Global Learning School Enrichment Programs:
Leading, Learning, and Breaking Barriers

NIC_143What do volunteers do in GL’s flagship School Enrichment Programs: Leading, Learning, and Breaking Barriers?

  • Team-teach subjects that are otherwise unavailable because of limited resources – such as art, music, environmental education, foreign language, science, human rights, multicultural studies, and geography – in underserved elementary and high schools.
  • Enrich what students are currently learning in school by teaching with techniques that are student-centered and interactive.
  • Serve as empowering role models from children’s local and international communities.
  • Live, work, and learn with diverse international peers.

How are the School Enrichment Programs: Leading, Learning, and Breaking Barriers programs set up?

  1. Teams of young international leaders – at least 50% from the local community and the other portion from the larger international community – live, work, learn cooperatively, and break down barriers of socio-economic class, nationality, culture, gender, race, and age.
  2. Volunteers receive teacher training based on global best practices and GL’s student-centered pedagogy.
  3. Volunteers teach GL lessons to students in underserved public schools.
  • GL volunteers team-teach. There are about ten volunteers in a classroom at a time and volunteers work with children in small groups.
  • Average volunteer to student ratio in GL classrooms is one to four.
  • GL lesson topics include: art, music, environmental education, global cultures, math, human rights, science, and other subjects requested by teachers.
  • Volunteer teams participating in GL’s school-based programs in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica receive special permission from school staff to teach students in their classrooms during school hours.  In Mexico, GL volunteers collaborate with schools and offer a summer program for children on school campuses.
  • GL volunteers teach and learn with students in Kindergarten through high school, though most work is done with children in elementary school.

Who are the volunteers working on GL’s School Enrichment Programs: Leading, Learning, and Breaking Barriers?

  • GL volunteers are young international leaders.
  • At least 50% of GL volunteers are from the programs’ host communities in Nicaragua, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Honduras.  These volunteers use their local expertise to guide GL programs in their own countries and many also work as foreign volunteers in GL programs in other Latin American communities.
  • Other Global Learning volunteers are from the broader international community including countries such as Peru, Malaysia, Iran, the United States, Romania, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Belarus, Japan, Montenegro, Ecuador, India, and Germany.
  • Global Learning is dedicated to providing opportunities for qualified volunteers from communities traditionally under-represented in international development.
  • More than 70% of 2009 volunteers are people of color.
  • Most GL volunteers are talented undergraduate college students, but there are also opportunities for teachers, graduate students, and other adults who want to contribute.
  • GL volunteers are path-setters.  Many GL volunteers are the first people in their families to attend a university.
  • GL volunteers are diverse in age, religion, race, gender, nationality, culture and socio-economic background.
  • All GL volunteers are hardworking, humble, responsible, and dedicated to global justice.

How do GL school enrichment programs help schoolchildren in underserved communities?

  • GL brings diverse international leaders together to collaborate, learn, and serve as role models for children.
  • Students learn how to think, make decisions, and be active world citizens in GL classes.
  • Most GL volunteers are university students and many are the first individuals in their family to pursue higher education.  The example and encouragement these GL path-setters offer children in communities with low educational attainment are invaluable.
  • GL volunteers provide students learning materials (i.e. art supplies and visual aides) and teach subjects not usually available in the underserved schools in which volunteers work.
  • GL student-centered curricula take into account students’ context, learning needs, and interests.
  • GL lessons are hands-on and minds-on.
  • GL programs make school fun and inspiring.
  • GL lesson topics come directly from teachers who know best about their students’ needs.
  • Unlike traditional lesson planning, GL lesson planning employs up-to-date educational research and is based on learning cycles and student-centered education.
  • During programs, GL volunteers model drug- and alcohol-free lifestyles.
  • GL volunteers encourage students to dream and realize their potential.
  • GL programs help students build life skills, broaden their world-view, develop a sense of agency, and improve their self-esteem.

How do volunteers benefit from working with Global Learning?

  • GL offers unusual responsibility and unique learning experiences to its volunteers, who are primarily undergraduate and graduate school students.
  • In GL’s School Enrichment Programs: Learning, Leading, and Breaking Barriers volunteers receive:
    • Teacher training based on global best practices and GL’s student-centered pedagogy
    • Curriculum design workshops
    • Teaching practice
      • Permission (through GL’s partnership with municipal governments) to teach in public schools in Latin America without a degree
      • At least 80 hours of in-classroom teaching practice in every program
      • Innovative teacher-to-teacher feedback system
      • Nonprofit/NGO work experience
        • Scaffolded roles in accounting, program planning, fundraising, publicity, and community organizing
        • Unique international experience
        • Intensive language immersion and multicultural experience
        • Leadership opportunities and training
        • Access to the Global Learning network of international colleagues and friends
        • Free housing, meals, school materials, ground transportation, and local fieldtrips during programs
        • Opportunities to develop patience, creativity, empathy, tolerance, and flexibility
        • A chance to contribute significantly to one’s local and global communities, while growing as a human being

Global Learning’s low cost is unique for volunteers.

  • Global Learning works hard to keep the costs of our programs as low as possible so that participation is open to people from diverse financial backgrounds.  Volunteers from the U.S. and Europe have two financial responsibilities for GL’s School Enrichment Programs: Leading, Learning, and Breaking Barriers.
  • Each U.S. and European volunteer is responsible for paying or fundraising at least $600 to donate to the organization.
  • Volunteers from Europe and the U.S. are also responsible for booking and paying for their airfare to the program site. Airplane tickets from the U.S. to Latin American program destinations generally cost between $400 and $700.  Tickets from Europe vary greatly, but are usually between 700 Euro and 900 Euro.  Volunteers from the U.S. and Europe are also responsible for any airport taxes, passport and visa fees, and other costs related to getting to the program site.
  • Once the team meets up, volunteers have no other financial responsibilities except for any souvenirs or activities outside of the scheduled program.  Global Learning covers all food, housing, school material expenses, ground transportation, and group activity fees for all volunteers (local and foreign) during the programs.

Global Learning provides extraordinary opportunities for people ready for extraordinary responsibility.

Global Learning volunteers are role models for thousands of children and receive special privileges from the communities in which they work.  The investment that Global Learning and its community partners devote to each individual volunteer is high.  Most of the extraordinary opportunities Global Learning offers to its volunteers are dependent on the positive relationship that the organization has with the communities in which it works.  It is crucial for people working with Global Learning to represent the values and professionalism of the organization and respect the cultural norms of the host communities at all times.  Global Learning volunteers are expected to be exceptionally mature and willing to make personal sacrifices for the good of their GL teams and the work they do.

  • Global Learning volunteers are expected to remain drug- and alcohol-free for the duration of programs.  In other words, GL volunteers do not purchase or consume drugs or alcohol, nor do they have the intention to do so during programs.
  • GL volunteers are expected to maintain strictly platonic relationships with their coworkers and community partners during Global Learning programs.
  • Volunteers are expected to follow curfew rules established in consideration of local community norms.
  • If at any point a GL volunteer’s conduct or attitude does not reflect the respectful and professional spirit of Global Learning, he or she can be dismissed from the program on which they are working.  If volunteers are dismissed, they are no longer offered housing, food, ground transportation, or other benefits given to volunteers by Global Learning.