Education Service Learning Programs
ISL’s education service learning volunteers participate in an intensive co-teaching experience that supports a community school’s existing ESL Program. Such bilingual programs are typically designed to help youth prepare for the workforce and grow as global citizens. Volunteers receive co-teaching training and are then placed in an actual classroom to serve & learn under a mentor teacher. The participation of ISL education volunteers has an incredible positive impact on local youths’ ability to see themselves as global citizens and to aspire to pursue higher education. The culmination of the event includes an English Spelling Bee and an English Singing Contest.
Regardless of background, volunteers are able to receive an invaluable opportunity to travel, learn about another culture, and serve in a developing community.
Who is Right for ISL’s Education Program?
ISL’s education program is a great fit for volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. The only requirement is the desire to learn about foreign educational systems, to grow as an educator, and to serve and explore!
What to Expect
You will be met at the airport by ISL staff on Arrival Day and given time to settle into your housing. The next day is Orientation Day, when you will receive the training and information necessary to familiarize yourself with a new culture and our education program.
After Orientation, you will work in our partner schools in the following ways (projects are based on the current needs of the community):
- Co-teach English as a Second Language, K – 11 & adults
- Participate in an English Spelling Bee and an English Singing Contest
- Support existing community service projects for children, youth, and/or elderly
- Contribute to community & school beautification projects, such as painting & clean-up
Please be aware that there will be very little downtime on your education trip! This is an immersive, intensive experience filled with service activities and cultural exploration.
In the evenings, there will be a designated time for Group Reflection—time to discuss and express, either formally or informally, what you’ve experienced that day.
Volunteers will eat most dinners out during their trip in order to relax and experience the local culture and cuisine. You will learn a few traditional dances and explore some important historical and cultural sites.
Recreational opportunities vary by location, but examples include shopping for local crafts; exploring beaches, volcanoes, rain forests or caves; traversing ruins; touring city centers; trekking through coffee plantations; zip-lining, snorkeling, or safari!
Community Enrichment Days will be spent cleaning up a beach or a neighborhood, constructing or refurbishing schools or residences, and/or planting trees, flowers and vegetable gardens, as well as interacting with the community—especially the children. Volunteers will be accompanied by professional, bilingual ISL staff at all times.
The communities we serve give their explicit consent for ISL Education Program volunteers to work in their community. Community members are protected from exploitation – we are discreet and respectful at all times. Please ask permission before taking photos, especially of children.
ISL prohibits discrimination on the basis of color, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, religion or any other factor.
For the sake of security, ISL volunteers remain together from arrival to departure, and are accompanied by ISL staff at all times.
The safety of our volunteers is our number one priority. ISL has local offices in each of the countries we serve. That means that wherever you go, rest assured, we’re there too. All ISL regional staff members are thoroughly screened to ensure the safety of our volunteers’ local interactions and we continuously monitor and address all emerging health and safety issues in each of the countries we operate.
Specific precautions taken by ISL:
- ISL volunteers avoid large, crowded areas like sporting events whenever possible.
- We continuously monitor local media and information sources in each of our countries through our on-site staff and take appropriate actions to avoid areas of concern.
- On-site staff members provide feedback about the communities in which we work and if recommendations are made to change itineraries or programming, we do so immediately.
- Our management team relies on the advice of a number of organizations including the U.S. State Department, the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, as well as an international safety and security organization. If conditions exist that may hinder our ability to provide a safe program, we will alter the itinerary and redirect the program to a safer region or provide other alternatives.
What To Bring
You will need:
- Project supplies and donations of classroom supplies (optional)
- Refillable water bottle
- Funds sufficient to cover one meal per day, recreation, incidentals, souvenirs and departure tax (where applicable).
- An open-mind
- A sense of adventure
- A heart of service
What ISL Provides
- 24-hour accompaniment by professional, bilingual staff
- Airport pickup/drop off
- All ground transportation
- All lodging
- Two meals per day
- Drinking water
- Quality experiential learning
- A meaningful glimpse into another culture
- An unforgettable adventure