Our Mission


SCROLL DOWN

Our Mission


  • quote
    — source
  • Your Text Here
    — Your source here
  • "quote
    — Your source here
  • Your Text Here
    — Your source here
 

    In many of our host countries, the predominate method of language learning is still rote memorization. Our programs provide students the opportunity to express their creative intellect through a dynamic learning environment. Our volunteers are encouraged to play games and sing songs with students. Learning and understanding takes place through creative problem solving and lots of improvisation.

 
 

     English is becoming the primary language for business and travel throughout much of the world. Having a well-educated population who can converse in this international language is critical to a country’s ability to self-actualize.

 
 

     In an age of globalization, occasions for cross-cultural encounters increase rapidly, as does the possibility for misunderstanding. Our volunteers and students have an opportunity to interact with people whom they might never otherwise meet. Our volunteers and hosts live together, eat together, and learn to acknowledge, as well as respect, differences and commonalities. The intimate environment of the LE experience leads to volunteers and hosts who are aware of cultural differences, and who are more sensitive to the diversity that exists across borders.

 
 

    Communities and countries are strengthened by the voluntary work of its members. Our volunteer teachers give their time, money, and enthusiasm in spending their summer using their for the benefit of their hosts. Our Country Coordinators who set up host families and school facilities offer the same spirit of volunteering. Host community members not only give space for classes, but they also create an open environment where volunteers feel welcome. Each party gives what it can to benefit one another and a spirit of cooperation and mutual benefit is established throughout the community.

 
 

     Learning Enterprises’ entire staff is comprised of college students or recent college graduates. At LE, young people have the chance to take on significant responsibilities and have a positive impact on the lives of people around the world. Few organizations would entrust a 21 year-old college student with the responsibility of administering the operations of an international non-profit, but we do just that – and with great results!

 
 
embed Block
Add an embed URL or code. Learn more.
audio Block
Double-click here to upload or link to a .mp3. Learn more.

Why LE?


Why LE?


 

Our Story


Our Story


1991The idea

Adam Tolnay, the founder of Learning Enterprises, worked in Hungary during his second year of university. Understanding the potential need for English instruction in the newly opened eastern bloc, he returned to the United States with the idea of starting an exchange program.

1995Scale backs

Due to constraints of the time from 1995 to 1998, Adam scaled back the program, despite its success. Our program decreased to five volunteers in 1995, seven in in 1996 and only two in 1997. In 1998, only four people taught abroad.
Hosts: Hungary

2001Expansion

From 2001 to 2002, LE experienced an unprecedented period of expansion. During both of those summers, over forty volunteers taught with LE. Fourteen of those volunteers traveled to Europe, while the others went to one of the four new countries to join LE's list of host communities: Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, China and Mexico. Thanks to the efforts of the Board of Directors, which included Christina Fleming, Chris Tyler and Ryan Podolsky, the once small program began to flourish into a non-profit with global reach.
Hosts: Hungary, Slovakia, Mauritius, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, China and Mexico

2004Further success

In 2004, Chris Tyler replaced Christina Fleming as Managing Director. We reestablished our program in China, while witnessing the most successful years of our programs in Mauritius and Mexico. We also added Romania and Panama to our group of host countries.
Hosts: Hungary, Slovakia, Mauritius, Mexico, China, Croatia and Romania

2006 Growth

From 2006 through 2009, our organization experienced years of growth and stabilization. Our staff, applicants and reach continued to increase. In 2006, LE passed the 100 volunteer mark and expanded to 130 by 2008. By 2015, we also carried out brief programs in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Egypt, Honduras, Lithuania, Turkey, Egypt and Moldova. Through the energy and enthusiasm of our management staff, we accomplished large scale fundraising, allowing the organization to cover expenses of recruitment, preparation, and programming.
Hosts: Hungary, Slovakia, Mauritius, Mexico, China, Croatia, Romania, Egypt, Lithuania, Moldova, Panama, Mongolia, Thailand, Brazil, Ethiopia, Honduras, Poland and Turkey

1991The idea

Adam Tolnay, the founder of Learning Enterprises, worked in Hungary during his second year of university. Understanding the potential need for English instruction in the newly opened eastern bloc, he returned to the United States with the idea of starting an exchange program.

1995Scale backs

Due to constraints of the time from 1995 to 1998, Adam scaled back the program, despite its success. Our program decreased to five volunteers in 1995, seven in in 1996 and only two in 1997. In 1998, only four people taught abroad.
Hosts: Hungary

2001Expansion

From 2001 to 2002, LE experienced an unprecedented period of expansion. During both of those summers, over forty volunteers taught with LE. Fourteen of those volunteers traveled to Europe, while the others went to one of the four new countries to join LE's list of host communities: Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, China and Mexico. Thanks to the efforts of the Board of Directors, which included Christina Fleming, Chris Tyler and Ryan Podolsky, the once small program began to flourish into a non-profit with global reach.
Hosts: Hungary, Slovakia, Mauritius, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, China and Mexico

2004Further success

In 2004, Chris Tyler replaced Christina Fleming as Managing Director. We reestablished our program in China, while witnessing the most successful years of our programs in Mauritius and Mexico. We also added Romania and Panama to our group of host countries.
Hosts: Hungary, Slovakia, Mauritius, Mexico, China, Croatia and Romania

2006 Growth

From 2006 through 2009, our organization experienced years of growth and stabilization. Our staff, applicants and reach continued to increase. In 2006, LE passed the 100 volunteer mark and expanded to 130 by 2008. By 2015, we also carried out brief programs in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Egypt, Honduras, Lithuania, Turkey, Egypt and Moldova. Through the energy and enthusiasm of our management staff, we accomplished large scale fundraising, allowing the organization to cover expenses of recruitment, preparation, and programming.
Hosts: Hungary, Slovakia, Mauritius, Mexico, China, Croatia, Romania, Egypt, Lithuania, Moldova, Panama, Mongolia, Thailand, Brazil, Ethiopia, Honduras, Poland and Turkey

1992First volunteers

The first volunteers arrived in Hungary in the summer of 1992. For a six-week period, five of Adam’s friends from Harvard taught English across five villages. Adam expanded the program to include ten volunteers in villages of western Romania in 1993 and 15 volunteers in Slovakia in 1994.
Hosts: Hungary, Romania and Slovakia

1999Beyond Europe

1999 marked the beginning of a renaissance for Adam’s exchange program. With the help of Tino Cuellar and Niko Canner, the informal exchange program became an officially registered 501(c)3 non-profit. The new organization became known as Learning Enterprises (LE). Adam and a few friends formed the Board of Directors, overseeing LE. Slovakia again joined the list of host countries. In 2000, LE also expanded outside of Europe to Mauritius with the help of Alam Kasenally, a Mauritian native.
Hosts: Hungary, Slovakia and Mauritius

2003Steady progress

In 2003, LE experienced both gains and setbacks. We canceled our program in China for the year due to the SARS outbreak, and dropped our programs in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan due to the war in Afghanistan. At the same time, Croatia joined the list of LE host countries, and the rest of the LE programs continued to grow in number of volunteers and students taught. 2003 also marked the first year that Adam did not act as the Managing Director of Learning Enterprises. He passed the responsibility to Christina Fleming, who had helped reinvigorate the organization in 2001 and 2002.
Hosts: Hungary, Slovakia, Mauritius, Croatia and Mexico

2005Staff expansion

Learning Enterprises had grown beyond single-person management, and the Board of Directors hired Ryan Podolsky and Brad Larson, seniors at Stanford, to co-directe the organization. This first management team began hiring a volunteer student staff of Campus Directors and Program Directors. That summer, seventy-five volunteers taught more than three thousand students in nine countries around the world. We also launched a pilot program in Indonesia.
Hosts: Hungary, Slovakia, Mauritius, Mexico, China, Croatia, Romania, Indonesia and Panama

2016Now

In 2016, we worked relentlessly to further develope our volunteer training and host reach. We established a program in Greece, while cultivating program frameworks to allow our programs to prosper in our host communities into the future.
Hosts: Hungary, Slovakia, Mauritius, China, Croatia, Romania, Panama, Thailand, Mongolia, Brazil, Greece and Poland