Projects AbroadProjects Abroad

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A Projects Abroad volunteer in China poses for a photo with local school children.

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Volunteers Can Embark on a Rewarding School Year by Teaching Children to Speak English

NEW YORK – September 22, 2010– Hitting the books has never been more gratifying than with one of Projects Abroad’s teaching projects, where graduates and professionals can go “back to school” to share the gift of education while also learning about another culture. Perfect for those taking time off from university or simply in need of a “career break,” the projects give volunteers the opportunity to instruct children, adults and even other teachers how to speak and teach English, or any number of additional subjects.

“Our volunteers always find a warm welcome from students all over the world,” said Thomas Pastorius Jr., Projects Abroad’s vice president. “Before the project ends, many volunteers are considered a ‘local celebrity,’ with their lesson plans repeated in classrooms across whichever city they are based. It’s a life-changing experience that provides as much education for the volunteers as the students they teach.”

“Making the grade” as a volunteer is simple – no prior teaching experience is required, just a basic understanding of the English language. Volunteers can select a teaching program from 26 destinations. They typically teach English, though if they have the necessary skills they may be able to teach other subjects. For those with computer skills there is also the option to teach IT. Volunteers generally teach 18 hours per week, plus spend time preparing lessons and correcting the students’ work. Many also choose to become more involved and help students with extracurricular activities like sports, drama or music lessons.

Teaching English Projects

In many countries, local teachers are capable of teaching the structural aspects of the English language but do not use the correct intonation or pronunciation because they lack the skills of a native speaker. By providing conversational English knowledge, volunteers greatly enhance the learning experience and the potential for children and adults to succeed in the globalized business world.

In Peru’s Teaching Project, volunteers’ roles may include teaching students of many ages from all five secondary school year groups. Those who choose to volunteer during Peru’s long school holidays, January – March, will have the unique experience of teaching the teachers English. Volunteers prepare interactive lessons for small groups that are divided up according to their level of English language knowledge.

Volunteers can also head across the globe to China to teach in schools located in the outskirts of Shanghai. Many of the students come from impoverished families who recently moved from rural areas to Shanghai in an effort to improve their lives. As China increasingly embraces the West, the desire to learn English has never been greater and knowledge of the language could be a student’s ticket to a major Chinese university.

The Teaching Project in South Africa is based in the outer areas of Cape Town and surrounding Cape Flats townships. Many schools in the townships have classes with as many as 70 students instructed by just one local teacher. By providing much needed teaching assistance, volunteers greatly relieve the workload and provide students with a new dimension to their education.

Projects Abroad’s Teaching Plus Program allows volunteers to participate in a teaching project across a variety of subject areas, including sports, music, art, drama or another subject specialty. These programs run alongside the teaching English programs, allowing volunteers to choose to combine teaching a language with arts and crafts, or working with the school to create a custom combination of subjects.

Opportunities for Experienced Teachers

Those who have a background in teaching and wish to bring their specialized skills to communities in need can volunteer through a special arm of the organization – Projects Abroad Pro. These programs will match teachers with schools and projects that require experienced individuals. Opportunities include: special education needs teachers to work at a care home in Bolivia, business teachers for a university in China, basic skills teachers for a literacy project in Jamaica, teacher trainers in Nepal, and many more.

Volunteers can participate in any of Projects Abroad’s teaching projects for one to several months, depending on their particular interests and schedules. Two-week specials are also offered for high school students during the summer months. For more information visit To learn about opportunities for professional teachers 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, 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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