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How To Fit ILP In With Your BYU-Hawaii Plans

Posted by Emily Henkel on 5/11/20 6:15 AM


If you think you can’t come travel and volunteer with ILP because of your semester schedule at BYU Hawaii, we have news for you. If the idea of trading island life for a semester traveling around Europe, or taking a break from school to trek volcanoes in Central America (or even seeing what another island is like while volunteering in Vanuatu!) sounds dreamy, we have all those details on making that a reality. 

For me, going on an ILP semester when I was a student at BYU was exactly what I was looking for.  I wasn't looking for a study abroad, but still wanted to do a lot of traveling (on a budget). 

Wait, you’re not an ILP volunteer yet?
Here’s how to apply


That all came together when I found ILP. We're a non-profit organization based in Utah, USA who sends volunteers abroad for a semester. You'll spend time teaching English to kiddos or volunteering in an orphanage (which looks superb on your resume, by the way), plus have free time for lots of traveling. With the Program Fee, your housing, flight, meals, and a few other perks (like a visa) is totally taken care of. 

ILP doesn't work directly with a certain university, but since our volunteers are college-aged, we've had multiple volunteers from Brigham Young University and BYU-H. If you want to be another BYU-Hawaii student to volunteer and travel with ILP, here’s all the info:

I'm In School, When's The Best Time To Go?

Worried about timing your study abroad (or ILP semester!) with BYU Hawaii's application process? There are plenty of ILP programs which fit into the BYU-H semester schedule. 

ILP semesters are broken up into three semesters: Fall, Spring (which is "Winter" semester for BYU-H), and Summer. See all of our countries here. 

First, Understand How To Take A Leave Semester 

All students have nine “on campus” semesters, which are broken up into Fall, Winter, and Spring, with a Summer break. You can choose to go year round and finish in three years, or you can have have flexible semesters by doing an off-campus internship or taking a leave semester. Both are great options while you go on an ILP semester!

Your school allows you to have one leave semester (off-campus) without reapplying. Here's the annual leave semester form and more information about that policy. 

If you'd like to volunteer for an ILP Fall, Spring, or Summer semester, you're totally good to go as long as you apply for a leave semester. 

Go During Fall Semester

You're able to volunteer in any of the ILP countries during Fall as long as you take a leave semester.  ILP Programs for Fall usually leave late August or early September, and get you home before Christmas which follows the school schedule rather well. Score. 

Go During Winter Semester

Thinking going during your winter semester would be a better fit? That's the same as the ILP Spring semester, and the dates also line up. ILP Volunteers for a Spring semester typically leave in January and return in April, May or June (departures vary slightly by country). BYU Hawaii's Winter semester typically starts in middle of January and goes until the middle of April.

However, things are a little tricky. 

If you go this route, you'll need to make sure you're back on campus for the start of your school's Spring semester classes. Remember, your school allows one leave semester without needing to reapply. So if you take a leave semester to volunteer with ILP during your Winter semester, you'll either need to reapply if you won't be back in time for Spring semester, or just make sure you're back before Spring semester starts. For ILP Spring semesters, departures vary slightly by country, but most leave in January and return in April, May, or June.

In that case, your best bet is spend a semester volunteering in Ukraine! We have a group that comes home earlier than the other Ukraine group which fits better into your plan of "volunteering in Winter and being home for Spring classes". Get more info about a semester in Ukraine here. 

Go During Spring Semester (+ Summer Break)

Reminder, Spring semester for BYU-Hawaii is 9 weeks, and typically goes from the end of April (or early May) to June. Then you have a 9-week summer break before school starts up again for fall semester. So if you're not taking classes during Spring semester (AKA taking a leave semester for Spring), you can totally spend these months in any of the ILP countries which have a program in the summer.  

Teach English in Europe with ILP

Can I Get Credit While Volunteering? 

Maybe. It’s an answer that doesn’t have a straight set of rules, but it is possible. Since ILP doesn’t work with a set university, it’s up to your university (BYU Hawaii) to determine if they’ll give you credit while you volunteer with us. However we have had volunteers work things out before depending on their major, so it's worth a shot.

Since there isn't an exact science on how to do this you'll need to talk with your adviser to see how things work with your degree. You'll work out your credits through the school, not through the ILP office but we’re happy to help where we can. If you’re required to provide some paperwork about your ILP semester and what you’ll be doing, give our office a call and we can help you out. 

Things really are pretty individual and do depend on a case by case basis when it comes to getting BYU-H school credit. Start by speaking with your counselor and see where you can go from there.

What About Internship Credit? 

Your ILP volunteer service might count as an internship. Of course, talk with your academic advisor and career services and check things out before just assuming your awesome semester in Mexico or Thailand will help get your credit.

For an internship to count at BYU-H, you need to have a declared major, and have a certain amount of credit hours towards your major, make sure the internship can count towards your major, complete a mock interview, and stuff like that. Read more about internship credit, restrictions and deadlines right here. 

Teach kids English in Europe with ILP

Where Can I Learn More?

Come to an Info Meeting! Each semester, we have one or two meetings in Laie that share a little bit about ILP. There will be someone who has volunteered with us before and you are free to ask all the questions you want. Meetings are pretty quick, about 30 minutes and you don’t have to RSVP. Bring your friends and join us — oh, and come hungry because there’s pretty much always free food or a treat. 

See our upcoming meetings in Laie, Hawaii here. 

If you still have a few questions about ILP, you can get them all answered. That post talks about who can apply, the costs associated with our programs, and how vacations all work out. I’d suggest reading that post real quick, then figuring out when you can attend a meeting and talk to someone who’s already volunteered with us. 

Would ILP Be A Good Fit? 

We think so! But it depends on a few things. We've worked with thousands of students and quite a few come from BYU-Hawaii. You'll be able to ask all of your questions when you start your application and get in touch with an ILP representative, but if you're someone who is looking to be adventurous, are motivated to explore a new country, dive right into a new group of friends and totally new experiences, it sounds like this is the start of a pretty beautiful friendship. Our organization is set up to to help you begin your trip, but then the experiences you have are up to you. 

Every location is really different, but those who have a good experience on our program are excited for what life in a new country is like. I'm talking new food, a new language, a new definition of what's normal for you, and so many stories. This isn't a program where we have everything scheduled out for you. It's kinda half and half, with a set teaching schedule and so much free time and vacations that are completely up to you. 

ILP Thailand

Still have a couple questions?

Need help deciding on where to go? Curious about how ILP works? Talk to one of our ILP representatives — they've volunteered with us before and know where you're coming from. 

 Text Me! I've Got Questions

Topics: Europe, All About ILP + Volunteering, Tips For Your Twenties


*Because of the worldwide pandemic, travel options are limited and frequently changing. You'll need to do additional research as resources + activities shared in this post may or may not be available at the time of your trip.

ILP volunteers — work closely with your Program Manager who can help you understand current country entrance requirements which will determine what countries you can visit during your semester. 



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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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