- Get Involved
Interested in volunteering abroad? Looking for an international internship? Check out our winter/spring or summer programs.
Each summer, HELP International sends volunteers and interns abroad to Peru, India, Thailand, Uganda, and Fiji where they plan and implement sustainable development programs. Volunteers can spend anywhere from five weeks to three months in-country. Our volunteers pay or fundraise the program cost. Many volunteers receive internship credit for their experience abroad.
The following information will answer some of your basic questions about the time committment, program cost, university credit, and safety in-country. Please be sure to read through the Code of Conduct before submitting your application.
The program dates are flexible. If you need to arrive or depart on a date other than is indicated below, please contact our office for approval.
HELP International Summer Program
Each summer, HELP International sends volunteers in three different periods, each lasting one month. HELP International volunteers can serve anywhere between one and three months.
The 2015 dates for the HELP International Summer Program are as follows:
- Month 1: May 15 - June 20
- Month 2: June 15 - July 20
- Month 3: July 15 - August 20
For Fiji volunteers, you will be leaving one day before the wave date and you will return one day earlier for each wave because of the time difference and Air Pacific only operates on these dates between the Los Angeles (LAX) and Nadi (NAN) airports.
HELP International Summer Program
The 2015 program cost for the HELP International Summer Program are as follows:
Five weeks: $2,950
Ten weeks: $3,350
Fifteen weeks: $3,750
Winter/Spring Program in Fiji and Uganda
The program cost for the winter program is $2,950 for 6 weeks, and $3,350 for 12 weeks.
Deadline for Program Cost
The entire program cost must be paid by the first of the month of departure. Depending when you begin your program, the program cost must be paid by the following date:
Month 1: May 1
Month 2: June 1
Month 3: July 1
The program fee includes:
- Breakfast and dinner during the week (Sunday dinner - Friday breakfast)
- Health Insurance (comprehensive coverage for evacuation and medical emergencies)
- Trainings and handbooks
- Safety and security in-country
- Your Country Coordinator(s)
- Building partner relations
- HELP t-shirt and other promotional materials
This list is not all-inclusive. The program cost covers a variety of costs necessary to maintain and build the Summer Program.
The program fee does not include:
- Tourist activities and souvenirs
- Transportation to and from country
- Extra food and eating out
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. 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 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 impoverished communities. Their service not only improves the lives of those they serve, but our volunteers gain a greater perspective on life and their role in the global community.
In order to fund our projects, HELP must charge a program cost to volunteers. This money can be paid on their own or through fundraising. Program costs go towards housing and food, volunteer support, volunteer training and handbooks, promotional items, projects, etc.
The following discounts are available:
- $800 discount for returning volunteers
- $150 discount if you pay in full within 30 days (discount applies if you apply two months before program begins)
- ½ price spouse discount (one spouse must pay in full and the other will receive ½ off)
- $100 bring-a-friend discount (discount will be applied when each friend has paid in full and is in-country)
- $300 discount for Spanish language fluency and $1000 for Thai language fluency
Volunteers and Interns are required to purchase their own flight. These are some of the average costs of flights to each of our program locations during the summer:
- PERU: Between $1,300 and $1,600
- UGANDA: Between $1,700 and $2,400
- INDIA: Between $1,300 and $1,700
- THAILAND: Between $1,600 and $2,200
- FIJI: Between $1,200 and $1,500
Let us HELP you fundraise for your program! This video offers an introduction to fundraising. Upon acceptance to a HELP program, we will provide training, a fundraising booklet, materials, and more for fundraising. It is completely possible to fundraise your entire program cost.
When you fundraise for your HELP Program, all donations must be delivered to the HELP Office. All donations should be clearly identified with the name and program of the volunteer. Each volunteer has an account in which we will keep track of all money raised. All donations to HELP International are tax deductible. HELP will send a donation receipt to each donor at the end of the summer. The money that is fundraised is non-refundable and is to be used at the discretion of HELP. Volunteers can also fundraise for their flight but donations will go to reimburse themselves and will not be tax-deductible.
Although the program cost must be paid prior to departure, a volunteer may continue to fundraise throughout the summer while they are in-country. Volunteers can receive a reimbursement for any additional fundraising, up to the amount that they personally have paid out-of-pocket. All reimbursements must be requested by September 15th of the same year of their program.
HELP International has established policies and procedures to protect the safety and well-being of our volunteers. Although one cannot avoid every emergency, we have taken several 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 recommends reading through Safe Trip Abroad, a notice issued by the US State Department.
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.
- All HELP programs are registered with the OSAC's local Regional Service Office (RSO) to receive regular safety and warden messages.
- 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.
- Emergency procedures are in place in the event of a general, medical and/or evacuation emergency.
- Each HELP Country Coordinator is required to carry an international cell phone to facilitate emergency communications. If there is a problem, HELP Participants can use the cell phone to call internationally and talk directly to the Directors of HELP.
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.
Students of all majors volunteer with HELP International. If you are interested, you can sign up for internship credit through your university internship office or academic department. An internship with HELP International will expose you to a variety of academic disciplines and interests. Students can use their area of expertise to create their own projects that relate to their field of study or expand their areas of interest.
The following is a list of some of the majors we have worked with in the past: Advertising, Marketing, Art, Music, Business, Construction Management, Chemistry, Biology, Dance, Theater, Education, Engineering, English, Exercise Science, Finance, Accounting, Health Science, History, Family and Consumer Science, Humanities, Mathematics, Political Science, Pre-Dental, Pre-Med, Recreation Management, Social Work, Sociology, etc.