Volunteer and teaching English abroad
Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) is one of the most popular projects volunteers from the United States choose to work on abroad. Volunteers typically do not need proficiency in any other language, and the volunteer experiences are not physically demanding. Oftentimes, volunteers are able to work with children and young adults, which make for very rewarding experiences.
Here is a look at four ESL volunteer organizations available to you!
English Volunteers for Change
English Volunteers for Change (EVOLC) is a rewarding program where volunteers take part in a national initiative dedicated to providing English classes to the inhabitants of communities who do not yet have access to regular classes. The organization is government sponsored and directed at making Costa Rica a strong economic competitor in Central America through increasing sustainable tourism.
Volunteers teach adult community members in the eco-tourism sector or serve as teaching assistants in local high schools. Class sizes are generally under 30 students to ensure a personal and effective learning environment. Volunteers are given the opportunity to develop their own curriculum if desired as well as have full access to past curriculums and the EVOLC team. All volunteers live with host families during their service.
- Time Commitment: 3-12 month services available
- Location: Several communities in Costa Rica
- Basic Spanish speaking skills preferred
- For more information check out www.evolc.org
Ok, so technically JET is not a volunteer program because you receive compensation. But it is a great opportunity to teach English in Japan and gain a full-on cultural experience. And who knows--saving some of that compensation money may help you pay for a volunteer trip in the future!
The Japanese Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET), founded in 1987, is constantly looking for motivated individuals dedicated to teaching English abroad. Applicants must apply early and meet the following criteria: Deep interest in Japan and international exchange, mentally and physically healthy, ability to adapt in new country/culture, have a bachelor's degree or meet other criteria, willing to obey all Japanese law, willingness to learn Japanese, be interested in working with students, and more.
Teaching English Abroad
Participants are assigned to be either Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) who provide language instruction in schools; Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) who work in communities on international exchange activities; or Sports Exchange Advisors (SEAs) who promote international exchange through sports. You may only apply for one position.
Placements for all JETs are spread across the country. Preference may be asked but cannot be guaranteed for location. Spouses wanting to work together are encouraged to apply at the same time and note their marriage status.
Services are full time, paid positions, which more than cover the cost of living in Japan. Housing assistance is provided. Participants must buy health insurance and pay rent while serving. Air travel is provided. Volunteers have an extensive orientation in Tokyo prior to individual placements.
Sri Lanka Volunteers (SL) Volunteers
Sri Lanka Volunteers (SL), created in 2010, contributes to the social development of Sri Lanka through contributing in mentoring activities, including teaching English as a second language (TESL) for students aged 16--21, teaching students with special needs, teaching students at children's homes, coaching sports, and running extra-curricular activities. All volunteer opportunities support SL's efforts in creating better career opportunities for these students in the future. SL is looking for volunteers interested in giving personal attention to the young students they serve.
Because of the voluntary participation of student in SL's programs, most students are excited and willing to participate in classes, making the teaching environment friendly and interactive.
Volunteers undergo training sessions. Accommodations include home-stays and 2 meals/day included in fee.
All volunteers have weekends off, so travel through Sri Lanka is a must!
- Time Commitment: 4-12 weeks
- Location: Sri Lanka
- Volunteers must be at least 20 years old
- For more information check out www.slvolunteers.com
Thai Experience is a volunteer program dedicated to serving people with few opportunities, mainly poor children, and is seeking volunteers who looking for an exciting, yet challenging environment teaching English.
Volunteers can teach English in orphanages, hospitals, schools, temples, vocational training centers, and homes for persons with disabilities. Other projects include continuing help for children with few opportunities, teaching computer skills, assisting in project development, creating new learning materials, joining fundraising activities and more. All volunteers make a difference! No special skills (other than speaking English, of course) are necessary!
An excellent choice if you are looking to enhance your cross-cultural awareness, enjoy leisure activities as well as hard work, and help those less fortunate in our ever globalizing world.
- Time Commitment: 2-8 weeks
- Location: Thailand
- Volunteers stay with host families or in the volunteer house
- Volunteers must be at least 18 years old
- For more information check out www.thai-experience.org
Have you taught English abroad? Do you have other great program recommendations? Post them below!