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FAQs

We know that choosing the right volunteer project for you in the ideal location can be tricky. We also understand that this might be your first time travelling abroad alone and that can be daunting.

To help you out we’ve answered some of the most common questions below. Please feel free to drop us a line if you still have questions or would like some guidance on choosing a program that suits you.

Will I need a visa?

Yes, most countries do require entry visas and in most cases you can obtain them on arrival at the airport. We will guide you as far as possible but it’s important that you check visa requirements thoroughly as some nationalities do need to apply for visas prior to arrival.

Do most volunteers travel on their own or in groups?

The majority of our volunteers who join us are individuals travelling on their own; however, some volunteers also travel in a group with their mates - everyone is welcome!

Don't worry about coming on your own, the volunteer houses are great places for everyone to get to know one another and you’ll likely return home with a whole bunch of new friends!

How safe are the projects? Will someone be with me while I work?

We make every effort to ensure all volunteers are safe during their placement. Our teams on the ground are trained and experienced and ready to handle all and any situations that may arise. Our volunteers are always accompanied by a staff member while on project.

Volunteers are briefed fully about the area that they are living and working in, with advice on how to go about their daily life as a volunteer. We are widely accepted in the communities we work with and there’s a culture of respect and understanding.

Is working with wild animals dangerous?

Yes, working with wild animals is always dangerous, but thanks to our trained staff and safety protocols incidents are very rare. It is important for any volunteer working with wild animals to understand the risks and maintain respect for all wildlife.

All volunteers will undergo a comprehensive induction and orientation program to brief them on safety and prepare them for the work they’ll be doing. It is crucial to listen to project staff at all times, and to obey camp rules! Common sense is essential and again, pay attention to the information provided and remember that animals are wild!

Will there be anybody else helping at the project while I am there?

Our projects range in size – some can accommodate many volunteers, while others only a few. If you’d like to find out whether you’ll be the only volunteer during your trip please feel free to request this information from your Destination Manager.

How much free time will I have to travel around?

Weekends are a great opportunity to explore the local area or simply to relax. We arrange extra trips and excursions with reputable tour partners. While World Volunteering staff members don’t chaperone volunteers during their free time, they will be accompanied by trained tour guides.

Evenings are also free time to meet and socialise with other volunteers. Often volunteers opt to use this time to prep for the next day’s activities.

Do I need any working or study experience to join a project?

Most of our projects are open to unqualified volunteers who go through an orientation program on arrival to prepare them for project work. Our volunteers must have passion, an open mind and a willingness to learn, participate and contribute.

We do have some projects, predominantly medical/healthcare projects, which require varying levels of prior study or work experience. Please check the requirements for each project.

What happens in case of a medical emergency?

Medical emergencies are by no means a regular occurrence, but our project teams are equipped to deal with all situations and have strict protocols in place to do so. The Volunteer Coordinator for the project will ensure that you receive immediate medical assistance.

In the event of a serious illness or accident, each volunteer will be covered by their insurance policy, which is why we require all volunteers to have adequate insurance which includes repatriation.  We recommend World Nomads or Mind the Gap Year for volunteer travel insurance.

What happens if I pay for my placement and then can’t travel?

It is necessary for all volunteers who book with us to have adequate travel insurance which covers any unforeseen change of plans such as illness or changes to projects due to circumstances beyond our control like fake floods etc. If you wish to cancel your placement please consult the Terms & Conditions provided to you by your Destination Manager.

Will I be able to phone home?

Communication to, or within developing countries is not always as it is back home – it can sometimes be slow and difficult. A telephone will always be available for you to call home, and on most of our projects there are also internet connections available (although depending on the location, this could be intermittent). Volunteers can also purchase local SIM cards for their mobile phones at most destinations.

What if I don’t speak the local language like Swahili or Spanish etc?

This is no problem. We require all volunteers to speak English as all inductions and safety briefings are given in English, but you’ll have an opportunity to pick up some of the local greetings when you’re with us on project. If you like, try learning some of the ethnic language prior to joining us – you’ll impress the locals and the other volunteers!

Do I book my flight with World Volunteering?

No, all flights are booked by the volunteer but we can recommend flight and travel partners for your consideration - please speak with your Destination Manager.