International Volunteering: Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

FAQs about our volunteer programs

 

  • What is Cooperating Volunteers?

Cooperating Volunteers is a company that arranges volunteer and cultural exchange opportunities. We operate in over 30 countries, offering volunteers a variety of programs to choose from. These programs encompass areas such as childcare, education, sports, construction, and nature reserve care and maintenance.

  • Why do I need to pay to be a volunteer?

Cooperating Volunteers is composed of a team of professionals with extensive experience in coordinating and managing volunteer programs. We take pride in our round-the-clock assistance to projects, local teams, and volunteers, available every day of the year.

Volunteers are not only covering the cost of the team coordinating and managing their experience but also their day-to-day expenses in the destination. This encompasses airport pick-up, the local team, including a security team, local coordinators, cooks, accommodation, daily meals, orientation day, city tour, and additional services.

The volunteer selects a destination, applies for placement in the volunteer program, and subsequently receives an email confirming their placement in the program. In this email, we provide an explanation of how each fee (registration fee and program fee) is allocated. Please note that this allocation may vary depending on the destination and the number of weeks chosen.

  • What are the prerequisites for participating in a volunteer program?

In general, anyone can participate as long as they are of legal age. Volunteers aged 17 are accepted in certain destinations with the signed authorization of their parents or legal guardian and must have no criminal record.

Regarding the medical, clinical care, and animal (veterinary) volunteer programs, volunteers may be required to fulfill additional requirements based on the specific tasks and responsibilities of each project.

  • Where can I find detailed information about the available volunteer programs?

All the information is available on our website.
If you have any further questions after reviewing the website, please feel free to send us an email at: hello@volunteerabroadcooperating.com or give our team a call at +34 910 05 25 46. We’ll be delighted to answer all of your questions.

  • Where can I apply for placement in a volunteer program?

You can fill out the online application. During the online application process, we will ask for basic information in order to know the profile of each of the volunteers, and to provide information about the destination/volunteer program that is being applied for. Once you have completed this form, our booking team will contact you to send you complete information about the destination that you have applied for. You will receive a PLACE CONFIRMATION EMAIL. It is important that you read this email and learn about the destination, accommodation, project and costs, amongst other things.

If you wish to participate in a volunteer program, you will need to pay the Application Fee of 210 euros. Alternatively, you can choose to pay this fee at a later date, as your place will be reserved on the program for 7 days without payment. However, please be aware that if you are scheduled to arrive at the destination within the next 20 days, we recommend making this payment promptly. Once the payment is made, your place in the program is confirmed.

  • How can I pay the application/program fee?

Upon receiving the CONFIRMATION EMAIL, take a look at the section entitled ‘How do I reserve my place?’ Here, you will find a link where you can make the payment via PayPal, bank transfer or with a credit/debit card.

  • What happens once I’ve paid the application fee of 210 euros?

Once we’ve received the payment confirming your place on the program, your coordinator will get in touch with you straight away. They will send you a WELCOME EMAIL, marking the beginning of the whole process of managing your experience.

You will also receive an email entitled ACCESS TO THE VOLUNTEER PANEL containing your username and password, which you can use to access all the information exchanged with your coordinator. In this panel, you can also make any remaining payments (such as the program fee), upload your flight details so that we can arrange airport pick-up and access the ‘RECOMMENDATIONS’ section that will give you tips for packing your suitcase.

  • Do I need to get any vaccines before participating in a volunteer program?

The answer to this question will depend on the destination that you have selected for your respective volunteer program. In general, for almost all of the destinations, there are only RECOMMENDED vaccines such as Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid fever, MMR and tetanus, amongst others. But don’t worry! While this may seem like an endless list, you’ve probably already had many of these because they are also recommended in your country of origin.

However, in destinations such as Uganda and Ghana, volunteers must receive OBLIGATORY VACCINES such as the yellow fever vaccine in order to enter the country. For this, please head to your local international vaccine centre and ask for an appointment. It’s really easy!

  • Do I need a visa?

The answer to this question will depend on the destination that you have selected for your respective volunteer program. Your coordinator will tell you which type of visa (tourist or volunteer, depending on the destination) is required for your experience. The volunteer is entirely responsible for this process.

However, our team will be on hand to help you and tell you how to start the process, helping you to obtain your visa.

  • In some destinations, why is it necessary to obtain a tourist visa if I plan to participate in a volunteer program?

In those countries in which they need to manage the visa on a general level, a tourist visa will be issued.

Remember that Cooperating Volunteers offers volunteering and cultural exchange experiences. You’ll undergo a genuine cultural immersion, discovering the destination in a different way. You’ll do so by working on projects, learning about the local culture and sharing experiences with our local team, etc.

  • Which countries do our volunteers come from?

Our volunteers come from all over the world. To date, we’ve had volunteers from the USA, Australia, the UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, Malta, Croatia, Austria, Ireland, Panama, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Greece and Puerto Rico. And we’re eager to meet people from many more countries in the near future!

  • Is there a minimum or maximum age for working as a volunteer?

We don’t apply an age limit. In fact, we’ve had volunteers as old as 60 in some of our volunteer programs. Any person over the age of 18 can work as a volunteer. Applicants aged 15, 16 and 17 can also be volunteers upon the presentation of written authorisation from their parents or legal guardian. Applicants under the age of 18 can only work in a selection of the destinations. For more information about this, please contact us and we’ll let you know which destinations you’ll be able to work in.

  • Is it possible to choose various volunteer programs?

Yes, it’s possible! Depending on the destination you choose, it may be possible to work on multiple volunteer programs. Generally, if you wish to combine projects, you’ll need to do so on a week-by-week basis. Please indicate your intention to do this in your application or by sending us an email.

  • Can I obtain financial help to sponsor my trip?

We have partnerships with various fundraising organisations that could be used to raise funds for your trip:

http://www.volunteerforever.com/

http://www.gofundme.com/

  • What will my working hours be?

The exact hours will depend on the project. In general, you will be expected to work 4-6 hours a day from Monday to Friday.

  • What will my working hours be?

The exact hours will depend on the project. In general, you will be expected to work 4-6 hours a day from Monday to Friday.

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