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Volunteer opportunities -English Immersion Retreats at resorts in Poland

Any feed back from those who have been volunteers for a week at various Polish locations would be greatly appreciated. I am a 76 year old retired USA teacher who has done extensive SOLO travel. I want to volunteer then spend a few weeks on my own in Eastern Europe. What was your opinion of the organization? food? lodging? clientele? Would you recommend 2 weeks back to back? I am interested in this time period May- July 2020 . I am seeking insights from those who have recently participated in such a program to help me make a travel plan that includes a volunteer component.

Posted by
8889 posts

No feedback, however unless you are an EU citizen, I would caution you to check your work permit status. It may be described as "volunteers", but if they provide food or lodging that would count as "payment" and in most European countries you would need a work permit. The "90 days in 180" you are allowed in the Schengen Area is for tourist purposes only, working not allowed.

Can you provide any links to these organisations?

Posted by
20597 posts

The whole business of volunteering can be a Catch22. The wwoof program is a classic example. If you receive any compensation -- meals, room, etc., --- it can be considered work and most countries will require a work permit visa prior to arrival. Can you do it and get away? Sure, in the same way that illegals do it in the US. I personally wouldn't do it. There is some risk.

Posted by
187 posts

I don’t know anything about the program you are referring to. However, I have served on three volunteer team with Global Volunteers in Poland. (I have also served with them in China, Greece, Cuba and Tanzania for a total of 11 teams.) This is a reputable organization that respects each country’s laws and regulations as related to volunteer work. They have been sending volunteer teams to Poland for more than 20 years.

During the summer (which is when I served), the volunteers teach English to middle school children at a summer camp operated by a local community There is also one team that teaches high school kids. . (They also have teams in the fall and spring that work in the schools.) Each volunteer is assigned to a small group of children and spends several hours each day with them, teaching in a rather informal way - lots of games, music, discussions and so on. We also participate in some of their camp-type programs such as talent shows, all-camp games, karaoke in English, and so on. The kids and Polish camp staff are delightful. It can be a real growth experience for the volunteers as well as the kids. It’s a great chance to experience Poland beyond the usual tourist experience. Global Volunteers charges a fee (that is tax-deductible) that covers pretty much all your expenses, unless you do a lot of touring on your own.

Their website is https://globalvolunteers.org/

Posted by
1 posts

I am 75 and have spent the past 3 years volunteering my way through 16 European countries, some of which have been in English Immersion Programs : Angloville, Just Speak, Diverbo, Vaughntown, and another I will not mention. I also have had the opportunity to "teach" English in private schools in Morocco, Ukraine, Poland and Spain. If you want to do this in the Baltics states, Ukraine in particular, go to HelpX and look for Novoyareck or L'viv for private English Schools. I have never had an issue with volunteering during the 3 years. Best of Luck. My blog is Travels With the Red Suitcase at Wordpress.

Posted by
122 posts

Thanks ms sherrill for some excellent information and most of all for your on line encouragement. I sent you a private message with some questions I have.
Best regards carol jean