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I spent my semester abroad teaching kids in the Dominican Republic with a group of other International Language Programs volunteers. Coming from my home in Utah, USA it was quite the shift! I learned a lot from that experience though and want to share what I can with you. You can't totally prepare to live in another country because everyone's experience is different and you never really understand what it will be like until you're actually there, but I hope what I share gives you a little glimpse!
If you have the chance to volunteer in the DR with ILP I highly recommend it. If you're preparing to go, here's what I wish I had known going into the semester.
There's So Much Free Time
You Will Come Home With A New Perspective
You Will Fall In Love With The Kids
Teaching Can Be Difficult
You Will Live With a Large Group Of People
You Will Love The Locals
One volunteer was looking out for their cute bus driver and pitched in to buy him a movie ticket, which he found incredibly touching (read more here). Another volunteer found ways to connect to the culture by visiting a local retirement community and sitting with a few other residents (read more here). We know you are already in the DR to give back and serve, but you may find that you'll want to do a bit more to help the people you've come to love, and there are plenty of opportunities to do so!
It Will Be Hard To Leave
in the DR on an ILP adventure looks like?