28th September 2023
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Spotlight: learn Spanish and the joys of volunteering at Instituto Hemingway

Instituto Hemingway invites adventurous spirits from around the world to come and learn Spanish while experiencing the joys of volunteering!

At Instituto Hemingway Bilbao we offer a variety of options for our students to learn Spanish and immerse themselves in Spanish culture through our intensive 20-hour morning courses, free-time cultural activities offered several times a week to all students and volunteers, and even lighter evening classes all year round.

Our volunteer projects offer the chance to take your stay in Bilbao one step further, giving you the opportunity to make a positive difference in society through a range of volunteering activities such as animal welfare, art therapy, social & environmental entrepreneurship and beach cleaning.

Volunteers enjoy outings several times a week to their projects, where they get to put their time to good use improving the lives of others, all while learning and improving new skills, seeing beautiful sights in areas throughout Bilbao and surrounding areas, practising their Spanish and making new friends!

Our volunteer programmes:

Beach Cleaning

Unfortunately in Spain, and even here in Bilbao, a great many beach and mountain areas lack sufficient protection from an environmental point of view; as a result, the support of volunteers is invaluable to improve the situation.

With your participation in this project, you will make a significant contribution to environmental conservation, protection of marine ecosystems and the health of ocean life.

The goals of this project are to improve the quality of the sea in nearby coastal areas by collecting kilos of rubbish and waste from beaches and natural areas.

Why choose beach cleaning?

  • Get to improve our coastal and oceanic ecosystem by helping to ensure that no rubbish can jeopardise marine life or be toxic enough to interrupt the marine life cycle.
  • Do your part for the environment.
  • Develop conscience and concern for the environmental impact of our actions.
  • Improve your Spanish while doing volunteer work gratifying for the lives of others and the local society.

Social & Environmental Entrepreneurship

The goal of this programme is to support social projects in the community.

The tasks to be carried out include the design of publicity campaigns and promoting educational actions, helping strengthen the social networks, fundraising and promotional efforts, searching for new collaborators and developing synergy maps to plot cooperation between projects in order to maximise mutual benefit, potential outreach and growth.

Volunteers will use social networks, crowdfunding, etc., to disseminate all the information that they obtain while performing their tasks and completing their weekly objectives.

It is a volunteering project perfectly suited to citizens of the digital age, where volunteers are empowered to use their IT, social media and online campaigning skills while lending a hand to help out those in need.

What are the benefits?

  • Evolving an awareness and appreciation of different social realities in order to contribute with your experience and assistance.
  • Cooperating with social organisations, associations and NGOs committed to social projects for the betterment of society and social groups.
  • Furthering publicity for social projects and highlighting their importance inside and outside Bilbao, helping to establish new contacts and find ways to increase their impact.
  • Interacting with locals, partaking in cultural exchange, sharing experiences, discussing solutions.
  • Developing empathy, tolerance and understanding based on real situations and interactions.
  • Improving your Spanish, taking courses with us during the first two weeks.

Animal Welfare

In our animal welfare programme, volunteers get to work with animal shelters where they perform many different tasks, such as cleaning the shelters, feeding animals, walking dogs and cats, and helping rehabilitate traumatised animals.

The animals found in the shelters are great company, and getting to play and get looked after by volunteers can bring them joy and emotional wellbeing that would otherwise be absent from their days. Hard work is also a must, which gives you the chance to put in effort and carry out fulfilling tasks essential to the wellbeing of the shelters’ animals.

You can also participate in efforts to help out with stray animals, administer medications, and provide support for sterilisation procedures and adoption processes, helping with public relations and educational work with the community. All this work makes it so much easier for animals to end up in a ‘forever home’, which allows the shelter to dedicate their efforts to helping more animals in-need.

Many families do not have knowledge about animal well-being, especially about their feeding. This is why education is such an important aspect for anyone considering adopting an animal, and would like to have an animal as part of the family. Animals must only be adopted when the family is capable of taking care of a dog or cat.

Why offer to volunteer at an animal shelter?

  • Collaborating as a volunteer at animal shelters.
  • Offering your time and energy to help animals that have been abandoned or abused by their owners eventually find them a new home.
  • Learn from the animals you look after and see how they communicate their affection and gratitude.
  • Experience the value of giving without expecting anything in return.
  • Improve your Spanish and immerse yourself in Basque and Spanish culture

Art Therapy

Art Therapy is a volunteer programme that allows participants to offer their time and comprehension to people with special needs, assisting both children and adults. You will help people who have different learning difficulties. The volunteers in this programme work as assistants in different classrooms, supporting teachers in a range of activities in the morning or afternoon. These include indoor games, as well as art activities and crafts to help disabled students in their learning process.

What will you walk away with?

  • Satisfaction upon having helped make a difference in the lives of special needs people.
  • Cooperate on a wide range of community projects.
  • Develop creativity and learn art techniques.
  • Design activities and learn more about art.
  • Assist people with special needs and help them to get ahead in life, in spite of their difficulties.
  • Meet the network of local artists and volunteer programme staff.
  • Improve your Spanish by taking courses with us during the first 2 weeks.

Volunteering with Hemingway is easy, and open to anyone interested in broadening their horizons both professionally and personally, having new and novel experiences, and embarking on an adventure of culture, language learning and making a positive social impact. It doesn’t matter your background, be it student, worker, pensioner, families – all are welcome.

We do recommend a basic level of Spanish, and English is always a plus, but above all a good attitude, willingness to get your hands dirty, and desire to do good and help others are the most essential requirements!

What’s included?

We offer our student volunteers:

  • Accommodations in a shared room in an apartment near the school.
  • Airport pick-up service for easy first day arrival.
  • Intensive Spanish course for first two weeks – 20 hours per week.
  • Level placement test, textbooks and a certificate upon completion of the programme.
  • Participation in volunteer work with a maximum of 20 hours per week.
  • Equipment and materials for the volunteer work.
  • Guidance and supervision.
  • Participation in free leisure and cultural activities.
  • Surprise gift & Spanish language level certificate.
  • 24/7 support in the case of emergency.
  • Option to extend the programme week by week.
  • Accident insurance.

The Instituto Hemingway is at C/Bailén 5 – 2 dcha, 48003 Bilbao. Tel: +34 944 167 901. Email: info@institutohemingway.com Website: www.institutohemingway.com

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