More students than ever before are seeking voluntary working placements abroad according to Projects Abroad – the world’s largest volunteering organisation.
Dr Peter Slowe, Director of Projects Abroad, said, “The record number of A-level passes that are being awarded has resulted in 700,000 students seeking only 480,000 university places.
“When this is linked to considerable increases in university fees in 2012 and massive graduate unemployment, volunteering for philanthropic projects abroad becomes an attractive option.
“Many young people have realised that volunteering in the third world is an excellent way to step off the educational treadmill and broaden their outlook, life skills and general education, while enriching the lives of others.”
Projects Abroad has sent more than 41,000 volunteers to 27 different countries since its inception in 1992. Last year, they sent around 8,000 volunteers on projects and are predicting an increase of at least 10% this year.
Projects Abroad also sends increasing numbers of professionals who want to volunteer or undertake internships in developing countries.
According to Dr Slowe, Brazil has become the most popular destination for British professionals volunteering to work overseas because it is a fast-growing economy but a highly challenging environment.
“Brazil, unlike China, is a democracy which is much more attractive to investors and volunteers alike,” he said.
“Brazil is politically stable and unlikely to undergo prolonged civil unrest which is likely to occur at some time in China.”