Go Beyond the Classroom with Your Students

 

Service abroad with students can be one of the most meaningful experiences of an educator’s life.

 

The Experience

Benefits for your Students

 

  • Learning outside the classroom
  • Support community-driven, long-term   service projects
  • Mutually beneficial impact (exchange,   service, growth)
  • Cross-cultural connections made with   peers in other countries
  • Language exposure and development
  • Broaden global competency
  • Increase circle of empathy

Benefits for You

 

  • Teacher/school representative travels at   no cost
  • Visit fascinating communities in Ghana,   Guatemala, Costa Rica, India and   Vietnam
  • Share a meaningful experience with   your students
  • Engage your students in authentic   cultural immersion and cross-cultural   connections
  • Work with a trusted partner with a 14-   year track record
  • We do the behind-the-scenes work

Worry-Free Travel

 Dream Volunteers does:

  • The logistical planning and preparation
  • Facilitates the pre-departure curriculum
  • Facilitates the in-country program   experience
  • Operates the health and safety protocols
  • You are your school are covered by   Dream Volunteers insurance policy

Start Your Journey Now

Christine Parker
High School Biology Teacher

 

“In my experience as a student, teacher and life-long learner, there is no better way to learn and teach than with authentic, meaningful, interdisciplinary curriculum which completely immerses all learners. These new experiences, rich with purpose, push us beyond our own comfort zones to create a united community of learners. We are all students; we are all teachers. This bond in learning is rare in the classroom and difficult to replicate. My philosophy is that global education programs should be transformative, rigorous, field-based learning, grounded in the culture and socio-economics of a region. Dream Volunteers creates such global education programs!”

Aukeem Ballard
Teacher & School Administrator

 

“As an educator I long to ensure my students see learning not just as a set of conversations and debates in a four-walled classroom but rather as a way of seeing the world–a lifelong pursuit of becoming.  Over 7 trips with Dream Volunteers across 5 countries, I have come to realize that the dream of inspiring my students minds to grow forever has also done the same for my heart in mind.  Seeing their hearts learn alongside their minds enables me to enter a space of re-imagining what it means to engage with the world around me in a way that is necessary to confront the ever-changing reality of our global citizenry!”

Beyond the Classroom 

Traveling with students allows rich opportunities to extend classroom learning, whatever the discipline. Our core curriculum based on global citizenship competencies, pre-written for you, focuses on social issues like climate change and sustainability, education, human rights, and social justice and fosters skills such as empathy, collaboration, and problem-solving. Students are challenged to observe, interact, and exchange, expanding their perspectives and their contextual references. Teachers sometimes elect to create specific tie-ins to classroom instruction, and we are always happy to work with you to adapt content and program structure.

 

Cultural Immersion

Are part of every trip. Students quickly learn to improvise and gain confidence in their language skills at whatever level they may start with, and we participate in a number of experiences exposing participants to the cultural history and norms of the communities we visit. We also offer options to incorporate formal language instruction or other subject-matter content in a formal learning environment.

 

We Do the Planning, Booking, and Facilitating

Perhaps the best part of traveling with Dream Volunteers is that we take care of the hard part. Teachers get to focus on what they do best and not worry about logistics, operational details, or cost. We have deep experience, highly-trained and friendly staff, and comprehensive health and safety protocols and trip plans. From pre-trip meetings in-person or online to flight logistics and ground travel, to daily itineraries, food allergies, and souvenir shopping, we’ve got it covered. You get to pack your bags and not worry about the details.

Educator Cohort

Meet and train online with fellow educators who have worked with us in the past. Exchange best practices when preparing for your trip and maintain thought partners after your re-entry. Be part of a network of peers who are all in this together. 

Now What?

START PLANNING

We’ll help you every step, including driving interest in your community.

REACH OUT

Contact us if you have questions or want more information. We help you plan your trip.

FAQs

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions online.

UPCOMING TRIPS

Explore service trips or learn more about the programs and destinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits to me?

First and foremost, your travel expenses are paid by Dream Volunteers. That includes flight, in-country logistics such as lodging and meals, and international cell service. Secondly, you will visit inspiring communities in interesting parts of the world. You and your students will have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of people who both want and need your help. You will also experience growth and a broadening of your global awareness. You will be fully supported every step of the way by Dream Volunteers. We take care of all the planning and preparation. You’ll be part of a team of professionals working to ensure safety, impact and fun for all. Getting to work with students outside the classroom, off-campus, and in rich environments is a refreshing way to guide young people. It is also wonderful to travel, not as a tourist, but as a guest and a volunteer connecting authentically with a local community in countries like Costa Rica, Vietnam and India and you will come back with new friendships and lasting relationships.

What is the time commitment?

Prior to the trip you will participate in one or two online webinars along with other educators leading trips. These webinars are led by Dream Volunteers staff and are designed to provide you with all the preparation and information you will need to confidently lead the trip. Each webinar lasts approximately one hour and takes place in the evening. In addition, you will have one or two individual phone or in-person meetings with Dream Volunteers staff. Beyond that, you will deliver (with agendas and materials from Dream Volunteers) three pre-departure meetings to your students and one to the parents. Each of these meetings last approximately 45 minutes. The additional time commitment will be the trip itself, which lasts anywhere from one to three weeks.

How am I supported by Dream Volunteers?

Dream Volunteers will ensure that you feel confident and informed. Through live webinars, personal phone calls, and sometimes, in-person meetings, we will train and prepare you for each step of the process. We will also provide you with agendas for your pre-trip meetings, as well as guidance for running them. Dream Volunteers will pay for your travel expenses and provide you with on-location cellular phone service. During the trip, your group will be led by one of our local trip leaders, who will be primarily responsible for the logistics and will manage the itinerary. This means that, not only will you not be alone in leading the group, but you will have a knowledgeable, experienced, bilingual local program director to support you. Your chief role, then is to mentor your students and communicate back home with Dream Volunteers, not to oversee the trip. You also have the surety of our emergency protocol, which our on-site staff leads in case of illness, injury or emergency.

 

Dream Volunteers staff are available by phone anytime you need them during the trip and 9:00 – 5:00 Pacific Monday through Friday on days prior to the trip.

Is there a curriculum?

Yes, we are focused on the growth and education of your students as well as the local youth with whom your students will work and interact during the trip, which is why we have invested significant time and effort in developing a well-thought-out learning plan.

Dream Volunteers has a full pre-trip curriculum, as well as materials for during the trip. We provide you and the students with a field journal that contains topical content, instruction and reflection questions & prompts. You will also receive meeting agendas and teaching content from us, as well as a training on how to lead these sessions. Additionally, we will train you to facilitate the reflection sessions and discussions that happen on the trip.

What do I need to do before the trip?

Prior to the trip you will participate in one or two online webinars along with other educators leading trips. These webinars are led by Dream Volunteers staff and are designed to provide you with all the preparation and information you will need to confidently lead the trip. Each webinar lasts approximately one hour and takes place in the evening. In addition, you will have one or two individual phone or in-person meetings with Dream Volunteers staff. Beyond that, you will deliver (with agendas and materials from Dream Volunteers) three pre-departure meetings to your students and one to the parents. Each of these meetings last approximately 45 minutes.

What are my duties on the trip?

Your role on this trip is to guide and inspire your students. You will work with the local program director to guide the students through the experience and adapt the curriculum as appropriate throughout the trip. You will also communicate regularly with DV HQ staff to receive additional support and guidance and will be asked to provide updates back to the DV team and participant families. You will have time to interact with your students one-on-one or in small groups and with the support of our on-site director and team, you will have plenty of opportunities to simply immerse yourself and enjoy the trip as a participant.

How does DV handle liability?

These are Dream Volunteers trips. We support you and your school in coordinating them for your students and we assume the liability. Dream Volunteers has a $2,000,000 per occurrence general liability insurance policy.

What happens in an emergency?

We have tested emergency protocols in place and trained staff to support you throughout the trip and in the event of an emergency. You are not the main person in charge should there be an emergency. That said, you may be the first on the scene. We will walk you through our Risk Preparedness and Emergency Protocol Manual prior to the trip.

Can I speak with educators who have done this in the past?

Absolutely. There are several teachers and administrators who have taken their students on trips with us in the recent past who have made themselves available to share their experience with you and answer any questions you may have. Please fill out this inquiry form. One of these educators will respond to your questions and/or arrange a short phone call if that is what you prefer.

Let’s talk… We’d love to find a way to collaborate!