ILP has helped thousands (seriously ... thousands) of volunteers travel and make a difference on their semester abroad — really, without volunteers, this program wouldn't be what it is! And because we care so much, we have mid-semester visits.
When it comes to ILP, we have set up our program to make sure that our volunteers are being taken care of and have a support system. When you volunteer with us, you go with an ILP group of peer teachers, plus a Head Teacher who is there to help with teachign and living abroad. You even have Native Coordinators who can help you out, too. You are never alone. That support system is something ILP offers that other programs don't.
Come learn more about our program
See what countries you can volunteer in with ILP
Another way that we keep up with our volunteers and make sure they are getting taken care of is by having ILP Directors visit the schools mid-semester.
The ILP Directors + Program Managers
One of the best parts about our program are the directors and the Program Managers. Each semester, the ILP Directors and the Program Managers are working directly with your Head Teacher and are aware of what's happening in your volunteer group. Although they are all extremely busy, they make time every semester to go visit the volunteers and help them feel the love and support of the program in person (which is a pretty neat touch). So not only are they there in Utah during your entire semester as a resource, they'll also come to visit your city to really drive home the point that we're all about supporting you while you're abroad.
We want to make sure anyone volunteering with ILP knows that they aren't along when they are traveling abroad. You have support in so many different ways from those in your group, to people you'll get to know on your semester, to the Utah-based staff. These mid-semester visits are just another way to say all of that!
What Happens During A Mid-Semester Visit?
- School Visits
- Time With The Volunteers
Each semester, an ILP Director and/or Program Manager will visit each school in all of the ILP countries. Along with some administrative stuff, they make sure the ILP teaching method is being used properly and to see how that volunteers are doing — that's you! When they visit, you'll have a brief interview to check up on how things are going and peek into classrooms to see how teaching is going. It's nothing to worry about, they'll just be asking if you need anything or are struggling with any aspect of teaching or culture shock in that little interview. The Directors and Program Managers are there to listen and give advice.
Don't be worried about the word "interview"; it's a casual, relaxed conversation to make sure things are going well.
Time With The Volunteers
Whoever comes to visit you has stories to tell. Not only do they have stories from their own ILP semesters, they also have advice from all the semesters they've helped with over the years. Feel free to ask them questions and get to know them — they've got stories that'll make you laugh for days.
These guys are busy, but want to help connect with the volunteers while they are visiting. They might be running to catch a flight to another ILP country, but if they have time, they might stay the night at the school and show your ILP group about that cool cafe at the end of the block or join you on some neighborhood walks (or maybe even visit a nearby church, park, or beach).
We hope this blog post really drives home this point: We do not forget about you — on your ILP semester, you'll have support in Utah and in your ILP country.
Ready for an adventure?
When you're hunting for international volunteer opportunities, make sure you choose a program that has your back. To see if ILP may be a good fit for you, come talk to someone who has volunteered with us before!