Applications for LE Croatia are now open!
Program dates: June 19 - August 6
June 19 - 22
July 14 - 15
August 5 - 6
- Language Requirement: None
- Setting: Mostly rural (some small cities)
- Duration: 7 weeks
- Volunteers: 6-8
- Living Conditions: Moderate (plumbing, some internet)
The program will kick off with a four-day orientation in Split, the largest city on the Croatian coast of Dalmatia. The orientation will introduce volunteers to the vibrancy of Eastern European culture and discuss teaching strategies with the Program Director and other volunteers. The orientation schedule will allow volunteers ample time to explore Split in between teaching break-out sessions. Some highlights of orientation in Split include exploring ancient ruins, swimming in the Adriatic, and a sunset hike to the top of Marjan, giving a spectacular view of the entire peninsula!
After orientation, you will travel to your first teaching location and teach for three weeks. You will reconvene with your fellow volunteers after the three weeks for a quick weekend trip in Zagreb, Croatia’s beautiful capital. During this midpoint break, you will swap stories and teaching ideas with the other volunteers, indulge in some R and R, and lament how much food you’ve eaten. Volunteers have been known to become great friends after orientation and midpoint break is a memorable experience reconnecting with fellow volunteers and reflecting on the experience thus far.
After the midpoint break, you will travel to your second placement and teach for another three weeks. The program will then conclude with two days back in Split for closing session. This is an opportunity to reconnect with the other volunteers, some of whom you may travel with after the program and many of whom will become lifelong friends. You’ll see a little bit more of the wonderful land that is Eastern Europe and reflect on the LE experience as a whole.
THE IDEAL VOLUNTEER
- Has a sense of adventure and self-reliance, and can handle challenges with maturity.
- Is a leader in the classroom, with the ability to lesson plan creatively and actively engage students. Teaching experience is not required, but enthusiasm and a sense of humor are!
- Has an open mind and an open heart.
- Is responsible and reliable. The program starts from the moment of acceptance and doesn’t end until the last day of teaching.
- Is committed to the LE mission of expanding horizons through global volunteerism.
Village Stays: Volunteers living in Croatian villages will either live with a host family or in a hotel. Either way, it will be one the most defining and gratifying experiences you will have during the Croatia program. Village stays vary greatly in style, amount of free time, and local activities. Most hosts will have an array of moderate amenities in their homes, and some may even have internet. What these experiences share, though, is that certain Eastern European warmth. It is the best way to experience authentic Eastern Europe culture on a deeper level than any tourist. Whether you are in a host family or a hotel stay, most hosts will go out of their way to show volunteers the local sites. All village stays will abound in liveliness and, of course, food. Host families are not paid to participate in the program and graciously open their homes and their hearts to Learning Enterprises volunteers. You will find it difficult to say goodbye after three weeks.
Sunny Village Camp: Set in beautiful, rural Croatia, the Sunny Village Camp in Jagnjedovec brings together children aged 8 to 12 from Croatia and surrounding countries for an English language experience. As a counselor, you will help in running typical camp activities that focus on the development of participants’ English language skills. You will work alongside Helena Hecimovic, the camp director, as well as other college-age counselors from Croatia. The camp has comfortable lodging and showers, and all meals are provided. Volunteers here should be prepared for long days; you may be working from 8 AM to 10 PM! Past camp volunteers have enjoyed working with the enthusiastic children and have appreciated the opportunity the camp provides in connecting with Croatians their own age.
Koprivnica Youth Center: The newly built Koprivnica Youth Center is located in the center of Koprivnica, a lively Croatian city of 25,000. As a volunteer there, you will organize English language classes, arts and crafts classes, and field trips to other parts of Croatia. Those interested in event planning may find this option especially appealing. When you are not teaching at the Youth Center, you will spend your time at the Sunny Village Camp. While the Youth Center option is similar in many respects to the Sunny Village Camp option, it affords volunteers the chance to break up the structure of their day.
Volunteers always cite their experiences in the classroom as the most rewarding component of the program. Volunteers in village stays will be expected to teach for at least three hours a day, five days a week. Most volunteers divide the students into groups according to age and English proficiency, and teach multiple classes. Volunteers are encouraged to consider evening classes for adults interested in learning English as well. You will teach in local community centers or schools. Different villages will have different supplies. The majority will have basic teaching materials, such as whiteboards, markers, and pencils, and some may even have construction paper and a projector. While Learning Enterprises will provide you with teaching ideas, you will have complete freedom in determining how to run your classes.
LE encourages volunteers to teach creatively. If you love to sing, teach your kids the words to your favorite Billy Joel song then have the class write and perform an original rap. If you love to act, hold a drama festival on the last day and invite the entire village. It’s your classroom, your world! The students you will be teaching relish the opportunity to study with a native English speaker. The older students recognize the value in learning an important international language and eagerly ask about English colloquialisms and American culture. For the younger students, simply interacting with a native English speaker helps transform the language from work sheets and verb conjugations into something more real. There is nothing more rewarding than watching your students grow and learn. Even if your students aren’t exactly fluent by the end of the summer you may have ignited their interest in English and helped them to dream bigger about their future.
MEET YOUR PROGRAM DIRECTOR, JENNY!
"Hi everyone! My name is Jenny Lin, and I'm from California. I graduated from the University of California, Irvine in Public Health Sciences and spent 2 years working at a non-profit helping adults with intellectual disabilities. I decided I wanted to give teaching a try, so I applied for LE. Volunteering with LE Croatia was a life-changing experience, and it taught me so much about myself. Now I am teaching English in Barcelona, Spain for the year and can't wait to lead next year's amazing group of volunteers and show them the wonders of Croatia!"
We are so happy to have Jenny's and her expertise on our team and are excited to see where she takes LE Croatia. Interested applicants can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.