“I loved my first ISL trip, and I was so excited to be able to come back this year for another one. The trips ISL puts on are amazing and I would recommend this program to everyone!”
– Laura W., University of South Carolina
The Heart of ISL
For over twenty-two years, International Service Learning (ISL) has been leading groups of volunteers to twelve different countries providing essential community and medical services for those in need. We are passionate about providing a conduit for our volunteers to explore and travel a new part of the world. We hold with the utmost conviction that for volunteers to be successful they need to learn from professionals of the country they serve in. We believe in the power of the individual that chooses to serve and make a difference in the lives of others with their own two hands. ISL is a community of driven, empathetic, and ambitious individuals that seek to make volunteering in a new country an accessible opportunity for everyone. The sum all these ideas is what we consider The Heart of ISL.
International Service Learning (ISL) offers experiential, multi-disciplinary humanitarian programs in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Africa.
Our Medical Programs are not artificial or “practice” programs – they are the real thing. We provide healthcare to tens of thousands in developing communities annually. We perform health services in the field under sometimes difficult (and always unpredictable and challenging) circumstances. Join one of these teams for incredible experience(s).
Our Enrichment Programs are deeply integrated into the community. We work in communities for many years to ensure lasting progress. Join one of these teams to build a shelter, teach a child and more.
Our Adventure Programs combine extraordinary outdoor pursuits with impactful service work. Hike through miles of breathtaking terrain to deliver thirty pounds of medicine into a remote village.
Arriving in a foreign land, meeting a new culture, and finding yourself as you serve others – this is all part of the ISL experience. Making a heart connection with the needs of others and being able to fill those needs is both gratifying and exhilarating. It is truly a life changing experience.
The Goals of Every ISL Team:
- Provide vital services for impoverished communities
- Learn more about the world
- Experience another culture
- Enjoy some amazing recreational time
What to expect… A day in the life of a volunteer.
You start your ISL experience by traveling to the country you are serving by airplane or bus. Once you arrive in the country you’ll travel by bus, boat, truck, horseback, or even on foot. With exception of your arrival and departure, you’ll always be traveling with ISL staff who can share information about the country, culture, and customs.
From the airport, you’ll be taken to your temporary home for the duration of the trip. Housing will vary from hotels, guest houses, homes, or even a convent. You will always have safe food, bottled water, access to a shower, and a bed. You’ll have time to meet your fellow volunteers and get acquainted with your new surroundings.
The next days will vary depending on your program. You may end up preforming public health surveys, helping rebuild a dilapidated school, hiking thru the jungle to bring medical supplies to a remote village, or perhaps even teaching children fundamental academic and life skills. The service aspect of your trip will depend largely on which country and program you join.
Between these periods of service you’ll experience local culture, customs, and cuisine. You’ll have opportunities to take in breathtaking scenes in nature, including beaches and rainforests. You may visit Mount Kilimanjaro or Machu Picchu if you travel to Tanzania or Peru. There may be zip-lining, monkey petting, or maybe even a little shopping in larger cities.
Your most significant takeaway from an ISL trip may be what you learn. Whether its learning about the people of the country you are serving and what they value, or taking home lessons of a lifetime about yourself, ISL firmly believes that the best learning cannot be confined to a classroom.
Each volunteer will take home different lessons, experiences, and memories from their trips. While we consistently offer a range of different programs in an array of countries, no two trips are really the same. We strongly encourage you to check out the country and program pages to learn more about these exciting opportunities.