There are a lot of things to think about when planning a career break abroad and the information below should help to answer most of your immediate questions. If there is something not covered here, please get in touch with us, either by email or phone.
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The average age is 32, though we arrange voluntary work for people as young as 18 in some locations and as old as 60 and 70 elsewhere. An increasing number of our volunteers are retired, so as long as you are fit and healthy, there will be no problem. We have a minimum age of 22 on our programmes to volunteer in Africa.
The majority of our volunteers are from the UK but approximately 50% are non-UK based, with a large number volunteering from North America, Australia and Europe.
Not usually. Good communication skills, enthusiasm and a sense of humour are more important than formal qualifications, however we request a level of business experience for our business development projects in Africa and India.
Couples are welcome and there is a 15% discount for those volunteering with their spouse.
Volunteers working and teaching abroad with MondoChallenge can volunteer for as little as one month, or as much as a year. We recommend volunteering for three months or more as this gives you enough time to settle in and make a meaningful contribution to our voluntary projects.
This depends on your volunteer project and availability, but our in-country teams can often arrange extensions to your volunteering work.
This is becoming an attractive option and by booking a ‘Mondo Combo’ of two or more career break programmes, you can get some great discounts! Volunteering in more than one location allows you to experience a diversity of volunteer work and community life as you travel the globe!
Every project is different but you should consider all of our placements as full-time commitments. For our business development and volunteer teaching projects, gap year volunteers should expect similar working hours to those found in Western countries. Hours for orphanage volunteers will be more flexible.
We provide detailed pre-departure briefing notes which have information on the voluntary projects, health, travel, finance and everything else you might need to know. These are backed up by extensive conversations before you depart and a thorough induction on arrival, which helps you acclimatise to the country and its culture. We also offer TEFL training sessions [hyperlink] for those wanting to teach English abroad.
The majority of our career break volunteers are accommodated in home stays in the communities in which they work. These are vetted by our in-country management teams and usually cost around £15-£20 per week, including food.
Accommodation is so cheap because the cost of living in most of the countries where we run volunteering projects is extremely low. By paying for board and lodgings in local communities, your money can make a positive contribution to the local economy.
We run our operations in the UK and overseas on the tightest of budgets while striving to provide a great service for our volunteers and the voluntary projects that we support. As well as paying for your accommodation, food and in-country support, your contribution provides the bulk of our organisational and administrative funding and covers everything from office overheads to staff travel. More importantly, your money helps us to run the FutureSense Foundation and ensures that our volunteer programmes continue to support invaluable development work in disadvantaged communities.
No, but we can help you to book the cheapest and most convenient flights for your volunteer work abroad. Every volunteer has different plans and we aim to be as flexible as possible to fit them in.
Once you have provided all the relevant information and been selected to volunteer abroad things can move along quite quickly if you wish. However, we recommend booking a minimum of one month in advance to allow us time to process your application and coordinate with our project managers. Most people apply 3-6 months before departure for their career break abroad.
Your first step towards securing an amazing volunteer opportunity is to fill in our online enquiry form [hyperlink]. You can read more about the application process by visiting our How to Apply page.
Yes. We request that volunteers wanting to work and teach abroad provide references so we can match you to the perfect career break placement. We can email you a form to be completed.
Although it is not a formal interview, we like to meet as many volunteers as possible before they book a voluntary project through MondoChallenge. These usually take place either at our offices in Newbury or in London. Where a face-to-face interview is not possible, and for volunteers based outside of the UK, we conduct in-depth interviews over the phone.
Yes, but we can give you help with these too. Different travellers need different visas so by excluding these from our costs we can be as flexible as is necessary for planning a career break abroad.
Volunteers are required to arrange their own travel insurance but we can offer comprehensive cover at a discounted price through our partners at Endsleigh Insurance Services [hyperlink]. If you prefer to buy insurance elsewhere then we will need details of your policy.
If you take sensible precautions and follow our career break advice you will avoid most illnesses while volunteering abroad. There are reasonable medical facilities in all the places we work and very few of our volunteers have had any medical problems in the past. If you do have any problems our local managers will assist you in any way they can.
Every location we operate in has an in-country manager whose priority is the health and safety of the volunteers under their care. They can give advice on risks such as theft, but for broader safety issues concerning your voluntary work we recommend checking the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website before departure. (UK volunteers)