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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 

TRAVELLERS' SUPPORT & BACKUP

Once you decide to venture abroad to live or work, a whole new vista of experience opens up for you. From the moment you get onto the aeroplane, everything is new, different and exciting.

Step off the plane and the smells and sounds are different, so are the people, the weather, the language, the environment. Food tastes different, flowers and trees are more exotic and colourful. And the best part of it is that you get to know your host country intimately by living and working with the people. It's a wonderful, eye-opening experience and one that you'll never forget.

But initially this can also be a little scary to some people, which is why our Country Consultants help you with advice and guidance each step of the way, starting with helping you to choose the best place and the most suitable projects for you. And, along with our in-country support staff, they continue to give assistance for the duration of your stay.

"I had the most wonderful time during my gap year and I was most impressed with Travellers
as a company, I have nothing but praise for them."
– Louise Robinson, Kenya

Support and Backup from Travellers Worldwide

SAFETY:

Melina, Argentina


Ana, Brazil


Aloysis, Ghana


Romulo, Brazil


Ronn, Malaysia


Byard, New Zealand


Eleanor, South Africa


Glenn, Thailand



Lameck, Zambia



Ravi, Sri Lanka

“It's reassuring to know how much effort you've been putting into this to make sure the placement properly suits me.”
Tom Mackenzie, Sri Lanka


Travellers supports the FCO's
Know Before You Go

campaign
 

Our No. 1 priority is to ensure that you are in a safe environment while on your project. With this firmly in mind, we only start new destinations that are politically stable and safe. Where a situation changes (as happened in China with the SARS epidemic, for example), our staff in the UK and our local staff overseas constantly monitor the situation. If we think that your safety is compromised, we will immediately take steps to remove you from the unsafe environment.

We are constantly in contact with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and this supplements the information received from our local staff on the ground.


Albert, Malaysia


Annette, Australia


Anitha, India


Sharon, South Africa

"Thanks for all the help from Travellers for Kevin. I hope that his experience out there can be put to good productive use back home. Every good wish for the future with Travellers. Every one of you deserves a medal for your good work...”
Fionnula McGowan, Mother of Kevin McGowan, Brazil Volunteer

"I'm very impressed ... Travellers is very professional, both in England and over here" A comment made by Stephen Taylor during his placement to Samantha Terblanche, Travellers Organiser in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Fabio Castilha was the best thing about Travellers. He is a top guy who does a fantastic job in helping the volunteers settle and ensures that he is always readily available to deal with any problems. I couldn't have asked for more.”
Charles McNicholas, Brazil Volunteer



SAA Steward, Steve, gives Travellers the thumbs up! Steve, like all SAA staff, was very professional, friendly and helpful - thanks, Steve!

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SUPPORT AND BACK-UP

Support from our Local Overseas Staff:
We have excellent, paid, local support and back-up staff teams in all of our destination countries (see pictures) and they are there to assist with any concerns, advice and administration. They are contactable 24 hours a day and we are in constant liaison with them about you and your placement. They look after you during your stay and liaise with our partner organisations to ensure that your placement provides maximum benefit to both you and them.
They can also give you help or advice on your teaching/work responsibilities and the practical aspects of living abroad. Their local knowledge is invaluable and they can direct you to all the most impressive sights and tourist attractions to visit, as well as the beauty spots that are off the beaten track! They will also advise you on any safety issues specific to places that you may want to visit during your free time.

“I loved them (the in-country support team), honestly, and they were some of the nicest people I've ever met. They made me feel right at home” Canyon Cugini on her placement in Brazil

Support from our UK Staff:
On top of our local staff, we have an excellent support network in the UK. During the run-up to beginning your placement, our home team's advice and expertise is invaluable in arranging and tailoring your placement to your requirements. They can answer all your questions and are very experienced travellers themselves - most of them are ex Travellers Volunteers and they understand what you're looking for and hoping to gain on your project.

Before your departure we will help you with all stages of planning your trip, from arranging your travel dates to co-incide with others, booking your flights or helping you decide what to take with you. Whilst you are on your placement we will stay in touch with you to make sure you are having a great time! Many of our volunteers stay in touch long after they have come home  to keep us updated on what they have been doing. We love to hear your feedback!  

For example, if you've chosen a project a Malaysia, your Project Co-ordinator will be Kath Mortimore, who looks after all of our Malaysia volunteers. She'll plan, arrange and co-ordinate your placement from beginning to end, in consultation with you, and you'll probably get to know her quite well by the time you're ready to leave. Read about our UK team here.

“LOVE the UK support staff. Everyone was very helpful on the phone. Even when I had issues with a delayed flight, it went well. Thanks!” Desiree Ochs

On Your Arrival:
Our local in-country manager will meet you at the nearest international airport, without additional charge, regardless of whether we've booked your flights or you've chosen to book them yourself. This is because we're very aware of how daunting it can be to travel for the first time to a strange country. A friendly face to welcome you is very reassuring!
On very rare occasions we may use a reputable approved local transfer company to pick up volunteers from the airport, but usually you'll be met by a member of our overseas staff, who will hold up a Travellers sign or one with your name on.
Placements and Projects:
Before you go on your placement, we'll send you lots of information to help you prepare. Before leaving your home country, you'll be given (amongst other things):
  • Contact information, i.e. the address and telephone number of your Overseas Travellers Manager and, where relevant, the contact details of your host work organisation.
  • Your Placement - this is a booklet filled with information about your placement. It includes information on flights, visas, local transport, currency, the cost of living, medical info, insurance info, what to take with you, dress code and a host of other things.
  • Your Project  - detailed information about your specific project or projects.
  • Your Country  - a booklet containing general information about the country you're going to, including the town or city, the people, the culture, places worth visiting while you're there, including photos.
  • If you're doing a teaching placement, we also send you a Teaching Guide to help you prepare. This will assist you in planning lessons and give you ideas for topics to use in your classes.

  • You will also receive a Safety Guide with travel tips, put together by Travellers to help you travel safely.

  • An ID Card - This is a wallet-sized card with your photo and the address and telephone numbers of Travellers Overseas office and our local office here in the UK. It's laminated (makes a good souvenir!) and is easy and convenient to carry around with you.
  • Flights and Travel: You can arrange your own flights or we can assist you with your flight arrangements. We'll liaise with you regarding suitable flights and dates and thereafter all your flight bookings/payments will be fulfilled for you by Murray Rogers Travel Ltd., ATOL No. 6856. (Read more about Murray Rogers Travel Ltd.)

"Tim is an excellent organiser and the cultural activities he had planned meant that I saw more of China in those 2 months than I would have in a whole year of independent travel" - Suhrid Joshi, Teaching in China

Induction:
During the first few days after your arrival you'll receive an Induction. The depth and length varies according to country, but will include useful information on:
  • Local banks, local transport, money, the telephone system, etc., and where these are different and/or complex, we'll show you how to use them.
  • You'll be taken around the local area, often on local transport that you may need to use during your placement (this could be a bus, train, tro-tro, metro, matatu, tuk-tuk ...)
  • Location of the post office, where to change money and internet facilities, etc.
  • Advice on safety, local customs and code of behaviour.
What you should know before taking part in a placement with Travellers:
  • Sometimes some elements of work duties within a placement may change - this is because of the nature of the cultures we work within and institutions that sometimes change things on very short notice! We will endeavour to keep you informed but you should also check our website and phone us for latest updates.
  • You’ll get out of your placement what you put into it - your attitude is important.
  • You're going to a different culture and although it is exciting, it is also different. It won't be what you used to - but then that's exactly why you're doing a placement in another country! To experience something new, something different. However, that something different can also include the buses not being on time, the telephones lines going down, power cuts, perhaps even some traditions you may not particularly like. Unfortunately, we're not responsible for everything and we can't put everything right for you. We're there to make you as comfortable as possible and help you get the most out of your placement. 
  • Although we have excellent support and back-up staff in all our destination countries who will do their best to ensure you have a wonderful time, neither we nor they can make trains run on time, or change irritating local bureaucracy, or stop headmasters from saying “Yes” when they mean “No”, or schools from being disorganised - all of these are cultural differences and that is the reason why ...
  • You must be adaptable, have infinite patience and tolerance, be able to use your own initiative to get things done, and most importantly ...
  • A good sense of humour!

"Thanks for telling me to go when I did as it was nice to have some other people to share it with and we all got on really well as a group and it was a good number of people. The information that was given before I got there was really good and told me everything I need to know about my placement." Kirsteen Wallace

"I'm just coming to the end of my time with Travellers in Cape Town. I have been volunteering at the Red Cross Children's hospital. I would just like to say the support and organization of Travellers has been amazing, mainly thanks to Natalia Cohen. She has made every volunteer feel welcome and at home in Cape Town. She is always there with a smile and willing to help any place and time. Natalia is a credit to Travellers and I would be more than happy to recommend her to anyone wanting a dedicated, committed and hard working employee. I will and already have recommended Travellers to many other people, keep up the good work." Karen Simpson

"I'm still baffled by how hard Karen works. Any little query I had she was able to help me with immediately. Any time, day or night she has been there, even when she isn't needed for company and support. It wouldn't be the same without her. Even a couple of weeks after my placement has finished and she still makes sure I'm okay and offers me help if I need it. She has made India a much less scary place for me. It was one hundred times more than I expected. I felt totally supported by the team at all times and I am thrilled with the experience I have had." Lydia Tyrrell

A volunteer didn't arrive in Cape Town on her scheduled flight and our organisers couldn't get in touch with her. hey 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!”

"Communications with all of the staff involved and myself were excellent and you were all more than willing to answer any questions (no matter how petty) in a caring and professional manner. I always felt that he was in extremely capable hands and did not worry about him being so many thousands of miles away. I'd like to thank all of you involved in the project for all your help and kindness. Kind regards" Linda - Chris's mum

This website has lots of information about our destination countries and about our programmes, but please contact us direct if you have any questions about anything!