The most important way to meaningfully enter into the life of a new country and culture is to learn the local language. Learning a new language is difficult.  It can make you feel like bungling three year old.  It may take months (or years!) to master. But the payoff is worth it.


Are you considering traveling with your children? I’d strongly encourage you to do so! While it can be a bit intimidating, the rewards are many. Whether you decide to take a road trip to a neighboring city or state, or board a plane to visit a new country, you will create memories that will last a lifetime.


The following blog post was written by Jessica Ambuehl, an IDEAS volunteer photographer who recently spent time in Tunisia. Enjoy her latest thoughts on this beautiful country. You can read more of her writing at




Scott, our Asia Project Director, shares his six tips for sharing on social media while overseas:

It is wonderful to live in a world where we can share our experiences through social media. We can instantly share breathtaking pictures, describe exciting and challenging experiences, and innovatively connect with our family and friends.  Since ...

Meet David! David and his family live in Beirut, Lebanon where he serves as the IDEAS Lebanon Project Operations Director and as the coordinator for a community center that works with disadvantaged youth. Learn about his work and family in the latest blog post: Life in Lebanon.

Scott, our Asia Project Operations Director, shares his insights on orienting your new life overseas.

Moving to a new city in a new country can be a disorienting experience. Nothing is familiar, you can’t read the road signs, and it is hard to ask directions in a new language. How do you get oriented in your new location?

Buy a ...

Scott, our Asia Director, shares his insights on how to adjust to a new setting in our latest blog: Shake or Kiss? Questions to Help Understand a New Culture.

"So, why should I join IDEAS?"

I love this question. In fact, I never get tired of it because it is the exact question a possible volunteer or long-term Associate should be asking. When deciding to go overseas, whether for two weeks or 10 years, picking an organization is vital (check out:

Scott returns again with an insightful post on Country Shock.

Traveling or living in a new country and culture can be exhilarating, full of fun and serendipitous experiences.  Meeting new people, eating new foods, experiencing new cultural ways of thinking will enliven your life.

But… meeting new people, eating new foods, and ...

Katie, an IDEAS Associate and Leadership Coach, lives and works throughout North Africa helping to create thriving communities and increase longevity of expatriates working in the region. In this blog: Healthy Conflict at Work, Katie explores the importance of conflict and how to address it properly.