You practice English pronunciation, vocabulary, phrases and idioms in classrooms with elementary and middle school students during the school year in Siedlce, Cisie-Zagrudzie, Grala-Dabrowizna, Strzała or Kotun. In summer months, you join two-week English language “camps” – bridging summer break to the school year with fun activities in English such as skits, games, songs, field trips and the like. In both projects, you emphasize “real-life” speaking skills using the Global Volunteers English Teaching Guide as a resource — no previous teaching experience necessary. Employ your creativity, energy and motivation to make a lasting difference in Poland – and invest in a model of European resiliency and progress.
As a short-term volunteer in Poland, you witness the country’s impressive progress as a global model of democracy. You’ll quickly recognize their bold investment in education — for children and youth who hold the nation’s future in their minds and hearts. Your native English expertise is a great resource in Polish classrooms and summer camps. By teaching conversational skills, you give students an advantage in a highly competitive global job market, so they can eventually lead their country into greater prosperity. Volunteer as a family and share unforgettable memories and long-lasting friendships. Groups of all types find the summer camps a rewarding volunteer experience!
FAQs: What You Need To Know
Select program options below to see upcoming service program dates for Poland. Then select a program date to hold your place on a team with your $350 deposit. Call a volunteer coordinator at (800) 487-1074 for help if needed. If you prefer, you may print a text application and submit it by mail or fax. Minors – under age 18 – must complete a minor application and travel with a parent or adult legal guardian.
Dorota Wierzbicka is Global Volunteers’ Poland Country Manager and Director of International Operations, and leads all our Poland Service Programs. Having assisted in our Poland program as an on-site translator before joining the staff of Global Volunteers, Dorota has shared her personal knowledge of the host community with team members since 1996.
Dorota was named Global Volunteers Staff Person of the Year in 2001 and 2004, and was recognized as “Staff Person of the Decade” in 2011. She consistently receives the highest possible ratings on volunteer evaluations. Further, she has a degree in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), a field she has been working in for some five years, and a master’s degree in applied linguistics through the University of Warsaw.
“Dorota is helpful, respectful, incredibly diligent and hard-working. She attends to each team member every day to see how they are doing both personally and in their assignments. This is my seventh program. She is a superb leader.”
Judy Boyd, Poland Volunteer
“Dorota is exceptional. She’s kind, caring, accommodating, helpful, sympathetic…a wonderful leader and human being.”
Rita Novak, Poland Volunteer
“It has been such a great honor for me to work for & serve with such an amazing organization. My involvement with Global Volunteers has always been the greatest passion of my life!”
Our program officially begins with dinner on the first Saturday. Plan your flight to arrive at the Warsaw Chopin Airport In Warsaw, Poland (airport code WAW), before 2:00 PM on Saturday, and your departure from Warsaw for after 10:45 AM on the final day of your program. For Zakopane teams, please plan your flight to arrive in Krakow, Poland (airport code KRK), before 3:00 PM on the first day of your service program and your departure from Krakow for after 10:00 AM on the final day. Meet your team at the airport within this window if you travel in the country before the start of the service program. Provided you send us your flight itinerary at least two weeks before the service program arrival date, you’ll be transported to the partner community with your teammates. This coordinated schedule helps us account for all team members, and provide smooth in-transit transportation. If your flight is delayed, please contact us as soon as you confirm your new arrival plans so your team leader can arrange an airport pickup for you.
Your health, safety and security is our top priority. Your lodging, food and transportation are provided always with a mind to protect you while at the work site and in your hotel. Your team leader is trained in CPR and first aid. Read more about health and safety here.
If you teach at the Zakopane summer camp in the Tatra Mountains, you must consider the possibility of altitude sickness – indicated by headaches, dizzyness and low energy, which can become life-threatening if not treated. We strongly recommend you consult your own physician, public health clinic and/or travel clinic for detailed travel health information. For general recommendations, consult the following sources:
Global Volunteers includes emergency medical evacuation insurance in your service program fee. We also recommend health insurance that covers you while you are outside your home country, and trip cancellation insurance in the event you must cancel your participation on the service program. Your travel agent can refer you to travel insurance providers.
Ample time is available on evenings and weekends to enjoy the numerous nearby natural and cultural attractions. Because Reymontowka is a regional cultural facility, special cultural events and music recitals are scheduled from fall through spring. During summer months, children at the English language camps organize talent shows and special events for the volunteers. Additionally, once a year, volunteers may be able to attend the International Folklore Festival in Siedlce as well as the annual May Festival at Reymontowka. Walks in the countryside are popular with volunteers, as are tennis games at the Reymontowka Manor House. Zakopane is a popular departure point for many winter sports and summertime mountain climbing and hiking. Kasprowy Wierch and Gubałówka, reachable by cable car and funicular railway, are open year-round.
Because of our non-profit 501c(3) tax-exempt status, we can’t plan your free-time activities for you. However, your team leader will suggest options. On the weekend, you and your teammates can visit the many attractions in Warsaw or Krakow, such as beautiful parks and city squares, Old Town, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Wawel castle, Auschwitz, and the oldest salt mine in Europe. Please note that if you intend to stay in Poland longer than 90 days, you must apply for a Schengen visa.
Volunteering at a summer language camp in Poland is a choice family service opportunity. Engaging one-on-one with Polish students of all ages, your children learn how their education and natural skills are important resources to others, and that people the world over share common hopes and interests. Every volunteer makes a difference – Polish students who otherwise have no exposure to native English speakers learn the language of commerce, industry and opportunity from you and your children. Through games, songs, skits, field trips and other creative activities, students learn through “whole body” exercises. In this way, your family’s personal skills and dedication enable youths’ personal development to ripple throughout the country – advancing the entire nation’s capabilities. The emphasis is on improving real-life speaking skills and not on formal rules of grammar, so children ages 6 and up can offer their own perspectives and fully participate in scheduled and free-time activities.
Parents and guardians are expected to supervise their child volunteers, and collaborate with our team leader and local partners to maximize the service experience for everyone. In this way, your child gains a personal understanding of Polish culture and traditions from a variety of perspectives, and learns the role and responsibilities of a team member. They likely also will create life-long friendships with local youth who share their interests and experiences.
Provide your group a premier volunteering experience in Poland. As volunteers in Polish classrooms, your members connect with their Polish ancestry, improve their understanding of the country’s history, help preserve a resilient culture, and most important – help expand Polish students’ career options in small communities tourists rarely visit. Our Polish partners’ easy and expansive hospitality allows every group member to immerse themselves in daily life – and personally witness the traditions, artistry, spirit and charms embodied by Polish youth and adults. Our accommodations and cuisine are comfortable, safe, healthy and authentically Polish – exceeding the highest standards of international service.
Teaching English conversational skills to eager students one-on-one or at language “camps” is a unifying, inspirational project for groups of all ages and purposes – and is many times more enriching than a traditional “tour” agenda. Our unique philosophy of service ensures your group’s efforts help advance students’ and teachers’ educational goals. Because we’ve committed our resources in Poland to sustained education projects for over 25 years, you can be certain your contributions in just one to three weeks help build students’ capabilities. We work with you to apply your group’s unique skills, interests and personalities.
For instance, in the spring or fall, you practice English conversation in conventional elementary and middle school classrooms. The emphasis is on improving real-life speaking skills and not on formal rules of grammar. In the summer, you teach at informal language camps designed for elementary through high school students of varying fluency. The camps are centered on small-group classes (three to ten students) and optional organized activities and excursions.
As Poland emerged as a new democracy in 1990, we began teaching conversational English to children and adults – so they could speak the language of commerce, technology and opportunity. In partnership with schools and government offices in Siedlce County, you provide the encouragement, support and practical guidance students need to improve their futures. Review a standard work-day schedule here.