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After 2004, nearly 3 million Poles left abroad for work, mainly young people and recent graduates. Majority of them opted for Great Britain, next the focus shifted on Germany, which opened its labour market a few years later. The main reason for migration has been the difference in wages and unemployment. The crisis, which burst out in 2008, has upheld the validity of these arguments. According to the recent survey, each third Pole aged 18–24 intends to look for a job abroad, as they do not believe that they would find a well-paid employment in the country.
However, Polish people are on the move not only for job related reasons. In the academic year 2011/2012, another record in terms of the number of students leaving for studies and placements abroad under the Erasmus programme was broken. According to the data of the Foundation for the Development of the Education System, 15,300 students used mobility opportunities, which was 7.6% more than a year earlier. This is an outstanding result as compared to the “old” EU member states, where interest in Erasmus diminishes. Polish schools are also active as part of eTwinning www.etwinning.pl and lead in terms of the number of projects. Action 3 of the Youth in Action programme www.mlodziez.org.pl supports international cooperation of young people. Under this programme, young people from the programme countries and neighbouring partner countries from outside the EU (the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and the Mediterranean) can participate in youth exchanges aimed at breaking the barriers and becoming acquainted with different cultures and customs.
Young people can also use unique opportunities related with international volunteering. They can benefit not only from the European Voluntary Service (Action 2 of the Youth in Action programme), but also take part in initiatives organised by NGOs. Among others, Polish Humanitarian Action, which modernises schools, builds wells and provides food in conflict stricken countries, looks for volunteers. You can also participate in Salesian Voluntary Service organised by the Salesian Missionaries and Jesuit Missionaries.