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Projects Abroad 20 Years On!

Ian in Moldova in 1992

I had recently graduated when I saw a small advert in a magazine advertising “Teaching in Moldavia” in 1992.  I was slightly intrigued.  I didn’t know much about Moldavia but liked the idea of combining some travel and teaching overseas.  In October 1992 a group of 15 of us set out from London Victoria coach station taking a bus to Budapest to be met by someone to take us on our onward journey to Chisinau, the capital of the recently formed country Moldova.

I spent six months teaching in Ion Creanga Lycee which Projects Abroad still sends volunteers to today.  It was an amazing experience living with a fantastic Russian speaking family and working with some very supportive colleagues.  I am still in regular touch with 4 of the original 15 volunteers twenty years later.  Will Pashley who team taught with me is now even running our recruitment office in Australia!

Ian visiting India projects in 2011

Since then I have worked as a teacher, recruited for Projects Abroad, worked in a variety of overseas destinations and am now based in our Head Office in Goring by Sea.  It is great to see the growth of Projects Abroad - now sending 8,000 volunteers away each year.

It will be interesting to see where Projects Abroad is in another 20 years’ time!

Ian Birbeck

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