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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s some extra bits of information that may be useful to you…if something is not answered get in touch with us!

PRE ARRIVAL:

  • 1. How do I apply?

    To apply you simply fill in the application forms online. Once we get your details we will email you a confirmation. We usually like to speak to all our volunteers and a call will be arranged along with pre-departure information that will help you with your planning and preparations for your upcoming volunteering experience.

  • 2. What programs do you recommend for me?

    We have a range of programs from teaching, medical placements, social work to animal or marine conservation. We work in India, Thailand, SriLanka, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, South Africa and Peru. We make recommendations based on your interests and from which you can get an immersive experience. 90% of the time we customise our programs entirely to your needs and also that can benefit our local community on ground. A phone call with our experienced team and you will be arranged to discuss all the possibilities with you.

  • 3. Will I be on my own or will there be other volunteers with me?

    The social aspect of any program is always important. We get volunteers on all our programs however some are more popular than others. If you are looking to be with others volunteers its always good to ask us how many will be joining on your start dates. We also have programs that are more independent and where you won’t need fellow volunteers as the project are fairly busy.

  • 4. What is the age group of volunteers who join?

    We get all age groups from 17 years upwards. Our oldest volunteer has been 68 years old! Age is no bar when it comes to volunteering and we welcome everyone on our programs. On average you can expect volunteers between 21 to 25 years old.

  • 5. Can I talk to past volunteers?

    Due to our privacy policy we can not share information of our past volunteers. We however do have our Facebook page where you can join and interact directly with volunteers who have left reviews or past volunteers from our Facebook groups for each destination. Get in touch with us if you are interested to know how to connect with others via social media.

  • 6. What skills do I need to volunteer?

    We do not require you to have any specific skills unless you are joining our medical or healthcare programs. We expect that you have an interest in the project that you applying to. For instance if you are applying to teach children we hope that you enjoy being around children! On arrival we give you training and necessary resources that you may need for your program. Our local staff are also around for you to give you support at all times.

HEALTH & SAFETY:

  • 7. What vaccinations do I take?

    This depends on which country you are traveling from. You should visit your local travel medical clinic at the local GP centre and take vaccinations they suggest. You should consider the following vaccinations: Hepatitis A & B; Diphtheria; Tetanus; Yellow fever; Rabies; Tuberculosis; Malaria

  • 8. What if I am sick on the program?

    Our pre-trip information pack will provide you with how to minimise the risk of falling ill, and our guides will also brief you on hygiene. Additionally, we strongly encourage you to take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover the event that you fall ill. This coverage should certainly include all medical-related expenses, and emergency air lifts where required. All program locations have several good private hospitals, nursing homes and health clinics available. We will give you information to the nearest doctors and our staff will be there to help you in case you keeping unwell. We keep a basic medical kit you can access at home and when you are on site.You will get the numbers of local doctors, hospitals and our local staff who you can contact 24/7 in case of any medical emergency.

  • 9. What safety measures do you follow?

    • Travel advisories are monitored
    • Copies of all passports, medical and travel insurance, emergency contact information, dietary and medical requirements are collected
    • Staff have up-to-date first-aid training and carry a comprehensive first-aid kit at all times
    • Local hospitals and local doctors are able to handle any minor or major medical situations
    • All travel occurs during the day and under the guidance of facilitators
    • Full training given to participants for any health and safety hazards
    • Access to filtered or bottled water is available at all times.

  • 10. Will I be safe?

    Overall most countries we work in are peaceful and local people are very friendly and supportive. We ensure all possible measures regarding safety and security of our guests. We will give you health and safety training, culture orientation as well as emergency contact numbers of local staff, medical centres and police. However, no trip can be guaranteed to be one hundred per cent safe, and each guest must recognise that travel to developing countries is, in general, less safe than travel to developed countries.

  • 11. Can I get WiFi or mobile connection?

    Most of our locations have WiFi at home. Please bring an unlocked phone from home for local mobile connections.

  • 12. Can I bring my laptop or ipad?

    We highly recommend you carry your ipads or laptops so you can connect with family and friends at home and also stay connected. Most locations are safe but we do not guarantee safety. All electronic devices must be kept locked when you are not at home.

ARRIVAL:

  • 13. What kind of training and orientation do I get?

    We give sufficient information so you feel comfortable and confident to travel to your chosen destination.

    • Pre-departure Preparation You will receive your country relevant pre departure guide that covers all the basics on what to bring, culture and project related information. This will also have the contact of your local contact in count
    • On arrival and during the trip You will get an area orientation and program specific training. A health and safety briefing is also included where necessary.
    • Staff Support All our programs will have a local Country Manager who will be your main point of contact amongst others staff members who will be supporting you on the projects at all times. Although you will work independently, we will support for if you are feeling nervous untli you feel comfortable.

  • 14. Do I get picked up from the airport?

    All our programs include airport transfers except Phang Na Thailand. Our trusted drivers will be waiting with your name on a placard outside the airport.

  • 15. How do I travel to the project sites?

    You will be picked up from the place of your residence and dropped at project site. At the end of the day you will be picked up from the project site and taken back to place of residence at the set timing. Logistics are managed by our ground staff. We use local transport such as Tuk-tuks, buses or local taxis. In some locations bicycles are provided.

  • 16. Can I get College credits or use the program for College or University placements?

    We are not affiliated with any University College credits however we can sign off any documents from your university to state that you have completed the program with us. If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of our programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us directly on hello@volunteeringjourneys to schedule a meeting.

  • 17. Can I make a donation to the project ?

    We have a Volunteering Journeys Foundation which enables you to raise money and 100% goes back into a project of your choice. We do not recommend giving out cash to anyone directly. If you wish to donate please get in touch with us directly by email hello@volunteeringjourneys.com

  • 18. What if I want to travel in between my project?

    On all our programs weekends are free for your excursions. If you want to travel mid week than please get in touch with us or inform our local team directly. We recommend you not to travel during project days and travel only on weekends or after your program finishes.

COST & OTHER BITS:

  • 19. What extra costs are involved?

    You will have to pay for your DBS Check, airfare, medical and travel insurance, vaccinations and your Visas. You will also need some extra money for your personal expenses and excursions in country.

  • 20. Can I travel with my partner, family or friend?

    We always encourage you to travel with your loved ones. This makes an experience even more special. If you are traveling with your boyfriend/girlfriend, friend or family member we can give you accommodation together. Please let us know on when you apply.

  • 21. Can I join more than one destination?

    A lot of volunteers want to combine multiple destinations. If you are thinking of more than one location you can get in touch with us or tick the appropriate countries and program on the application form we send you.

  • 22. What should I pack or bring with me?

    You will be sent a pre-departure guide highlighting what to bring. You will be able to buy basic essentials like soap, shampoo or toothpaste close to your accommodation in most locations. You may want to bring medicines, sun cream, mosquito repellents and personal hygiene products from home.

  • 23. Can I pay the program fee on arrival?

    A lot of preparations goes behind each program and we have to prepare for your arrival. To ensure that our efforts are not going to waste and so we don’t give your spot to someone else a full payment is required before you arrive. We require the full Program Fee to be paid 6 weeks prior to arrival. You can not pay in cash in country. All payments must be paid as per the invoice stated. Please read the Terms and Conditions before you sign up!

  • 24. How do I pay for Program fees?

    Most volunteers use personal savings to fund the program fee. You can also try fundraising for your trip via our fundraising platform. You will have to pay the program fee at least 45-30 days prior to arrival in full for us to make the necessary arrangements. You can read our blog on ideas on how to fundraise for your upcoming trip.

Background

Volunteers Us!

  • ‘My experience in India was absolutely fantastic. Having never done anything like this before, Volunteering Journeys made sure I settled in well and supported me throughout my time. Being placed with an amazing family gave me the chance to experience Indian culture first hand.  I was part of the Disabled Childcare Programs for two weeks.  Although short, I felt the time I spent was so valuable for the children. If this is something that you are interested in I would 100% recommend it. The memories, friendships and experiences you will develop will be ones that you will never forget.’

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    Fiona Kirk
    Connect with Fiona via our Facebook page
  • ‘The teaching experience was second to none. I was overwhelmed by the respect and politeness all the children have, which made it some much easier to work with them, even with the language barrier. The amazing thing about the schools I visited was that all the children are like little sponges, they absorb everything you say, teach and do! It’s quite outstanding how much they gain from just a small conversation in the playground or in the class room.
    So in general if you are questioning whether you want to volunteer and you don’t know what company to go with, it has the be Volunteering Journeys. You will be well looked after, gain an immense experience and make friends for life!!!’

    Jamie-Volunteer-Review
    Jemima Kershberg
    Connect with Jamie via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘I took a short sabbatical from work in November 2013 and decided to come to India. I was helping at a small school in Fort Kochi, teaching English, Maths, Science and the odd nursery rhyme. The school where I volunteered had amazing teachers and the kids were great. Ridhi and the team organised everything brilliantly – from cycling tours to the backwaters, to hosting me with a family that made my stay feel like home. If you’re going to volunteer in India then I highly recommend Volunteering Journeys’

    Glyn-Volunteer-review
    Glyn Owen
    Connect with Glyn via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • “J’ai passé deux mois formidables à Kochi en travaillant comme volontaire avec Volunteering Journeys. Deux mois de ma vie que je n’oublierais jamais. J’ai rencontré des gens incroyables et participé à des projets qui me tenaient vraiment à coeur. J’ai pu voir l’aboutissement de mes efforts et le sourire sur le visage des enfants. Une expérience magique que je recommande à tous. Merci Rainbow”

    Laura-volunteer-reviews
    Laura Prigogine
    Connect with Laura via our Facebook reviews page
  • ‘I spent 3 wonderful weeks with the Volunteering Journeys team in Kerala, it marked the beginning of almost 2 months adventuring through India, and I can say without a doubt it was one of my favourite experiences of my time spent in incredible India! From the moment my plane landed and I was greeted by a friendly face and whisked away to a wonderful home, the local staff were incredibly welcoming, helpful, supportive and great fun to be around!
    I spent my time volunteering in 2 local schools, assisting with English studies. The enthusiasm and joy with which the children approach their days will ensure you never want to leave!I cannot recommend Volunteering Journeys highly enough, it was such a joyful introduction to India – it’s culture, people and crazy beautiful way of life. You will leave with some fond memories and firm friendships’

     

    Katie-Volunteer-Reviews
    Katie Parsons
    Connect with Katie via our Facebook Reviews page
  • ‘I volunteered by teaching English both at a school and at an all girls’ orphanage for two months. It has been the best experience of my life so far. I really got to know the children I was teaching and seeing the children’s English improve over my time was an incredible feeling. From being introduced to yoga to tasting delicious flavoursome Indian cuisine and living in “God’s own country”, has left me eager to return. I have made friends across the World who made my time spent in Kerala unforgettable. I highly recommend volunteering with Volunteering Journeys; Kerala is beautiful and you will gain fun memories.’

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    Elidith Cameron
    Connect with Eilidith via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘I spent two weeks running an art workshop which was absolutely fantastic. The children were so enthusiastic and bustled about with paste and paint, putting together the most amazing creations. They were not used to producing collaborative work and were thrilled when their individual efforts achieved a glorious whole. Their personalities really shone through and I became very fond of them in the short time I was with them. Thank you to Volunteering Journeys for enabling me to have such a wonderful experience!’

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    Jane Daniell
    Connect with Jane via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘There is some kind of magic that happens when you’re in India. The climate, the people, the warm welcome, the happiness in every person, the culture, it’s simply inspiring. On top of that having a group of friendly, thoughtful organizers guiding me through the program made my time volunteering with Volunteering Journeys one of the most memorable moments in my life.
    If anyone reading this is considering becoming a volunteer, don’t hesitate, become a volunteer. It will be the most rewarding experience and adventure of your life. I assure you that you will have a vital impact on the community, the place and the children. I would recommend Volunteering Journeys without hesitation. Well organized and hassle free adventure. You get help and guidance with everything you need. Kerala was my destination. Safe, beautiful and very friendly. Just do it and have an adventure of your life!’

    Harminder-volunteer-review
    Harminder Athwal
    Connect with Harminder via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • “Volunteering at the schools was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Once again the friendships you create are irreplaceable. Admittedly, the first few days were scary, in the sense that my partner and I were only 18 & 20 yrs old and we were teaching women and children a language that was not their first. However the persistence and willingness of Indians is not to be tested. Each of our students put in 100% and naturally we became very personal with everyone and these women and children taught us much more. We came out of this experience with more than we had ever anticipated. It can’t be put into words just how much we learnt from volunteering. Ever aspect of our lives and mindset has changed.”

    Aimee-volunteer-review
    Aimee Chirio
    Connect with Aimee via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘I think it was quite an eye opening experience to kind of see how people live and enjoy their lives very differently to what we do probably in UK. Even though comparatively they didn’t have as much, the children still came to school with a smile on their face and they were really keen to learn. They were ever so happy and always had a smile on their face regardless of the circumstances that they are living in, and I think that was an amazing experience for us to take back. We have comparatively much more wealth in the UK and we have much more available at our fingertips. Yet we were quite not so happy’

    Andrew
    Andrew Davies
    Connect with Andrew via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘We decided to volunteer as part of our family vacation. It was the perfect balance: making a contribution but not being asked to do too much, with Volunteering Journeys staff with us every step of the way to help, support, clarify, etc. I was also impressed that they didn’t feed us a line about how we were changing the world in a week; I knew going in that *we* would be the ones most changed, and the staff’s perspective’s was the same: we were making an impact by showing we cared and sharing experiences, which hopefully meant something to a lot of people.’

    Bob- Family-Volunteering-Review
    Bob Macauley & Family
    Connect with Bob via our Facebook Reviews Page

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