WorldTeach - Volunteer Teaching in the Marshall Islands

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About

On the Marshall Islands, primary school is mandatory for Grades 1-8, though many children are not enrolled. As a volunteer teacher on the Marshall Islands, you could teach in public elementary schools, high schools, or vocational schools. One placement is an urban area with larger and more advanced classes, and another in a rural area where the communities are largely untouched by modernity.

Our Marshall Islands program is fully funded by the Marshall Islands Ministry of Education and volunteer airfare is also covered.

With our year-long program, you can also become TEFL certified to earn credibility and give you an edge in the ESL teaching job market. While certification usually costs about $1,899, with WorldTeach you can become certified for only $350 while also gaining priceless in-country teaching experience.

Watch our webinar to hear directly from previous volunteer teachers and field staff on what it's like to teach in the Marshall Islands.

Questions & Answers

Rob, Thank you for your interest in a WorldTeach teaching position. Unfortunately, we only offer year long teaching positions to candidates who hold a degree. This is partly our policy, but the Ministries and Departments of Education we partner with require you hold a degree to teach in their schools as well. Summer teaching programs only require you are 18 or older, however we do not offer a...

Reviews

85%
based on 39 reviews
  • Benefits 8.2
  • Support 8
  • Fun 7.9
  • Facilities 7.6
  • Safety 8.1
Showing 16 - 30 of 39
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Ben
10/10

Teaching in the Marshall Islands

Teaching in the RMI was the most challenging and most rewarding experience I have ever had. Living on an outer island comes with times of difficulty. You are extremely isolated from the norms of which you had while back in your home state or country. For many outer islands volunteers, communication to friends and family back home is limited to post mail, which may only come 3 or 4 times during your whole year. It may also be hard to find some alone time after a stressful day or week of teaching, because your students and other members of the community always want to be around the World Teach Volunteer. That being said, I loved every minute I spent on the island I was teaching and it had a huge impact on my life. You are able to connect with the students on a level I never thought would be possible. My students became my best friends, which made classroom management sometimes harder to deal with, but it was well worth it. I became extremely close with not only my host family, but the entire community as well. They were the kindest, most loving people I have ever met. Of course there are times when you are extremely frustrated with school, a student, or something else going on on the island, as can happen anywhere else in the world. But at the end of the day, you realize where you are. A place where many people would call paradise, but you are lucky enough to call it home.

Yes, I recommend this program
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M.
10/10

It was THE BEST! !

WorldTeach provided me with an experience that I will never forget...in fact, I truly think about my time in the Marshall Islands every day. I dream of someday reenrolling in the program!! Perhaps once I retire! I have recommended this program to everyone I know and truly believe it changed my life for the best!

How can this program be improved?
Na
Yes, I recommend this program
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Colleen
10/10

World Teach - Marshall Islands

This was an absolutely incredible experience and World Teach did a phenomenal job organizing/structuring the program. Highly recommended! Now 10 years later people are still intrigued with this part of my CV, and I am not anywhere near the teaching profession. Go for it :-)

Yes, I recommend this program
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Evelyn
7/10

Review

Although it was a very challenging year, I don't regret it. The highs are really high but the lows are extremely low. As long as you lose your expectations and ego, you will have a rewarding experience - even if it is in retrospect (it was hard for me to appreciate everything I learned and the people I met until I left). That year has affected every choice I've made since.

How can this program be improved?
Don't do Majuro.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Justin
8/10

Great Program

I highly recommend the worldteach marshall islands program. If you're looking to have a completely different experience from anything else in this life, do this program. Though your experience will be challenging, you will learn so much.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Phillip
10/10

Great organisation, great program

I did the World teach program in 2011/12 on a remote Marshallese atoll. I taught English to five classes daily and lived with a lovely family on a paradise of an island. WT is well run and this is a fantastic choice for people keen to teach ESL OS.

Yes, I recommend this program
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WorldTeach
6/10

Good experience, but critical lack of field support

Overall, I found my year in the Marshall Islands to be meaningful, and full of rewarding experiences. The people in my town were welcoming and supportive, and it was a great experience to become completely immersed in another culture.
Having said that, the support system in place for volunteers in-country was lacking, and the field directors proved unable to cope with sudden or unexpected problems that arose over the course of the year. Whether it was the plane that delivered mail and supplies breaking down, or the ships that were supposed to deliver our luggage never leaving port, things don't always go as planned, especially in a country like the RMI, but our field directors often told us that they didn't have time to find another option, or were incredibly slow in going to plan B. The big issue my year was that about 2 months into our program, Dengue Fever arrived in the Marshall Islands and began spreading to all the islands. While our two field directors were passionate about their job and very nice, their lack of experience (it was the first year as field director for both of them) meant that they were quickly overwhelmed, and their communication with both parents and volunteers about Dengue Fever, and the steps they were taking to address it, completely broke down. As a volunteer on an island with no way of getting any kind of news, having my field director have nothing to tell me on our weekly radio check-in about how they were handling the situation beyond repeating the short memo that the embassy put out shook my faith in the ability of the directors to give us effective support.
In addition, we were told that the purpose of the program was to provide English teachers to remote schools while that school's English teacher went to the capital to get additional teacher training. However, as far as I know, almost none of the schools that had volunteers actually sent a teacher in for more training. I know mine didn't.
I would really like to recommend this program, because for me it was a rewarding experience and I formed lasting friendships with the other volunteers, who were all awesome and amazing. But given the inability of our field directors to provide effective support when serious problems arose, and the fact that Worldteach placed two field directors with no experience in charge of the program where volunteers are the most isolated and need the most support, I don't feel like I could recommend it to my friends.

No, I don't recommend this program
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Marci
10/10

Extremely well-run, challenging experience

WorldTeach Marshall Islands is an extremely well-run program with tremendous support on the ground. The Marshallese people are warm and welcoming. It's inspiring to see how the Marshallese make the most of limited resources in their humble but beautiful tropical islands. Life in the Marshalls is a challenge, but if you're the kind of person that thrives on a challenge, you'll have an experience that will change your outlook and perspective forever. Highly recommended.

How can this program be improved?
More organized school administrators - but I realize that's asking a lot.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Laurence
8/10

Teaching on an island of 200 people!

If you are ready to experience a very different culture and lifestyle, if you want to face yourself and surmount the challenges that being isolated bring, consider this program. Your mind has to be in the right place. You have to give your heart wholly to the kids. You will make connections, experience beauty and be surprised every day if you allow yourself to be. Highlights for me included singing with my students, seeing their awareness of the world open up ("What? Dragons aren't real?"), slowing down to life on island time, being close to nature and utilizing my creativity in the classroom. My favourite moment was being taken spearfishing one day and devouring the fish seconds later while still standing in the lagoon. The diet, isolation and discipline in the classroom were the greatest challenges for me.

How can this program be improved?
Improved packing list pre-departure and teacher quality program feedback delivered to outer-islanders too.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Smadar
10/10

Marshall Islands, Namdrik 2013

Going to the Marshall Islands for a year was the best decision I have ever made. I'm not saying the experience was easy– dengue fever, attacking dogs, dealing with drunk island men, and working as a teacher in a community that doesn't really need Western-style learning for survival or daily life were some of the challenges I faced. But it was definitely a journey whose ups and downs opened my mind to a different way of living, a different set of ethics, etiquette, mode of communication, and cultural traditions, and made me more able to understand and analyze the society I came from and the unspoken tenets I had adhered to and unwittingly accepted as a member.
This is not a program for someone who wants constant supervision and support, but rather for someone who enjoys being thrown into the water and having to figure out how to swim. Your communication with the field directors consists of one or two radio calls a week–maybe. There really aren't any curriculum books to guide your teaching, no teacher training/ mentorship, and no copy machine. I liked that freedom to do whatever I wanted and teaching was a constant experiment. That said, island life on Namdrik (the island I was placed on) is in many ways a lot less stressful and scary than life in urban centers. You have time to chat with your host family and neighbors, play with neighborhood kids, swim in the lagoon, cook, take jambos (walks), and snorkel.
I will admit that a few of the other volunteers didn't have quite the positive experience I did. For example, there was a drought my volunteer year and while Namdrik was fine because it's in the far south by the Equator and receives lots of rain, there were food and water shortages in the north and a volunteer had to be evacuated (this was after her host family stopped giving her sufficient food). In additions, a couple of the volunteer teachers were teaching far more students than should be possible (think close to 50 kids in one classroom), and one volunteer ended up being the caretaker for her host family's children when the parents decided to take off for the main island for the remainder of the year. But for the vast majority of volunteers, our year with WorldTeach in the RMI was a transformational, challenging, and wonderful experience we will revisit regularly in our minds for the rest of our our lives that strengthened us and helped us grow our souls a bit. And in my case, my time on Namdrik also guided me to a career path that I am excited about and fits who I am after years of wandering aimlessly through different job experiences after college. A great gift indeed.
So to sum it up, do this program, or something like it that gets you out of your comfort zone and introduces you to a different world.

How can this program be improved?
All the imperfections stemmed from how life rolls on the Marshall Islands. Just a part of life there.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Hester
10/10

Amazing and Challenging

On an outer island flexibility and curiosity was a must. Life was *completely* different than what it was back home. This meant I had to give myself readjustment time. This meant allowing myself to feel either blue or homesick, but always trying to take a look at what I did have.
I had an excellent host-family and, on an island of about 400 inhabitants, it's hard to not feel like everyone is somehow "extended-family".

The airplane didn't work all year, which was frustrating, but I had mentally prepared to stay on Mejit the entire time, so it wasn't as difficult as if I had hoped to return. Joining the choir for Christmas and learning the dancing was a highlight of my time. Did I actually know all the words I was singing? No, but did everyone (myself included) appreciate my attempt? Yes we did.

Mejit and the RMI were beautiful and amazing though, most decidedly worth a visit!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Sara
10/10

Amazing Experience

WorldTeach gave me the opportunity to spend a year teaching in the Marshall Islands. Being able to live and teach in the Marshall Islands was an absolute privilege. My Marshallese students and the community welcomed me with open arms. The training WorldTeach provided right before I went to my placement island, helped me to understand cultural differences and be respectful right from the beginning. I felt supported from the moment I started the interview process. I highly recommend WorldTeach as well as the Marshall Islands placement to everyone who is interested in teaching abroad.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Amy
9/10

Fantastic Program

I volunteered with WorldTeach RMI in 2005-2006 and was very happy with my experience. The screening process was very thorough and the staff and returned volunteers were very helpful in preparing for the experience. The in-country orientation was exceptional: the field director set up an extensive training program that assured that we were equipped with the right tools not only to teach but to navigate and assimilate to a different culture. I was placed on an Outer Island and was very happy with the support that I received: from the Buddy program, weekly radio check-ins, and monthly newsletter to on-site teaching evaluations, refresher courses at the mid-year break, and caring personal attention when challenges arose. I had an incredible time teaching at an elementary school and living with a host family on my island. This experience changed my life and I recommend it to anyone who is ready to challenge themselves physically and mentally and to commit themselves to educating students who are in great need.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Paul
9/10

An amazing experience

I was stationed on Utrok, one of the outer islands in the country. It was incredible, the people were amazing, the teaching rewarding, and it is definitely an experience that will stick with me always.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Dan
9/10

Great Experience

The Marshall Islands program was one of the best years of my life. I was specifically placed on the main island of Majuro and taught 10th grade English at the high school. I lived with 8 other volunteers in community on the campus in a dorm. There was a program director living on the island for help at all times. Before beginning the school year we had a month of intensive in-country orientation that included cultural, language, and teaching instruction.

How can this program be improved?
I guess the only thing I would change is the amount of checkins by the supervisors. They were VERY busy, but it would be great if they could have come into our classrooms once a month maybe instead of once the whole year.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About WorldTeach

WorldTeach was founded in 1986 by a group of Harvard students who were motivated by the desire to promote local education initiatives in places where teachers and resources were lacking. Today, we continue to provide opportunities for individuals to...