Every year, thousands of people travel to other countries. We might be biased, but we believe that volunteering with International Language Programs (ILP) is the ideal way to experience another country — for more than a few reasons.
ILP is a non-profit organization that sends volunteers to live for a semester in countries all over the world for a great price
From volunteering in an orphanage to teaching English, International Language Programs lets college-aged volunteers really travel and make a difference all across the globe — you can learn a little more about which ILP country is right for you, right here, but if you're looking to know why ILP is different ... why it stands out from other travel or volunteer organizations, keep reading.
ILP — What We Give You
- Head Teachers
- An ILP Group
- Local Coordinators
- 24/7 Support
- Small Class Sizes
- Tried & Proven Methodology
- Free Time
Our ILP head teachers are peer aged volunteers who have served abroad with ILP for one or more semesters and are experienced in our teaching method. While abroad, your head teacher's role is to help lead your group, help advise teaching and help out in whatever way he or she can. They're essentially your on-site go to person if you have questions.
Side note: another really unique thing ILP gives you is the chance to go abroad for practically free! Head Teachers have their program fee waived or significantly reduced, plus they get a stipend for vacations and things. So if you want to travel to a lot of different places on a budget, this is going to be a huge perk for you. Currently, one of our volunteers holds the record for going 10 times!
An ILP Group
We want our volunteers to feel supported; we don't just ship you off to a foreign country and see you in four months. Every volunteer is traveling, living, teaching and exploring with a group of fellow volunteers. There might be 4 of you or up to 30 of you in your group, which means instant friends and travel buddies.
Every ILP location and every ILP program (exchange and humanitarian) has a local coordinator, who is native to the area and a generation older than the volunteers. They are a great resource for the volunteers to help understand the culture and basic things such as how to use public transportation, not to mention a life-long friend! They're also a great resource for us, as an on-site resource.
We do our best to choose both head teachers and local coordinators who will follow the standard that we ask of them. If for some reason you don't feel like they are meeting your needs though, you have a representative at our office in Utah who is eager to help. Your ILP representative will be your contact person before departure, but is also there to help you during your experience abroad.
The ILP program directors and managers give each volunteer their personal emails and cell phone numbers. You can even call them at midnight if you need to.
Small Class Sizes
One thing you're probably not thinking about, but is actually going to be a huge affect on your experience is how many students are in each of your classes. Because it's so valuable to have a natural English speaker as a teacher, many places want to pile in as many kids as they can in your classes and some travel programs have you teaching 30-45+ kids at a time. We find it incredibly important to keep your class sizes smaller though and have seen that you can be more effective when you're working more one-on-one in smaller groups. Our kindergarten classes which accommodate 4-6 year olds (generally), have a class size of around 8 students per class usually.
Around age 7, they enter our Basic Reading program and have a class size of 10-12 students. At age 8, they begin our Follow-up program and can have a class size of up to 15 students. We keep our class sizes small so you can do fun, play-based activities without feeling overwhelmed by the number of students you have.
Proven Teaching Methodology
ILP is not just a travel program that connects you with teaching programs in other countries. We implement our own teaching methodology, meaning that we control the program and how the classroom is run. Our teaching style is different than what you may be familiar with in traditional language classes. Other teaching method was designed by the late Dr. Trevor McKee, a professor of Human Development at Brigham Young University over 20 years ago.
The research and the experience of the program has shown that after 500 hours (2-3 five-month terms) of participation in an ILP Duolingual Education program, children become functionally fluent. In tests given to students of the program, children were evaluated as having English language ability comparable to their American grade-level peers. If you come teaching English abroad with ILP, you can know that your students will actually be learning.
As an ILP volunteer, you have free time. In fact we protect your time because we know that the quality of your experience is greatly influenced by that. Most volunteers end up telling us they didn't realize they'd have as much free time as they actually do!
See the sites, try new food, make friends, wander around the city, play sports, or read a good book...it's up to you. There may also be opportunities for cultural experiences while you live abroad — learn the language a bit, take a Kung Fu class, get the recipes for your favorite Thai food, or get all the history behind the siege of St. Petersburg during WWII.
Interested in volunteering with us?
Call us biased, but we believe that the best way to experience another country is by volunteering with International Language Programs. We offer many things that other programs might not ... like including your visa and round-trip airfare with your program fee.
Click the button below to speak with an ILP representative.