CROATIA

Applications for Croatia PY22 are closed!

Program Dates: June 23 - August 6

Orientation

June 23 - 24

Split, Croatia

Midpoint Break

July 9 - 10

Zagreb, Croatia

Closing Ceremony

July 24 - 25

Hvar & Brac

Quick Facts

  • Location: Koprivnica-Krizevci county region (inland), Zadar county region (coastal), Tuzla (urban)
  • Language Requirement: None
  • Setting: Rural and small town
  • Duration: 4 weeks
  • Volunteers: 8-10
  • Living Conditions: Modern

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

The program will kick off with a two-day orientation in Split, the largest city on the Croatian coast of Dalmatia. During orientation volunteers will be introduced to the vibrancy of Eastern European culture and discuss teaching strategies with the Program Director and other volunteers. While the purpose of orientation remains ensuring that volunteers familiarize themselves with the most effective and appropriate teaching practices, there is ample time built in to explore this incredible city. Some highlights of orientation in Split include exploring ancient ruins like Diocletian's Palace (a UN World Heritage site), relaxing on the beautiful beaches, and taking a trip to the Krka National Park.

After orientation, volunteers will depart to their teaching location, where they will teach for two weeks. After two weeks, the group will be reconvening for quick weekend trip In Zagreb, volunteers will walk through the historic city and view the gorgeous Plitvice Lakes while undoubtedly planning their return to this unique country. During this midpoint break, volunteers will have the opportunity to swap stories and best teaching practices with each other and indulge in some R and R, while preparing for the next half of the adventure.

After the midpoint break, volunteers will switch teaching locations and stay there for two weeks, until the closing session in Hvar and Brac, Croatia’s beautiful and historic islands. Activities will include exploring the beaches, as well as wandering through the old city square. Midpoint break provides volunteers with the chance to reconnect and is sure to be a memorable experience. Closing is a critical moment for reflection on the challenges and successes of past 7 weeks, LE’s mission, and the personal growth each volunteer is sure to experience in their own capacity. It is an opportunity to once again, bond with the other volunteers, some of whom will travel with after the program and many of whom will become lifelong friends. 

The Ideal Volunteer:

  • Flexible: Volunteers are comfortable with the potential of adjustment, whether it be in regards to people, places, customs, or resources. Flexibility entails the ability to make the most of what is provided and do so with a positive attitude.
  • Open-minded: Volunteers understand and recognize cultural differences and similarities, and create an encouraging and accommodating and cultural exchange to take place. 
  • Aware: Volunteers thoughtfully acknowledge students' difficulties and perspectives and demonstrate a keen and genuine desire to respond to the communities' requests in a respectful manner.
  • Energetic and Patient: Volunteers must be able to create a classroom that is fun and entertaining by incorporating games and hands-on activities in a creative yet productive manner. It is summer after all! Croatian students are high energy. Effective volunteers must not tire easily.
  • Responsible: Volunteers also maintain clear communication with the PD, potential co-volunteer, and host families. The program starts from the moment of acceptance. 
  • Host Community

    Village Stays: Volunteers living in Croatian villages will either live in an apartment or hotel. Either way, it will be one of the most defining and gratifying experiences you will have during the Croatia program. Volunteers will be located on the Seaside by the village Biograd. Village stays vary greatly in style, amount of free time, and local activities. What these experiences share, though, is that certain Eastern European charm. It is the best way to experience authentic Eastern Europe culture on a deeper level than any tourist. Volunteers are encourage to explore the local sites with other volunteers placed seaside. All village stays will abound in liveliness and, of course, food. You will find it difficult to say goodbye after three weeks.

    Sunny Village Camp/ Hello Club: 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. The Hello Club: The club 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 Hello Club option is similar in many respects to the Sunny Village Camp option, it affords volunteers the chance to plan their engagement with the community more.

    Teaching

    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 about four-five hours a day, five days a week. Most students are divided by age group, thus volunteers teach multiple classes per day. Number of students varies by season and age group, but will rarely exceed 20. Your teaching locations will be local, and may include schools, a language club, a city hall, a theater, a community center. The majority of placements will have basic teaching materials such as whiteboards, markers, and pencils, and some may even have construction paper and a laptop and projector. While Learning Enterprises will provide you with teaching ideas, you will have complete freedom in determining how to run your classes and the curriculum you prioritize.

    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 language, and have helped them to dream big about their futures.

    Some Awesome things about Croatia!

  • Croatian inventions include the necktie, parachute, pay-by-phone parking, and more.
  • The lucky people of Croatia enjoy 2,715 hours of sunshine a year!
  • Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again was filmed on Vis, a small island in Croatia. Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and some episodes of Game of Thrones were also filmed in Croatia.
  • Croatia has over 1000 islands (one of which is even heart-shaped!), national parks, and waterfalls for all nature-lovers. 
  • Croatia is one of LE's oldest programs (formerly Croatia-Romania)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina has the tenth highest coffee consumption per capita in the world. The world famous Turkish coffee in Sarajevo is a must try!
  • Bosnia is the only majority Muslim country in Europe.
  • Now one of the largest film festivals in Europe, the Sarajevo Film Festival draws more than 100,000 visitors per year and was established in 1995 after the end of the war.
  • Bosnia has three official languages: Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian, and the presidents, one from each ethnic group.
  • Bosnia has a rainforest! Sutjeska National Park's Perucica in the eastern part of the country has a total of 170 species of trees and 1000s of different types of plants, along with an abundance of wildlife. 
  • Meet your Program Director, Eve!

    Eve is the current Managing Director. She is entering her third program year with Learning Enterprises, and has contributed to PY20 Romania as a volunteer and PY21 as the Mauritius Program Director/Leiden Campus Director. She has also taken on the additional role of Program Director for the Croatia and Poland programs.

    The last two years have proven to be volatile. Upcoming program year will also have its' own challenges, such as restoring and further establishing LE at university campuses, in addition to maintaining high quality and impactful programming. Nevertheless, with the amazing dream team that Eve has the privilege to work together with, she has full confidence in making this a successful PY22!

    Next to LE, Eve is a graduate student studying towards her Masters in Development Economics at the University of Amsterdam. She is deeply fascinated by the tension between social stratification and social mobility, in addition to thinking and reading about organizational longevity while ensuring sustainable impact.

    Interested applicants can contact Eve at eve@learningenterprises.org.


    Meet your Assistant Program Director, Michelle!

    Michelle Ferguson holds a Bachelor's of Arts in Linguistics and Master's of Science of Education in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She is currently the High School and Post-Secondary Lead Instructor at HIAS Pennsylvania, an organization that provides legal and social services to immigrants, refugees, and asylees. At HIAS PA, Michelle advises English learner and immigrant students on their plans for higher education, and oversees a mentoring program in which students are able to receive weekly support to plan for, apply to, and navigate college. 

    Michelle served as a volunteer in Croatia PY17, where she saw firsthand how English could bring people together and build community. Her experience in Croatia was so impactful that it inspired her decision to get her Master's in TESOL and embark on a career working with English learners. Michelle also served as the Temple University Campus Director for PY 18. She is excited to rejoin LE this year, to reconnect with all of the wonderful people she met in 2017, and to further LE’s mission by serving as the Croatia Assistant Program Director for PY22.

    In her spare time, Michelle loves walking around Philly listening to podcasts, doing yoga, trying new types of crafts, and watching Gilmore Girls on repeat. 

    Interested applicants can contact Michelle at croatia@learningenterprises.org.


    Check out our Addendum and Budget!