English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher

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One of our most popular placements. The ESL Teacher placement gives volunteers an opportunity to hone their teaching skills and gain valuable experience that will help with future employment, all whilst exploring one of the last true wildernesses on Earth. On this placement, you will make a huge impact on the lives of less fortunate children by providing them with high-quality education in the English Language. 




Travel to the very edge of the wilderness to our Hub in Bukit Lawang. Situated on the edge of the Endangered Leuser Ecosystem, the last place on Earth where you can find Elephants, Tigers, Rhinos, Bears and Orangutans living together in the wild! 

You will contribute towards our program objectives of giving all of our students equal access to English Language learning and work to deliver a comprehensive ESL curriculum to students from 7 different rural communities across North Sumatra. 

You will spend most of your time at our Community Centre in Bukit Lawang delivering English classes to a wide range of classes of varying ages and abilities, including an adult class and an advanced class. 

  • Receive 1 - 1 support from one of our recruitment team, from the moment you apply until the moment you arrive. 

  • Extremely competitive rates on education volunteer placements. 

  • Receive comprehensive in country training at our Bukit Lawang Hub prior to starting your program.

  • Receive valuable ESL Teaching experience worth over £1270. 

  • Experience traditional Sumatran culture and cuisine. 

  • Live and work on the edge of the Tropical Rainforest.

  • Spend your weekends Trekking in the Jungle or visiting the Elephants at nearby Tankahan. 

  • Receive a professional reference and certificate of completion at the end of your placement. 

  • Have access to a wide range of teaching materials & equipment. 

  • Participant and lead a range of 'supporting projects'. 


During the course of your placement as one of our English as a Second Language Teachers (ESL) you will be delivering a comprehensive curriculum built around the University of Cambridge ESL Curriculum.

You will be providing FREE education to hundreds of students who otherwise may not have access or financial capacity to get themselves.

Our ESL program has been designed from day 1 alongside community members and together Program Objectives have been established in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. During your time on this program you will be working towards meeting those goals as a team. 

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Life at the Trust:

Whilst volunteering with us you will be staying in one of the three volunteer rooms at the trust, these rooms have three or four beds to a room (bunk & single bed). Each room has electricity, and WIFI is available on every floor. Your Hub staff will provide you with bedding, However, you are advised to bring your own bedsheets and pillowcases.

There are four washrooms at the school, two located on the ground floor, with traditional Indonesian Mandi (bucket shower) and Long Drop (squat toilets). And two on the first floor, with European style shower and toilets. There is no hot water, however, you will learn to love a cold shower! The kitchen is equipped with two hobs, an oven, a fridge and freezer plus a blender. We are lucky to have running water at the school; the water is pumped up from a well in the back garden.

Our building is fitted with WIFI. We do have a volunteer laptop, but this is for lesson planning & preparation, therefore you may wish to bring your own. There is a printer and many teaching resources as well as a television with an HDMI to connect your laptop. Additionally, we have two bright afternoon classrooms, a playgroup and kindergarten classroom, a library, a handicrafts rooms, a staff office and a large and colourful roof space with hammock to relax in the warm tropical evenings.

Bukit Lawang Hub Tour

Flights & Arrivals

Once you book your placement with us you will receive a 'volunteer handbook' that will guide you through the stages of preparing for your placement with the Bukit Lawang Trust. 

Included in this will be details of how to arrange your flights. We will arrange with you your arrival window to ensure you are arriving a similar time to your fellow volunteers so that you won't be alone. One of our staff team will meet you at the airport and bring you back to the Hub in Bukit Lawang. 

Our staff will also assist you with exchanging money, getting sim cards and mobile phone data as well as a welcome meal from one of our favourite traditional Indonesian Restaurants. 


From the moment you book your placement, to the moment you arrive in-country. You will be guided through your pre-deployment journey by our Media, Recruitment & Marketing intern. Otherwise known as the MRM. Your MRM will guide you through everything from getting insurance, booking flights, vaccinations and visa applications to what to pack and answering those important questions like "How spicy is the food?". 

You will be provided with visa sponsorship as well as guidance on things to do before your placement to prepare! 

Additionally, throughout the in-country phase of your placement, you will have access to 1-1 support from your Program Manager (PM) from the day you arrive until the day you leave.


For all of us here at the Bukit Lawang Trust, your safety is our priority. That's why we maintain a comprehensive 24/7 emergency response system, which all staff are trained in. 

All of our staff are first aid trained, and receive regular refresher training in country, including your refresher training during your volunteer induction! 

Additionally, all staff are background checked and you are required to provide a background check before arrive in country for the start of your placement. 

Throughout your In-country placement with us our staff maintain a 1-4 ration of staff to volunteers, above the industry standard. That's is to ensure you are safe and supported for the duration of your placement. 



First Aid Training:

During your volunteer Induction you will receive First Aid refresher training as part of standard volunteer training. 


Graduates Holding Diplomas


In order to continue to deliver the high level of education that we provide at the BLT we require all of our ESL Volunteers to have either relevant teaching experience or a qualification (TEFL,TESOL etc) or both. 


For all of our volunteers your weekends are free and that means its time to explore! 

The Leuser Ecosystem is a tropical paradise with wild Elephants, Orangutans, Rhinos, Tigers and Bears living together in the Jungle surrounding Bukit Lawang. 

There is so much to do in your spare time from Visiting the traditional market, to Day trips to Bohorok, Jungle Trekking, Jungle River Rafting, Elephant washing at the Tankahan Elephant sanctuary and much much more! 





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Jungle 3


Education is a human right. For everyone. Everywhere. Full Stop. 

Your placement will help us make that happen!


Explore the tropical rainforests of Sumatra in your spare time to see the Orangutans or immerse yourself in the local culture at the traditional market or any of the many guest houses bars and restaurants.


Included in your placement is High quality training and education in a wide range of topics. developed and refined over almost 20 years ensure excellence.


Become part of the Bukit Lawang Trust Family. Join us on Social Media and join our growing Alumni network. 

Continue making a impact when you return home by hosting a community project of your own!

Type - Volunteering                                                 Duration - 8 Weeks                                Fundraising target - £800

Got a Question? 

No worries! we love to hear from you!


You can email us at info@bukitlawangtrust.org


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