Spend your time peeking into cathedrals and castles. Photograph everything from WWII memorials to quirky street art. Or, soak up the sites of your city’s Old Town in one of your favorite cafes before exploring those cobblestone streets. Lithuania is the European experience you’re looking for.
Nestled deep in the eastern edges of Europe, Lithuania is a melting pot of a dozen other country’s influence. Come get a taste of the rest of Europe before you actually go and experience it for yourself!
Volunteers heading to Lithuania are tucked away up in the northeast corner of Europe, caught between a melting pot culture that shows the country’s Soviet history and quirky Baltic influences. You’ll have lots of days filled with historical sites, pastel colored cathedrals, and cafes galore, that’s for sure. Besides having lots of adventures, you’ll spend time teaching English at a local school. But your day to day adventures look a little like this …
Glimpse a day in Lithuania
Alright, time for breakfast. Your group will be cooking all together for breakfast and dinner, spending a stipend at local grocery stores. Plan on basics like European-style yogurt (which is thinner than you’re used to), cereal and pastries for breakfast. Favorites like pasta, stuff for sandwiches and other meals are options for dinner, too. You’ll find lots of foods and ingredients you’re familiar with from home, but with a European twist. Lunch is a total cultural experience, eating local dishes at your school’s cafeteria. Not too familiar with Lithuanian food? It’s really hearty, with staples like soups, meat, bread, and potatoes (so many potatoes). Seriously, you’ll eat so many potatoes here … but all the chocolate you can buy is a good way to balance it all out!
Since you’re only teaching part time, you’ll have lots of free time. Maybe more than you anticipated. That leaves time for you to go explore your city with your ILP group unless you feel like playing some games with fellow volunteers. Or go ahead plan your next trip, all before you leave for school. It’s much too easy to stay inside and watch Netflix when it’s cold out, but we’ve found that Lithuania is best for volunteers who are ready to go out and explore. Even if you don’t speak the language, go explore your city! Seemingly small things like testing out a few different flavors of chocolate means coming home with more memories than if you just stayed inside all semester.
You’ll be getting around your city by walking or riding on the buses (it’s not a very long commute to the school you teach at). After teaching, you head on back to your apartment for a group dinner cooked all together by everyone in your ILP group.
On the weekends and on vacation days, you have a lot of opportunities to travel. Visit other cities in Lithuania or hop over to other countries. Sounds like a dream, right? Just a word to the wise: it’s easy to go see Paris at anytime in your life, but when are you going to go night-kayaking in Riga, Latvia. Or rent bikes to ride around the narrow medieval streets in Tallinn, Estonia? You’re living right next to a few of our favorite spots you should take advantage of!
HELP TEACH ENGLISH IN EUROPE
You’ll be making a difference by helping children learn English through our Exchange Program up to 20 hours per week. No experience is needed, we provide training on our teaching method!
Volunteering and Costs
You’ll be teaching English as a part of an after school program to students who are a wide range of ages. You may be with kids as young as 3 or 4, or students who are around 11-12 years old. They’re here for English classes, but you’ll be amazed they speak more languages than you (Lithuanian and Russian just to name a few). Classes in Lithuania tend to be smaller, especially in the colder months when parents keep their kids home for a month when they have a cold — seriously. In the summer schedule, lots of families spend the warm months traveling Europe. Because of all that travel, attendance can be low. When attendance is low, you may teach less, but those small classes mean even more focus for each child. The ILP teaching method is focused on one-on-one learning so small classes just reinforces that service and individualized teaching method (and gets you more time with your favorite students!).
Lithuania is one of our Exchange Programs which is the most budget friendly option while still giving you all the perks of a classic ILP experience. We’re able to keep your costs so low because your student’s family helps subsidize the program for you by paying a fee to have their child attend ILP classes.
Volunteers live in a few cities around the country: Vilnius, Kaunas, and Klaipeda
—Spring: Depart early to mid January – return end of April
—Summer: Depart end of April/early May – return middle of August
—Fall: Depart end of August – return middle of December, just in time for Christmas
—4-6 volunteers in a group
—18-about 25ish years old
—US and Canadian volunteers
—No experience needed!
A QUICK NOTE ABOUT COVID-19
We paused our program in Lithuania at the start of the pandemic and have been watching for when we can reopen. Right now, the school situation is still not ready for the program — the small private schools ILP volunteers teach at closed in 2020 and the restrictions have not been stable enough to re-open these small education centers. We hope to be back in Lithuania soon.
Not only do you get to travel to our favorite destinations within Lithuania, but you can also travel throughout the European Union and Ukraine. See how many countries you can knock off your bucket list this semester! Lithuania volunteers are close enough to see countries like Latvia and Poland on any weekend, and then explore farther destinations during vacation days.
Here are just a few of our favorite European spots to explore …
Palanga, Lithuania — Watch the sunset over the Baltic Sea, then go ride horses along the beach. Before leaving, shop for souvenirs at this beachside vacation destination.
Czech Republic — Arrive early, before other tourists, to walk along famous Charles Bridge. Stroll up the hill to Prague castle, and shop in this capital city before leaving.
Hungary — Spend the weekend in Budapest! It’s all about relaxing in famous thermal spas and walking around castle hill. Oh, and exploring both sides of Buda and Pest. Don’t forget to admire the Fisherman’s Bastion, too!
Austria — Visit museums and photograph detailed architecture in tranquil Vienna. Fall in love with Salzburg and try local cuisine like wiener schnitzel or warm apple strudel.
Slovakia — Want to take a boat ride to a medieval castle? Itching to stroll through the streets of Old Town Bratislava? Dying to see Mongol ruins spread across the mountain tops? Slovakia is for you.
Norway — Island-hop around scenic archipelagos, take a hike to one of the world’s most scenic hanging cliffs, and get your fill of the outdoors. We love the adventures in Norway.
Sweden — Tour through the winding alleyways of Stockholm’s Old Town, enjoy live music in downtown Stockholm, and try famous Swedish meatballs for lunch.
Poland — Head south for hikes through the mountains to swimmable lakes. Or, take strolls through a lively Old Town full of drool-worthy treats. We also love that you can step back in time at numerous WWII history sites.
Germany — Explore fairytale castles, or take a train through the scenic Black Forest. Also, be sure to check out the artsy side of Berlin and the architecture in Munich.
Slovenia — Want to boat across a lake to the medieval Bled castle? How about hiking through ravines and canyons? An underground network of caves is also waiting for you in Slovenia if you still need some convincing.
Switzerland — Hike or take in views of the Swiss Alps by train (what a dream!). Come paddle board on Lake Geneva and get your fill of chocolate.
Croatia — We love the ancient coastal towns like Dubrovnik. And the Roman amphitheaters. And some of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe. We just really love Croatia.
Estonia — Jump into medieval times in Tallinn! Ride your bike along the Baltic Sea and kayak around Saaremaa Island. This favorite is easily visited on a weekend.
Latvia — Take a quick trip to Latvia for night kayaking and the view from St. Peter’s church. Have lunch in the Old Town before leaving.
France — Fulfill your childhood dreams by having a picnic in front of the Eiffel tower. Spend an afternoon in the Louvre, and soak up the sun on the coast.