International Development + You
Interested in volunteering overseas? Each year, HELP International sends volunteers and interns abroad to El Salvador, Peru, Uganda, India, Nepal, Thailand, Fiji, and the Philippines, where they plan and implement service and development projects. Volunteers may spend anywhere from four weeks to three months in-country depending on their schedule and availability. Shorter 8-10 day programs are also available a couple of times a year. Many volunteers also receive internship credit for their experience abroad (for more info on internships click here).
The following information may answer some of your basic questions about logistics, time commitment, program cost, and safety in-country. We ask all potential applicants to review the Code of Conduct as they consider joining one of our HELP teams. For more detailed answers to frequent questions, please look over our FAQ's Page.
During our summer programs, volunteers may choose to serve for four, six, eight, or twelve weeks. Program date options for HELP International summer programs are as follows:
May 12 - Aug 4 12 weeks
May 12 - July 7 8 weeks
June 9 - Aug 4 8 weeks
May 12 - June 23 6 weeks
June 23 - Aug 4 6 weeks
June 9 - July 7 4 weeks
Summer Program Costs
12 weeks: $3,450
8 weeks: $3,250
6 weeks: $2,950
4 weeks: $2,950
Applicants may choose from either a 6 or 12 week program from February to April. Date options for our Winter/Spring programs are as follows:
February 4 - April 28 12 weeks
February 4 - March 17 6 weeks
March 17 - April 28 6 weeks
Winter/Spring Program Costs
6 weeks - $2,950
12 weeks - $ 3,450
We hope you can stay in country as long as we offer - a 12 week experience. Although it may sound like a long time, those that go for shorter amounts always end up wishing they had stayed longer in their country and often end up changing their flights to do so. It takes time to build relationships, see the process of projects, and adjust to a new culture. That being said, we know that not everyone is in a position to come for the whole time. We offer shorter 2 week, 4 week, 6 week, and 8 week options as well so that everyone has opportunities to be a part of life changing development work and poverty relief. Depending on when you go may depend on the type of experience you have. If you go in the beginning of a program you will be involved in more of the set up, the partner meetings, the building of the projects but may miss the final completion. If you go at the end you may be throwing thank you parties and closing ceremonies with the communities we work with your last week. Every week is important in the process of development, but if you are not able to go for the whole time, make sure you understand what will be going on for the time you are there.
The entire program cost must be paid in full by your checkout meeting, which will be scheduled 2-3 weeks prior to your departure date.
Your Program Fee Includes:
- Room & Board (including project-related overnight stays in remote locations)
- Breakfast and dinner five days a week
- 2 in-country directors
- Health Insurance (comprehensive coverage for evacuation and medical emergencies)
- Trainings and project resources
- Safety and security in-country
- All project/work related travel expenses in-country
- HELP t-shirt and other promotional materials
- Project expenses
- Personal mentorship by HELP's executive director for interns
- Airport pick up and drop off in-country
- Wifi for HELP related projects or needs
This list is not all-inclusive. The program cost covers a variety of costs necessary to maintain and build the entire program.
Your program fee does NOT include:
- Flight to your country
- Tourist activities & souvenirs
- Extra food & eating out
- Wifi to skype your significant other you abandoned at home for an adventure
Once accepted, you have three weeks to pay a $300 non-refundable deposit.
If for any reason a volunteer decides to no longer attend their summer program, then some of the total program cost may be refundable according to the refund policy explained HELP's paperwork. However, money fundraised by the volunteer from others is non-refundable.
Why is there a program cost?
HELP International is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, self-sustainable nonprofit organization. To accomplish the mission of HELP International, to fight global poverty with sustainable development programs, we train and recruit impassioned volunteers to travel to underdeveloped countries to serve as human capital for poverty-alleviation efforts. HELP is as big or as small as the volunteer base that signs up for the teams each year. Although some outside funding and grants are used throughout the year to run the organization, the volunteer program fees are how the organization sustains itself.
HELP charges a program fee in order to fund our projects in our areas of operation and to run the organization at large. This cost may be paid out of pocket or through fundraising. Program fees go towards project costs, housing and food, volunteer support, insurance, volunteer trainings and handbooks, promotional items, domestic overhead, etc. When you pay a program fee, you are facilitating impact around the world, as every location costs the same for volunteers but not the same to run on the ground. Your donations are bigger than just the one location you will work at during your program. All that HELP is able to accomplish is because of the support of the wonderful particiants each year.
DISCOUNTS & SCHOLARSHIPS
The following discounts and scholarships are available:
- $800 discount for returning volunteers
- $150 discount if you pay in full within 30 days (discount only applies if you apply two months before your program begins)
- ½ price spouse discount (one spouse must pay in full and the other will receive ½ off)
- $100 recruit-a-friend discount (discount will be applied when each friend has paid in full and is in-country)
- $200-500 discount (or one free wave) for Spanish language fluency, $1000 for Thai language fluency, and $650 for Fjian fluency
- $500 skills based scholarship (ex. medical or teaching degrees, photography, videography etc.)
- Each career fair we attend we give away 1-3 scholarships of $500-$1,000 - watch for us at your university!
- Watch our social media for requent giveaways and competitions! @helpintl
- Know someone who deserves a big scholarshp due to an amazing level of character or leadership expereince? Nominate them here.
*The maximum amount off (unless otherwise approved) of the normal program fee is a $1,000 discount.
**All pricing is in regards to our full programs. For shorter programs awarded scholarships and discounts will be adjusted on a program by program basis.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
HELP International has established guidelines, policies, and procedures to protect the safety and well-being of our volunteers. Although impossible to avoid every crisis possible, we have taken several precautionary steps to prevent and prepare for an emergency. Please read the HELP International Code of Conduct. It is essential that our volunteers strictly adhere to these policies in order to ensure their individual safety and the safety of their team. HELP International also recommends reading through culture books on your country and the US State Department's saftey tips on their website as well.
The following list comprises a few ways that HELP strives to keep our programs as safe as possible:
- HELP regularly and responsibly monitors safety issues in each of our program locations. A review of all programs at a local, regional, and country level is conducted in which safety, security, and overall quality are addressed.
- HELP consults with other organizations that send people abroad and monitors and analyzes the U.S. Department of State Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) updates. American Embassy Chief's of Security or officers are also consulted, as needed.
- Each year, the Board of Trustees evaluates the safety and security conditions of each program. The board has ultimate authority for approving the program safety, and has the authority to cancel programs or revise them to address safety and security concerns.
- Participants are required to attend or watch a health, safety, and security training session that stresses safety issues prior to departure and will continue to receive training in country.
- Emergency procedures are in place in the event of a general, medical and/or evacuation emergency.
- Each HELP Country Coordinator is required to carry a cell phone to facilitate emergency communications. There are also extra phones for volunteers to carry with them to projects. If there is a problem, HELP Participants can use the cell phone to call their in-country coordinators or even call internationally and talk directly to the Directors of HELP and parents or guardians.
HELP International strives to remain aware of the current conditions and issues of concern in our program locations. It is important the each of our volunteers remains equally aware. As much as we do to keep our volunteers safe, we can only do so much. International travel, particularly in underdeveloped nations, comes with inherent risks. Each volunteer must always keep their own safety in mind and take proper precautions to minimize security risks.