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Volunteering Abroad With ILP

Have you ever wanted to volunteer abroad? If so, check out International Language Programs (ILP) for affordable and impactful volunteer abroad experiences!

Kid in Thailand
Photo by Ashley Peterson

Enriching Volunteer Abroad Experiences
Have you ever wanted to volunteer abroad but worried about being a ‘voluntourist’, creating more harm than good? If so, check out International Language Programs (ILP) for affordable and impactful volunteer abroad experiences!

What is ILP?
ILP is an organization based in Orem, Utah. Volunteers teach kids for only about 20 hours a week, bringing their valuable skills as native English speakers to immerse kids in English study with simple crafts and games. Program locations include Thailand, Ukraine, Lithuania, Vanuatu, The Dominican Republic and Romania. ILP programs are unique because volunteers are desired for their English skills, and ILP’s unique immersion method. This makes teaching simple for volunteers, and keeps them from being a ‘voluntourist’, because they make a real impact. Because you’re volunteering your time in a professional environment, you can even put your experience on your resume, furthering the benefits and impact of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Two kids in a classroom in Thailand
Photo by Ashley Peterson

ILP Volunteer Abroad Benefits
Study abroad experiences are valuable in their own right, but when comparing volunteering abroad to studying abroad, the benefits of volunteering abroad are clear: volunteers can make a unique impact by helping people while broadening their own cultural horizons. With ILP, volunteer abroad experiences are richer and more successful. ILP volunteers have more time to experience things because they aren’t studying or doing homework, and they’re in the country for three to four months. ILP programs are cheaper and longer than most volunteer or study abroad programs because of the unique way they’re set up to subsidize the cost and enrich the lives of students.

Most of ILP’s programs are exchange programs, which means the kids’ parents subsidize volunteer’s travel and living costs while they’re teaching. Humanitarian programs allow volunteers to provide their services free of charge to students. Because volunteer’s skills as a native English teacher are so valuable and make the school prestigious and desirable, the program fee is only around $2,500! Personal travel is out of your own pocket, but your flights to and from the country, visas, training, and three meals a day are included in the program fee. After your first ILP semester, you can choose to go to another location as a head teacher– the school will cover your program fee to lead your group and communicate with the school, group and ILP.

Who can go?
Anyone between the ages of 18 and 30– you just need to be a native English speaker from the United States or Canada. Some schools only have availability for single women, but many have housing for single men and married couples as well! You don’t need to be a student or affiliated with any university or religion, although many volunteers are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because ILP is based in Utah.

Immersing yourself in a different culture and gaining different perspectives and experiences is valuable– you’ll remember your experience for your entire life and it will influence the way you interact with people from different backgrounds than you. Volunteering with ILP

Kids huddle together in a classroom in Thailand
Photo by Ashley Peterson

The People
You’ll fall in love with the goofy and loving kids you teach. With ILP, you teach about four hours a day, Monday through Friday. These kids will become the highlight of your week, and you’ll be surprised how much fun you have with them– and how hard it is to leave them at the end of your semester.

Even though there’s often a language barrier, the locals are so sweet and helpful wherever you choose to volunteer. If you volunteer in Thailand, the people that run your favorite roti (Thai pancakes) stand and cocoa bag (Thai chocolate drinks in bags) stand will become your best friends as you visit them throughout the week on your trips into town.

Volunteers in Thailand
Photo by Ashley Peterson

Your Group
Each ILP group usually has around eight volunteers, but some groups are as small as five or as large as thirty! Living and teaching with your group is a bonding experience unlike any other, and you’ll love exploring your school’s city, the country you’re living in and sometimes even surrounding countries with them!

Explore The World!
Wherever you choose to volunteer with ILP, you’ll have a unique experience that you’ll remember for your entire life. Explore the world while you’re young and experience all that you can!