VSO offers you support before, during and after your volunteer placement.
Before you go overseas, we’ll provide extensive training to prepare you for your role and for the changes you’ll experience.
Training for living and working in your placement usually takes place in three stages: personal preparation training and work-focused training before you go, then in-country training on arrival in your placement country.
Pre-departure training usually takes between eight and twelve days, and varies according to the requirements of your placement. It also explains how to make the most of your learning opportunities during your placement, and how to maximise your understanding of the country and the development opportunities and challenges it faces.
Our local office will meet you on your arrival in country and organise a briefing and further training. Although your primary relationship will be with your employer, the programme office is always there to help with major personal, medical or security problems.
Your induction course can last from a few days to three months, depending on the length of language training provided by your programme. It covers everything from medical and security procedures to language training to country-specific information.
While people tend to volunteer with us because they want to make a difference, not because they want to make a mint, we believe you shouldn’t lose money volunteering with VSO. We’ll cover travel costs like flights, health insurance and day-to-day living expenses while overseas.
What we cover:
Criminal Records Bureau clearance
Medical insurance and required immunisations and antimalarials
Your training, including accommodation and food whilst on residential training weekends
One return flight to get you to, and home from, your placement
Accommodation whilst in your placement
An allowance to cover your basic living expenses whilst overseas
What you need to cover:
Medical examination with your GP and a dental check up
Personal effects insurance
National Insurance and pensions contributions
Any professional memberships and registrations
We ask volunteers to contribute to the costs of their placements by doing some fundraising. This process has a double impact for us: it provides much-needed cash to keep our overseas programmes in action, and it also presents an invaluable opportunity to raise VSO’s profile in the community. By asking people to support you, you’re also introducing them VSO and the unique way we work.
Don’t worry if you’ve never fundraised before. We’ll give you fundraising advice, support and resources and run a fundraising workshop
A volunteer placement will stretch your professional capabilities, bringing more responsibility earlier in your career than you would have at home.
We take your professional development seriously. Before you go overseas, you’ll undergo a comprehensive programme of online and residential training. You have the opportunity to work towards an accredited Foundation Certificate in ‘Professional Skills in International Development’ during your pre-departure training, as well as VSO-linked Post Graduate qualifications while in placement.
On your return, we’ll provide you with information for re-employment and careers advice to help you settle back in your home country.