Be part of an organized, community-transforming, and FUN organization.
What you DON’T need:
- You don’t need to speak Spanish.
We teach English to people from around the world.
- You don’t need prior teaching experience.
What you DO need:
- 3-4 hours a week (plus prep) for at least 6-12 months depending on the type of class and location (we are looking for people who can make a long-term commitment). More details at the volunteer information (info) session.
- To be patient, enthusiastic, dedicated, friendly and encouraging.
- A desire to always learn and become better as a teacher. Learning is our #1 value.
A recent survey found that after volunteering with Intercambio,
of those who participated:
- 81% have formed an intercultural friendship
- 78% better understand immigrant struggles
- 60% feel more connected to the community as a whole
Benefits of Volunteering
- Empower others by giving them a voice
- Build cross-cultural friendships
- Gain new skills and experience
- Participate in exciting events
- Explore diversity within your community
- Fun monthly events
Upcoming 1-hour information sessions:
After you complete the volunteer form, we will contact you with details about the information session!
Wednesday, February 8 (Longmont)
Tuesday, February 21 (Boulder)
Have questions? Contact email@example.com or call 303-996-0275 ext. 110.
We will help you to be both confident and competent through outstanding training, materials and ongoing support.
Our mission is to provide English education to adult immigrants and unite communities across cultures. We believe:
- communities are safer and stronger when everyone can communicate – and it begins with language.
- educating parents leads to an educated family.
- our communities are more prosperous when all people have the opportunity to succeed and give back.
- in having fun!
Founded in 2001, Intercambio is an award-winning 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that teaches English to adults and unites communities across cultures. See this video for info about requirements and support you’ll receive as a volunteer.
- Affordable, supportive, and flexible English classes for over 1000 adult immigrants each year, taught by over 400 trained volunteers at students’ homes, other nonprofit agencies, and at public buildings.
- Community resource information and workshops on issues such as affordable health care, housing, laws and finances.
- Intercultural exchange through local community social events such as potlucks, parties, camping trips and park clean-ups throughout Boulder County.
- Volunteer, community service, and cross cultural opportunities in Boulder, Longmont, and Lafayette.
- Help immigrants achieve greater self-sufficiency and confidence.
- Foster cross-cultural relationships through volunteerism and grassroots outreach.
- Create a more accepting and integrated community in which all members can feel comfortable and effectively contribute.
- Build social capital by bringing people together to learn from each other and advance together.
Individual donors, City and County of Boulder, corporations, foundations, and local events like La Fiesta!, Comedy for Cambio, and Culture Jam.
- Teach English: Our volunteers teach English to adult immigrants in individual and group settings.
- Help in the office: We also look for individuals who are proficient in Spanish to work with our Program Staff on office tasks, such as calling students and updating our database.
- Staff Support “in the Field”: We need individuals who are proficient in Spanish and have their own transportation to go to the homes of current students to collect feedback on their classes. Over time, these volunteers may also visit homes of potential students to do the initial language assessment that is required to enroll in classes with us.
- Individual Classes: For one-on-one tutoring, volunteers and students are matched based on their gender and classes are typically held in the students’ homes. The schedule is flexible to fit the needs of the student and teacher. Students rely on their teachers, so we ask our volunteers to commit to teaching 90-minute classes twice a week for at least one year.
- Group Classes: Group English classes meet at public locations, or at one of the Intercambio offices on a pre-determined set schedule. Groups range from approximately 3-12 people. Students rely on their teachers, so we ask our volunteers to commit to teaching for approximately one year.
- School Classes: Our school English classes meet twice a week for 2 hours each class, and are offered in Boulder (two evening sites), Longmont (evening and morning) and Lafayette (one evening site) on a fixed term of 9-12 weeks. All 7 levels are taught at the same time to allow family members and friends to take English classes together at the same time and place, no matter their proficiency. Class size ranges from approximately 3-12 people. These positions are reserved for volunteers who are able to commit to the schedule for an entire term.
No prior teaching experience or 2nd language skills are required. We need people who are patient, enthusiastic, and able to commit to teaching an entire level to their student or students. We provide you with the materials and ongoing support you need to feel confident in you volunteer position.
No. We try to avoid matching level 1 English students with teachers who do not speak Spanish, but only to avoid issues with changing schedules. We have developed a curriculum that guides teachers through English classes, no matter the language barrier. In fact, we encourage teachers to avoid using the student’s native language in class. Keep in mind, not all of our students are native Spanish speakers.
The time commitment ranges from 10 weeks to one year, depending on whether you are teaching a home, group or school English class. Learning a new language takes consistency and dedication from teacher and student. If you are unable to commit to two 90-minute class sessions with your student every week, we ask that you consider waiting until your schedule opens up or contact us about different volunteer positions available.
Individual class commitment: one year
Group class commitment: one year
School class commitment: 10-12-week term (offered 3-4 times a year)
- Intercambio has a 6-level English curriculum composed of 12 books. We developed our materials to meet the needs of the demographic of typical Intercambio students. The books come with a listening CD.
- We give our teachers step-by-step lesson plans to go with each day’s lesson. The students are required to purchase the student book.
- We encourage all teachers to use our materials, but many teachers who have had adult ELL teaching experience do develop their own lesson plans.
- Our academic manager is also available to help volunteers develop lessons outside of the book.
- In addition, we have a resource library in the office. Volunteers can check out books and use them for their classes.
- We also sponsor in-service workshops on different topics useful for teaching. These workshops are always optional.
Intercambio has volunteer opportunities in Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville, Broomfield and (periodically in) Erie. Please be sure to note on your form each city in which you are willing to volunteer.
Almost all of our individual teaching opportunities are in student homes. A trained Intercambio representative always visits the home before we send a volunteer into it. We have never had an incident that compromised the safety or comfort of a volunteer while in a student’s home, still we encourage volunteers to contact us immediately if there are any issues.
Some of our students may be available to meet at a location other than their home. If you do not want to meet in a student’s home, you can let us know. Please be prepared to wait longer than you would otherwise. Another option would be to teach a group or school class.
Our students come from more than 40 countries (58 so far in 2015).
Yes. Students are charged a low cost fee to register and purchase the course book. We believe that students who have a financial stake in their classes take them more seriously. Students who cannot pay are complete a scholarship request and are required to volunteer 2 hours per class anywhere in the local community.
- Fill out the Volunteer Form on our website.
- Attend one of our 1-hour volunteer orientation sessions (offered twice a month). We’ll send you the upcoming dates after receiving your online form. The dates are also on our events calendar. We do request an RSVP if you’d like to attend.
- After the orientation, you’ll be invited to meet one-on-one with a staff member to ask lingering questions and sign up for a training workshop.
- You’ll select a student, or group of students, to work with during the training.
We hold info-sessions twice a month in Boulder or Longmont. Fill out the volunteer form online and we will contact you with information on the date, time and location of the next session. Or, visit our events calendar to see upcoming dates (please RSVP if you plan to attend). After the info-session, you will be invited to attend our training workshops offered six times a year. There is a $25 suggested fee for the training, which covers background checks, food at the workshop and teaching materials.
“When you teach these beautiful people – you get back more than you give!”