Support & Services
Supporting our volunteers is WorldTeach’s priority. We are driven by our belief that when volunteers are healthy, both physically and mentally, and well-trained, they are able to make their greatest impact. Most of our time, energy, and, resources are devoted to ensuring you are supported. The result is exceptional support that begins from the minute you start your application and extends throughout your service and beyond. Our dedication to support and our 25+ years of experience makes us a leader in the field.
SUPPORT & SERVICES
Admissions Guidance. When you start our application online, you’ll be connected to our Director of Admissions who will guide you through the process. She’ll be able to answer all of your questions or direct you to someone who can. You’ll work with her to submit all of the required admissions pieces until your application is complete. Though the application is online, you’ll benefit from the personalization of having someone know just where you are in the process and available to give you more details or answer questions about our programs.
A Dedicated Program Director. Accepted applicants will coordinate with the Program Director for their respective country in order to prepare for service abroad. Program Directors will provide pertinent information so that applicants can make their final decision about serving with WorldTeach. Once applicants have confirmed that decision, Program Directors continue to provide information and answer questions to ensure all paperwork and preparations are taken care of before the start of the program.
Exclusive Country-Specific Literature. There are many things to become familiar with about your host country and WorldTeach’s work there, before you depart. To this end, we have created exclusive literature for each country. This is exhaustively updated on an annual basis and includes information culled over the years from WorldTeach’s experience, as well as photos and anecdotes and quotes from previous volunteers. The educational system, cultural idiosyncrasies, housing conditions, and history of WorldTeach are just some of the topics contained within this literature.
Visa and Work Permits. Attaining the necessary visa and work permits for the country where you will be teaching can be a frustrating and confusing task to take on solo. WorldTeach’s US and in-country staff will remove as much of this burden as possible. We sponsor all required visa and work permits for you and take care of the bureaucratic red tape. You’ll likely have to provide certain documentation in order to apply for the visa or work permit but we will let you know those specifics.
Group Cohort. Since each of our programs has just one start date, you are always part of a cohort that will start and end service together. About six weeks before departure, the group will be connected via a list-serv. As the introductions begin, you’ll start to get to know your fellow volunteers and these connections will serve as support throughout the rest of your service and even afterwards! Having others go through training with you and experiencing similar emotions and happenings throughout their teaching provides an instant network of people to relate to and share triumphs and tribulations.
Health Insurance. WorldTeach provides each volunteer with health and emergency evacuation insurance. We also facilitate between our insurance and health care providers if circumstances warrant to ensure you are receiving the care that you need in the event that you become sick or injured.
Housing. Showing up in a new country and needing to look for housing can be exhausting and downright difficult. Where do you begin? Fortunately, as a WorldTeach volunteer, you won’t need to worry about this. Through the support of our in-country partners, we provide housing. Housing ranges from host families to apartments to teacher housing on school campus. Each housing situation is visited and vetted by our in-country staff who evaluates it on its safety and appropriateness. Some of the host families we use had received volunteers for many years and are seasoned experts in welcoming you to their home and culture.
Monthly Stipend. As a yearlong or semester volunteer, you will receive a modest monthly stipend. The amount varies by country and placement but it sufficient to cover your basic needs. Every couple of years we conduct a cost of living evaluation to ensure that the stipend amount is fair and adequate.
Safety Measures. Living in a foreign country affords many new and unique situations that given your unfamiliarity with, could pose potential safety risks. Also, as a foreigner, you are likely to stand out in a crowd, which could increase the likelihood of becoming a target for crimes. To safeguard our volunteers, we implemented a variety of measures. During Orientation we provide health & safety training. We’ve also developed an Emergency Response Protocol, Emergency Action Plan, and phone tree for each country in order to prepare for and know how to react to a variety of situations.
Weekly Check-Ins. Once a week, you will check in with your field staff. This may be by phone, email, HAM radio, or an in-person meetup. These check-ins provide the opportunity to discuss any issues you may be having with your Field Director and to work together to make a plan to resolve them.
24/7 Field Staff. In addition to weekly check-ins, Field Staff are available at all times for emergency support. During the week days they will be working to manage the program in the country, liaising with our partner, planning and executing training conferences, communicating with US staff, and making sure your experience is positive and effective. They provide valued insight into the culture and educational system and often liaise between school principals, landlords, and others. Additionally, if something serious happens outside of normal working hours, they are they to support you.
Training Conferences. Each program begins with comprehensive training that takes place in-country. Training covers topics such as teaching pedagogy, local and country culture, language, and health & safety. This will be bolstered throughout the year with a mid-service conference and an end of service conference.
Teacher Quality Program and Coordinator. Teaching is a challenging job even for the most seasoned of professionals. Add the uncertainties of a foreign language and culture and you have a mix of factors that could leave you feeling frustrated and inadequate. Knowing these possibilities, WorldTeach has developed our own professional development program called the “Teacher Quality Program.” Our goal with the program is to provide a space for on-going professional development to reflect and improve your practice, and resources to invigorate your classes. Through professional learning communities volunteers will brainstorm around lesson plans, assessments, and teaching best practices. Teachers will work with other volunteers and/or local teachers to overcome teaching ruts, celebrate teaching victories, and walk away with a strong foundation in educational practice & theory. Teachers will also have access to remote Teacher Quality Coordinators to e-mail questions around their classroom needs.
TEFL Option. In all programs, you will also be eligible to enroll in WorldTeach’s Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certification. Learn more here.
Teaching Materials. Each volunteer will receive the WorldTeach teaching English as a Foreign Language manual to assist with classroom activities around the English language. In many cases we have copies of the nationally established curriculum and have created resources to go along with that curriculum.
Site Visit. Your Field Director will visit you at your school at least one time during your service excluding extreme and remote locations. They will sit in, observe your classes, and give you feedback. This is our chance to see that everything is going well in school and at home and if it’s not, to make a plan with you to correct it.
Letter of Recommendation. As with any professional position, you can earn a Letter of Recommendation written by your direct supervisor, the WorldTeach field staff, based on your commitment and professional conduct throughout the program. You are free to use this letter when applying for jobs, graduate programs, or other opportunities.
WorldTeach Network of Alumni. At the end of service you will be joining a network of over 7000 individuals who have served with WorldTeach. With opportunities to connect with alumni via a LinkedIn Alumni group and Facebook Alumni groups, you’ll have the chance to network, see what other alumni are doing, and share your experiences.
Monthly Newsletters. Each month you’ll receive updates from WorldTeach in the form of a newsletter. We find that alumni enjoy keeping up to date about happenings in the field and we also like to spotlight alumni who are doing interesting things.
Monthly Job Bulletin. To ease your readjustment back home, we compile and publish a monthly job bulletin, the WorkIt! It is distributed to you each month via the monthly newsletter.