Teach English Abroad Summer in Europe

Give purpose to your summer! You can do this… So can your child, siblings, spouse or friends!

“I’m humbled by how well I was received, and how much I learned that I had to give.  It was a true exchange every day in the classroom – between the students and each one of us volunteers. Every day I felt appreciated, safe, and very much at peace.”

-Louise, Poland Global Volunteer

Teach English Abroad: Summer Camp Programs

Volunteers of all ages are warmly invited by our host partners in Greece, Italy, and Poland to help conduct summer conversational English language classes in camp-like settings for local students ages 8 to 18.

Anyone can be effective at teaching. No special licenses or teaching backgrounds are required. In fact, we prepare you every step of the way… just take a peek at our Conversational English Guide for ideas and insights on what the work assignment involves. And, because kids love to learn from others their own ages, these summer camp opportunities are excellent options for family volunteering.

Teach English Abroad Summer in Poland - Family Volunteering

As the international language of commerce, technology and opportunity, English is a passport out of poverty. It provides students a tool to engage with and learn about the world. It offers the chance to go on to higher education, get a more fulfilling and better paying job, and achieve ever greater success.

So, why not jump right in to share what you know with European students. Reserve your spot on a summer program before summer comes and goes!

Greece English Language Summer Camp

Teach English Abroad Summer in Greece

Since 1996, volunteers have worked in partnership with local people in Greece through Global Volunteers to provide opportunities to improve their English and expand educational opportunities for children. Minimum volunteer age for the English Summer Camp is 6.

Learn more about Teach English Abroad Summer

Italy English Language Summer Camp

Teach English Abroad Summer in Italy

Global Volunteers’ partnership in Italy started in 1995. Teach English as a student group, a couple, a family or an individual at English Summer Camps in Monopoli. Work in small groups to share your creativity and enthusiasm for the language. Minimum volunteer age for the English Summer Camp is 12.

Learn more about Teach English Abroad Summer

Poland English Language Summer Camp

Teach English Abroad Summer in Poland

As a volunteer in Poland, you work with the most engaging Polish youth you’ll ever meet! Practice English skills with elementary and middle school students through fun activities – such as skits, games, field trips and the like. Minimum age for the English Summer Camp is 6.

Learn more about Teach English Abroad Summer

Campers are already enrolled. Now, all they need is you! Register today! (Service program fees and all associated travel costs are 100% tax deductible for U.S. taxpayers.)

family volunteer abroad

Opportunities to make a genuine difference worldwide await you as a family! Global Volunteers is your safest, most affordable option abroad. To encourage service together, we offer family volunteer abroad discounts.  Refer to all international program discounts here. Further, as a 501-C3 tax-exempt organization, all program-related costs – including airfare – is tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers. This is the most affordable way for families to travel and volunteer together!

 See program locations worldwide here.

Volunteering as a family abroad can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Discounts on service program fees are available for two or more family members traveling together. Students also receive discounted service program fees.

Children 12 and under receive special family volunteer abroad discounts. One child (ages 6-12), traveling with one adult, pays 60% of the standard international program fee for all family volunteering programs except Poland summer camps. This discount cannot be combined with any other discounts.

Each service program has minimum age requirements, so please refer to this guide for eligibility depending upon your child(ren’s) ages.

Our volunteer programs are led by staff and alumni who are trained in volunteer engagement, health and safety, host relations, and most important – delivering essential services to help children and families reach their full potential. The age-appropriate work assignments you and your family members accept are designed to maximize your capabilities.

Let’s connect!

Call a volunteer coordinator at 800-487-1074 for additional information about family volunteer abroad discounts, or chat online now!

Chat online about family volunteer abroad discounts

Meanwhile, you can read posts by previous volunteers who served with family written from the field on Global Volunteers programs worldwide. Start here:

Best Programs to Volunteer for

Global Volunteers is recognized for offering some of the best programs to volunteer for worldwide. This is largely because of our focus on sustainable development in all our partner communities. Many volunteering families, couples, students, groups and professionals plan their service by season – summer vacation, winter and spring breaks, and fall “shoulder” season up to a year in advance. One-, two- and three-week options are available for most programs. To help you select the best programs to volunteer for, we’ve recommended our most popular service opportunities by season.

For further assistance, please contact our volunteer coordinators to discuss details:  800-487-1074. Or chat here now!

Poland Family Volunteer Vacations

Summer Volunteer Vacations

By far, the greatest number of service opportunities are offered in June, July and August. During the summer months, you have the widest choices for tutoring, childcare, labor, health care, summer language camps, and related assignments worldwide. Families and groups of all compositions are welcome on all teams – children under 12 are permitted on many of these programs. Check minimum ages here. The best programs to volunteer for during the summer months are:

Summer language camps in Greece, Italy and Poland: These are “family friendly” service opportunities to join two-week English language “camps” – helping local youth keep their skills sharp during summer break to with fun activities in English such as skits, games, songs, field trips and the like. Team members emphasize “real-life” speaking skills using the Global Volunteers English Teaching Guide as a resource — no previous teaching experience is necessary.

Teaching teachers in China: This unique opportunity is appropriate for adults or families with older teens.  You contribute to a 2- to 3-week “staff development” English program for Chinese teachers of English.  Share conversations to help them improve their English pronunciation, and broaden their repertoire of English language games and activities to apply in their own classrooms.  Previous experience isn’t required  – but current and former teachers are great resources!

Hands-on projects in Appalachia and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation: These are great group and family opportunities to experience service together in spiritually rich and resourceful American communities. Do you like to “dig into” labor projects? These two programs are rich in opportunities to contribute to home repair, painting, and landscaping. Added to that, on the reservation, you can entertain elders, tutor and play with summer school students, serve meals, and nurture children at a crisis shelter.

Winter South of (or at) the Equator

When it’s cold in many climates, it’s balmy in the southern hemisphere. Our full menu of projects are available in December through March in Africa, South America and the South Pacific. For instance, you can care for children in Ecuador and Peru, teach conversational English, math, science, nutrition and health in Tanzania, work on English literacy, numeracy and math with students in the Cook Islands, and lend a hand on labor project in all four countries! Student volunteers of all ages can work with local students on a wide variety of projects; groups, families and solo volunteers work together alongside local mothers, children and community leaders to help bring needed improvements to the communities. This is also the time when holiday programs are scheduled around the world, so if you yearn for a more meaningful holiday season, we can help you meet your goal.

best programs to volunteer for in Tanzania

Fall and Spring Break With a Purpose

What can be more meaningful than nurturing disabled children in Romania, tutoring youth and supporting pregnant women and mothers in St. Lucia? Retirees as well as professionals and students in the areas of education, health and nutrition, nursing, physical therapy, early childhood development and related disciplines can apply their skills to help children reach their full potential in structured projects. Meanwhile, this is a good time to share English conversation with teens and adults in Cuba, contribute to community sustainability as a group in Costa Rica, or teach conversational English to teen and adult students in Mexico, Portugal and Vietnam. April to May and September to November are the most desirable months for visiting these countries. And, you’re in luck!  We offer programs at these optimal times to enhance your experience!

Do you like our suggestions, but prefer a different season for a program you see here? No problem! Most of our volunteer opportunities are scheduled year-round, so search for your specific dates and countries on our website. Work with a volunteer coordinator to plan your personal, family or group service program to meet your service preferences.

Other blog posts that can help you choose the best programs to volunteer for by time and project:

Christmas in India

Holiday of Service in Peru

Top Holiday Abroad Programs

Spring Break “Top 5”

Top 10 Summer Programs for Families

“Celebrate” Thanksgiving Abroad

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family volunteering in Peru

Summer Family Volunteering in Peru – Sydney Hill and her new friends in Alto Progreso.

The teens shared an interest in soccer.  The children welcomed hugs and games just as kids everywhere do.  Neighbors worked together to build a stairway for safety and access on the steep cliff. At the conclusion of their two-week project, they felt they shared important, life-enhancing experiences together.

“Everyone really wanted to go. We were all super excited, ” said 14-year-old Beau.

But, these “neighbors” live nearly 3, 000 miles away, and traveled more than 10 hours to lend a hand to families in Alto Progreso, Peru.

family volunteering program

Jennifer, Sydney and Ryan play with toddlers.

 True Service was Goal for Hill Family Volunteering Program 

Jennifer and Ryan Hill of East Lake Woodlands, FL and their daughter Sydney and son Beau had one singular request for their family volunteer vacation:  “We want to help where we’re needed most.” 

They decided Alto Progreso, Peru was the place where each family member could offer the greatest contribution.  Planted on a desolate and dusty mountainside, this community is cut off from running water, public transportation and the public education system.  Helping improve life here, the Hills reasoned, would be highly meaningful.

Early in the service program, they met Haydee Mendoza, community leader and mother.  “Haydee beamed at the roads being built, walls, stairs and the like.  She shared stories of success and failures over her time as president of the community association, ” Jennifer said.  The differences between Haydee’s neighborhood of Alto Progreso and the Hill’s in Florida was staggering.  But the family appreciated the warm welcome of the local people, and the pride they felt about the modest upgrades the community recently made.

“Haydee took us to the hidden gem – the childcare facility run by her sister. This building used to be the community center, but was now helping single mothers by giving free childcare so they could work.” Jennifer and Sydney played with the babies in the bright, colorful playroom while husband Ryan “entertained everyone endlessly” while cheerful music played.  ”The children showed every toy to us.”

family volunteering to build stairs

Jennifer, Ryan and Beau help build stairs.

For two weeks, the family worked hand-in-hand with Alto Progreso residents – painting the inside and outside of the new community center, carrying cement bags, building forms, and helping construct a new set of stairs.  It was obvious the work they did was greatly needed and appreciated… even by the volunteers.  Beau, the youngest Hill family member, regarded the stairs project as a work-out to strengthen his lower body.  “Beau was able to feel like he could trust his legs to do more hard labor tasks, ” Jennifer reported.

He also said he was grateful to have time to spend with the local kids to get to know them as he worked.  Most important, they learned they “were able to complete a difficult task and keep doing more.”

Summer family volunteering

Jennifer plays Uno with girls at the PPA.

 They Also Helped Out Together at Lima’s Largest Orphanage

Part of the time, the family volunteered together at the Puericultorio  Perez Aranibar (PPA), a large orphanage inside Lima.  Teaching the teens conversational English and playing games with the younger children, Beau and 17-year-old Sydney felt they developed a genuine understanding of the local people’s lives.  “On the outside their lives and towns look depressing to live in, but once you get to know the people of the community, they’re almost just like yourself, ” said Sydney.  “You learn that not everything in life is a choice.”

Beau added:  “I’d say that helping makes you feel good, and seeing a different way of life really opens up new perspectives.”

family volunteering with children in Peru

Sydney spends quality time on the playground.

Jennifer recalled the last day of volunteering.  “Back to the community center, it was more full than I had ever seen it.  Many children were finishing their lunch.  Syd’s usual crowd of young girls showered her with love as we colored.  We played active games – roja luz y verde luz, agua y cemento and pato, pato, ganzo.   Ryan did all of the painting he could to finish the exterior. ”

“When it was time to leave, Ximena cried, telling Sydney good-bye, clinging to her and sobbing.  Syd walked her part-way home to help her cheer up.”

What did they hope to gain as a family volunteering in Peru?  Jennifer stated simply:  “In addition to helping a community, Ryan and I wanted to teach the family about the importance of being humble and having a giving spirit – to appreciate and respect how other people live and work.”

Smiling, she concluded Global Volunteers in Peru is an ideal volunteer opportunity for families.  “Go! Your family will be better because of it, ” she said.

“I honestly felt sad to leave, and could not believe we were not coming back again anytime soon.  I’m a jumble of emotions, and will selfishly keep the rest of my thoughts to myself.  In my heart, I hope this is buenos noches and not adios for the Hill Family in Alto Progresso.”  – Jennifer’s entry in the volunteers’ team journal

Learn how to volunteer abroad with your family!

Visit our Volunteer as a Family page to learn more about family volunteering opportunities worldwide, or request our family volunteering tip sheet with the form below.

Send me a family volunteering tip sheet.

 

Request a program catalog here or by calling 800-487-1074.








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Student serving in Cuba

Brandy was part of a University of Central Missouri summer student volunteer group in Cuba. After two weeks of teaching conversational English to Cuban children and people and supporting the community of Sancti Spíritus in other ways, she wanted to share a message with anyone considering serving in Cuba. Brandy hopes you will pick up where she left off with her work – as do we!

Given the opportunity, I would go back to Cuba as often as possible. The people, the culture, the beauty of the Island, the food, all tied together to create a wonderful experience that I will never forget. Since I returned from serving in Cuba, the only thing I can talk about is the time I had there and how I want to go back someday.

Although the free time, the old cars, and the group were great, I think it was the volunteering I enjoyed most. Almost every time I volunteered I decided to practice English with the kids. Through this I learned that kids would get up early and walk to the church on their own just to work on their English during their summer vacation. This showed me that the kids truly wanted to be there and pulled the future teacher inside of me out. I wanted to be there for those kids.

Serving in Cuba

My favorite memory was the day we were able to assist with the water project. We helped the church fill containers with water. Then, the local people and the volunteers carried the water containers either back to their houses or to their makeshift carts waiting outside. What made this memory my absolute favorite were two different people. One, a man that said he was truly thankful for our help. He said that the work we were doing was God’s work and that they were blessed to have us that day. The second person was a lady who had originally planned to carry her containers full of water back to her house alone – along with some of her bags. Brooke (another volunteer) and I wanted to help her. As we carried her bags, she saw some friends and yelled “look at all the help I have!” several times. We could tell she was overfilled with joy.

Cubans are nothing like what I expected. They are prideful, happy, innovative, and caring people. If you are stuck between choosing which trip to go on, go to Cuba. You will not be disappointed.

Photos from Brandy’s experience serving in Cuba:

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Get started today!

Experience Cuba now before things change – through the unique perspective of a volunteer. Visit our Volunteer in Cuba page or chat online with a Global Volunteers Cuba Specialist to learn more and get started.

Learn more about serving in Cuba

Cheap domestic flights in Peru

Peru Country Manager Daniel Salazar talks about how the arrival of low-cost airlines has opened the door for cheap domestic flights in Peru. 

Thanks to the arrival of low-cost airlines for domestic flights in Peru, touring in Peru just got a lot cheaper. If you would like to visit Machu Picchu, you would have to flight to Cuzco. At current prices, you would have to pay around $120 each way, but now plain tickets start at $30 each way. That’s right, domestic flights in Peru may be cheaper than taxi rides in the U.S. Actually, they will be cheaper than travelling by bus. A bus ride to Cuzco takes 22 hours and costs around $50, while a flight takes only 45 minutes. So that’s a no-brainer.

What’s the catch?

As you may know, low-cost airlines compensate their lower costs with the elimination of many traditional passenger services. In this case in particular, the biggest difference is that passengers will only be allowed to carry up to 15 pounds. That’s not much, but considering the price difference, you might even be able to get new clothes from wherever you’re going and still save. If the luggage limitations and poorer service is a deal-breaker for you, you will still have many flight options including traditional first class.

Where should I go?

Besides travelling to Cuzco, there are many other gorgeous places to visit in Peru. If you like the beach, surfing, partying, and jungle expeditions, you can flight to Piura. If you would like to get deep into the amazon and do adventure sports, or just relax in the middle of a paradise, you should go to Iquitos. Finally, if you would like to visit a beautiful city in the highlands at the feet of a volcano, with a canyon more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, then you should visit Arequipa. All these cities and many more will be accessible with this new low-cost airline.

As if serving in Peru, meeting new people, and truly experiencing the culture wasn’t enough, now you have really cheap domestic flights in Peru. You can now more easily travel in Peru before or after your service program. No volunteer who has done it has ever regret it – and we’ve had hundreds. What are you waiting for? You have a whole new world to experience.

Cheap domestic flights in Peru

A monkey in Iquitos wonders why you haven’t come to Peru yet.

Cheap domestic flights in Peru

No matter where you are in the city of Arequipa, you can always see the majestic Misti volcano.

Cheap domestic flights in Peru

Arequipa has a beautiful colonial architecture.

Cheap domestic flights in Peru

Piura has many beautiful beaches you go to: this one is “Mancora.”

Cheap domestic flights in Peru

Piura also has forest and jungle.

 

While on your Global Volunteers adventure in service in Ecuador, you can take your free time to explore Quito and the countryside. Nestled high in the Andes Mountains, Quito is the capital of Ecuador. Due to its very well-preserved colonial center, it was the first city ever to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll fall in love with Quito’s Old Town with its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, neo-gothic Basilica, colonial balconies, and outdoor cafés. You and your teammates stay in the contemporary part of Quito, close to beautiful parks and more modern conveniences. Quito is surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes that, as Ecuadorians commonly say, are vain and so can often be seen. Here is a picture of beautiful Cayambe Volcano from Quito taken by our Ecuador Country Manager:

2016-08-23-15-58-50-resized

On the weekends, you can explore the countryside on day trips an hour or two outside of Quito. You can visit volcanic hot springs, Cotopaxi National Park, Mindo cloud forest, Otavalo indigenous market, Cuicocha Lagoon, and a town famous for its leather products, just to name a few. Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet and so if nature and wildlife is your thing, you will never be bored here. Ecuador is also one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Latin America with over 20 different nationalities in a country about the size of Colorado. You can learn about Ecuadorian culture, heritage, and language while volunteering in Ecuador. Take a look at these gorgeous photos of this little country in South America that holds so much beauty!

 

Jim, a recent Poland Global Volunteer, describes his personal technique for teaching conversational English to Polish students.

 

This morning was a mixture of excitement and some anxiety.  Exciting because I would meet my class of Polish English students for the first time.  I’m a bit anxious because I didn’t know for sure if the activities I planned for them would be at their level of competence.

My group of ten students range in age from 10-12 years.  To start off the day, we first did a “Birthday Line-Up” where classmates announced their birth dates and lined themselves up from early birthdays to birthdays late in the year.  We then did another line-up where students arranged themselves according to the number of siblings they had. This was followed by the name game; students had to say their name after saying the names of students before them. Then we did the name game plus one fact; students gave their name and told something about themselves, e.g., “My name is Filip and I like to dance”.

“Find Someone Who…” was a good way for me to get to know students.  For example, “Find someone who has visited another country” was one of the questions. Students went around the room and asked other students and me to find people who did twenty activities.  Students reported back and I did a follow up, e.g., “You said you liked snakes.  Would you like to have a pet snake?”

james-with-the-students-in-poland

Jim uses word games and and active lessons for teaching conversational English to Polish students.

Word association exercises were also successful.  For example, the teacher says hot.  Then the next student could say cold.  Snow and white could be follow-up associations.  When students give an association that isn’t immediate obvious he/she has to explain the association. For example, one student said mosquito and the next said angry.  When I asked why the student said angry she explained that mosquitos bite people because they’re angry.

Lastly we played Jingo, which is like Bingo except words or phrases are used instead of numbers.  The teacher describes a word and students must find the picture that corresponds to the description.  We started with “Summer Fun Jingo”.  I also kept a list of new vocabulary for the students.  We will periodically review these words.  New words for the class today were fraternal/identical twins, allergic, checkers and left-handed.

Other volunteers had success with different English activities, such as saying a word, e.g., “snow” and the next student had to say a word that started with the last letter of the word.  In this case, the word would have to start with a w, such as weekend.

One of my teammates reported success with a game of U.S. Geography Bingo.  This will be a good follow-up to the short geography lesson I gave My students today. It was an enjoyable day!  The students were enthusiastic and their level of English fluency was higher than I had expected.  The morning went quickly!

 

Teach children in Poland

First-time Global Volunteer Ken Higgins was excited to teach children in Poland after his wife served on a Ghana Global Volunteers program in 2012. “I wanted to be able to help others in some fashion and experience a different culture. Based on Debbie’s recommendation of Global Volunteers, it seemed like a good organization to attain these goals, ” he said.  He joined a summer language camp to teach children in Poland, and quickly concluded “the children of Poland gave and taught more than we did.”  His report lends perspective to this reflection…

Journal entry by Ken:

It is 9:45 PM. The students have gone home. They are clearly what brings real life and joy to Reymontowka. Tonight was an evening filled with varying emotions for me, and I am sure many that were a part of the camp. On Monday when we began rehearsing for the final show, the kids began to speak Polish.  I requested that they speak in English. Our team leader Dorota then explained they were talking about including me in their presentation possibly and they did not want me to know. I watched them rehearse our “final show” all week, offering help from time to time. I understood they wee going to perform alone. The other volunteers also planned to be off the stage for their class presentations.

When it was time in the program, my group took the stage and did the first of two songs, Count On Me. As they do most things (I admit I am biased), they did a great job. As their second song began, one of them walked over and took my hand and brought me to the stage with them to sing the song. At the end we all came together in a group hug. I would have cried had I not been so surprised and really overwhelmed. I know we all came to teach children in Poland and we all worked hard. I am sure they learn plenty.  Yet, I cannot help to think those 61 children (8 particularly so for me) gave and taught more than we did. Their enthusiasm, energy and interest is hard not to feel.

Ken and the students during the performance. Teach children in Poland!

It is so amazing what they are able to do at such a young age, working largely in their second language. While they could be loud and enjoyed having fun, there was not a single time any of them were anything less than respectful to us and maybe more impressive, each other. The more advanced were patient and helpful with the less advanced. All, advanced and less so, always always tried. From time to time, even often, they would struggle to find the word to complete a thought. They never stopped trying. Based on my effort to learn Polish, this is by no means an easy task. They put their heart into everything and by doing so it was hard not to do the same.

I am sure I was not even remotely the perfect teacher, and that is something to work on, but among the lessons I will leave here with is imperfection is sometimes far better than doing nothing from fear of not being good enough.  Of course, then there are the adults that gave me their support and friendship. The other volunteers have given so much back to the world. Sophia (a 17-year-old fellow team member) has a lifetime to do the same and I have more than a few years, with God’s blessing, to help.

Ken saying farewell. Teach children in Poland!

It is also hard to imagine these two weeks without our team leader Dorota and her assistant Iwona. I have definitely never met two more patient or supportive people. They kept us organized and made us feel like family. I am glad I was here to teach children in Poland, and my world crossed paths with all of these people these past two weeks. Home to the love of my life tomorrow.

How can I teach children in Poland?

Visit Global Volunteers’ Volunteer in Poland website page to learn more about service opportunities. Or,  chat online with one of our Volunteer Coordinators. We’re ready to assist you with project descriptions, travel questions, registration guidance and other program details.

Chat online about how to teach children in Poland

Erin teaching children in St. Lucia

St. Lucia Volunteer Erin C. discovers teaching children in a St. Lucia classroom requires patience – and a measure of  “blind faith.”  Short-term volunteers teach children ages 10 to 17 at the Anse la Raye Primary School.

teaching children in St. Lucia

Leigh and Raymond teach children during summer school.

We woke to the sound of rain on the tin roofs today.  I laid in bed listening to the torrential downpour, wondering if it would let up — and if the students would still be coming to the school on such a rainy day.  At morning meeting, Chem explained that the possibility of flooding in the village could indeed keep the kids at home.  By the time we finished the meeting and gathered at the van, the rain had mostly subsided — but I think we all were going on a bit of blind faith that we would be teaching children today.

volunteer teaching children in primary classroom

Emma teaches children at Anse la Raye Primary School.

Slowly, but surely, the children began arriving at their classrooms and the teaching began.  Overall attendance was nearly at the same rate as Monday.  The students seemed more attentive today than the day before.  And many of the volunteers agreed they felt a bit more prepared and confident on our second day teaching the children.  So we’re moving in the right direction!  The students seem to be warming up to us strangers as teachers.  Many of them — mostly the girls — lingered in the classrooms talking with the teachers during break and lunch.

We missed Sally and Manel at the school today.  They were off on their St. Lucian adventure at the volcano, botanic gardens, and mud baths.

After a few hours of free-time, we had a brief check-in to discuss how the projects are going thus far.  Then it was off to dinner and a glorious sunset at Julietta’s.  The team has a comfortable, familiar vibe now, and conversation flows easily, like a group of friends.  Emma B. offered a message of the day:

 

“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them.”  – Ellen Johnson Sir leaf