FAQs related to our WorkingAbroad Database, General Volunteering Abroad Requests and Questions about our WorkingAbroad Projects
There are no age limits, however, the minimum recommended age is 18 for working and travelling in the third world countries. We do offer a few projects where volunteers under 18 years old can join, as long as they have parental consent. Some organisations do, however, require volunteers to be 20 years old or over. The maximum age range is generally up to 75 years old, depending on the project, but again there are some exceptions when the maximum age is 45 years old for outdoor/basic camping/wilderness type programmes. Its always best to enquire if you have any questions about age limits when are wanting to apply for a programme.
If you are motivated and willing to work as a self-funded volunteer, there are a wide variety of projects that you can join where you don’t need any specific qualifications or skills. Training and orientation is often provided on arrival at a project as well, and you learn “on the job”. Volunteering enables you to gain hands-on practical experience in the field and to learn new skills. Some organisations require special qualifications; particularly for teaching, healthcare & research projects. Qualifications are generally a must for paid work abroad, if you are a doctor, engineer or TEFL teacher, for example.
Whether you can volunteer abroad with your family varies depending on the specific project in question & it’s needs at the time. For more information on family volunteering abroad please click here.
The organisations and projects in our online database are looking for volunteers themselves, therefore, we do not place you (except on our own projects). You are responsible for contacting and applying to organisations yourself. Each organisation on the database can be reached using the contact form on their project page.
Yes, volunteers pay for their own transportation such as airline tickets. Most organisations provide you with ground transportation to and from the work stations and/or airport pickup and drop off, unless the project is located far from the airport, in which case you may need to travel to the meeting point, and this will be at your own cost.
Voluntary work is not necessarily unpaid work. Some organisations do give stipends, salaries, full room & board etc. However, to receive a salary, you typically must have a specific qualification, such as being a doctor, nurse, qualified teacher, engineer etc, with at least two years relevant work experience in that field. Salaries are only allowances which are based on the local cost of living, and your living expenses. With these organisations, volunteers are typically expected to give a longer term minimum commitment. Along with a monthly allowance, travel expenses and insurance costs are typically also paid for. Please note though, the competition is very high for places on paid placements and applications are very lengthy. However, for the majority of other organisations on our volunteer database which are usually non-profit organisations, NGOs, charities or foundations, they are not in the position to pay for volunteers, and therefore request volunteers to be self-funded.
Most organisations provide you with room & board when you join a project as a volunteer, however, this can be very costly for them, and in most cases volunteers have to contribute towards these costs in the form of a programme fee. Volunteering does require an investment and a sacrifice of time and money on behalf of the volunteer. However, in return, you will receive practical experience in the field, which is invaluable for career and personal development, and in addition, you will be supporting a local non profit organisation in the field to achieve their goals and aims. Programme fees are generally broken down to cover food, lodging, airport pickup/drop off, project materials, training and administrative costs for the organisation.
This is a general list that you can use as a reference only.
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Upon receipt of your submitted application form for one of our WorkingAbroad Projects, we will need to assess your application, contact your references and liaise with our Project Managers in the field. This procedure can take anything from a one or two days up to a maximum of two weeks, providing we have been furnished with correct contact details for references and so on. If you are doing a last minute application, please state this in your motivation letter or by email, and we will endeavour to get back to you within 24 hours.
Your deposit is paid as a commitment on your behalf that you want to secure your place on your project of choice. However, we do not debit your card or cash your cheque of your deposit payment until we can confirm that you have been accepted on the programme - so at that point, then your deposit is retained. If after this point, you decide to cancel your participation on the project for whatever reason, then your deposit is not refundable. However, if we are unable to offer you a position on the project, your deposit is returned in full (cheque is not cashed, card is not debited). For other questions on deposits and payments, please refer to the Terms and Conditions sections under each Project application.
In most cases, we accept couples for all of our projects. Of course, this must be decided on a case by case basis, but as a general rule, we are open to joint applications. Please bear in mind that if you are applying as a couple to join the same project, that you would need to submit 2 separate applications and pay 2 separate deposits. Please also mention each other’s names in your motivation letters when you apply, so that we know to treat your applications together.
Again as discussed above, families are not always accepted if you wish to bring children under the age of 18. However, we do run a number of projects which are suitable for families with children. For more information on family volunteering abroad please click here.
All volunteers on our programmes must have appropriate medical insurance which covers them throughout the period they are volunteering. We provide a Volunteer Travel/Medical insurance package that has been specifically designed to cover all aspects of travelling abroad as a volunteer on our programmes. Please click here to find out more.