About High School Teams
ISL offers opportunities for high school students to travel, learn, and volunteer in a variety of amazing settings. We offer versions of our Ecology, Community Enrichment, and Global Health programs to high school students. High school students are also able to attend Sports without Borders, and recent high school graduates have the opportunity to enroll for our Gap Year program. Teen volunteers are able to engage with another culture in a meaningful way and begin to cultivate a global awareness that will benefit them as they progress from secondary to university education. Involvement in a global service experience not only instills confidence, but it can also be a powerful determinant in setting educational and career goals.
All High School teams are All-Inclusive, meaning all meals and recreation are included in the program costs!
Who is Right for HS Teams?
ISL’s High School teams are specially designed for high school students, aged 14-19. Since these experiences consist of service and adventure components, participants must be able to withstand long hours out-of-doors in sometimes extreme climates, be willing to engage in manual labor, and be eager to experience awesome outdoor adventures.
What to Expect
Upon arrival in country, you will be met at the airport by ISL staff. Your team’s first full day will be busy with orientation, a tour of the surrounding area, and becoming familiar with your leaders and teammates. Your team will eat some dinners out in order to relax and experience the local culture and cuisine. You will learn a few traditional dances and explore some important historical/cultural sites.
Recreational options vary by location, but you will have the opportunity to shop for local crafts and explore geographic treasures such as beaches, volcanoes, rainforests, or caves and explore ruins, city centers, or coffee plantations, and have time for activities such as ziplining, snorkeling, or safari!
Depending on your team’s mission, you may be involved in the following:
Ecology: Participate in various kinds of agricultural projects, environmental projects including reforestation, erosion control, or beach/community cleanups, energy projects including developing plans for different kinds of small-scale energy generation, or the opportunity to work with the Osa Turtle and Mangrove Project in Costa Rica, called the most biologically intense place on Earth by National Geographic!
Community Enrichment: Participate in projects such as painting, light construction, community or beach cleanup, planting flowers/vegetable gardens, ESL/tutoring, or facilitating a sports camp or other recreational activity for local children. Our community enrichment opportunities are endless – there is great need in all of our service locations for volunteers to help our partner communities thrive!
Global Health: Participate in community health surveying, observe pediatric health assessments, provide oral health and nutrition education, distribute vitamins and oral health toolkits, or facilitate community health fairs to raise awareness of causes and preventions of common childhood illnesses.
Sports without Borders: See a full description of these programs here!
Gap Year: See our ISL Gap Year page here!
What ISL Provides
ISL provides 24-hour accompaniment by professional, bilingual staff, airport pickup/drop off, all ground transportation, all lodging, all meals, safe drinking water, professional project guidance, instruction, and supplies, cultural tours, dance class, and recreation.
What to Bring
Project supplies, children’s books, and donations of vitamins and oral health supplies welcomed. Volunteers will need to bring funds sufficient to cover personal spending (souvenirs), and departure tax.
Global Health project participants will also need a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, otoscope, scrubs, and donations of medications and medical supplies (optional).
Safety and Respect
For the sake of security, ISL volunteers remain together as a team from arrival to departure. Patient rights must be respected at all times; patients have the right to refuse treatment.
ISL prohibits discrimination on the basis of color, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, or any other factor.
ISL enforces a no drug or alcohol policy for our high school teams.