You Have Support

International Language Programs takes care of all your arrangements for housing, meals, WiFi, international airfare, visa, local support, training, peers with standards like yours, and opportunities for meaningful service. It’s everything you need to have an amazing experience living abroad. Our Support Team in Utah combined with our local in-country staff means you’re never alone, from the time you apply to the time you return home.

We’ll even help with things that aren’t officially part of the program like packing tips, how to get great deals while traveling, where the can’t miss vacation spots are, and how to pay less for your semester (or go again and pay almost nothing!). We even send someone with your group who is experienced and can help work out any turbulence that comes up.

Day-to-Day Basics Are Covered

Housing — Your housing is arranged for you. Depending on the location, you may live with other volunteers in something like an apartment or home, or you may live with a local host family. You’re usually living in a neighborhood, away from the resorts, getting a taste of local life. Everyone in your ILP group has agreed to live by the ILP Code of Conduct, so no awkward situations.

Food Three meals per day are provided (except for on vacations), usually at home, your school cafeteria, or your host family’s home. Sometimes you’ll receive a stipend to shop at your local grocery store. It just depends on where you live! Volunteer in the Dominican Republic and learn how to make empanadas, spiced curries in Thailand, or the best guacamole in Mexico.

Activities + ExploringWe protect your time so that you can fully experience the culture and the country you’re living in. You only volunteer for half a day during the week, so take advantage of your free time by exploring your neighborhood. Join in on an outdoor Zumba dance, order dessert in Spanish, or wander your city’s downtown to learn the history of the nearby church, monastery, or palace.

Volunteering Do fun, play-based activities with local kids for half of the day. We train you before you go and send a “coach” to help give you support throughout the semester. Most volunteers say that even if their biggest motivation for going abroad was to travel, in the end, their kids were their favorite part.

Step By Step

Getting Accepted + Assigned

#1 Discover ILP — Find out about ILP at your school or from your friends who volunteered (or maybe your parents did … yep, we’ve been around since 1992).

#2 Get Your Questions Answered Talk to a rep who has volunteered before and now works in the ILP office.

#3 Apply — Get started by filling out a quick form online. Then to complete your application there are a few more steps (like submitting references, completing an online Orientation, and having a phone interview).

#4 Get Accepted — The Application Team will review your application and email you back (usually within 3 business days).

Getting Ready To Go

#5 Your Country — Next you’ll receive your location assignment! This is the fun part. You’ll get all the details about your city and your ILP group, so you can start getting ready to live abroad.

#6 Training — We have lots to go over for your Pre-Departure training. It’s a series of online videos, an in-person day in Utah, and a Zoom call with your group just before you leave. You’ll get an intro to what you’re doing as a volunteer, get tips about traveling smart, get a packing list, and learn more about the culture of your country. This is also a great chance to meet your ILP group for the first time too.

#7 Departure Day — If you’re like us, you’ll probably have the infamous travel jitters. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. ILP purchased your flight, got your visa (if it’s needed), and made all the arrangements for when you land. Just head to the airport, meet your group, and get excited for your adventure.

Your Semester Abroad

#9 Arriving — You and your ILP group will be met at the airport by a representative of your host school. Just look for a smiley person holding an ILP sign. We’ve got your pick up arranged so no need to worry about a thing when you arrive.

#10 Get Oriented — The first week looks like this: getting to know your group, learning how to get around your city, trying some local food, and of course, sightseeing! There are a lot of new things to get used to, but you have resources like your Head Teacher and Local Coordinator to help.

#11 In-Country Training — Your Head Teacher will help you and your group get ready for your first day of volunteering. You’ll see your classroom, walk through the routine, and get help planning your first week of lessons. Throughout the semester, they will continue to hold training workshops so you feel confident and successful.

#12 Vacations — You’ll have every Saturday and Sunday off plus about two weeks spread throughout the semester for vacation. Volunteering in Asia? Spend the weekend wandering ruins and intricate palaces in the mountains. Volunteering in Central America? Try snorkeling in the bluest of Caribbean waters, jumping in waterfalls, or releasing baby sea turtles off the Mexican coast. In Europe you might be strolling down cobblestone streets, eating every flavor of gelato, and taking photos of castles. Here’s where you get to live that bucket list.

#13 Growth — We constantly hear volunteers saying that the biggest thing they gained during their semester with ILP was confidence! Since you’re only volunteering part-time, you have plenty of free time, so bring a journal, set a 3 month goal, and spend time immersing in the local culture. Step out of your comfort zone and try new things.

#14 Coming Home — Come back to life or school with a new perspective on the world, a better understanding of who you are, and a lot of new friends. Get ready for reunions with your ILP group! You’ll have a hard time living without them now.

#15 Go Again — Here’s a major perk not offered by other volunteer abroad programs: you can go on ILP again, and ILP will help pay for it. We are always looking for alumni who did a great job and want to go again as the leader of the group. Go as many times as you can and to as many countries as you can because as a Head Teacher, the program fee is completely waived for Exchange Programs and heavily discounted for Humanitarian Programs!