IYF English Camp in Mexico

Who can be an IYF English Camp volunteer?

Typically, college students or adults who want to make a difference in someone’s life. 16 and 17-year olds may apply, but must have full parental consent. For the minor consent form: Minor Consent Form –2019 Minor-Concent-form-Mexico

Do I need teaching experience? Must I be an education or English major?

No ESL teaching experience is required. IYF will provide appropriate training and preparation during the scheduled workshops.

This is a mission trip, do I need to be a Christian to participate?

IYF accepts volunteers of all backgrounds and is happy to work with anyone who is willing to serve others as a vessel of hope. Being that this is a mission trip, IYF missionaries will lead spiritual development lectures for the volunteers each day and the Bible will be discussed regularly during group meetings. We hope that everyone who participates can come with an open heart and mind and be ready to work together within a Christian environment.

What happens at the volunteer workshop?

IYF English Camp will hold volunteer workshops by region leading up to the Final Workshop in Huntington, New York. Teaching English and being a goodwill ambassador through IYF is serious business. Prospective volunteers need to take certain teaching methods courses, go through training in event running, and be aware of safety information and procedures that we will provide. The workshop also provides the opportunity to meet, connect and work with your fellow English Camp volunteers, as well as the leadership for your team.

As a Christian organization, IYF always tries to spread hope by teaching and exemplifying the heart of God through its programs to people of participating nations. Workshops will include spiritual development sessions so prospective volunteers can effectively carry out this mission. For more about spiritual development with IYF, click here

Do I have to prepare for my class?

During the workshop we will learn how to teach different aspects of the English language to students through basic lesson plans that have been prepared for you. Volunteers will not know their class subject until midway through the workshop. Once your subject has been designated, you will have time to build upon the lesson plans and prepare specific support materials and activities with other teachers. Despite what your teaching subject may be, we recommend you bring materials for class such as scissors, glue, color markers, poster board, etc.

Do I teach alone? With a partner?

Most classes will have at least two instructors. You and your partner can decide how to teach; some instructors run a class together, while others alternate every other class. Some teams may have a smaller number of volunteers, thus allowing for only one teacher per class. Volunteers should be ready for any kind of scenario by knowing their lesson materials well and being ready to adapt to any situation!

How does a typical English Camp run?

English Camp is usually held at more than one school simultaneously. Therefore, even if you are traveling to a country with a team of, say 20 volunteers, you may be split into smaller teams when it comes time to teach. However, if all of the schools hosting the English Camp are in the same general vicinity, then you will share the same accommodations. Volunteers begin their day early in the morning around 6:00am, quickly having breakfast and then taking their buses to their respective schools. Participating students will come from home later in the morning around 8:00 or 9:00am. Classes run on a rotation schedule, with each class typically lasting from 40 to 50 minutes. Teachers remain in the same classrooms while students rotate in and out by groups. Each class will be taught a minimum of six times a day. Camps typically end around 5:00pm. Students return home and volunteers take their buses back to their accommodations. Once there, volunteers will have dinner, a Mind Lecture, and prepare for the next day. This is just a general rundown of a typical day. English Camps can vary depending on the country, the number of volunteers, number and location of schools, and many other variables.

What will our accommodations be like?

Living situations will vary depending on the country you volunteer in. Volunteers who teach in Monterrey, Mexico every January stay in a hotel, while volunteers going to Haiti in June set up cots and stay in the classrooms of a school. We have experienced these setups and everything in between! A big part of being an English Camp volunteer is group life. This means, we do everything in a group, and our accommodations are no exception! Expect to room with other volunteers during your stay. Rest assured that the IYF branch in country will prepare the best possible room and board accommodations for our volunteers.

How should I pack for the trip? What should I bring?

Do not overpack! Some volunteers tend to pack way more than they need and end up burdening themselves and others with an oversized luggage that is difficult to move around. We recommend you pack according to the climate and duration of your English Camp. English Camps are typically held in warmer climates with hot days, but the nights can get very chilly. Definitely bring a jacket. Also, as teachers, we are expected to dress and present ourselves respectably. This doesn’t mean you need a shirt and tie or blouse and skirt, but please do not plan to teach in a tank top or basketball shorts! We also recommend that you refrain from bringing precious valuables such as laptops or large sums of money. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to watch over and keep such valuables safe if they do choose to bring them. A complete list of items we recommend you bring can be found on the main information page for the English Camp. Please make it a point to prepare EVERYTHING on that list! Trust us, you will need all of it.

If there is no visa requirement, what do volunteers need to travel abroad?

Make sure you have a valid passport -with at least six months left before expiration- prior to departure. U.S. citizens must bring their valid passport. Permanent residents must bring both their passport and permanent resident card. Volunteers who do not have US citizenship or permanent residency must bring their passport and visa.

If you are an international college student with an F-1 visa, contact your institution’s PDSO and obtain your signed I-20 form. This will signify your intent to travel and you must present it along with your passport and F-1 visa.