Mongolia PY23 canceled
Unfortunately due to staffing shortages, we have decided to cancel our Mongolia program for summer 2023. Keep an eye out next year, as we hope to bring it back in 2024.
Program Dates: June 1st – July 3rd
- Location: Darkhan City, Darkhan-Uul province, Mongolia
- Language Requirement: None, local teaching assistants are provided for classroom aid and Mongolia-English translation
- Setting: Mix of urban and rural environments (industrial town mainly)
- Duration: 4 weeks
- Volunteers: 5 – 10
- Living Conditions: Basic
Volunteers will fly into Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and arrive by the evening, where they will meet their fellow team members along with the Program Director and stay in a local Mongolian hostel for a welcome dinner in the country’s capital.
The following two days, volunteers will begin orientation in Ulaanbaatar, locating needed classroom supplies together and exploring the region to sightsee. Orientation is used to help familiarize volunteers with Mongolian education system, how to create lesson plans, and will allow the volunteers an opportunity to get to know each other.
Volunteers travel to Darkhan City from the early-afternoon to evening time. Here, the volunteers will meet their individual host families and have a traditional Mongolian dinner in their host home! The fourth day of the program, volunteers will meet their teaching assistants and visit the School of Technology classrooms with the Country Coordinator. This is where volunteers will teach English to local Mongolians, primarily 5th to 8th graders, for the duration of the month. The rest of the day will be left for volunteers to lesson plan and get to know their host families.
The Mid-Point break will be in the middle of the program (about 2 weeks in) and will be located in Darkhan-Uul. A finalized schedule will be created once volunteers are hired. Closing session will be held once all teaching is complete (4 weeks). Here volunteers will reflect on their recent experience and we will go over ways the program can be improved and how they can continue giving back to the host community or bring LE’s ideas into other work. At closing ceremony, volunteers sign and present to the TA’s who they worked with over the summer LE Mongolia 2023 certificates for their contributions to this year’s program. Once the team arrives back in Ulaanbaatar, volunteers may then leave for home or travel with other volunteers.
The Ideal Volunteer:
In Mongolia, volunteers will all live in Darkhan City, Darkhan-Uul province. Students will range in age from elementary school to high school as well as have a varied level of English. Volunteers will live with their university teaching assistant, and travel to and from school alongside their teaching assistant.
Ulaanbaatar, where volunteers fly into during orientation and out of as closing session concludes, is a rapidly developing city in a developing country; therefore, volunteers should not be surprised to find a variety of ‘western’ as well as Mongolian options for food, shopping, movie theaters, etc. Lifestyles may also be different than what volunteers are used to and should be prepared to deal with some challenges.
Darkhan City is an industrial region; 82% of the population are in the Darkhan-Uul airmag/province live in the city versus 18% rural living. Darkhan City was a large manufacturing site, heavily funded by Soviet Union for this purpose in 1961 on the Trans- Mongolian Railroad. Its industrial base collapsed in early 1990’s, and today it remains an industrial city – containing a large steel mill, textile production, and many educational centers such as universities and high schools. This province held the first provincial City Hall in Mongolia’s history in April 2010. Darkhan City is the third-largest city in Mongolia, the second largest educational center (behind UB), and overall, has a high education level in the city.
Volunteers are encouraged to see all that the city has to offer and to spend time with host families. All volunteers will be living in close proximity to each other within Darkhan City and are encouraged to work together. It is also a great idea go on the excursions your host family may take you on and to explore the city with host siblings.
LE volunteers will teach at the School of Technology in Darkhan City. The School of Technology is a public school, a branch of the Mongolian University of Science and Technology (est 1991), wherein 120 students in 8th-12th grade study mostly on STEM, and 1,000 students total are at the university and high school combined.
At the School of Technology LE Volunteers will be collectively working with approximately to 200-400 students; students of all ages are invited openly from around the region to join the LE summer program during their summer break, not just those who normally attend the School of Technology. During their stay in Mongolia, volunteers will begin their lessons as the school year ends. Volunteers will teach classes of about 20-30 students in secondary school alongside their teaching partner with a varying (low-to-high) level of English instruction assistance. Volunteers will teach two English classes a day.Volunteers will also be asked to conduct an after school activity specific to their own set of skills. These after school activities will be held 2-3 times a week for approximately one to two hours after school. Volunteers may work to teach a variety of subjects from art to physics to computer programming to another language. This year, the program is open to volunteers with a special interest in the following fields to provide additional educational services to participation LE community members in the Darkhan City region: i.) Adult ESL Education Specialist (particularly in subjects of world geagraphy & cultures, nutrition, and English conversation, and ii.) Physical World Education Specialist (science, food, geography, and international jobs information in the 21st century) for secondary school students.
The original founding of LE’s Mongolia program was very much fate. A former board member and founding father of LE, Niko Canner, was in Mongolia in 2012 at the World Economic Forum. There, he met Enky Zurgaanjin (LE Mongolia’s Country Coordinator from 2012- 2017). Niko pitched the idea of LE Mongolia to Enky, who responded enthusiastically. State-side, PY12’s Managing Director, Nhaca Le, developed a personal passion for all things Mongolian. When she heard at LE’s annual Board Retreat the potential for a pilot program in Mongolian, she jumped at the chance. In 2017, PD Rose Trafford (LE China 2011 volunteer), led a team of 6 volunteers to teach English in the capital of Ulaanbaatar for the sixth consecutive year of LE’s Mongolia program.
For 2019, the LE Executive board decided that the Mongolia program, after years of wonderful work by hardworking volunteers and staff in Mongolia’s capital, would do well with a re-pilot to reach out to communities outside of its previous regions of service.
As such, LE Mongolia began a new pilot year in Summer 2019! Prior volunteers Alina Saif (China PY17, Mongolia Ant-PD 2019) and Olivia Wong (Mongolia PY17, Mongolia PD 2019, Mongolia PD 2020) teamed up to structure a new program which leads volunteers a Trans-Mongolian railway ride away from urban capital of Mongolia to the industrial province of Darkhan-Uul. Alina helped build a supportive network of individuals in-country for LE to communicate within 2017, and decided to take the role of LE Mongolia’s Ant-PD!
The detail work to the new Mongolia PY19 program was aided by Olivia’s previous experience with nonprofit work in Mongolia’s capital as an English teacher in 2017, and other involvement with international service projects in years prior. In 2021, Olivia directed an online program that had volunteers teach 120 students through zoom as well as asynchronous lessons. Cameron, an online volunteer in 2021, continued the virtual experience in Mongolia, where he will built upon the connections created by his predecessors to continue the legacy of LE in Darkhan City.
Some Awesome things about Mongolia!
meet your program director, Cameron!
Cameron is a junior at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where he studies International Affairs and Geography. He is originally from the smallest state in the United States: Rhode Island. He was an online volunteer for Mongolia during the summer of 2021. While the program was online instead of in person, he gained vital teaching experience and connections. In the spring of 2022 he plans on studying abroad in Germany, but cannot wait to go abroad to Mongolia in the summer! He loves learning languages and on top of Chinese, Spanish, and German, he hopes to learn a lot of Mongolian this summer.
Interested applicants can contact Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org.