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How Many Hours Am I Volunteering When I'm Abroad With ILP?

Posted by Lindsay Hall on 8/24/18 4:17 PM

ILP Adventure

When trying to decide which service abroad program is best for you, there are lots to consider, but how many hours you're volunteering is something you should really consider.

It's really important to do your research when deciding if you want to serve abroad for a semester. The major factors I looked at when I was trying to decide was the number of hours I was going to be working (more on this in a minute), the safety aspects of the program, what support was offered, the cost of the program and future opportunities I had with each program. 

Get a guide about choosing and affording a semester abroad here

One huge thing to think about is your volunteering hours and your free time when you're abroad. 

If you don't have enough to do then you'll get extremely bored after a couple of weeks, run out of money because you're out paying for activities every day, and most importantly you won't feel as fulfilled without having those meaningful experiences of service. 

On the flip side, if you're expected to volunteer too much, you don't get to explore the country you call home, and may leave feeling like you missed out on things ... why go abroad if you don't have time to explore? 

So, where does ILP fall on that scale? Right in the perfect middle! Check it out.

How does the teaching schedule with ILP work?

  • Your Volunteer Schedule 
  • You May Have Morning Or Evening Hours
  • Your Classes Will Be Short
  • You Might Teach 
  • You'll Have Different Age Groups

Your Volunteer Schedule 

You’ll spend about a half day volunteering (up to 4 hours of direct interaction with the kids, plus preparation time, transportation, and clean up). It's essentially like having a part time job while living abroad.

It's a great balance of being in the classroom with the kids and feeling like you're making an impact, but also having plenty of free time to do all the cool things around your city.

Oh and some thing major you will only volunteer Monday through Friday, so you'll have plenty of time to do quick weekend getaways on top of your ILP vacation time

ILP Poland

You May Have Morning or Evening Hours

Depending on which ILP country you're volunteering in, you may be with the kids in the morning, afternoon, or early evening.

In some schools, you'll teach in the morning/afternoon because the ILP classes are part of their school day curriculum. In other countries, the ILP classes are an after school program, so you will be teaching in the afternoon/evenings after the kids have gotten out of school. 

If you teach in the morning, you'll have to get up early every day, but you'll have the rest of the day to have free time. If you teach in the evenings, you'll have the mornings to do what you'd like (but we really recommend waking up early so you can make the most of your time before teaching!). You may also have a split schedule where you teach a bit in the morning, have a break, then teach in the afternoon. 

Your Classes Will Be Short

Plan on teaching short 25-45 minute segments and rotate classes until your teaching shift is over.

The classes are small (no more than 8-10 kids per class) and 25 minutes really does fly by making your whole teaching day go so fast. 

For our Romania program, you'll be volunteering your time in a couple of different places for your volunteering shift. Usually, volunteers are matched with a room of kiddos to help each day; you might spend your time stretching out sore muscles, helping toddlers toddle around or snuggling new borns. 

ILP Mexico-

You'll Have Different Age Groups

Like I mentioned earlier, you could be teaching up to six small classes a day. In some countries you will be teaching kids that are all the same age. In others, you'll have some younger kids and some a little older. You can easily adjust any lesson to fit more with the younger kids or the older kids. 

If you're brand new to ILP and don't know how the teaching method works, don't worry!

We provide training before you to go give you a quick overview of our method, but your head teacher will hold weekly training meetings while you're abroad and actually teaching so that you have support throughout the semester and can ask questions as you run into them.

Remember most ILP volunteers don't have any sort of teaching experience beforehand

ILP Adventure

Have more questions about volunteering with
International Language Programs or the how teaching works?

Text one of our awesome ILP representatives -- they've been on the program before and can give you a first hand experience of everything! 

 Text Me! I've Got Questions

Topics: All About ILP + Volunteering, Teaching With ILP

Hey friends!

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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