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Applying for and booking for the volunteer abroad program is the next step in the process to be a volunteer abroad. By now, it certain that you have selected the volunteer abroad program and the volunteer organization that offer best volunteering experience with a genuine and good cause. Now you may have queries about how to apply for book for the volunteer programs. This article will explain about your queries regarding application and booking procedure for volunteer abroad program.
Below are some of the concerns you might have about the application and booking procedure.
How far in advance do I need to apply?
The time needed for applying for a volunteer program differs for every individual. It may also depend upon the volunteer organization policies regarding application and booking. Someone with a lot of volunteering and travelling experience may only need two months to get all paperwork done whereas, for a complete beginner it could take some extra time. However, you should book your program at least three months in advance before the program commencing date, so that you can have plenty for time for your trip preparation. You must be aware of necessary procedure to get your volunteering done. For instance, you should make sure that you have a valid passport throughout the duration of your program. You then should apply for the visa, if necessary. Visa processing time can take from a week to a month depending upon the country you are travelling.
How do I apply for volunteer abroad program?
Generally, the application process for volunteer abroad program is quite straightforward. Most international volunteer organization offer online application and booking for the program. That's why you don't need to worry about the slow international postal service for mail delivery and its costs. Some organization provides with downloadable pdf application form on their websites for you to fill-up and email back to them.
The application form can be quite long with detailed information, depending upon the organization. You should provide with your basic information like name, address, contact number, emergency contacts, email and affiliated organization (University or company, if applicable). Some organization may require you to write short essay describing yourself and your interests, your past volunteering experience, reason for applying for a volunteer program, reason for choosing the host country and your knowledge about the program. You need to complete these requirements and submit with the application fee/deposit (If required). This fee may range between $50 and $500 depending upon the organization or the program.
What are application processes? Or what happens when I apply?
If you have applied your application via the local organization in your country, then after the submission, your application is forwarded to the respective country. If you have applied in the local organization of host country then there will be nothing such as forwarding. After then, the local staffs will examine your application forms. Applicants are sorted based on their level of interest in the cause, academic background, experience and other applicable skills. Then the local staffs find the project that best matches your interest and they will confirm the program availability and accommodation arrangements before sending a confirmation report to their head offices or directly to you if you have applied directly to the local organization.
The head office will then send a confirmation email to all selected volunteer with the details of your program and placement. This report will include all the necessary information such as project name, contact information of project coordinator, detailed contact information of local host family and in-country staffs. It also includes visa requirements, itinerary, vaccination requirements (if any), and other relevant information.
How long will it generally take to get accepted?
It is an obvious concern since, to wait for the decision especially when you are willing to volunteer at particular site for a long time. However, you don't need to worry much since the selection process generally takes only between 1 and 3 weeks depending upon the organization. There is the policy of screening process for the applicants in most of the international volunteer abroad organization. This mostly aimed to check if you have been involved in any criminal activity or not. This is very essential, especially when you are working with children or teaching kids in schools. Most of the time, volunteer will be accepted for the program unless they have a serious criminal background.
Do I need to pay to book? How much?
For most international volunteer organization, you need to pay to book for the program. However, this booking is not the separate fee, but the part of your total program fee in most of the case. Organizations ask you to pay to book to get your commitment to the project as well as to the organization. So, this fee is considered important while booking. After you apply, organization perform various background work to make logistical arrangement before your arrival. So, it will complicate all these arrangements when volunteers pull out at the last moment and have not paid to book.
Is there any refund if I cancel?
Different volunteer organization have their own refund policies. Some will refund fully, some many refund only a certain portion, whereas some will not refund anything at all. You need to carefully check through the refund policy of the organization before applying.
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