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How To Fit ILP In With Your BYU-Hawaii Plans

Posted by Emily Henkel on 3/13/23 6:15 AM

BYU-H volunteer abroad

Think you can’t come travel and volunteer with ILP for a semester because you're in school right now 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 that 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, roundtrip international flight, meals, and a few other perks (like your visa) are 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:

BYU-Hawaii semester abroad

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? We've had a lot of students from BYU-Hawaii volunteer with us and make It work with their BYU-H semester schedule. 

Let's take a look at how things line up.

BYU-Hawaii Semester:


Early Jan-mid April


Late April-late June


Late June-late August


Late August-early Dec

ILP Semester:


Early to late Jan-end of April/early May



Mid-late May-mid to late August


Late August-middle of December


One quick thing to note is that BYU-Hawaii's Winter semester is essentially the same as ILP's Spring semester. That could be a little confusing until you understand that distinction! Then BYU-H's Spring and Summer semesters really make up what an ILP Summer semester is.

Another thing to note is that each ILP group will have slightly different arrival/departure schedules based on which country and school you will be volunteering in. That's just a really general time frame above to help you map out which ILP semester might work best for you. You can also take a look at each of ILP's individual country pages to see more info about that particular location" Find all of our countries here and then click on the country you're interested in to find more details about the tentative semester dates for that location.

As far as which semester is best, it's really up to you! We've had BYU-H students volunteer during all 3 of our semesters. Essentially what you'll want to do is take "a leave semester" no matter which time of year you'd like to go. More info on that below.

BYU H semester abroad

Taking A Leave Semester 

In order to volunteer with ILP while you're a student at BYU-Hawaii, you'll need to take a leave for one of your semesters, which essentially means you're taking a semester off. The good news is that it's pretty easy to do and BYU-Hawaii has the system already set up for you!

All BYU-Hawaii students have nine “on campus” semesters which are broken up into Fall, Winter, and Spring, with a short summer break. You can choose to go year round and finish in three years, or you can 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 with ILP while you're still in school, you're totally good to go as long as you apply for a leave semester. Then it works for any ILP country and semester you want to do!

Going During The BYU-H Fall 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. This is pretty on point with the dates for the Fall semester at BYU-Hawaii.

Going During The BYU-H Winter Semester

This lines up pretty well with ILP's Spring semester as well, but you'll want to pay attention to one thing in particular: the end of your ILP trip and the start of your BYU-H Spring semester may overlap by a week or two. For example ... maybe you're scheduled to return home from your trip to volunteer in Costa Rica May 5th, but your next BYU-Hawaii semester starts on April 26th.

You'll need to plan ahead with this semester. Talk to your advisor at school. Is it possible to do the first week or two of school remotely or get a pass on the first few classes so that you can catch up when you get back? Also, talk to your ILP Representative. There are some countries that might be returning home earlier than May 5th, so they can suggest other locations that might work better for you.

Going During The BYU-H Spring Semester

This lines up really well with ILP's Summer semester and will overlap with the summer break BYU-Hawaii gives you. 

It might look something like this: You're in school for the Winter semester with finals the week of April 10-13th. Then you've got a few weeks to head home and pack for your ILP trip to Uganda! Your summer in Africa with ILP goes from April 29th - Aug 13th, and then you're home just in time to say hi to your family and friends before returning back to Laie for school that starts back up on August 30th. *These dates are just an example, exact dates are different each semester.


Can I Get Credit While Volunteering? 

Maybe. It’s an answer that doesn’t have a straight set of rules, but it is possible and has been done before. Since ILP doesn’t work directly with universities, it’s up to your school 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 just 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 also count as an internship. Again, 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 though.

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, and there are a few other requirements. Read more about internship credit, restrictions and deadlines right here.


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. 

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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 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. 


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: All About ILP + Volunteering, Tips For Your Twenties

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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