Project length and dates
Short term projects run between set dates and are usually two to four weeks in length. The main programme runs from June to September although there are a number of off-season projects available during winter and spring. Our Medium Term Volunteer projects (MTV) usually last between one to six months.
Who organises the projects?
Each project is organised by one of our international partner organisations. They work in co-operation with local community organisations, who act as the project hosts, providing food and accommodation for the volunteers.
Our partner organisations are responsible for organising their own work and co-ordinating the international volunteers. They also provide one or two trained project leaders, who will help run each project.
Who’s on the project with me?
Short term projects
There is usually between 10-15 international volunteers working alongside local volunteers or members of local organisations. The group is intended to gather people from different countries, nationalities and cultural backgrounds, therefore most of times there are no more than two participants from the same country: this is to encourage the integration of the group and maximize the intercultural experience.
On every project there is a project co-ordinator, who is either a member of staff or volunteer from the local organisation. Co-ordinators are there to link volunteers, host organisation and local community and to help in case of any problems that might arise.
Medium term projects instead tend to be individual rather than group based.
Language of the project
Unless otherwise specified in the project description, the language used is English: all volunteers are expected to communicate in English at least at a basic level. For the projects using other languages – mostly French, German and Spanish- this will be clearly indicated in the special requirements of each project. Nonetheless, a basic knowledge of the local language is always an advantage, as it gives you the chance to better interact with local people.
Food and accommodation
Food and accommodation for the duration of the project are provided free of charge by the host organisation (unless it is stated otherwise in the project description). Food is usually organised on a self-catering basis, with all group members doing an equal share of the shopping, cooking and cleaning. It’s a good idea to take some recipes with you, because you might be asked to cook a traditional dish from your home country. There may be catering provided on some projects. Please let us know if you have a special dietary requirement.
The type of accommodation varies but generally you could be staying in tents, sleeping on the floor of a village halls or local schools, or staying in dormitories in hostels or youth centres. You are required to supply your own roll-mat and sleeping bag and should be prepared, in some cases, for very basic standards of living.
Generally you will work up to 8 hours a day with evenings and weekends free. Social activities are usually organised by the group with assistance from the project co-ordinators. Many volunteers travel after they have volunteered.
Concordia has put together a ‘Handbook’ full of suggestions and tips on how to prepare for you international project. A must read for anyone going on a Concordia project. International Programme Handbook