Frequently asked questions

Volunteer work abroad

  1. Do I have to meet any conditions for participation?
  2. Do I need any experience or education in order to participate?
  3. Can I participate at the project as an internship for a degree?
  4. Why do I have to pay to participate?
  5. How is the price for a project determined?
  6. Why is one project more expensive than the other?
  7. When do I have to pay?
  8. Are there any additional costs?
  9. Do I have to have insurance?
  10. How much do travel and cancellation insurance cost?
  11. What is the cancellation policy?
  12. When should I make my reservation?
  13. When can I come to a project?
  14. How do I get to the project?
  15. Is it safe to work at a project?
  16. Is vegetarian food available?
  17. I have another question.

1. Do I have to meet any conditions for participation?
Although requirements vary per project, the most common are:
- minimum age of 18 years
- good physical condition
- be able to communicate in English
- various vaccinations

2. Do I need any experience or education in order to participate?
ENo prior experience or education is required to take part in a project. Upon arrival, you will undergo an introductory training, during which you will learn all you need to know in order to participate in the project. If you have any relevant education or experience, please indicate so on the booking form and this will be taken into account.

3. Can I participate at the project as an internship for a degree?
It is possible to participate in research and/or special training at some projects that may qualify as an internship. Download the extensive information sheet for the project you are interested in for more specific information. Please note, however, that your general duties as a volunteer will take priority over your research work. For more information contact info@globalspirit.nl.

4. Why do I have to pay to participate?
These projects rely on volunteers. Not only do they supply the manpower for the projects, but they are also a source of much-needed funding. This money helps to keep the projects running on a day-to-day basis and, at times, provides the extra funding needed for occasional improvements such as new cages.

You are also paying for a very unique experience that you will always remember. Not only will you be working with wild animals and conserving the environment, but you will also have access to areas that are normally restricted to regular tourists.

Exactly what is included in each of the project fees (accommodation, meals, training, etc) can be found in the individual project extensive information packets.

5. How is the price for a project determined?
The projects themselves know exactly what their costs are and how much financial assistance they need. Global Spirit takes their input into account as well as the costs for the further development of the programme as well as the costs for promoting the project in several countries. Together these costs determine the fee required from the volunteer.

6. Why is one project more expensive than the other?
Some projects are more expensive than others, this is due to their individual needs. The cheaper projects frequently need more manpower, where as at the more expensive projects the emphasis lies on the financial support.

7. When do I have to pay?
Deposit payment:
A 35% deposit is required upon booking, with a minimum of € 100,00.
Balance payment:
The balance payment of the fee must be received by Global Spirit 6 weeks before departure. Should the booking be made within 6 weeks before departure, the total amount must be paid immediately.

Please note the following exceptions:
Project: Sea turtles in Greece:
No deposit is required as the total amount is upon booking.
Project: Dolphins in Greece:
No deposit is required as the total amount is upon booking.
Project: Whales and dolphins in Italy:
No deposit is required as the total amount is upon booking.
Project: Adriatic Dolphins in Croatia:
No deposit is required as the total amount is upon booking.
Project: Marine Adventure including dolphins and whales in South-Africa:
A 50% deposit is required upon booking.
Asian elephants in Thailand:
No deposit is required as the total amount is upon booking.

The balance payment of the fee must be received by Global Spirit 8 weeks before departure. Should the booking be made within 8 weeks before departure, the total amount must be paid immediately.

8. Are there any additional costs?
Besides the participation fee, the international flight, the cost of transportation to and from the project, and insurance fees, the additional costs may include personal expenses such as excursions, telephone calls, and Internet costs, etc.

9. Do I have to have insurance?
You must have travel insurance (covering travel, luggage, accidents, extra medical, and repatriating costs) to participate at a project and a copy of your policy must be shown upon your arrival. If you provide proof of travel insurance, you will not be give access to the project. Cancellation insurance is also highly recommended. You can arrange a cancellation insurance through Global Spirit if you live in The Netherlands, Belgium or Germany – simply indicate this on booking form. If you have arranged your insurance(s) elsewhere, then you must provide Global Spirit with a copy of the policy together with your booking form.

10. How much do travel and cancellation insurance cost?
Insurance policy pricing and terms can be found on every project’s booking form.

11. What is the cancellation policy?
If you cancel your reservation before the 41st day prior to departure, there is a non-refundable 35% deposit (with a minimum of € 100.00);
If you cancel between the 42nd (included) and the 28th day prior to departure, 50% of the total fee is non-refundable;
If you cancel between the 28th (included) and 14th day prior to departure, 75% of the total fee is non-refundable;
If you cancel within14 days of your departure and later, there is no refund.
Please note: The following projects have different cancellation policies:

Project: Sea turtles in Greece:
- There is no refund if you cancel your reservation.

Project: Dolphins in Greece:
- If you cancel more than 30 days prior to departure, 20% of the total fee is non-refundable;
- If you cancel within 30 (included) days of your departure and later, there is no refund;

Project: Whales and dolphins in Italy:
- If you cancel more than 30 days prior to departure, 20% of the total fee is non-refundable;
- If you cancel within 30 (included) days of your departure and later, there is no refund;

Project: Adriatic Dolphins in Croatia:
- If you cancel more than 30 days prior to departure, 20% of the total fee is non-refundable;
- If you cancel within 30 (included) days of your departure and later, there is no refund;

Project: Marine Adventure including dolphins and whales in South-Africa:
- If you cancel your reservation before the 30th day prior to departure, there is a non-refundable 50% deposit
- If you cancel within 30 days (included) of your departure and later, there is no refund.

The projects’ cancellation policies are strict because not only are the projects dependent on your financial contribution, but also count on your participation at the project.

12. When should I make my reservation?
Some projects can only accommodate a small number of participants at a time and therefore can fill up. Also, please take into account that you will have to take the time to obtain a visa (embassies are normally very busy) as well as get your required vaccinations prior to your departure. It is advised that you book early – you will have a better chance of finding availability at your chosen project as well as finding a cheap airfare.

13. When can I come to a project?
Most projects allow you to start any time of year as long as you stay for the minimum amount of time required for that project. Some project, however, have fixed arrival and departure dates (usually because these projects are restricted to a specific season). Project-specific information on this subject can be found in the project descriptions.

14. How do I get to the project?
You are responsible to make your own travel arrangements to the project however, if you are having trouble finding flights, Global Spirit can be of assistance. However you must make your own arrangements when travelling by bus and/or train. Most projects will send a staff member to pick you up once you arrive at the closest airport, train or bus station, providing you have sent your arrival details beforehand.

15. Is it safe to work at a project?
Volunteering at the projects often involves working with wild animals. Such work is intrinsically risky, and although the chances that you will be bitten or harmed are very small, they cannot be entirely disregarded. The animals may seem very tame and sweet, but you must take into account that they are wild animals and can be very dangerous. If you are sure to listen to the instructions given by the project staff and follow their rules, the probability of any kind of accident will then be greatly reduced.

16. Is vegetarian food available
Some projects provide food for their volunteers and vegetarian meals can be requested. If you are a vegetarian, please indicate this on the booking form.

17. I have another question.