GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS
FAQ's ON VOLUNTEERING ABROAD WITH TRAVELLERS WORLDWIDE
We've tried to answer as many questions as possible below. Hopefully we've succeeded to answering all yours, but if not, please do contact us either by email or telephone: 1-603-574-4935. We're happy to help!
And Parents, we have a special section for your questions as well, but please don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like more information or reassurance that your child is in good hands.
Do I qualify for a placement?
When and where can I go, and for how long?
What will happen to me out there?
Where and how will I live?
Questions about money
What do I gain from doing a voluntary program?
What if I want additional information?
FOR PARENTS: Concern about your children in our hands
DO I QUALIFY FOR A PLACEMENT?
1. How old do I have to be to
participate in a program?
Teaching: If you're teaching a language such as English, you don't need a TEFL or any other formal qualification but you do need to be fluent in that language and have a reasonable standard of grammatical correctness.
Conservation: You don't need qualifications for most of our Conservation projects, but if you want to take part in a science-based project such as the Dolphin program, you need to be at least in your second year of a sciences degree.
Work Experience Internships: In fields such as Medicine or Law, you need to be studying the subject or working in the sector or have some background experience. In other fields, such as Catering, no qualifications are necessary.
In all our programmes you do need to have patience and understanding, and a good sense of humour! You will be living and working in a different culture, with different ways of doing things to what you're used to - their standards may not be as high as yours - that's part of the fun, learning about their culture and teaching them about yours!
3. Do I need to speak the local
WHEN AND WHERE CAN I GO?
4. Which countries can I go
5. What type of program can I do?
6. When can I start?
7. When should I apply?
8. How long do placements last?
9. Can I extend my stay while overseas?
10. Will I be able to travel around
while I’m there?
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ME OUT THERE?
11. Will I be on my own or can I be
placed near other volunteers?
12. What support and back-up will I
EXAMPLE: A volunteer didn't arrive in Cape Town on her scheduled flight and our organisers couldn't get in touch with her. They were very worried and spent several hours trying to track her down. Later it was found that her cell phone had run out of battery and her connecting flights had been re-arranged due to one arriving later than scheduled - on hearing the good news that she'd been tracked down her mum said; “This is the reason we booked through Travellers and it is so good to know that an incident like this is dealt with so smoothly and professionally...Thank you!”
14. What if I am ill?
WHERE AND HOW DO I LIVE ONCE I'M THERE?
15. Where will I live and who will I
If you have a special preference, please inform us and we'll do our best to accommodate you.
Although not all countries have Western standards, all accommodation is reasonable by local standards; some could be on the luxurious side. Family accommodation gives you the opportunity to really learn about the way of life from the inside and all types of accommodation provide an additional support network and new learning experiences.
16. Can I go with my boyfriend or
If you'd like to live and work together with a friend/s, we will ensure that you're placed together - just let us know.
QUESTIONS ABOUT MONEY:
17. What happens to me and my money if
you get into financial difficulty or go into receivership?
We are therefore pleased to say that in the highly unlikely event that Travellers goes into bankruptcy or receivership, and in accordance with "The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992", all participants booking with us (Travelquest Ltd T/a Travellers Worldwide) are fully insured for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of monies paid. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to (highly unlikely!) insolvency of Travellers Worldwide.
This insurance is provided free to all our participants and has been arranged by Towergate Chapman Stevens through AmTrust Europe.
Policy exclusions: This policy will not cover any monies paid for Travel Insurance or any claim relating to Air Flights. However, we advise all our participants to ensure that the agent they choose to book their flights with has the appropriate CAA / ATOL Bonds in place.
You have the option to arrange your own flights or we can assist you with your flight arrangements. If you’d like us to do this for you, we will liaise with you regarding available flights, dates and prices to suit you. All arrangements for your flight bookings/payments will be fulfilled by Murray Rogers Travel Limited, ATOL No. 6856.
This is the short answer -
click here to
read the long (and very informative!) answer:
You gain the opportunity to live and work in countries where you wouldn't otherwise be able to, and you gain experience and knowledge which you wouldn't otherwise receive. In most of our placements you make a tremendous positive difference to the local community - in others you gain a wealth of experience.
Because you do a voluntary placement, Travellers is able to provide assistance and opportunities to our host countries without any cost to them - see We Make A Difference. The addition of a new classroom which enables more children to receive an education, or a safe playground for the children to play in, can be of enormous help to a poor community. Equally, providing a free website for a research institute that enables them to get more visitors and hence more research funds, or a customised database for a conservation project that helps them to work more effectively and efficiently also has a long-term benefit.
18. Can I fundraise
for my project?
19. What will a placement cost me
and what does the fee include?
The fee includes all your food and accommodation (unless otherwise stated), and back-up and support both at home and in our destination country, during the entire time you participate in a placement. We also meet you at the nearest international airport at no charge and transport you to your placement. It is very re-assuring to know that you have a local contact who is being paid to look after your welfare when you are in a foreign destination.
"hidden extras" are there?
22. Do you
give guidelines on safety issues?
Personal safety is mostly plain common-sense, but we nonetheless give detailed guidelines on safety measures to take. We also give advice directly related to each of our destination countries. In the Travel Tips section, there is a lot of very useful general information on the do's and don'ts of travelling, including how to look after your luggage in airports, taking taxis, hitch-hiking, and other similar advice.
23. Are the countries safe?
As far as general crime is concerned, none of our destinations is any worse than a typical English or other Western town or city, and many are much safer! If you take the same common-sense precautions you would take at home, you'll be well prepared.
24. Do women encounter any special
WHAT DO I GAIN FROM A VOLUNTARY PLACEMENT?
25. What do I gain from doing a
On a Travellers placement you'll gain the experience of living and working in a different ethnic culture and increasing your understanding of how different the lives of others are to what you are used to. In many of our placements you'll gain the satisfaction of knowing that you have had a positive impact on people and children less fortunate than you are. On other placements, such as a Work Experience or Conservation placement, you'll gain knowledge in your particular field of interest in a structured placement that will make an excellent entry on your CV or résumé. You'll also improve your communication and presentation skills and you'll learn how to work in an environment of co-operation.
26. What do I get from Travellers
before I leave?
If you're doing a teaching placement, we provide a Teaching Suggestions Guide that has received praise from many of the headmasters and teachers in our partner schools and institutes.
27. What do I need to do to ensure
that I benefit from my placement and I enjoy myself?
You will get out of your placement what you put into it. If you're prepared to enjoy the unexpected, like the earthy smell of African clay, and ignore the inconveniences, like power cuts and no-show buses, you'll enjoy your placement.
Homesickness: Everyone gets homesick - just to a greater or lesser degree - so don't feel embarrassed about it. But do give yourself a chance, don't go running home as soon as you arrive. Homesickness wears off - honestly!
28. Can I talk to people who have done
a Travellers placement?
29. What if I have more questions?
30. What do I do now?
FOR PARENTS: REASSURANCE!
31. How do
I know that Travellers is a "real" company
32. What credible affiliations do you have?
Travellers has been with the Careers Services and Students Unions (and the Departments) in all the Universities in England since its inception in 1994 as well as with most Sixth Form schools and colleges. We have also worked for many years with various universities in America, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Europe.
We work with many, many government departments, ruling bodies, NGOs, sports affiliates, and local community centres in all our countries around the world.
33. How do I know where my child
34. Are you registered with ABTA, ATOL, etc.?
As happens when volunteers make their own flight arrangements, airline tickets are sent to them before they leave home, so they are always in possession of their outward and return tickets.
Where possible, we arrange for two or more people to travel on the same flight and we provide your child with the names and telephone numbers of other volunteers on their flight, so that they can chat to each other or even meet up before leaving for their placement.
Please remember, you can always call and speak to us directly. We are very happy to answer any and all questions you may have.