Crete

Applications for LE Crete are now open!

Program dates: July 9 - August 12

Orientation: July 9 - 11
Group of Volunteers smiling
Midpoint: July 29-30
Volunteer with arms open in front of students
Closing: August 12
Closing Ceremony outdoors

QUICK FACTS

  • Volunteers: 5
  • Language Requirements: None
  • Program Director: Carina 
  • Country Coordinator: Niki 

IDEAL VOLUNTEER

Hardworking and passionate about teaching – Though you will certainly have opportunities to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Crete, LE is all about giving your students a meaningful, effective educational experience. Expect to develop thorough lesson plans and spend a lot of time outside of class preparing/adjusting your curriculum.

Flexible – As with any volunteer experience that involves international travel, Crete volunteers must be ready to adjust to any changes in schedule or unexpected situations.

Open-minded and interested in learning about different cultures – Village life in Crete will probably be unlike anything you have experienced before, even if you have traveled to Athens or other tourist destinations before. Applicants should appreciate unique lifestyles and not shy away from trying new things (and new foods).

Dependable – Constant communication with your PD is absolutely crucial.

Comfortable with hot weather – You won’t make it through July/August in Greece without a little bit of sweat!


OUR COMMUNITIES

  • Nippos: This small, central village is LE Crete’s home base, the location of Orientation, Midpoint Break, and Closing Session.
  • Vryses: Neighboring Nippos, this village is slightly touristy and has its fair share of shops and restaurants.  LE classes are taught in a community center here to a group of very spirited and active young students.
  • Embroneros and Vatouthiaris:  Both located up in the nearby mountains, these two villages are the most remote and traditional, and are home to many eager English learners.  Classes are taught in the Embrosneros School and the newly-renovated one room schoolhouse in Vatoutharis.
  • Neo Chorio: Also on the smaller side, Neo Chorio has LE classes in the village’s beautiful school building.
  • Kalyves:  Classes are also taught in the school building of Kalyves, which is right down the road from Neo Chorio.  It is right on the water, so volunteers here will also get to enjoy this touristy beach town.
  • Potential new teaching villages, including Asigonia, Fres, Georgioupolis, and Almiritha

LE is stationed in villages with running water, plumbing, electricity, etc. Internet may not be available in the host house, but will be in local cafes and businesses.


PROGRAM SUMMARY

Because international flights do not go directly to the small Chania airport, volunteers will need to make a stop in Athens on their way to Crete, where we will convene for Orientation. In the village of Nippos, a central point between the four villages where teaching will take place, we will spend four days training and preparing for the exciting experience to come. During this time, we will discuss cultural norms and curriculum options, and we will also learn helpful Greek phrases and teaching techniques. This will be a great time to get to know your Program Director, Country Coordinator, and fellow volunteers.  There will also be outings to beautiful Lake Kournas, local beaches, the incredible 16km Samaria Gorge, and other local sites.

After getting settled in with their host families, volunteers will begin teaching on July 16th. Volunteers will teach for four weeks total, but after the first two weeks will convene once again in Nippos for Midpoint Break. During these few days we will reflect on the successes and struggles of teaching and exchange ideas, as well as taking another cultural or scenic outing. Following the next two weeks of teaching, we will meet up one final time for a brief Program Reflection.


TEACHING

Teaching will take place at local schools and community centers.  Greek schools are not in session, but many children attend the classes as a fun, educational summer program.  Most students are young children, but we also teach some adolescent and even adult classes.  Be ready to adjust your curriculum based on the needs of your students and to play lots of active games!


WHY LE CRETE?

LE is stationed in an area where English teachers are not readily available, so we are providing an important service. Volunteers have the opportunity to experience village life in Greece authentically. Our Greek host families are incredibly hospitable, and the natural beauty and delicious food makes LE Crete a once-in-a-lifetime summer.

MEET YOUR PROGRAM DIRECTOR, CARINA!

I am a Government and Politics and Arabic major with a minor in Global Terrorism and a focus in International Relations. I am a senior at the University of Maryland and am sad to be leaving all the amazing things at UMD. I am a member of Gamma Phi Beta and enjoy going to sporting events at the university.

Last summer I volunteered in Crete and made amazing connections with the students and community members and just knew I had to return as Program Director. This was my second trip abroad but my first with LE. In 2015, I went to Japan to help with natural disaster relief efforts and taught English in some of the affected elementary schools while I was there. This winter, I am going to Honduras with the group Students Helping Honduras to assist with building a school building for the students there. I have a passion for service, both domestic and international, and hope to work full time with refugees after graduation.

LE Crete is an amazing program that involves 4 weeks of teaching and an additional week for orientation. The villages we teach in are predominately villages in the mountains of Crete with easy access to so many amazing sites (like beaches and gorgeous scenery). The program is located on the largest and most southern Island of Greece and has amazing cultural exchange opportunities. The most amazing memories I have from volunteering in Greece is making so many connections with the students and the host family. My students stole a huge part of my heart and my host family quickly became my real family. I am so excited to return to Crete and run the next amazing year of LE Crete. Please reach out to me with any questions about the program!

Interested applicants can reach Carina at crete@learningenterprises.org.


Check out our Addendum and Budget!