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How It Works To Head Teach with ILP As A Married Couple

Posted by Emily Cummings on 1/2/21 3:59 PM

ILP China

Going on another ILP semester as a Head Teacher means volunteering for free (or at a deep discount) + a stipend for traveling around. If you're wondering how that works as a married couple (with you both as Head Teachers or just one of you), you're in the right place. 

We get a lot of questions about wanting to Head Teach while you're married, and for good reason! Once you volunteer with ILP once, we would love for you to come back for another semester as a Head Teacher. You can read a bit more about what a Head Teacher does here, but one of the biggest perks is the price: Head Teachers get their program fee waived or at a steep discount, plus get a stipend to use for their semester. I went to Russia and traveled around for practically zero dollars because of that little deal! 


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If you're wanting to do the Head Teacher thing and are married, we have the info you're looking for. There are a couple of different scenarios to run through for a married couple who also wants to Head Teach, just keep reading to find all the details to see what works best for you.

If You Both Want To Head Teach

So fun! Just remember that you have to volunteer with ILP before you can  be a HT with ILP, so this scenario only works if you've both volunteered with ILP previously. 

In this case you'll need to teach at a school where ILP has two Head Teachers. That's a bit more rare (typically only a couple of locations do that each semester), so applying early is going to be your best bet to try and snag that opportunity. Head Teacher spots are already pretty limited anyway so applying early is always recommended, but particularly if you have your eye on just one or two countries that would work for your situation. 

Where Can We Go? 

The Dominican Republic is one to consider. It's the only location that consistently sends two Head Teachers for one group. 

China may also be an option for some semesters. Sometimes we have a large group headed to Uganda so that could be a location that has two Head Teachers, but not always. At the end of the day, just talk to us during your Head Teacher interview (during the application process) and we can let you know what options you have for your particular semester because it does change from semester to semester.

What's The Price Breakdown? 

Like was mentioned, Head Teachers get their program fee waived for an exchange country or get you a steep discount for one of our humanitarian programs. Each Head Teacher also receives a stipend. 

For the Dominican Republic, both of you would get a discount on the Program Fee (for each Head Teacher, the fee is $1,000) plus each receives a stipend. For Uganda, the Head Teacher discount means the program fee is $1,500, plus a stipend. For China, since it's an exchange country, the program fee is completely waived for Head Teachers, plus you both would get a stipend. 

The stipend amount varies for locations, but we have had Head Teachers apply their stipend to the Humanitarian Program Fee fee instead, so they aren't paying for their Program Fee at all. Others have been able to fundraise that amount, so that's an option, too. 

A Chart To Help You Out 

Head Teacher (You and Spouse) Exchange Country  Free Program Fee for both + Stipend for both
Head Teacher (You and Spouse) Humanitarian Country  $1,000 or $1,500 Program Fee for both +  Stipend for both

 

ILP DR

One Head Teacher + One Volunteer

This is a much more common situation — typically just one of you has volunteered with ILP before and loved it so much they want to go back as a Head Teacher while their spouse goes abroad as a volunteer for their first ILP adventure (or as an alumnus). 

Where Can We Go? 

There are much more options in this scenario. Certain schools are still off-limits because they are just available for females or the housing isn't set up for a married couple. Options for married couples can be found here but you have your pick of countries in Asia, Europe, Central America, Africa, etc. 

What's The Price Breakdown? 

Just like we mentioned before, Head Teacher gets their program fee waived (zero dollars for Exchange countries) or a discount for Humanitarian Countries, ranging from a Program Fee of $1,000 or $1,500 depending on the location. The Head Teacher will also receive a stipend. 

For the spouse, that depends on the type of program. If your spouse is the Head Teacher for an exchange program, your Program fee is waived — so both of you don't have to worry about paying the Program Fee (and as a very fun bonus, the Head Teacher still gets that normal HT stipend). For Humanitarian locations, the program fee for the spouse is standard program fee pricing. 

If one spouse is Head Teaching and the other has already done ILP before and is applying as alumni, they may qualify for an alumni discount (for qualifying countries). Please contact the ILP office about current terms for that discount.

A Chart To Help You Out 

Head Teacher  Exchange Country  Free Program Fee + Stipend 
Head Teacher  Humanitarian Country  $1,000 or $1,500 for Program Fee + Stipend 
Volunteer (Spouse)  Exchange Country  Free Program Fee
Volunteer (Spouse)  Humanitarian Country  Full Program Fee 

 

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A Few More Questions 

How Do Vacations Work? 

If you're familiar with the ILP Program, you know volunteers need to be in groups of two in their city, and groups of three when on vacation. Married couples are the exception to that rule on vacation — you guys are okay to travel just the two of you. 

When Should We Apply? 

Early! Head Teacher spots are pretty competitive and limited, especially for married couples who have their eye on a couple of different locations. We currently are accepting applications 1.5 years in advance, and it's recommended you get a start on things early to help your chances. 

Who Can I Talk To For More Info? 

Send an email to headteachers@ilp.org. You can get help with your application, deciding your location, and get any additional questions answered that this blog post didn't cover. 

Teach English in Mexico

Ready to be a Head Teacher?

If you think you'd be a good fit, we'd love for you to complete the application! Click the button below to get started: 

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Topics: All About ILP + Volunteering

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We are ILP, a Utah-based non-profit org that has service abroad opportunities for college-age volunteers. We love travel so we're sharing all our tips for making the most of your time living abroad + seeing the world, and how to do it all on the tiniest budget.

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