The Volunteer Abroad Program for independent volunteers helps to connect people with very specific placements within a field of their choosing. Through our on-line application, our staff overseas vet each potential volunteer and develop a specific list of placements that would be an appropriate match based on the volunteer's background, skills and interests. Volunteers are able to review a great deal of information regarding each specific potential placement to ensure that the options are a good fit with their interests before making any commitment to the program. We believe that this system is the best possible method for ensuring that volunteers find the placement they are looking for and organizations find the support they need.
For those who want to make all their own arrangements, our registration fee covers the cost of connecting a volunteer with their placement options and confirming a placement. No additional program fee is required and volunteers are welcome to make all of their own arrangements independent from BaseCamp.
While this type of arrangement is possible, the vast majority of volunteers choose to make their volunteer programs through BaseCamp; since our program fees are roughly what it would cost for all of our services if a volunteer arranged them directly and we also include the ongoing placement and emergency support of our staff at home and abroad. This support is very difficult to arrange outside of a program like ours and is invaluable when things go wrong.
For volunteers on the program, once they arrive overseas our staff will meet them at the airport and transfer back with them to the BaseCamp Center for their Initial Briefing. In this, we discuss a number of important safety and logistical details that volunteers find very useful when they first arrive. The following day, we begin our orientation.
The program fee includes a 7 day volunteer orientation and training program. We strongly recommend that all volunteers take part in the complete orientation. This is especially the case for volunteers who have chosen to live with a host family. However, we realize that some of our volunteers have extensive travel experience or are on tight schedules and will not require the same level of support and training. In such cases volunteers can opt for the 2 day orientation (which simply covers the first 2 days of the 7 day program) before beginning their placement.
For volunteers looking to take part in a placement that requires conversation skill in the local language we offer additional language training beyond the survival course taught during our orientation. These courses are offered weekly and we have found that it takes roughly three to four weeks of training beyond orientation for a volunteer to learn enough of the language to function at their placement. In each country extended language training is available at the local rate.
Once a volunteer completes their orientation and language training they will begin their placement. If the placement they have chosen is within an one hour commute from BaseCamp, the volunteer will be able to choose whether they wish to stay in BaseCamp for the duration of their program or if they would prefer to live with a host family. If the placement is more than one hour from BaseCamp, then volunteers will live either with a host family or in a volunteer lodge at a ranger station, depending on where their placement is located. Given that the location of this accommodation is dependent on the location of the placement, accommodation will be confirmed with the confirmation information sent 30 days prior to the program start date.
Throughout the program, the BaseCamp staff are available 24/7 to provide support with placement related issues. Our team is also there to assist in case of an emergency back home or abroad.