Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions then please get in touch.

Globalteer FAQs

Globalteer is different to most organisations placing volunteers. As a UK registered charity (registration number 1119706), Globalteer is legally required to ensure that all monies received are used to promote our charitable objectives. We achieve this in two ways:

  • We keep all our costs to a minimum so that as much money as possible reaches the volunteer projects and the needy communities we work with. Visit the "Where your money goes" and "About Us" pages for a more detailed breakdown of how we invest donations. We also actively encourage you to check and ask questions of other volunteer organisations to compare the required donation/fees and how these monies are allocated to benefit your chosen project. Some major organisations charge a considerable fee to place volunteers and not a single penny goes directly to support the project. Some are purely profit-making commercial companies who act as volunteer travel agents. That’s where Globalteer is very different!
  • We are very selective about the projects we work with, and only work with effective and worthwhile projects that we believe are making a long term and sustainable difference to the communities we work with.

In addition to the above, we provide full in-country support so that your stay is as enjoyable and rewarding for you as it is valuable for the project you work with.

Find out more at our "Reasons to Volunteer with Globalteer" page.

A surprising amount of work and organisation goes into every volunteer placement and the overseas organisation where you will be working is likely to have precious few resources to take this task on themselves. Their resources are better used to fulfill their charitable objectives. They rarely have spare resources to cover the cost of hosting volunteers such as accommodation, food, transport or providing a volunteer coordinator to support volunteers overseas. In addition to covering the practical costs of your placement, we also have local costs to pay for such as our local staff and office rental and we make a cash donation to the project you volunteer with as well. As a registered charity, Globalteer is legally required to ensure that all money received is used to promote our charitable objectives, so you can be sure that the maximum amount possible is going directly to the projects we work with. You can read more on the "Where your money goes page."
Your security is really important to us so we use secure payment services from HSBC and Paypal to process all payments. It is so secure that Globalteer does not even see your credit card or bank details, only the bank does! Your money is therefore as safe as you would expect it to be with the world’s leading banks, and of course they must abide by the strictest security regulations. In addition, many credit card payments are automatically insured – check with your card issuing bank for further details. You can also check out Globalteer independently on the UK government's "Charities Commission Website."
Globalteer volunteers come from a huge range of backgrounds, nationalities and ages. The majority of volunteers come from the UK, USA and Australia with significant numbers from Canada, Germany, Ireland, and New Zealand. The majority of volunteers come alone, and then meet up with existing volunteers at the project, although most of our projects can accommodate couples and shared rooms are available at all project locations. Globalteer attracts a greater range of ages than many volunteer organisations due to the generally higher standard of accommodation we offer, and due to our charitable status. At our Cambodia Community Project, for example, half our volunteers are over 30 years of age, which makes for a really good mix of friendly people with lots of different experiences to share. Our volunteers come from a very wide range of working backgrounds too, including students, retired people, teachers, business people, medical professionals, artists, and those taking a career break. For most of our placements enthusiasm, personality, positive attitude and common sense are more important than your professional background! To read about the experiences of past volunteers go to our volunteer stories page.
To promote sustainable development for the benefit of the public by the relief of poverty and the improvement of the conditions of life in socially and disadvantaged communities. Sustainable development means “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” "To promote humane behaviour towards animals by providing appropriate care, protection, treatment and security for animals which are in need of care and attention by reason of sickness, maltreatment, poor circumstances or ill usage and to educate the public in matters pertaining to animal welfare in general and the prevention of cruelty and suffering among animals."
Globalteer wants to attract the best volunteers to our projects, which does not mean just the wealthiest! And because we keep our running costs as low as possible it means we can charge lower prices to our volunteers than other organisations, whilst still passing on substantial donations to the projects we work with. Furthermore, given that we work in education, childcare and animal care, some of our best potential volunteers are teachers, care workers, those working with animals and students who are looking to work in these fields - which are not usually the highest paid jobs around. We want people from all backgrounds to be able to work at our projects so we deliberately do not charge the high prices of other organisations.
Placement fees cover direct costs of placements such as accommodation, meals, transport, orientation and your in-country support – plus the donation to the projects. As our priority is to ensure that volunteers are placed at well-suited projects, where their time and efforts will have maximum impact there are many different support functions and operational costs incurred to make this happen. As a non-profit and registered charity any surplus money can only be spent on our charitable objectives. You can read more on the "Where your money goes page."
The sooner the better, so we can get everything sorted in good time. Placing you at a project isn’t automatic – we like to find out about you and your reasoning behind volunteering so we can place you at the perfect project to suit you. The process also involves reference checks, a Skype chat and sometimes background checks. Some projects, such as our elephant sanctuaries get booked up a long way in advance so we recommend confirming your place with a deposit payment as early as possible. Normally full payment is required 10 weeks before you are due to start the placement, but in some circumstances we can be flexible.
Most projects require volunteers to be over 18 (and in some cases 21). This is due to the nature of the placement, the physical work and responsibility involved. However, we also place young adults and children when volunteering with their parent(s), a responsible adult, or as part of a group. We work with many different projects all over the world with varying requirements so please get in contact and let us know what your situation is and we’ll do the best we can to get you placed
You can volunteer with anyone you like, just make sure to let us know in advance so we can do everything we can to meet you and your volunteer buddies’ needs. All of our projects can accommodate groups and couples with the shared accommodation available. You can read more on the on these links about "Group Volunteering", "Under 18 school groups" and "Family Volunteering"
No, we don’t require you to have any specific skills or qualification as you will be working alongside trained local staff. If you do have any specialist skills we will always try to offer you a placement where they will be put to best use. What we do expect though is a desire to make a difference, a willingness to work hard, positive attitude and enthusiasm.
Volunteering with vulnerable children carries a huge amount of responsibility and any organisation that does not take this seriously should be avoided. One of the areas where vulnerable children are most at risk is orphanage volunteering, so we want to make it very clear what our thoughts are on this subject. Read Globalteer's views on "orphanage volunteering here."
As a guiding principle, if it is detrimental to the animals’ rehabilitation, or if it’s dangerous to humans – it’s not allowed. Please remember that some of these animals have been rescued from captivity or from the wild so human contact should be avoided at all costs. At some of our projects touching of the animals is allowed, e.g. at a dog sanctuary or Sea Turtle conservation project. There is definitely no elephant riding. For project by project information, please see the individual page.
Yes, we have a programme designed for interns and those who can volunteer for longer than three months. Please visit our "intern and long term volunteering page" for more information.
No, as we are not a travel agent and all our placements reflect individual requirements, this is something we ask you to organise yourselves. We do have a partnership with The Flight Centre Group through whom you can book your travel and insurance at very competitive prices. Globalteer receives a donation for every journey booked through our partner. If you have any questions about visas and length of stays, please get in contact with us.
We do not provide financial support to volunteers. Although once your application has been accepted we provide you with ideas on how to raise funds for your volunteer experience.
Depending on your nationality you will probably need an entry visa to visit the countries where we operate. Some visas can be obtained on arrival, and others in advance by applying online or contacting the country's embassy or consulate in your home country. It is the volunteer's responsibility to arrange the correct entry visa. Please visit our "visa requirements page" for more information.
Your safety is our number one priority. We provide pre-travel advice and documentation to keep you safe whilst on your placement. Globalteer or partner project staff will be in country with you to provide assistance if the need arises. Globalteer has a Health and Safety Policy and we assess the risk at all locations. Please visit our "international travel advice page" for more information.
Once you’ve decided on the project, just fill in our short application form and one of the team will get in contact with you – usually within 48 hours and sometimes even sooner. If you have any questions, you can contact us anytime via the website, Facebook, or get in touch on our "Contact page" for more information.
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