Which ILP Programs Are Reopening?

November 10, 2021

Are volunteers abroad right now? Are you taking applications? When are programs opening back up? We have the answers to the questions you’re asking, all in one place. 

So many things have been changing for every one of our ILP countries and we know you’re pretty anxious to hear updates … While there are several things we're waiting on to help us determine when programs will be reopening, we really wanted to find a way to keep you up to speed and let you in on the information that we have week to week. So we put it all in one place, mapped everything out, and are giving you a behind-the-scenes look at it all. 

We have a main page complete with all of our ILP countries mapped out + some FAQs we’re sure you want the answers to. On the map, you can easily click into each country and read more about how things are looking: everything from opening borders, potential flights, visa policies, schools reopening, and what travel could look like. 

We have had volunteers abroad since Fall 2020, after having volunteers come home in the Spring 2020 semester, when the pandemic first hit. No volunteers were sent abroad Summer 2020, but situations in Europe allowed a few programs for the Fall semester. 

Now, we have had volunteers for multiple semesters Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and Central America. Right now we're making updates on our COVID-19 information page about the upcoming semester. You’ll want to keep an eye on that page, which we’re updating weekly. 

We’ve been working so hard behind the scenes to help figure out what life is looking like for our countries around the world and when we can have ILP semesters again  — and we are so excited to share all of this hard work with you. We hope it’ll help answer some major questions and keep you more informed about the countries you already love.

Check it out here.


The Quarantine To Visit Thailand Has Been Lifted

November 15, 2021

Thailand has officially announced that vaccinated visitors from 60+ countries (including the US) will be able to visit without a quarantine. It's a welcomed update, especially since the country first had borders closed completely, then moved to a mandatory quarantine that ranged from from 7-14 days. While ILP has been able to arrange a Sandbox quarantine in the popular vacation spot of Phuket for past groups, this is a happy update that comes in time for ILP volunteers headed to Thailand for the Spring 2022 semester. 

We hope to see more and more tourists visit Thailand to boost the economy, and help the people and country we love so much. Read more here, and on the Thailand page of our Covid-19 website.


Happy Reunions After US Borders Reopen

November 10, 2021 

This week, airports across the country were filled with happy tears and hugs as family and friends separated by the US border restrictions were reunited. The United States recented reopened their borders to vaccinated travelers, after a 20-month ban. 

Now, visitors from more then 30 countries who are fully vaccinated can now visit the US without a quarantine. There were similar happy feelings at the land border between the US and Mexico as well as the Canadian border, which also recently reopened after almost two years of being closed. After almost two years of separation, families and friends could celebrate missed birthdays, weddings, holidays, and other celebrations after being separated. 

Read more here


Happy Reunions After US Borders Reopen

November 10, 2021 

This week, airports across the country were filled with happy tears and hugs as family and friends separated by the US border restrictions were reunited. The United States recented reopened their borders to vaccinated travelers, after a 20-month ban. 

Now, visitors from more then 30 countries who are fully vaccinated can now visit the US without a quarantine. There were similar happy feelings at the land border between the US and Mexico as well as the Canadian border, which also recently reopened after almost two years of being closed. After almost two years of separation, families and friends could celebrate missed birthdays, weddings, holidays, and other celebrations after being separated. 

Read more here


A Fundraiser For The DR

Oct 29, 2021 

In all of our locations, volunteers are making a difference by helping. Whether that's with the orphanage program in Romania or teaching English in all of our other locations, we have volunteers spending an entire semester making a difference and giving back. We love seeing and hearing about the impact you are making with your students, and love even more when we hear about volunteers who like to go above and beyond and look for other ways to help their community. Over the years, we have had groups of volunteers find a local rest home to volunteer at, helped organize beach cleanups or fundraise money to provide health kits for their students. Other groups have sponsored fundraisers to build a new roof for a family in need. 

This semester, one group of ILP volunteers in the Dominican Republic are partnering with doTERRA's Helping Hands Foundation to fundraise a playground for their students. The group is looking for donations which will be matched by doTERRA — the funds will be used to build a playground and park in the lot next to where volunteers are currently teaching, allowing a safe and fun place for their students and other children in the neighborhood can play. We love seeing how our volunteers are motivated to find ways to help outside of the classroom! If you would like to get involved, they are still looking for donations and would love your support

Learn more + donate here.


An Update On Thailand's Quarantine

October 6, 2021  

Thailand is now reducing their quarantine to 7 days for vaccinated travelers—a change from their previously required 14 days. When the country first reopened to tourists, all travelers were required to quarantine for two week. That quarantine length was then shortened when case numbers relaxed, but was again increased back to 14 days after  more recent wave of cases. There are also been further adjustments to travel to Thailand, including a Sandbox program, where travelers can quarantine in destinations like Phuket before traveling all around Thailand. It's been a step forward to creatively opening up a country so dependent on tourism. There are plans to increase the sandbox locations to include popular destinations like Bangkok and Chiang Mai (which is something we are watching closely). There is a lot of talk that the government is hoping to eliminate the quarantine altogether by early 2022, but it’s too early to tell whether that will actually happen. Fingers are crossed Thailand can continue its reopening plans! 

Read more here. As always, you can check up on the status of Thailand in more detail (and all of our other countries) on the ILP Covid-19 webpage


European Countries Open For Vaccinated Travelers

September 21, 2021 

We wanted to jump in for a quick update on some travel policies for one of our favorite parts of the world — Europe. There have been some recent updates regarding entry requirements that have changed since the summer's policies, especially since we have volunteers abroad for the Fall 2021 semester. Over the summer, most European countries opened up for US travelers, but there are now shifting policies depending on where you want to visit. 

Many countries are now requiring a negative Covid-19 test previous to arrival, plus a quarantine for some. However, for the majority of countries, you can bypass these requirements if you're fully vaccinated, which gives you a lot of travel options. Policies depend on individual countries which are always changing (get a full list of European countries and their current policies) but we're seeing quite a lot of options. Favorites like France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Poland (plus others) are all open to US travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated, while others are closed for non-essential travel, or require a negative test in addition to being fully vaccinated. 

Our Romania volunteers are currently prepping for a European getaway across a handful of favorite countries, same with our groups in Ukraine — starting with the Fall 2021 semester, volunteers for both of these locations are required to be fully vaccinated for a number of reasons, but will be a helpful boost to planning vacations. We're excited to see where they'll end up traveling to!   

As always, you can take a peek at individual  ILP country requirements and other factors we are watching on our Covid-19 webpage.


A Highlight From Romania!

September 14, 2021 

If you haven't heard, we have volunteers in Romania for the Fall 2021 semester — something we are so so so thrilled about. After Romania closed its borders, things started to open up, but not for US travelers. Things have changed and now vaccinated US travelers are now allowed into this country, which was one of the major roadblocks to opening this program again for our volunteers. Now, a group is posting all about their life in Romania, and it's creating quite the buzz in the office. We wanted to spread some of the joy by sharing a highlight along with a picture or two so you can get a glimpse of what life is like right now for our volunteers serving in this European orphanage program. 

We have been loving so many of the posts we have seen, but love this one in particular — one volunteer summed up the highlights of her semester so far like this: "Some of my favorite things about living in Romania so far: 

-The Palas 
-Best Gelato 
-Beautiful cathedrals 
-Most delicious pretzel dogs 
-My volunteers 
-Prettiest rain storms 
-Coolest mall ever 
-The language is beautiful 
-Such amazing children" 

We're so happy to have our volunteers back in Romania this fall and can't wait to see what other adventures this semester holds. We'll be sharing some more from their semester on our Instagram account, @ilpadventure, if you want to follow along! 


Spring 2023 applications are open!

September 1, 2021

If you've been eyeing our newest semester, this is your chance — We are now accepting applications for the Spring 2023 semester. ILP accepts applications for a semester 1.5 years in advance, and have several volunteeers who have been waiting to send in their application. For quite a few of our more popular country locations, this is one of the best ways to help improve your chances of snagging a spot in your dream location! Plus, volunteers applying this early have ample time to start saving and fundraising to cover their Program Fee and in-country costs.  We can't wait to see where you will go! 

It's easy to apply, just start right here! 

We are currently sending volunteers to locations in Asia, Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean and are feeling good about future semesters in these locations, along with a hope that more time will open a few more countries, hopefully before the Spring 2023 semester. As always, you can keep an eye on the things we are watching for each location on our Covid-19 webpage.


It's Departure Week!

August 24, 2021

Things are very busy at our office with departures, making sure to answer any last-minute packing questions and meeting groups at the airport before they board their flights. This week, volunteers are headed out to Costa Rica, Ukraine, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, and Romania — Fall 2021 is the first ILP semester in this location since the pandemic, which we couldn't be more excited about. We can't wait to see and hear how happy the children and staff at the Romanian orphanage are to have volunteers back to help again after so long. 

But that's not all — groups in Mexico, Thailand, and Nicaragua already have their first few days of teaching under their belt, and are planning weekend trips and vacation days to do a lot of exploring. Keep posting pictures, we are loving all the adventures! 

Are you one of the volunteers headed out for a semester abroad with ILP this week? Tag us on Instagram! We love reposting all kinds of adventures, funny stories, sweet moments with your students, and love any insider tips on favorite snacks and foods you find while you're abroad — following along at @ilpadventure to see what this new semester of volunteers are up to. 


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