Trying to find ways to make a difference with people who share your same values? We’ve got you covered. Here are a few organizations to check out and some tips to finding the best fit for you.
Thinking about doing some volunteering after high school but not sure where to start? There are hundreds — even thousands — of programs that you can choose from which is just a little bit daunting. You can help narrow it down if you look for programs for LDS volunteers. That way, you know you’ll be volunteering and serving with people who share your standards which can make going abroad a bit easier to handle, right?
Pst: if you're worried about how to pay for a semester abroad, we can help with that.
Here are some programs to check out that give serve opportunities for LDS volunteers:
BYU Study Abroad Programs
Or a BYUI study abroad program — both will give you the chance to volunteer and study with other volunteers who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because both of these schools are made up of primarily LDS students. Makes sense, right?
Typically, study abroad programs might require you to choose a location that fits in with your major and also require that you do some school work while you are abroad, but you’ll be able to get credit and see the world, which is pretty cool. However you might also need to pay the cost of the study abroad program plus tuition which tends to make this an expensive option.
We may be a little biased, but have you thought about volunteering with International Language Programs? ILP isn’t affiliated with the LDS church but lots of our volunteers are LDS. Plus, all volunteer signs a code of conduct that’s pretty similar to the BYU honor code. If you want to make sure you’ll be meeting other LDS volunteers while abroad, you can always let ILP know you want to serve in ILP cities or countries with easy church access or invite your friends to come along with you!
ILP volunteers are college-aged (usually 18-25), don’t need to have any teaching experience, pay a program fee that includes airfare, housing, visa, food and culture classes for the entire semester which is about 4-5 months long. Here’s everything a program fee covers.
You can even volunteer with ILP before deciding to serve a mission — it actually happens all the time. Volunteers living in Europe can check out all the LDS temples in Europe on vacation (there are also LDS temples in Mexico and the DR you can visit), get the chance to spend time serving others, test out life in a different place with a totally new culture — all things you’ll experience as a missionary.
Maybe you’re looking for something you can do while you’re still in high school or a program that is only a couple of weeks long. If that’s the case, maybe HEFY is a good option for you. HEFY is another non-profit organization that isn’t affiliated with the LDS church (similar to ILP) but have volunteers signs a code of conduct. HEFY also asserts that prayer, scripture study and church attendance as an important part of your experience with their organization.
Wanting a little more info on the LDS part of the ILP program? Come check out that section of our blog! You can even get in touch with your own ILP representative who can help answer any questions you might have, just click that blue button.