Expanding Horizons through
Learning Enterprises connects volunteer teachers and host communities around the world in order to foster cross-cultural exchange and empower young leaders.
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News & Updates
Our Programs Applications are Closed
Thank you to everyone who applied to be part of the LE team this year! Our programs are generally competitive and there was a lot of interest this year! Congratulations to all who made it through the process and are preparing for their summer trips! Applications for next year will be opening October 2023.
LE is successfully running 5 programs Summer 2023
LE has had great success is reintroducing our programs since going virtual for 2 years in a row! This year we are able to send volunteers to the 5 following countries: Poland, Croatia, Panama, Brazil, and Mauritius. Next program year, we hope to bring back some of our other long standing programs: Mongolia, Thailand, Romania, and Hungary.
Did you know LE charges so program fees for volunteers to participate? We always aim to make our programs accessible! Consider donating to LE so that we can continue our programs and expand our scholarship fund, so we can expand our access to global volunteering!
LEARNING ENTERPRISES IS LOOKING FORWARD TO PY23 AND EXCITED FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO RETURN TO OUR PROGRAM COMMUNITIES.
At this time, despite ongoing distributions of COVID-19 vaccines globally and international conflicts, LE is optimistic that we will be able to return in-person to many of our host communities in Summer 2023. However, LE will also be prepared for the possibility that some programs may occur virtually or not at all, should developments in the coming year warrant such program-specific decisions. As always, we will prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of our volunteers and the communities we operate in. Further, we recognize that there are varying degrees to which COVID-19 is affecting countries and communities around the world.
As such, LE will follow guidance from the State Department, the national governments of our host communities, CDC, WHO, and other health advisory institutions in planning for travel and the possibility of in-person programs. In doing so, LE will monitor a number of factors to determine on a country-by-country basis whether in-person programming is feasible, and, if not, whether virtual programming or alternative programming options are appropriate.
Factors that determine whether programming will be in-person or virtual:
- Host community and volunteer interest in having in-person, virtual, or other programming
- National and local statistics for host communities detailing vaccination rates and COVID case rates
- The state/availability of medical services in host communities
- Entry/Travel requirements applicable to volunteers
- Citizenship or other entry/visa eligibility requirements
- Limitations on recognized vaccines
- Medical testing or quarantine requirements (including associated time and costs)
- Permissibility of in-person group gatherings
- Operating status of schools in host communities.
Why choose Learning Enterprises?
WE’RE IN THE BUSINESS OF CONNECTING PEOPLE
Learning Enterprises is an entirely student-run 501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit organization that began as a way of connecting people who had the expertise to share and time to spare. Volunteers, most of whom were college students, had their summers free and wanted to spend it in a meaningful way. The students in underserved communities -- many of them rural villages in developing countries -- also had their summers free, and these communities had a felt need for extra English language classes. To create a mutually beneficial program, someone just needed to connect the two parties, and that is what Learning Enterprises does every summer.
The volunteers travel to the underserved community, and the local communities take them into their families, providing meals, room and board for an average of six weeks. In exchange, the volunteers teach English in local schools for an average of 20 hours/week. The program operates on the goodwill and trust between the volunteers and the people they teach. Learning Enterprises facilitates this meeting by screening host communities and families as well as preparing the volunteers to teach and become acclimated to a different culture. Learning Enterprises is centered on the idea of connecting people.
YOU CONTROL YOUR EXPERIENCE
In the classroom, you have control. We give you the tools to teach, but you are responsible for developing a curriculum that best suits your class. Our goal is to increase communication, and you decide on the best method to do that. You are encouraged to bring your flair and skills to teaching. If you want to write songs for your students to sing, do it! If you have a knack for art and want to incorporate it into your lessons, you’re free to do so.
While you do have a set work schedule, your free time is yours. However, we encourage all volunteers to spend as much time as possible with their host families, students, and communities, as it often provides the most meaningful experiences for everyone.
THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR PROGRAM PARTICIPATION.
Unlike many other service organizations, who charge volunteers hundreds - even thousands - of dollars to participate in their program, LE relies on a modest application fee and the generosity of donors and alumni who share our vision that students should not have to pay to volunteer. Teaching English with LE is based on our volunteers' commitment and hard work, not their ability to pay a program fee.
WE ARE STAFFED BY VOLUNTEERS
Everyone who works for Learning Enterprises is a volunteer, whether they are the ones teaching English or the ones planning the LE programs. We continue to exist because volunteers who believe in the mission of LE spend their time and enthusiasm supporting what we do. We have been having a great time teaching, traveling, and meeting new people since 1992, and we don’t expect this to change anytime soon!
WE KEEP IT FUN
Teaching with Learning Enterprises is many things. “Interesting,” “educational,” “fulfilling,” and “eye-opening” are all words that Learning Enterprises alumni have used to describe their experience. However, we don’t want to gloss over one simple fact: teaching with Learning Enterprises is tons of fun!
Orientation offers volunteers the chance to bond with one another before setting out for their villages. Days in the village are filled with games with the children, local celebrations, and sightseeing. Some programs also include a midpoint break, where volunteers meet for a weekend in the middle of their teaching assignment. Many also choose to travel together after the program ends.
WE KEEP IT SIMPLE
As Learning Enterprises expands, we try to keep things simple and not lose sight of our core values. We exist to promote the ideals of our mission statement, not to promote ourselves. Learning Enterprises started as a way of connecting people who had skills to offer with those who needed them. We run a minimal yet efficient operation. Our model for operating has served us well since its inception, and it should continue to function for many more years to come.
Learning Enterprises is guided by the 5 following principles:
1. Fostering Creativity
In many of the countries where Learning Enterprises programs operate, the predominant method of learning a new language is still rote memorization. Our programs provide an opportunity for students to express their creativity in a dynamic learning environment. Volunteers create, plan and execute their curriculum and lesson plans and have essentially complete freedom in running their classrooms. Learning happens through creative problem solving and improvisation, for both the teacher and the students.
2. Expanding Horizons
Bilingualism is an essential part of modern global citizenship, and an affinity for learning new languages is a positive in any setting. English has become the primary language for business and travel throughout much of the world, and having a well-educated population with proficiency in multiple languages strengthens a country's economy, opens new markets and solidifies its position as a truly international player on a global stage.
3. PROMOTING UNDERSTANDING
Everyday technology makes our world a little smaller. Cross-cultural encounters are daily occurrences, and with them comes the risk of misunderstanding. Our volunteers and hosts live together, eat together, and learn to acknowledge - as well as respect - their differences and commonalities. The mutually respectful and engaged relationship between our volunteers and our host communities reinforces the enrichment and harmony in diversity. LE nurtures empathy in a world that needs it.
4. SPREADING THE SPIRIT OF VOLUNTEERISM
Our volunteers give their time, experience and enthusiasm to a community desiring their skills. Host communities welcome volunteers into their homes and give them the invaluable opportunity to authentically and thoroughly experience a new culture. All parties involved give to promote learning enterprises and the multiculturalism and reciprocity it stands for.
5. PROVIDING REWARDING WORK EXPERIENCE
At Learning Enterprises, young adults have the opportunity to take on significant responsibilities that positively impact the lives of people around the world. Volunteers are not only teachers but leaders in their host communities. They develop skills such as leadership, adaptability, and resourcefulness. From volunteers to the executive team, the entire staff of Learning Enterprises is comprised of college students or recent graduates. Learning Enterprises encourages volunteers to stay involved after volunteering by serving as a staff member, whether it be a campus director, program director, executive, or board member.
Meet Our Team
Learning Enterprises is staffed entirely by volunteers. All of our staff were once Learning Enterprises volunteers themselves and all believe in our mission of expanding horizons through access to the English language as a means of communication.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is a crew of dedicated professionals and LE alumni who provide general support and direction to the Executive Staff. They assist in reaching the overarching goals of the organization and offer guidance.
Campus Directors are previous volunteers who bring Learning Enterprises' mission back to their college campuses. They focus on recruiting volunteers for the next program year and fundraising.
The Executive Directors comprise a three-person team that works tirelessly to make the LE world go ’round. They lead a team of nearly 300 staff and volunteers, coordinating their efforts in recruiting, training, programming, and daily operations.
The Country Coordinators are Learning Enterprises' in-country leaders who make our programs possible. As respected leaders within their communities, they are responsible for all program organization on the ground in each of our 9 countries.
Program Directors spend their summers by leading our programs in-country. All Program Directors are previous volunteers of their programs and provide logistical, cultural and training support to our new groups of volunteers.
Our specialty staff are professionals and LE alumni who work with the Executive Directors to providing pedagogy training, fundraising aide, and branding/marketing assistance.
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