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Volunteer overseas on worthwhile and sustainable programmesVolunteer Overseas

HOW IT WORKS – you’ve decided on volunteering, what’s next?

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Talk to us

Not sure where you want to go or what you want to do? No worries, we can be here to help you every step of the way! To start, have a look at our website and really get a feel for which placements or destinations appeal to you. We have stories from past volunteers, videos, ongoing blogs and newsletters to make sure you have all the information you need. All our team members have been volunteers in the past and understand how you’re feeling and what information you need. So give us a call or send an email, we will try our best to answer all your questions; this is a very important part of the process, working out what is right for you.

We also run regular open days, information evenings and webinars so make sure you check those dates out as well!

Then, when you think you’re ready, when all your questions have been answered, and when you have found the perfect placement it’s time to take the plunge. It’s time to apply!

Take the plunge – how to apply!

Applying for one of our placements is as easy as 1, 2, 3. All you have to do is click Apply Now and fill out the online application form. To start off with, we only require a $495 deposit which will be deducted from the total programme fee. This shows your commitment to the project and allows us to start your preparations.

If for some reason we can’t accommodate you on your project for the chosen dates we will give you the option to choose another placement, or you will get your deposit back! Once you’ve sent the form off it should take no longer than a few days for our in country staff to secure and confirm your placement and we’ll let you know as soon your application goes through.

Let the preparations begin

Preparing for a trip like this can be a little overwhelming and the majority of people experience some stress at some point (it’s completely normal!). Often it feels like there is too much to do and not enough time, especially if it’s your first trip travelling alone.

Don’t worry, we are here to answer your questions every step of the way and our in country teams will also be in touch to help where they can! Once your place is confirmed you will need to start thinking about a few things, particularly booking your flights, arranging visas and investigating what vaccinations you might need. You can either book them yourself or, alternatively, we have a travel team that can organise your flights for you. Whoever books your flights, our staff will be waiting at the airport when you arrive, whatever the time.

Insurance is covered in the cost of the programme so that’s one that can be ticked off the list!

For many countries you will need a visa; the cost and difficulty of getting these will vary by country. We have a quick guide here but will also give you all the information and paperwork you need on applying and when to do it.

You may need a number of vaccinations for your travels; we recommend that you consult your local GP or a travel doctor for a view on what you might need. As a guide you might find this site useful.

Connect with others

By joining the Projects Abroad Facebook page you will also be opened up to a whole new forum of information. Each destination country also has its own Facebook page and lots of volunteers use the pages to connect with others who have been to the same destination or who are going at a later date. The page is great way to get some handy advice about things such as language, history, culture and customs or just general questions about food and life! There are also plenty of photos for you to have a look at, which should start to get you pretty excited!

My Projects Abroad

This is a personalised website which will act as your central volunteer trip planner. You will have your own username and password and we will regularly post guides on culture, language, what to pack and your insurance information along with many other topics and tips! This is where you will also find a step-by-step guide on how to apply for your visa, local staff contacts and advice on making the most of your time away.

Your webpage is designed to be a go-to reference for your chosen project with all the information you’ll need in one convenient place. Remember we are always here to talk to at any time as well.

About a month before departure, your placement and host family or accommodation details will be posted here.

Take-off

So you’re organised. You’ve packed your bags, printed off any useful phone numbers and documents and now it’s time to say goodbye to your family and friends and jet off. Let the fun part begin! We will be in touch before you leave to wish you well and remind you to drop us a line with any last minute questions.

Upon arrival

Whatever time you arrive, one of our friendly staff will be there to pick you up and take you to your accommodation giving you a welcome and a first taste of the country which will be your new home for a while. The next day Projects Abroad staff will give you an orientation of your new whereabouts. They will give you tips on how to use local transport, show you how to get to work, introduce you to the flavours of some local food and sort out other essentials such as safety precautions, mobile phones and internet cafes.

At the majority of host families you will also be joined by other volunteers. Not only is this a great way to make some amazing friends from all over the world (there will be volunteers from North America and all parts of Europe as well as Australian and NZ) but for the first few days they can also help you quickly fit in and feel at home. Once you have been there for a while you can repay the favour by helping other volunteers when they arrive. We also have regular social events so volunteers can get to know each other and stay in touch, at weekends there is always something planned by the group of volunteers.

Settling into a life overseas

There may be a little culture shock to begin with - these countries are very different to home - but don’t worry, it’s normal and part of the reason you travel! With the support of our local staff and volunteer group you’ll quickly find yourself feeling comfortable and ready to really throw yourself into your project and give it 100%!

When you’re away you can also get involved in regular volunteer social events and community outreach programmes. During your spare time, you can discover the country and travel with the other volunteers you have befriended. Of course, there may be some challenging times but our staff are on-hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so you’ll always have their support if you have a question, a problem, or you just want to have a chat!

The main thing is just to embrace the challenges and experiences. Enjoy every moment of your time, work hard, contribute to your placement enthusiastically and passionately and you will find that you’ll come back feeling like you have helped as much as you can, with a new perspective, new friends, a second home and amazing stories to share with friends and family!

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