The number of Americans interested in global service volunteer vacations continues to climb, according to a new University of California San Diego Extension survey...

The number of Americans interested in global service volunteer vacations continues to climb, according to a new University of California San Diego Extension survey ― but different generations aren’t equally as likely to volunteer.

Two-thirds of high school students and about half of the college students surveyed say they have participated in discussions in the past year related to traveling to other regions to provide volunteer service, whereas less than half of the adult population, and only one-quarter of retirees, say they have done so.


The poll was conducted by Caravan Opinion Research Corporation during March 2009 by telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults, and supplemented by an in-depth online survey of more than 300 adults conducted in May 2009 by UC San Diego Extension. The margin of error was plus or minus three percentage points.

The top five types of volunteer assignments the survey respondents want are:

1. Education or artistic and cultural development: 23 per cent

2. Providing spiritual or emotional assistance: 19 per cent

3. Improving health and nutrition: 18 per cent

4. Constructing roads, homes and technology infrastructure: 14 per cent

5. Environmental clean-up or agriculture assistance: 12 per cent

UC San Diego Extension has created self-paced online courses to help potential volunteers determine if foreign volunteering is right for them and prepare them to have a productive, safe experience. Information is available at www.extension.ucsd.edu/cgvs.

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