Volunteers with the Mongolia Nomad Life Project live and work with nomadic families on the Mongolian Steppe. They get involved in all aspects of life, from looking after livestock to helping to prepare for local events such as the annual Naadam festival. In the evenings you can relax with your family over a cup of the local brew, a mild fermented milk drink called airag.

A one-month stay costs £1,795 including food, accommodation, airport pick-up and orientation, full back-up from UK and local staff, insurance, and placement organisation., +44 (0) 1273 007230. Flights to Ulan Bator £895 return.

August 2007, The Sunday Times

With accommodation with a host family, and 60 hours of one-to-one tuition, this four-week course couldn’t be more total immersion if they dunked you in guaro, the local rum you’re bound to encounter when you should be doing your homework. Based in the northwestern city of Liberia, within easy reach of numerous national parks, volcanoes and beaches of the Pacific coast, the course is a great foundation for the community projects, sports coaching, journalism and even medical and veterinary work that can be done later on with the same operator in Costa Rica, as well as Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru.

Details: £895 for four weeks, full-board, including travel and medical insurance, and transfers from/to San Jose. Flights arranged for £835. Contact Teaching & Projects Abroad (+44 (0) 1273 007230,

August 2007,

Teaching & Projects Abroad –
They offer a diverse range of teaching, care, conservation, medical, journalism and work experience projects, plus the opportunity to become part of one of their local communities overseas.

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July 2007, Guardian Unlimited:

This placement was arranged by a gap year company (Projects Abroad) and I decided to go away with a company because both me and my parents wanted the secure ‘safety net’ these companies provide.

I would like to recommend established companies such as Projects Abroad, as they offer young people, especially girls, a good safe introduction to the developing world, and allow them to become immersed in cultures very different from their own. They offer a very valuable experience and in many cases the volunteer is able to make a worthwhile contribution to at the very least one other person’s life.

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July 2007,

"Overseas volunteering will make a whole generation more open and connected to the third world," said Peter Slowe, founder of gap year organisation Teaching & Projects Abroad.

"Living and working in a developing country is a completely different experience to travelling. It helps overcome that ‘otherness’ problem that older generations encounter."

July 2007, efinancial careers

People who have done challenging voluntary work tend to stand out, says Jonathan Jones, European head of graduate recruitment at Goldman Sachs. Shaking a tin in the shopping centre or working at the local charity shop is not enough, though. You need to do something that is adventurous or that exposes you to the organisational issues faced by the charity.

Organisations such as BUNAC, Teaching (& Projects) Abroad and Outreach International run volunteering programmes.

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June 2007, The Independent:

Planning a gap year after university should be a pleasure - all that time to fill, with only the limits of your imagination to hold you back. Only problem is, the sheer wealth of options can make the whole thing seem more complicated than revising for your final-year exams. ...Teaching & Projects Abroad is one of the largest, offering volunteering projects in 21 countries, ranging from teaching English or working in an orphanage to journalism placements. More than a third of the 3,000 people it sends abroad every year are recent graduates on a gap year.

"The volunteers we get want to take a break before starting a job and settling down," says Ian Birbeck, senior programme executive. "It gives them a chance to try things out and adds something to the CV, especially if you've done something constructive. A lot of young people want to do something worthwhile with their year rather than just bumming around the world."

May 2007, FourFourTwo Magazine:

Meet the English student who chose to play football in Ghana in his gap year and now wants to play for Luxembourg. Naturally….While most gay year students backpack round Asia and Australasia, the south Londoner, along with two fellow 18-year-old Brits, paid £2,000 to spend three months in the Ghanaian capital – as part of a new project set up by Worthing-based organisation Teaching & Projects Abroad – where as well as coaching at Cantonments FC, a club set up for young Ghanaians in 2002, he’s been training with Inter Millas from the country’s second Division

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January 2007, Real Travel Magazine:

A new voluntourism project has been launched by Teaching & Projects Abroad giving volunteers the chance to teach basic football skills and organise training sessions in Ghana….Ian Birbeck, head of recruitment for Teaching & Projects Abroad said: "Our main objective at Teaching & Projects Abroad is to match the skills, experience and willingness of young British people to the needs, requirements and abilities of communities in developing countries."

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October 2006,

As an aspiring journalist, recently graduated from the University of Birmingham, I decided to gain more experience in the field before doing a post graduate course at UCE (Birmingham).

India is a country I have long wished to visit. The culture, geography and the history intrigue me. I came across Teaching & Projects Abroad at a Gap Year fair hosted by the university. I applied to a Teaching & Projects Abroad placement working for a monthly magazine (The Sivakasi Times) in Sivakasi in the state of Tamil Nadu.

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August 2006, The Independent:

With no knowledge of Wolof and just a few words of French, Zenobe Reade braved the classrooms of Senegal.

For my first few weeks in Senegal, I would sit bolt upright in bed soon after dawn, woken by the early morning call of the muezzin to the faithful. That was followed by the regular sounds of a household slowly rising: the goats braying to be let out; the coffee man knocking on his door-to-door rounds; and the sweep-sweep as the mosaic tiled corridor was cleaned of its accumulated debris. …. I chose to volunteer through Teaching and Projects Abroad because it housed volunteers with families, not in hostels.

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August 2006, The Guardian (Education)

If you’re planning a year out, the internet is a useful resource. The sources of information are endless – here is our pick of the best. impressive range of volunteer placements here, too - from teaching or journalism through to conservation projects.

Summer 2006, Careerscope Magazine:

"I can honestly say that taking part in this project changes my life on so many levels. Being in Ghana - a country so different from the UK – and working with children so in need of love brought out all sorts of skills and qualities I didn’t know I had."

June/July 2006, Real Travel Magazine:

Teaching & Projects Abroad are holding an open day on June 17 to give prospective volunteers the chance to find out more about combining adventurous overseas travel with the chance to work for worthwhile causes. Projects on offer range from working in an orphanage in Asia, to gaining experience of medicine, veterinary science, conservation, journalism and business in destinations ranging from Africa to South America.

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Spring 2006, Fresh Magazine (The Independent)

A gap project could greatly enhance your long-term career prospects and provide you with a fast-track ticket into industry. Peter Slowe, who set up Teaching & Projects Abroad says, "both employers and postgraduate departments at universities and colleges are enthusiastic about structured overseas work experience. We receive regular feedback from former volunteers who are very pleased from the point of view of their careers that they went on one of our programmes."… Dorothy Hudson travelled to Nepal with the company but instead of doing the traditional medical placement, undertook one in physiotherapy.

May 2006, You Can Magazine (The Independent):

I discovered South Africa through an organisation called Teaching & Projects Abroad. They offered me a care placement working with orphans who couldn’t afford to go to school, which suited me perfectly…. I only spent a month away, but even during this short period I experienced so much. The children I was working with were wonderful, and seeing the injustices they suffered really made me appreciate my own blessings"

March 2006, Littlehampton Gazette:

Three months of working at a centre for disabled children in China have confirmed Wendy Gostock’s view that gap years are for grandmas as much as for younger volunteers…..The Bo Ai Centre for children with cerebral palsy in Shanghai is the only one of its kind in China and Wendy, 58, went there as a volunteer with Goring-based organisation, Teaching & Projects Abroad.

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