Thanks for visiting the Global Citizen FAQ page. For general information on being a Global Citizen and how to apply please go to this page.
- The Application
Q: When is the deadline to apply?
A: There is no deadline. However, you must apply at least three months before you wish to travel. As we run programs year-round, we accept applications at any time. Bear in mind that we have a limited number of volunteer spots for each program, so it is in your best interest to apply as soon as you know that you want to participate with CAC. The sooner you apply, the more likely you are to be accepted. Some volunteer coaches apply up to one year in advance for this opportunity. If you are a university student looking to volunteer during the summer you are highly encouraged to apply by January 1st, and no later than February 1st.
Q: Why is the application so long?
A: Our application is extensive for one very simple reason. The volunteer coach position is intensive and potentially life-changing, consisting of traveling to a developing country, educating local coaches eager to change their communities, and living and working with a small group of CAC coaches every day for the duration of your trip. We need to know that you are prepared to make the commitment needed to have a positive impact on the world.
- The Trip
Q: Where will I work?
A: We work almost every week of the year in communities around the world. We will place you along with a team of coaches depending on your period of availability. On our website you can see all the places we work which currently includes and anticipated 89 partner programs in 29 countries on 5 continents in 2015, and we expect this number to grow in 2016. In addition, we receive several requests per week from new programs and/or countries. It is possible that we add a program that is not currently on the website before you are placed at a location. At this point in time it is not possible to ‘request’ a specific community or country.
Q: Whom will I be traveling with?
A: Every CAC coaching team will be lead by a CAC senior staff member. More than likely there will be multiple volunteers at each On-Field partnership program. We try to keep our team well balanced. When building our teams of coaches, we take into strong consideration gender balance, coaching experience, travel experience, and CAC experience. In addition, because different volunteer coaches have different availability dates, your coaching group can change from week to week as different coaches arrive and depart.
Q: How long should I plan on volunteering?
A: That is completely up to you. The minimum time on the ground is two weeks, but we have found that the volunteers who commit one to two months have the best experiences. In any given year we have about 50% of our coaches returning for a second or third tour of duty.
Q: This will be my first time to a developing country and I’m really excited and really nervous!
A: That’s not a question but it’s OK! We have a comprehensive Field Manual that will provide even more answers for you once you have been accepted as one of our Volunteer Coaches. We will help to answer all of your questions as they arise! This is a great opportunity and a great experience!
- The Fundraising
Q: Why do I have to fundraise if I can just pay for the trip myself?
A: Although this might be true, it would limit our abilities to provide life-changing and impactful programs like our Community Impact Coach program, which provides experiences and networking abilities for our local partner program coaches. In addition, that would negate the time and effort put in by our senior staff to read through applications, interview candidates, plan for staffing and train volunteer coaches. Don’t forget that we also arrange everything with our partner programs on the ground, develop the curriculum, and continue our work with the partner programs after your volunteering trip is concluded to ensure continuing progress. Many other organizations require yearlong placements or fundraising responsibilities much higher than ours. Our fundraising is designed to limit or nullify your expenses while also helping CAC to continue to provide a quality product.
Q: How much money am I required to fundraise?
A: Every volunteer must do their best with fundraising. The minimum requirement is $1,500. The target goal is twice the total anticipated cost of your trip (flights, lodging, visas). No matter what, 50% of what you fundraise can be used to offset your travel costs (see below). If you are able to reach your goal, then in our experience you will cover all your travel expenses and lodging.
Q: What does the fundraising money support?
A: Your fundraising money supports two main areas: First, the costs associated with running the program you are volunteering with. Second, 50% of what you raise can be used to reimburse your own costs (flights, lodging, visas).
- The Logistics
Q: What is lodging like?
A: We book housing based on the advice of our local implementing partners. Oftentimes this means hostel-style living, although we sometimes stay in guesthouses or with their coaches free of cost. We advise our volunteers to budget $20 per evening for lodging, which is reimbursable depending on your fundraising.
Q: Will there be food?
A: There will certainly be lots of food, although it will vary from traditional western food in the more rural locations. In the cities you can expect to find just about anything. Rurally you will be eating some sort of starch (maize, potato, or cassava-based), meat (generally chicken) and local vegetables. We recommend bottled water at any location. One of the best things about traveling is experiencing the local fare.
Q: What about traveling and sightseeing?
A: We encourage all of our volunteers to see the local areas. Our volunteers have done safaris, bungee jumping, shark-cage diving, scuba diving, hikes, beaches, visited local landmarks such as Victoria Falls, etc. Many volunteers take a week or so on their own at the end of their volunteering to pursue these options. During our volunteering, it is typical to have only one or two days off per week, and possibly weekends, which might be used for travel and sightseeing. Our coaches always find a way to experience the local sites before, during or after their volunteer posting!