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Can My Family Visit Me While I’m Volunteering?

Posted by Emily Cummings on 2/18/17 6:19 PM

See Indonesia with ILP in ThailandIf you're having a hard time convincing your parents how great of an experience it would be for you to live in Thailand for a semester, try telling them that they can come visit you! That might change things.If you have family who are dying to come visit you and explore Russia’s Red Square or get a Thai massage for themselves, keep reading: You can have them visit you during your ILP semester! Great news, right? 

Pst: You can’t really have visitors if you haven’t applied yet now, can you? We’ll make this super easy — fill out an application right here and start thinking about where in the world you want to travel to!

But before you go inviting everyone you know to come see the Great Wall of China with you, there are a few things you should know. 

  • What Does ILP Say?
  • So When’s A Good Time?
  • Is It A Good Idea?

What Does ILP Say? 

We love to have family visit our volunteers during their semester, but we just don't want it to interfere with your teaching, which is why you are living in Ukraine or Romania or Haiti in the first place, right? Make sure you plan a time that won’t interrupt your teaching schedule; you cannot miss class because your family is in town.

ILP Thailand

So When’s A Good Time? 

As an ILP volunteer, you'll have vacation time scheduled throughout your semester abroad. Having family come visit during your vacations is a great solution! You’ll be able to explore a new city together and you won’t need to worry about missing teaching days to hang out. Each ILP country has about 2 weeks off during the semester of vacation time and always have weekends off so that works well. One word of caution is that you won't know what days your vacation are until after you arrive at the start of your semester. The school you volunteer at decides which dates you'll have off and that's when they let you know (since it changes every semester). So...why is that important? It means your family can't really purchase their flights until a couple of months before they come. Sometimes flight prices go up if you wait too long, so that's why I like this next solution best.

Having family come at the end of the semester is a great idea; Show everyone your favorite noodle house or pierogi place and explore the city you’ve called home for months! You can even talk to ILP about flying home later than the rest of your teachers to have more time to travel after your semester ends.  You'll know your last day of the semester as soon as ILP purchases your flight, so all you'll need to do is change your flight so that you can stay longer and then your family can come visit and stay with you after the semester is over! ILP purchases your roundtrip flight a couple of months before you leave, so of course that gives your family more time to plan as well. 

Jen's mom came to visit her at the end of the trip and it was perfect! Her mom arrived on the last day of school so that she could meet the cute students and since it was the last day, it was more of a party/goodbye day anyways so she wasn't interrupting. Then, they got to travel around together for the next couple of weeks while the rest of the group went home, so it was like an extra vacation for Jen!

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Is It A Good Idea?

That’s up to you! I may be biased, but I absolutely loved visiting my sister when she was teaching English in Thailand and would have loved for her to come see what my life was like in China. I met my sister on one of her vacations, then spent time in Phichit (where she was teaching) visiting her favorite shops and restaurants. I got to meet her adorable kids before we went back to America together.

Plus, being there at the end of her trip was like seeing the highlight reel of the semester: She wanted to visit that awesome ice cream place one more time before seeing the sunset at Alligator park before leaving — I got the best of the best before flying home.  Seeing for myself the places and people I’d been hearing about all semester was such an amazing experience. 

ILP Thailand

Need a little more info on what you’ll be doing abroad? Come check out our blog for travel tips, places you can vacation while volunteering, help with lesson plans and more. We’d also love to help answer any of your questions; come talk to a representative who has volunteered with ILP before by clicking right here: 

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Topics: Ukraine, Russia, China, ILP Basics, Mexico, Lithuania, Thailand, Dominican Republic, Poland, Haiti, For The Parents

Exploring The World For Over 25 Years

Over the years of assisting more than 6,000 volunteers in their desire to travel and make a difference in the lives of others, ILP has seen what works and what doesn't.

We've gathered our tips here for making your semester abroad a successful one.


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