How it works
You’ll travel to your chosen country with other members of your cohort, where you are met by an EF Service Learning Field Director who remains with you throughout the module. You’ll engage in three types of service learning: guided tours to the country’s historic and cultural sights; educational visits to social enterprises that preserve the environment, support sustainable local economies, or promote responsible ecotourism; and hands-on work at established service projects. Service learning is complemented by relaxing group activities and excursions, and time to reflect on your contributions.
What you’ll do
Typically, gap year students participate in three service projects during their six-week stay. (Gap semester students are more likely to participate in two service projects over 4 weeks.) The projects are most often ongoing initiatives organized and managed by respected local NGOs or nonprofits, where the hands-on assistance you provide has a direct positive impact on the local community. How you spend your day depends entirely on local need. You might find yourself teaching conversational English to young children. You might help farmers reclaim eroded soil by digging irrigation ditches or grow sustainable crops. You might help preserve the natural environment by planting mangroves, caring for elephants, rescuing sea turtles, or tracking endangered wild game.
How you’ll live
When you’re touring around the country, you stay in shared rooms at hotels and hostels that are typical of the region. Your meals while traveling usually include breakfast and one dinner in each city. When you are on a service project, you typically stay in simple but comfortable residence halls, and all of your meals are included.
At the completion of this module, you receive an EF Certificate of Volunteer Service, chronicling the work you’ve done, the hours you’ve served, and the impact you’ve made.
How your service learning will make a difference
Empower communities to improve their quality of life, preserve the local environment, and prosper in sustainable ways. Initiatives might include construction of communal spaces such as gardens or libraries, awareness of best practices around health, and fostering economic development.
Education and empowerment
Promote equal access to quality education by enhancing educational outcomes, ensuring productive educational spaces, and increasing awareness of social inequality. Initiatives include mentoring local youth, encouraging collaboration through sports and the arts, and assisting teachers with conversational English classes.
Address the importance of environmental conservation and restoration to the livelihood and health of a community for current and future generations. Initiatives might include reforesting land, saving endangered species of flora and fauna, or promoting awareness through eco-tourism in national parks.
Where will you make an impact?
The dynamic geographic and cultural landscape of this Caribbean island is the perfect setting to volunteer for environmental and social grassroots efforts.
Join our local partners in a mission to alleviate poverty, build up infrastructure, and educate the next generation of Peruvians.
Help preserve one of the world’s great rainforests by promoting eco-tourism and saving endangered species of flora and fauna.
Advocate for youth and indigenous rights through education and entrepreneurial programs. Alternatively, support wildlife protection and habitat restoration. (Additional fees apply.)
Work with local community members on projects that address social development, ecological sustainability, and local infrastructure. (Additional fees apply.)
Which location is right for you?
|CHALLENGE LEVEL||IDEAL FOR...||SERVICE LEARNING FOCUS||ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS
|DOMINICAN REPUBLIC||Moderate||Sun worshippers||Education
Rebuilding coral reefs
Sun, surf and beach
|COSTA RICA||Moderate||Nature lovers||Environmentalism
After-school English teaching
Cooking classes, community-building
Turtle conservation in Zanzibar
Sacred Valley, building greenhouses
Quechua family homestay
|To meet the service needs of local communities, all activities and excursions are subject to change without notice. Note that visa fees and passport fees are the responsibility of the participant. For some locations this can cost up to $200.|