I had just graduated from college (or university as people in England call it) with a major in Communications. Through my small college back home, Valparaiso University, I was able to study abroad in Cambridge, England back in 2016. I was there for about four months and I loved every second of it. I knew I wanted to come back to England at some point before I started a job back home and got too tied down. After some searching, I happened upon Lattitude and my epic journey began. After some twists and turns, I finally received the email saying “Your visa has been accepted and your flights are booked” while I was working at a small cafe in my town. I finally was on my way to live my dream of living in England once again.
I noticed a huge leap in my students’ confidence in speaking English which was incredibly rewarding and reflected the need for contact with native English speakers. Afternoon lessons were again usually two periods. The classes would typically be about 40 students aged 18-22, most of whom were female and often giggling.
We love to hear from our volunteers! Here is an email we received from a volunteer who spent time as a Schools Assistant in the UK.
I am currently volunteering as a English teacher assistant at Szkoły Sióstr Felicjanek which is situated near the main centre of Warsaw, Poland. My placement is a beautiful school near the woods and being only 35 minutes from the city centre makes travelling easier.
My main role at the school is conversation. As I am a native speaker of English, I spend most of the time talking to the kids and getting them to talk in English to develop their skills. I teach with another volunteer, and we swap classes every week so we spend a lot of time teaching the kids about New Zealand and the environment in New Zealand.
Hi there, my name’s Dan from New Zealand and I’m currently working as a “Gapper” (as the kids call us) in Hoebridge School, a prep school for kids aged 3-13 located in Woking, Surrey of England. My placement is a bit different from most school assistant placements in the UK, as I’m placed in a day school, which means that I have no boarding duties to do in the mornings and evenings, which allows for perhaps an easier wake up then some of my friends at boarding schools.
To get the most out of your experience volunteering abroad, there are some key things you can do to fully immerse yourself in your new surroundings.
I am in a community placement in Ireland and I couldn’t be happier.
Emma writes back to Lattitude about her time as a volunteer English Tutor in Poland.
I was one of the first to arrive in Christchurch. There was a group of us that had met as Dave collected us from the airport, 3 English and 2 Canadian. The journey from the airport to the hostel accommodation was stress free, Dave made us all feel at ease and encouraged us to communicate with each other.
With astounding advancements in technology within these past few decades, now with a click of a button we can send a message instantly and reach a completely different part of the world. Virtual connection is global. However, without travelling, a true sense of global awareness and the benefits that come from cultural exchange are lost.
We interviewed a “Lattitude parent”, Susan Hoolaeff, on how she supported her daughter’s volunteer experience abroad. She gave us valuable insight into her own experience of the process and Lattitude’s support throughout.
Lattitude is thrilled to announce that we have a new pilot volunteer program in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala starting in January 2020! Volunteers will contribute to important community development work in areas such as inclusive education, permaculture and organic farming, fair trade and economic equality, sustainable nutrition, and environmental conservation. All hugely interesting and rewarding projects.
The negative impacts caused by travel take a huge toll on our environment. This includes the depletion of local natural resources, greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to pollution and waste problems. While transport across countries is pretty essential for world travelers, there are a variety of ways to reduce your carbon footprint and decrease your personal waste in a foreign region of the world.
While volunteering and travelling there is no doubt that you will gain countless new experiences each day, surely you will want to capture the uniqueness of your journey. Documenting your travels is proven to be extremely beneficial, from recalling your fond memories to reducing overall stress in your life. Here are some of the most important reasons to keeping a travel journal, and some effective tips on how to make it enjoyable.
After I finished high school, I decided to live in Ghana for 5 months volunteering as a Medical Assistant. This amazing opportunity was provided by the organization Lattitude Global Volunteering. I quickly became part of a lovely family in Akim Oda, met amazing people who are now some of my closest friends, spent my weekdays expanding my knowledge at the Jubilee Hospital working alongside experienced nurses and doctors, and my weekends exploring the beautiful country. To say the least, deciding to take a Gap Year was one of the best decisions of my life.