Projects Abroad Announces New Alternative Spring Break Trips for 2016
College students can now participate in Care and Medicine programs in Argentina, Belize, and Fiji
NEW YORK – November 11, 2015 – International volunteer organization Projects Abroad is thrilled to announce the launch of several new Alternative Spring Break Trips in 2016. From next spring, students will be able to skip the typical vacation experience in favor of volunteering abroad in Argentina, Belize, and Fiji. Each trip emphasizes having a worthwhile experience in a short period of time and are all scheduled to coincide with major university breaks.
There are a number of benefits for students who elect to volunteer over spring break, as Christian Clark, Deputy Director of Projects Abroad USA, explains: “Even though the break is only a week long, students stand to gain a great deal by traveling 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 spring break volunteers report experiencing every year.”
Christine, a sophomore at Seattle University, volunteered with Projects Abroad earlier this year. She chose to spend her spring 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 daycare center,” 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 be offering four new Alternative Spring Break Trips:
Based at a hospital in Cordoba, the program features an itinerary designed to expose students to the medical profession in practice. This includes shadowing doctors on their rounds, visiting an anatomy museum, and attending workshops, an outreach, a dissection class, and a medical Spanish lesson. Argentina shares many similarities North America and the modern techniques used at the hospital will be relevant to students pursuing a career in the field, so pre-med students building a resume for medical school will find this program especially useful.
Working with children is a fun way to do something practical over spring break. In Argentina, students will be placed at a kindergarten, where they will help with everyday care, organize educational activities, and assist with renovation work. 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.
Although the tourism and eco-tourism industries are growing rapidly in Belize, the country still faces major development challenges in the form of poverty and inequality. On the Care program, students work with disadvantaged children in a care center or kindergarten. There are a number of ways to get involved, such as running activities and games, helping with homework, preparing for meals, and playing and socializing with the children. Additionally, students contribute to valuable renovation projects.
In Fiji, increasing numbers of people are moving from villages to cities. This means that class sizes at kindergartens are also larger. Larger classes make it difficult for local staff to give each child the individual attention they need to thrive, so volunteers are a welcome pair of helping hands. It is also the perfect opportunity for students put any skills and interests they have to use, such as arts & crafts, assisting with basic literacy and numeracy, or teaching games, songs, or sports.
The new Alternative Spring Break Trips have been added to a roster that already includes a variety of meaningful programs in Jamaica, Costa Rica, Mexico, Ghana, and Morocco. Projects Abroad provides projects in a number of different areas, from childcare to conservation, 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 www.projects-abroad.org/volunteer-projects/alternative-spring-break.
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 www.projects-abroad.org.