With so many countries to choose from it can be hard to choose where to volunteer with ILP. No matter where you volunteer though you will LOVE your kids. Here's proof.
All of ILP's countries are unique in their own ways. The cultures, food, and people will all be different and amazing. Whether you spend a semester volunteering in the DR, Romania, or Ukraine you will experience new things and absolutely fall in love with your new "home" and make a difference in the lives of the kids you serve.
Pst: if money is standing the way of you volunteering, we have ways to help you afford a semester abroad.
We talked to an ILP volunteer from a few of our countries and had them share a little bit about some of their favorite kids they taught and volunteered with.
Emily E. spent her semester in Haiti and got to teach some of the spunkiest kids around. She had the following to say about Wilmy, who is adorable!
Keely A. volunteered in China and shared a bit about a student she loves named Jayden. Although Jayden started off a bit naughty Keely quickly learned to love this little guy, and we see why!
"[After closing] the kids were showing me their prizes. I came to Jayden and another boy to see their prize. I knelt down to be closer to them as they showed me the Star Wars stickers they had gotten. Jayden and the other boy were telling me the characters Chinese names and then laughed at my pronunciation of it. From then on Jayden was one of my fav kids!
"Jayden was so good at singing and dancing. One of his teachers in Chinese school plays Josh Groban’s 'You Raise Me Up' and Jayden memorized it and would sing it word for word ALL THE TIME.
"On our last day I went with the kids to the playground for one last play session and one last goodbye. When it was time to go I gave a teary-eyed Jayden a hug and told him all the things I loved about him. His mom called for him saying it was time to go home and he ran off to her. I will always remember him with tears running down his face and waving goodbye to me as he held his mom's hand. My heart broke completely as I walked away. He is such a sweet little boy. I will always remember him because of his songs, dances, splits, hugs, and his sweet and funny personality. I am thankful for my ILP experience and the kids were easily my favorite part of China. I will always love and miss my first graders."
Kristen E. feel in love with all of her students in Poland and could not say enough of their sweetness and kindness. We agree with her that you will never want to leave your darling kids in Poland.
"Teaching foreign kids English is the most fulfilling and inspiring opportunity that everyone should experience. No matter what, you will fall in love with them more than you would have ever imagined possible. They are adorable, hilarious, sweet, and will steal your heart forever. Watching them learn and grow is something extremely rewarding, because you know that you have made a difference in their life forever. Bonding with the kids is the best part of an ILP semester.
"Teaching children taught me so many things and changed me in a way that can’t be described. They showed me that anything in life can be achieved if you put your mind to it, I was so proud of my students as I watched them progress as they learned English. They are examples of pure and unconditional love. They will hug you and tell you they love you, and you will never want to leave them. "
Kylee B. volunteered in Russia and makes us want to go there ASAP to be with this cutie. Just look at her...
"This is Sasha. In our school, she is the youngest in our group because she is in the kindergarten. Since she is in KG, we have to pick her up separate from the other kids. When we go to get her, she usually has just woken up from her nap time. We always have to remind her to pick up her cute glasses from her desk. As we are leaving her classroom to go get the other kids, she will grab my hand as we walk down the hall. She is so smart and she loves to draw horses and butterflies.
"I love Sasha for so many reasons. She says 'good' in the cutest way, she is the perfect student, she hugs me when I drop her off at class, and she is so sweet. I’m so glad I got to teach her and I wish I could have brought her home with me!"
Cassi H. volunteered in Romania with one of ILP's humanitarian programs. At the orphanage in Romania the volunteers are not allowed to take pictures but she shared a little bit about what seems like the cutest little guy around.
"This little 6 year old became my best friend. He comes from a tough past, but is so strong and happy. He has sooooo much love to give, and I was a happy recipient of that. Countless hugs, kisses, and cuddles. He is obsessed with playing catch with a ball, so we would do that for hours on end. He got a kick out of throwing the ball as hard as he could at my head, which was hilarious. He has the best laugh, and I’m pretty sure 90% of my time with him was spent with me trying to make him laugh.
He loves to copy the English phrases I say, so I decided to teach him how to say 'I love you'. Once the orphanage worker explained to him what it means (in Romanian), it became his favorite phrase. Out of nowhere he would say, 'Cassi! I love you!' And it melted my heart every single time. I totally fell in love with his cute face, and I will forever cherish the few months we had together."
The Dominican Republic
"Among the many adorable students I got to teach during my time with ILP in Mexico, there was one little boy in my class that was definitely my favorite. He was intelligent, a fast learner, and definitely loved his teachers! His name was Eduardo, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to get to know him! Although I was technically his teacher, Eduardo ended up teaching me a lot. His ability and desire to learn English really inspired me, and made me want to be a better teacher. Moreover, he was attentive to others in his class and never wanted to exclude the other kids, but instead tried to help them when they were struggling with the language.
"Currently, over 2 years later, Eduardo and I have been able to stay in contact and I have formed a close friendship with his family. We get to Skype and text, and I make a point to go back and visit twice a year. It is such a joy for me to know that the connections I made during my time with ILP did not have to end when I finished teaching, but have continued to flourish and grow. I’m so grateful for this little boy and his family who have a special place in my heart! "
"When volunteering in Lithuania each kid I taught had such a fun personality. Daniel was one of my favorites because he was the biggest sweetheart I've ever met!
"Daniel was a huge helper and loved to not only help me as a teacher, but all of the kids in class. He was patient, kind and loved to learn new things. One of his favorite parts of ILP classes was Kitchen. We would make small snacks and get to eat them afterwards. He was a kid after my own heart because his favorite part was eating the snack at the end of class.
"I am so grateful for Daniel and everything I learned from him while I was his teacher. He will always have a special place in my heart."
Ily A. was a Head Teacher over her ILP group in Thailand and got to spend time in classes with the girls in her group. She says:
"On our first day of teaching at the beginning of the semester, I did a sample lesson for one of my girl's classes and Tonkla was in that first class I taught. He's been my favorite since the beginning...
"He's so cute and tiny, and (on most days) very well behaved. He thinks he has super powers and always puts his hands out in front of him to use the powers. He can be shy and bashful, but when you can get him smiling and laughing, that's the absolute best! His little three year old laugh is the cutest thing you'll ever hear.
"I'll never forget this: his teacher asked him to go to wash his hands during class, so I walked him over to the bathroom. When he was finished, he came out and I asked "wanna race?" He nodded excitedly and I counted down from 3, then we raced down the hallway back to his classroom and he was laughing and smiling the whole way! I'll miss my Thai baby Tonkla so much!"