Choosing a Volunteer Placement
Once your application has been accepted, you will be able to view a list of volunteer placements that your Country Coordinator has selected specifically for you. As you review these options you should read the background information about the organization and the specific volunteer placement description to find the most appropriate fit.
If you have any questions about the options you are given, or if you are looking for a placement that is different than your current options, you should contact your Country Coordinator. They will be able to work with you to explain specifics regarding each placement or to help seek out new placement options more in line with your goals. Once you register for the program you will be able to choose up to your 1st, 2nd and 3rd preference from your list of options.
As you review your options, you will want to keep in mind the following considerations:
Volunteer Placement Location
The location of your placement has a significant impact on several aspects of your program. This distance of any given placement from our BaseCamp can impact your accommodation, daily commute, amenities available in the area and the time it would take for our staff to provide on-site support.
If you are further than 1 hour from the BaseCamp Center you will need to stay in either a homestay or other accommodation that might be available. For example, a person working in a National Park in Costa Rica would stay in a volunteer lodge or ranger station and that would be the only accommodation option for that location. If you choose a placement in a city, you would be able to choose between a homestay or a hostel.
During your orientation and language training, you would be staying in a hostel in the city with other international volunteers. After this training, you will move to the accommodation that is appropriate for the placement you have selected.
You can read about accommodation and location details as you review each placement.
Some placements are in urban areas where you will have access to internet cafes, international calls, restaurants and other conveniences. However, several placements are in more remote villages and communities where you may have limited access to these services. These are important details to consider as you select your placement preferences.
The distance of your placement from your accommodation will also influence your daily commute. Your Country Coordinator will find the most appropriate accommodation / homestay match for your placement location to minimize your daily commute. However, you should be aware that placements in cities will generally have longer daily commutes and placements in smaller communities will often be within walking distance from your accommodation. As the cost of your daily transportation to your placement is not included for independent volunteers, you will want to keep this in mind as you choose your volunteer placement preferences.
Our staff are available to assist volunteers 24 hours a day. This support would begin with a phone call and depending on the situation, our staff will come to provide personal assistance for any of our volunteers. In an emergency, the staff from the hosting organization would provided the immediate assistance. However, the further a placement is from our BaseCamp, the longer it will take for our staff to meet a volunteer on-site. As such, distance of a placement from the BaseCamp location will influence the speed of in-person support from one of our staff.
Volunteer Placement Fees
For some placements, there are costs that the organization would have to incur to host a volunteer. For example, a volunteer in a national park would have to pay a park fee and a volunteer conducting community outreach may have expenses related to transportation and accommodation while traveling with the organization's team. In such cases, you will be able to view what fees a specific placement may charge and what those would be used for.
Unlike Program Fees which are paid online, these Placement Fees will be paid directly by volunteers when they arrive on the ground. This minimizes the cost of transferring these funds and ensures transparency in how and when organizations are charging money to host a volunteer.