Alumni FAQ


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Do I declare WorldTeach earnings on my taxes?

We at WorldTeach are not tax advisors.  While we try to be as helpful as we can, it is important to check with the IRS or certified tax advisors to determine if you are required to pay taxes.  We have also gathered this information to get you started.

Some volunteers, particularly in year-long programs departing in December and January, will make less than the minimum earnings threshhold for filing taxes.  However, most volunteers departing at other times will have income from other employers during the calendar year, pushing their total income over the filing minimum.

Since WorldTeach is/was not technically your employer, most volunteers will not receive a W-2 or other earnings statement from WorldTeach, nor are you likely to have pay stubs from your host school (although if you do, keep them for your records).  Volunteers in some programs may receive a 1099-MISC.  However, if you do not, it is still your responsibility to declare your earnings as accurately as possible. It may be a good idea to include a letter with your tax return explaining your situation: that you were a full-time volunteer overseas and earning a basic living stipend of x amount per month, totaling y amount over the whole tax year.

How do I get letters of recommendation?

As part of their job, our Field Directors are required to file a recommendation letter for every volunteer who ends their service in good standing. These letters are written after your End-of-Service conference, and then emailed to the WorldTeach office in Boston, MA, where we keep them electronically filed. If you did not provide your Field Director with the necessary information to complete your letter, it is possible that a verification of service letter is on file instead.

To request your Field Director’s letter of recommendation, email ( at least two weeks before you need the letter. WorldTeach can send these to you by email (PDF only).

Now that we are in the internet age, many graduate schools require online applications, including online submission of recommendation letters. For the recommender, this involves answering several personal questions about you and uploading a letter of support. It also includes signing a statement declaring that the recommender is who they say they are. For these reasons, we strongly encourage you to approach your Field Director regarding online applications as US Staff will not have the appropriate information to complete these forms. The general letter we have for you on-file is unlikely to cover all of the aspects these recommendation forms cover (from “how trustworthy is this applicant?” to “in what percentile would you rank this person in terms of their academic excellence?”).

Who do I list as a job reference?

When applying for any position, it is always best to use someone who knows you personally as a reference. In your case this should be the Field Director, Assistant Field Director, or Summer Program Coordinator who supervised you most closely. As with professors and former employers, your ability to ask a Field Director to serve as a reference depends completely on your personal relationship with them. Our field directors are not required to serve as a lifelong reference for you, particularly because many of them are only WorldTeach employees for two years. You will find that, in most cases, current and former field staff members are happy to help their volunteers advance their professional and academic careers.

How do I stay in touch with my host family and/or school?

WorldTeach keeps record of volunteer placement information in its database. If you have misplaced this information and would like to be in touch with your school and/or family, email us at and we will try to provide you with the information we have. Please note that we may have some difficulty locating such information for alumni from our early years (e.g. pre-2000) as our record-keeping systems were not quite in place until more recently.

How can I contact the current volunteer at my placement site?

If there is a volunteer currently serving at your site, WorldTeach will provide your contact information to the new volunteer to be able to reach out to you. However, because placements are determined in coordination between local partners and our Field Staff, it is possible that we are not serving your site this particular year. Contact if you would like to find out if there is a current volunteer at your site.

How do I participate in another program?

WorldTeach encourages alumni to participate in other programs! We keep your application on file for 2 years after your completed service. To reactivate your application for another program, first contact Admissions. Let them know you are an alum and for which program you would like to now be considered. You will be asked to submit an updated resume and updated personal statement for the program you are applying for. If you are applying for year-long or semester programs in Ecuador,  Namibia, or Thailand in addition to summer programs in , Ecuador, Namibia, Poland, or South Africa  (i.e. non-funded program), you will receive a $500 discount off your volunteer commitment fee.

How can I stay connected to WorldTeach?

There are many ways to stay connected. Visit our Staying Involved section for more information.

How can I update my contact information?

Be sure your contact info is always updated so we can send you the WorldTeach e-newsletters, program-specific newsletters, and let you know about WorldTeach alumni events in your area!  Please click here to update your alumni information.