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WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT ON YOUR PROGRAMME


You'll do enjoyable, satisfying and much-need work in less advantaged countries, or you'll be gaining valuable experience during your Work Experience internship. Or if you're doing a course, you'll be learning on site in a new culture. You'll meet lots of new people. You'll be well looked after and have opportunities to travel and explore.

We've described below what you can expect once you decide to book a placement to go overseas with Travellers, both before you go and once you arrive in the country you've chosen.

As I just graduated high school last June, this project can be considered as my first time in "the real world." Additionally, I grew up in a suburban town of 16,000 and now live in a city of over one million. In any case, this sudden burst of freedom and opportunity has been quite gratifying. Going straight from high school to living and teaching on my own in Auckland has been a tremendous life experience. Chris Hauptfeld

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU APPLY?
On receipt of your application, the Travellers Project Co-ordinator for the country you’ve chosen will liaise with you about your placement. They will discuss with you what you hope to gain out of your project and will then ensure that you and your project are mutually suitable. Once the placement has been arranged to suit your requirements we'll confirm your placement (subject to approval and your reference) and you’ll be sent the relevant documentation needed to get the ball rolling. We'll liaise with you and we're available to answer any of your questions during the preparation for your trip.

Once you've applied, we take out insurance against insolvency for you. Details of this are further down the page.

As your departure draws near, you’ll also receive details of your accommodation and hosts as well as contact information to give to your family and friends so that they can keep in touch with you. We’ll also provide you with the contact details of other volunteers who will be going out around the same time as you so that you can contact each other before you leave. If we are arranging your flights, we will do our best to put you on the same flight as another volunteer so that you have company on the trip over.

A sad tale: Unfortunately, we get quite a few emails like this one - "Hi, I wonder if you could help. I paid a lot of money towards a company in Kenya I thought was legitimate to do a conservation project. It turns out that they are big fat con men. I have already booked my flights from September 1st until October 2nd. I really don't know what to do. I have already had all my injections etc so it will be silly to go back on everything and not go at all. Would you be able to fit me in with you guys ... I saved everything I had and lost it. I will do anything!!"

Our Promise: By choosing Travellers you have the reassurance of knowing you're with a genuine organisation with 20+ years' experience and many thousands of happy volunteers who have had excellent, worthwhile projects - we'll look after you right through to the end of your project.

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN YOUR PLACEMENT FEE?

  • All your FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION is included in the price (unless otherwise stated) during your placement.
  • WE MEET YOU AT THE AIRPORT - regardless of whether we make your travel arrangements or you choose to make them yourself - there is NO extra charge.
  • If we help you arrange your flight, we ensure that you have a CHANGEABLE RETURN TICKET - because many Travellers have a wonderful time and extend their stay. A changeable return ticket ensures that you can do so if you choose.
  • When we receive your booking form, we’ll confirm your placement (subject to references) and send you your password and User Login to our Volunteer Extranet. This has detailed documentation on your work, destination country, visas, arranging flights, insurance, ideas on things to take with you and what to pack etc.
  • We also provide insurance cover for you which protects your deposit and any subsequent project fees that you pay to us. Read more about your financial security below.
  • You will also receive a Safety Guide with travel tips, put together by Travellers to help you travel safely.
  • 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.
  • If you're doing a Sports project, you'll have access to coaching manuals for all the different sports which we have put together in-house. These will help you prepare for your placement.
  • Before your departure we will help you with all stages of planning your trip, from arranging your travel dates to coincide with others, booking your flights or helping you decide what to take with you.
  • Whilst you are on your placement you'll be looked after by our in-country staff or representatives, plus your Project Co-ordinator from Head Office 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!

I was very happy with the information I got. Everything seemed to be covered, from information on the family, on the school and on the country. There was even important information that I wouldn't have even known to ask about. I can't think of anything that I wished I had known or that I wasn't prepared for by the pack or by my Project Co-ordinator..... Lydia Tyrrell

LIVING IN YOUR HOST COUNTRY - Your Accommodation and Food:
Most of our Volunteers make life-long friends with their hosts, with their students and their work colleagues and in many cases they visit each other after their placements have finished. This is one of the many exciting aspects of our programmes and one of the most satisfying!

Accommodation:
Unless otherwise stated, all your accommodation and food is included in your programme and in most cases your meals are cooked and provided for you. The type of accommodation and the standard can vary depending on location and type of project you're doing. Sometimes it can be quite luxurious and at others it can be more spartan and basic, but in all cases we ensure that it's clean and safe. Travellers uses many different types of accommodation, for example ...

In some of our destinations you live with a local family. Some families will merely house and feed you and leave you to your own devices, but most families will 'adopt' you and make you an integrated part of their household. On the other hand, in some of our destinations you could live in a Travellers house with 5 to 15 other volunteers - you're surrounded by people who are just as excited as you are to be there! Many volunteers get together in groups to spend weekends exploring the country.

On some projects volunteers live in dormitories or rooms on a school campus and take their meals with the children and staff. You may also share an apartment with another Travellers volunteer or you could even stay for a short while in a hotel. You may stay for your entire placement in a Guest House. On some conservation projects you could be camping on-site - it all depends on where you are and what programme you're doing.

Food:
All your food will be provided, unless otherwise stated. If you're in an apartment or sharing with other volunteers, you may have to do your own shopping and cooking, and in this case you'll be given a weekly or monthly budget to use as you wish for your food. The budget will be sufficient to cover basic meals, but won't include enough for 5-star dining or wine or beer. In most travellers houses or in host families food is almost always provided and cooked for you. Food is usually local cuisine - if you are in Sri Lanka or India, you will eat rice, curries, and other local dishes, in South Africa, you may have lots of BBQ's!

If you're a vegetarian or have any allergies, this is taken into account when we arrange your placement. One of the joys of travelling is sampling the cuisine. Eating out in most of our destinations is very cheap and in South Africa, for example, barbecues are a way of life!

TRAVEL, VISAS and INSURANCE:
Travel:
You can either book your own international flights or we can help you to arrange all your travel. In either event, we'll meet you at the nearest airport so that you are met by a friendly face on arrival. Travellers is not a travel agent. If we arrange your flights for you, we liaise on your behalf with our Travel Agents, who are ABTA and IATA registered, to book your flights and to have the tickets sent to you so that you receive them before you leave.

We will, where possible, send two or more people on the same flight and we will give you the names and telephone numbers of the other volunteers on your flight so that you can chat or even meet up before leaving. Most of our volunteers take time to travel around once they have completed their placement. Many volunteers also use their weekends and free time to do some sightseeing. Very often you'll be part of a group of volunteers doing the same project as you. If you prefer to be located rurally, far away from other countrymen, we can probably arrange that too!

Visas:
Some countries don't require visas, but for those that do you'll need to apply and pay for your visa yourself. We'll send you all the necessary forms and information and we'll try to make the process very easy for you. Some countries require official invitations and other require Immigration Documents - again, we'll provide those for you and make the process easy. If you live outside the UK, we will give you as much advice and information on what to do as possible, and in some cases we may even be able to send you the necessary forms for applying for your visa.

If you need to extend your visa while on your placement, our local staff will help you as much as possible, but you will have to pay for your visa extension yourself.

Insurance:
It is a requirement that all volunteers take out insurance. You may prefer to arrange this yourself or we can arrange it for you through Endsleigh, the insurance company that we use. In either event, we will send you the relevant information on the type of insurance you need and any necessary forms and paperwork.

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 suddenly closing for a few days and leaving you twiddling your thumbs - 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!

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