These questions relate to the time before you go overseas as a volunteer. For questions relating to the time you are overseas, please see FAQ's - While you're away.
Where can I go?
Programmes are available in:
What types of programmes are available?
You can get involved in Teaching, Care, Conservation & Environment, Community, Sports, Medicine & Healthcare, Journalism, Business, Law & Human Rights, Archaeology, Veterinary Medicine & Animal Care and Language Projects. You could also do your Dissertation research with us.
How long do placements last?
You choose how long your placement lasts. Apart from our 2-Week Specials (for 16-19 year olds), placements are flexible and most last from four weeks upwards. A few of our projects are available for 2 week periods, for those people who really do not have any more time to spare. Most volunteers go for between four and twelve weeks. Our placement prices cover you for up to twelve weeks. Then you can add on extra weeks on top of these as you wish. You can stay (including placement and travel) in most countries for up to 6 months, but you can stay in Ghana for up to 12 months. These limitations are due to visa and work-permit restrictions.
Can I combine placements?
Yes you can combine placements, both within a country and across countries. See Combinations
for more details and combination ideas.
When can I start? When should I apply?
You choose when your placement starts and finishes. Placements run all year. There are no definitive deadlines for application. We do generally need at least 2 months to comfortably process an application, but we like to receive your application form as far in advance as possible - so please apply as soon as you've decided what you want to do. The longer the notice, the more we can tailor a programme. If you decide last minute, do give us a call to see how quickly we can arrange it for you - we sometimes only need a few weeks notice.
What are the costs involved? Is the work paid?
See the prices
page for details of the cost of the programme you are interested in. You will not be paid for your work, but you will gain unusual work experience and discover skills you never knew you had - and have a great time! Our partner schools and other partner organisations can barely afford to pay their own staff, so these positions have to be voluntary and self-funded. Similarly we get great work experience placements for volunteers because we don't ask our partner-organisations to pay you. Indeed, we always make sure that organisations or individuals in the developing world don't have to pay anything as a matter of principle. We do not have government funding or other outside funding.
What does the fee include?
Our costs include all food, accommodation, comprehensive travel and medical insurance, and support from our expert staff at home and abroad. Our charges are important because they enable us to provide you with a good service and full support.
See Money Matters
for more information about how we spend your money.
Are meals included in the cost?
With the exception of when you are travelling or socialising, all meals are provided.
Can I go with my friend/boyfriend/girlfriend?
Friends are most welcome and, if you like, we can arrange placements where you can live and work together.
Can a group of us join a project?
There is no problem for a group to join one of our projects overseas. If you are a small group just let us know on your application form that you are joining with some friends. Our staff will make sure that you are working together or close to each other and living in the same place. In many cases it is also possible for friends to join different programmes in the same country whilst living in the same place. If you are a bigger group Projects Abroad can organise a tailor made trip to fit in with your needs. To find out more details about Group Trips click here
What age ranges take part in these projects?
Volunteers are welcome on most of our standard projects from the age of 16 upwards, there is no maximum age limit. Many of our volunteers are between 18 and 25 years old, but a rapidly increasing number of career breakers and retired people are now taking part too. This has led to a stimulating mix of volunteers in all our destinations. The 2-Week Special summer projects are available for people from 16-19 years old.
What qualifications do I need?
For most of our projects no qualifications are necessary - just reasonable spoken English. No TEFL or teaching qualifications are needed for our Teaching programmes (although you are very welcome if you do happen to have them). Please read the specific project pages for more details.
Do I need the local language?
The vast majority of our projects do not require specific language skills and few volunteers speak the local language before they go. It is an advantage to learn a few basic phrases but it is certainly not necessary to be fluent. Teaching volunteers teach English in English. This is what schools want. There are some exceptions where a basic or good knowledge of the local language is needed. This is often for professional projects like Journalism, Law and Medicine. The specific project pages will specify if any language skills are required. In many countries it is possible to take language lessons if you want to improve your language skills, see the Language Courses
section for more details.
Do I need to be a British or American?
No, we accept inters and volunteers from all over the world. In fact, we have had inters and volunteers from India, that is why we now have set up a separate recruitment office in India to make things easy for you. We like to have multinational mix – that’s what cultural exchange is all about!
What do I gain from this programme?
The programme is an excellent opportunity to combine adventurous foreign travel with a worthwhile job. As well as gaining experience that looks brilliant on your CV or résumé, you will improve your transferable skills such as team-working, presentation and communication. Above all, this is an unrivalled opportunity to gain an insight into a completely different culture and way of life.
Can I talk to people who have done it?
Please see our Volunteer Stories
page, or contact us and tell us where you would probably like to go and what project you would probably like to join. We will then give you the e-mail addresses of people who have done your kind of programme or are doing it.
What if I have more questions?
If you have any questions or would like to discuss our programmes in more detail, please don't hesitate to contact us. If you would like to speak to us, call us on 011-65952220 or e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org
with your phone number and a convenient time to call and we will call you back.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss our programmes in more detail, please don't hesitate to contact us . If you would like to speak to us, call us on +44 (0)1903 708300 or e-mail us with your phone number and a convenient time to call and we will call you back. Also you could attend one of our Open Days.
What is the next step?
The next step is either to contact us for more information or, if you've decided definitely what you want to do, apply now.