Montenegro is Europe’s best kept secret — a small country hiding glittering coastlines, historic walled towns topped with orange tile roofs, and some of the best hiking around. A semester here means discovering ancient Old Towns with a medieval past. It’s all about hanging out on beaches pretty enough to rival any postcard with a Mediterranean feel. Spend your free time kayaking to hidden islands or on mountain hikes to views of the Adriatic Sea, all without leaving the country. Come see for yourself why the world wants to keep Montenegro as secret as possible.
Welcome to life in southern Europe! Tucked just south of Croatia and across the bay from Italy, we think you’ll love it here. You’ll be joining a small group of volunteers living in Montenegro, so be prepared for a tight knit semester. Your group will be exploring, living, traveling, and teaching all together. Where you’re living is a coastal getaway, a popular vacation spot for lots of countries in Eastern Europe. Volunteers will soak up the sun with all the tourists that flood to Budva during the summer months, then enjoy a quiet city that shuts down to be “locals only” for the majority of the year. We know you’re ready to fall in love with what Montenegro has to offer so here’s a glimpse at what life is like in your city …
Glimpse a day in Montenegro
HELP CHILDREN IN EUROPE LEARN ENGLISH
In this Exchange Program, you’ll be making a difference by helping children learn English, up to 20 hours per week. No experience is needed, we provide training on our teaching method! Volunteers will be at a private Russian school that has very high standards for their teachers and their students. It’s a prestigious program with parents who are looking to provide the best English education available: classes taught by a native speaker (that’s you!). Your service of teaching here comes with high expectations.
Volunteering and Costs
A small city along the coast, Budva
—Spring: Depart early to mid January – return end of April
—Summer: Depart early May — return home mid August
—Fall: Depart middle to the end of August — return middle of December, just in time for Christmas
—4 volunteers in a group
—18-about 25ish years old
—US and Canadian volunteers
—No experience needed!
Spend your weekends at both the popular and hidden gem spots in Montenegro! Choose from the hundreds of beaches along the coast, or head inland to go swimming at the lake-filled national parks, raft the Tara River, and do so much more. Because this country is so small, just about every destination you want to go see is just a few hours away or less.
Not only do you get to travel to our favorite destinations within Montenegro, but you can also travel throughout the European Union and other approved countries. See how many countries you can knock off of your bucket list this semester (jump on a 1.5 hour flight to Spain and Greece!), but we highly recommend being adventurous and discovering some of our favorite hidden gems in nearby Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, and more.
Here are just a few of our favorite European spots you could choose to vacation in …
Croatia — Kayak to islands along the coast or hike to stunning viewpoints. This country is full of classic red-orange roofs set against the sea green Adriatic horizon. Dubrovnik is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe (we agree!) and is just a $20 bus ride away from where ILP volunteers live in Montenegro. It’s the perfect weekend trip.
Greece — Snag a direct flight and be in Athens in just a couple of hours! Then, island hop to get those viewpoints of the iconic white homes along the winding, cobblestone paths. The islands of Greece are hard not to love.
Italy — Just across the bay you’ll find yourself in Italy, having gelato and wandering those oh so famous cities! Good luck choosing between favorites like Rome, Naples, Venice, Milan, and Florence.
Bosnia and Herzegovina — Go swimming at the stunning Kravica waterfalls before heading to Mostar. It’s home to one of the cutest European towns you didn’t know you needed on your bucketlist. The famous bridge and fairytale-esque village found here is prettier than any postcard.
Serbia — You’ll find no shortage of impressive and unique architecture here. From ancient monasteries to towering churches, there are also crumbling fortresses to explore. We recommend checking out the capital, Belgrade to see all this and more, or heading to quiet mountain villages hiding in rolling green hills.
Ukraine — Head south to the Black Sea coastal towns like Odessa and Yalta for lounging on sandy beaches, boardwalk cafes and maybe even some dolphin spotting. You can even visit Pinterest-made-popular spots like the “Tunnel of Love”.
Czech Republic — Wake up early, before other tourists, to stroll up to Prague Castle. Then, walk along famous Charles Bridge, and test out a few of Prague’s tastiest treats.
North Macedonia — Start your adventure in the capital, Skopje. Stary by shopping handicrafts at the market and taking a cable car to get a view of the city. Need more time here? Head to Ohrid. You’ll find two of the country’s most iconic churches towering over the lake (and yes, you can kayak and paddleboard here too!).
Hungary — Spend the weekend in Budapest! It’s all about relaxing in famous thermal spas and walking around castle hill. Before leaving, explore the stone gray walls of the Fisherman’s Bastion.
Slovakia — Have lunch on the streets of Old Town Bratislava. Come climb up to Mongol castle ruins. It’s an undiscovered gem, that’s for sure.
Poland — Head south for hikes through the mountains to swimmable lakes. Stroll through a lively Old Town full of drool-worthy treats. Step back in time at numerous world famous WWII history sites. Poland’s a volunteer favorite.
Spain — You can actually take a direct flight from Montenegro to Barcelona making this an ideal vacation … Especially when you find a killer flight deal for $40! No brainer right? I have a feeling I only need to mention the word churros and you’ll be booking your flight.
Slovenia — Boating across the lake to medieval Bled castle? Explore sprawling castle ruins? Train through an underground cave network? Get all that in Slovenia.
Switzerland — Hike or take in views of the Swiss Alps by train, then paddle board on Lake Geneva. After all that, get your fill of chocolate.
France — Fulfill your childhood dreams by having a picnic in front of the Eiffel tower. Then spend an afternoon in the Louvre before leaving to soak up the sun on the coast.