Come have mom and dad visit the country you've spent a semester volunteering in! 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?
Not an ILP volunteer yet?
Come fill out an application right here!
But before you go inviting everyone you know to come see the Great Wall of China with you, there are a few things to keep in mind if you'd like someone to come visit you on your ILP semester.
What Does ILP Say?
We love to have parents 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 Europe or Asia or the Caribbean in the first place, right?
Make sure you plan a time that won’t interrupt your teaching schedule; you cannot miss class because your parents are in town. Before planning a trip, have your parents call the ILP office and we can let them know a bit more about the teaching schedule for your school.
Who Can Visit?
Only parents are only allowed to visit, and siblings can only come if parents are there, too. No cousins, uncles, aunts, or friends. If you'd like to do some traveling with other family or friends, that has to happen after your ILP semester is over. Thanks for understanding!
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 an option. 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 9 days 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 parents 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.
At The End Of Your Semester (Our Fav Option!)
Having your parents come at the end of the semester is also 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 what you'll need to do is change your flight so that you can stay longer and then your parents 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. Just so you know, airlines all have different policies so it may not be possible to change your flight, and often airline fees are pretty expensive. Just talk to us at the office and we can help walk you through it.
Hear From Jen
Jen, an ILP Thailand volunteer had her mom come visit 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!
Is It A Good Idea?
That’s up to you. You are already over there and know what the country is like, and honestly ... those are the best kind of trips. You and your parents can hang out in the city you call home before exploring somewhere totally new (or revising another favorite vacation spot). Your parents might love seeing in person the things and places they've been hearing about over Instagram.
Also, having your parents read through this ILP guide for parents might help them convince you that a semester abroad is exactly what you need.
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: