Jump to the following question:
- When does the summer programme come out?
- Are projects available in the winter and spring?
- When can I apply?
- Do I send the registration fee after being accepted on a project?
- How likely is that my application is successful?
- What happens if my application is not successful? Will I be refunded the registration fee?
- Where does my money go?
- Are there any age limits?
- Can I apply if I’m aged 30+?
- Can I apply if I’m aged 16 or 17?
- Where do I find all the additional forms needed for the application if I want to apply by post?
- How long does the application process take?
- Can I apply for more than one project?
- Can I apply with a friend?
- Can I apply for a North South project without attending the preparation day/weekend?
- Who else will be in my group?
- What do I need to take?
- Is food and accommodation provided? If so, do I have to pay extra for it?
- What about insurance?
- Do I need a visa?
- What else do I need to prepare?
- What if I have any problems when on the project?
- How can I use my experience on my return?
- Can I apply for a project if I am living outside of the UK?
- When Am I supposed to arrive to the project? Do i need to arrive a day before?
- What if my flight arrives late at night or very early in the morning the day of the meeting point?
- Why do I have to pay an extra fee on arrival for the north south projects when I already paid the registration fee to Concordia on application
- Where can I read about past volunteers’ experiences?
When does the summer programme come out?
Around mid March each year we publish our new Summer Programme with approximately 1500 projects available worldwide.
Are projects available in the winter and spring?
Yes. Although the main season is from June to September, we do offer a smaller programme during the winter and spring time.
When can I apply?
You can apply any time in the year, depending when projects are available. Our main summer programme is available from April onwards, and you should apply as soon as possible for the widest range of choices.
Do I send the registration fee after being accepted on a project?
No, you either pay the fee when applying online or you need to send the cheque for the registration fee together with the application forms by post.
For more information on the application procedure and terms and conditions, please visit the following links:
How likely is that my application is successful?
It’s rare that we are not able to find a place on a volunteer project for our applicants, however, in order to increase your chances, we do recommend selecting as many projects as possible in your application. We will then send your requests to our partners overseas and place you on the first available following your order of preference.
All projects listed on our database are available in principle, however, as the availability changes daily and we receive updates only once a week, if you want you can contact us and we will double check the availability of the project for you before you complete your application.
What happens if my application is not successful? Will I be refunded the registration fee?
If Concordia can’t find you a place in any of the projects that you have selected then you will get a refund of the registration fee minus £40 non refundable admin charge. Check here more information about costs.
Where does my money go?
The project fee you pay to Concordia supports the administration, promotion and running of our organisation and programmes in the UK. Food, accommodation and associated project costs are covered by the host organisation.
We work this way as part of an agreement with networks of other international volunteer organisations worldwide; all of whom run projects in their own country and send volunteers to participate in projects abroad. This keeps our fees to a minimum so that access to international short term volunteering is open to as many people as possible.
Are there any age limits?
Most projects are available for volunteers aged 18 +. There is also a selection of projects in the Teenage Programme available to 16 and 17 year olds.
Can I apply if I’m aged 30+?
Yes you can, though you need to bear in mind that the average age range is usually 18 – 25 – more information on the programme requirements
Can I apply if I’m aged 16 or 17?
Yes, you can. We have many projects each year open to volunteers aged 16 and 17 and they all run mostly from June to September in Europe, for example in Germany, France, Italy, Estonia, Turkey and few more destinations.
You might find useful reading our Teenage Handbook with suggestions specific for teenagers on how to approach an international volunteer project with Concordia.
Where do I find all the additional forms needed for the application if I want to apply by post?
If you want to apply by post, you will need still to fill in your application online, and then choose the option “pay by post” when prompted. You will be then able to print your application form. For some projects you will have also to download additional forms and fill them in. These additional forms can be sent to us in the post or via email.
You can download additional forms needed here:
- North South Questionnaire – for short term projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America
- MTV North South Questionnaire – for Medium Term Projects (1 -6 months) in Africa, Asia and Latin America
- MTV East West Questionnaire – for Medium Term Projects (1 -6 months) in Europe, USA, Canada, Japan and South Korea
How long does the application process take?
Usually between 5 and 10 working days, once we have received your project application form and relevant project fees. In some cases, especially on our North South Programme, this process will take longer.
Can I apply for more than one project?
Yes, you can apply for as many projects as you like, as long as they fit together in terms of dates. When considering consecutive projects, do take into account time and costs involved in travel between the two, and allow some time for rest.
There will be a project fee for each placement but you’ll get a discount of £40 on any additional project.
Can I apply with a friend?
Friends or partners wishing to travel together can apply, although it is more difficult to reserve joint places on a project. The number of volunteers from any one country is limited in order to keep the group as internationally diverse as possible.
We recommend that volunteers travel individually as you are likely to integrate more fully and gain more from the group experience. If you do wish to travel together, we ask you to take care to ensure that your relationship doesn’t harm the group dynamic.
Can I apply for a North South project without attending the preparation day/weekend?
No, the North South preparation day or weekend (the length of the preparation is confirmed at the beginning of the year) is essential. We recommend attending even before choosing a project. For those who can’t make any of the dates offered by Concordia, we can offer the opportunity to be trained via SKYPE on a one to one basis, although attending the preparation day/weekends is preferable.
Who else will be in my group?
Each project has a mix of volunteers from many countries and there can be between 5 and 30 volunteers in total, depending on the project. The average age range of volunteers is usually (but not always) between 18 and 30. On certain projects, many of the volunteers are nationals of the host country.
On most projects there will be one or two project leaders who live and work with the group and are usually volunteers themselves. They are chosen and trained by our partner organisations, so are often nationals of the host country. The leaders depend on the full participation of each volunteer, so it is the responsibility of the whole group to ensure that the project is successful.
What do I need to take?
You will need a suitable set of old clothes to work in. Heavy work boots are often a requirement for environmental and manual projects.
It’s a good idea to take something a bit smarter for any formal occasions you might be invited to or to suit cultural norms. Take recipes, games, songs, photos and postcards from where you live to share with the other volunteers and the local community.
Most projects require you to bring your own sleeping bag and roll mat. Specific details for your project will be provided following placement.
Is food and accommodation provided? If so, do I have to pay extra for it?
Food and accommodation is always provided in all of our projects.
For projects on our East West programme (with the exception of Iceland) food and accommodation are free of charge, so you won’t have to pay any extra for that on arrival on the project. This also applies to all MTV projects in Europe, USA, Japan and Korea. In a small proportion of East West projects, especially those available to teenagers, it’s possible that you might have to pay an additional on arrival fee (also known as “extra fee“), although this is not to pay for food and accommodation, but to fund extra expenses, for example, related to the running of projects for minors.
For projects on our North South Programme (as well as Iceland) you will have to contribute towards your food and accommodation on arrival, paying what we call “extra fee“. The exact amount of this fee is specified in each individual project description. This also applies to all MTV projects in Africa, South East Asia and Latin America.
What about insurance?
Concordia stipulates that all volunteers must have their own travel and health insurance. At a minimum you should take out travel insurance that will cover at least medical and repatriation costs but it is always worth having baggage cover and travel cancellation cover too.
Terms and Conditions
If your project is located within a member state of the European Union, you must obtain the European Health Insurance Card (it replaces the old E111 form): you can find all the information about it on The Department of Health.
Concordia regrets that we cannot reimburse volunteers for money on lost travel tickets in the rare event that a project is cancelled or where visas are denied. When buying travel insurance make sure that you read the small print to see what is covered and what excess you will need to pay in the event of making a claim.
If you do not yet have cover, our partners Endsleigh Insurance Services Limited can offer a range of excellent policies specifically designed for volunteering. For every online policy purchased, our volunteers get great cover, and we get a small donation to funds for our work. Both the Gap Year Policy and Single Trip Policy offer excellent cover for a wide range of activities. Get a free quote from Endsleigh Insurance
Do I need a visa?
Yes, for some countries, mainly in eastern and central Europe and in the South. Details will be provided in the country information on the project database. You should also research visa and entry requirements independently – check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, call the relevant embassy or visit Embassy homepage.
What else do I need to do to prepare?
It is good to learn about a country’s history, culture, society and language before you go. Guidebooks are very useful. You should visit your doctor before going on a project and let them know where you will be going, for how long and what type of work you will be carrying out – this way you can get professional advice about your health, staying healthy and vaccinations.
What if I have any problems when on the project?
If you have any problems before departure you should contact Concordia. Problems arising while on the project should be discussed with the project co-ordinators on the project – they’re in the best position to help. If it can’t be resolved at a local level, you should contact the national organisation – and we are always here to help.
How can I use my experience on my return?
We really need your help! When you get back from your experience, it will be hugely valuable if you can complete and return the project evaluation sheet that will be sent with the final details of your project. This is very important as it is the primary means by which we can evaluate and develop the programme for future volunteers.
If you’d like to do more, you could…
- use the skills and experience that you gained and become a co-ordinator on one of our UK projects – this role is funded by Concordia and experience and will allow you to be eligible for other volunteer roles within Concordia in the UK
- assist with publicity, putting up posters or running stalls at volunteer fairs
- become a contact for future volunteers
- help put together travel advice and country information sheets
- write articles for the Concordia newsletter and your local/university paper
- assist at preparation events
If you’d like to help in any way, please contact the Concordia office.
Can I apply for a project if I am living outside of the UK?
No, Concordia can only accept applications from people living in the UK at the time of the application, regardless of their nationality. If you are living in another country you should apply through a partner organisation in that country.
When am I Supposed to arrive to the project? Do I need to arrive a day before?
For the East West Programme volunteers are supposed to arrive to the project on the date indicated on the project description. For example, if dates are from 15/06/07 to 30/06/07, that means that you have to arrive on the 15th June and leave the 30th June. For the North South Programme, sometimes volunteers are asked to arrive one or more days before the start of the project in order to allow time for an orientation meeting. Volunteers then reach the project site together. All information about arrival day is specified on each project description and on the description of the country in the destination section.
If you have any doubts about your travel or are worried about getting to the meeting place on time please let us know straight away, so that we can give advice and pass this information on to the partner organisation who will run your project.
What if my flight arrives late at night or very early in the morning the day of the meeting point?
Most partners arrange meeting times for the start of their projects during daylight hours and this will be stated on your information sheet, sent approximately 4 weeks before the project starts.
When booking your travel please make sure that you know what time you will arrive at your projects destination.
If you plan to arrive in-country during unsociable hours (9pm – 7am), it will be your responsibility to get yourself to the meeting point at the time stated on the information sheet.
Please note that if you arrive the night before the meeting time/start date of the project, then it will be your own responsibility to find accommodation.
Why do I have to pay an extrafee on arrival for the North South projects when I already paid the registration fee to Concordia on application?
If joining a project in Latin America, Africa and Asia (as well as projects in Iceland), there is an extra contribution, known as “extra fee“, to help cover costs for the host organisation, because they do not receive subsidies in the way that many European organisations do. The fee paid by the volunteers on arrival supports the daily functioning of the organisation as well as the running costs of the project itself: food, accommodation, interpreters, transport and sometimes excursions. Host organisation fees are always specified in the each project description but usually they charge approximately £80 – £250 per project. These fees are always payable on arrival and often the projects will request the currency in either Euros or US Dollars.
More information about costs and fees
Where can I read about past volunteers’ experiences?
You can read the stories of our past volunteers on our Concordia Blog or browse our Photo Gallery with hundreds of pictures from our volunteers projects abroad and hopefully you will get an idea of what a volunteer project with Concordia might be like.