Step 1: Decide to go!
After you’ve talked with our team and know where you want to go and what project you want to work on, it’s time to commit. Deciding to go is a great first step!
Step 2: Submit your application and deposit.
On the Utopia Volunteers application form, we ask for information about your skills, education, and volunteer experience, and specific details about your personal situation. It’s important this information is complete and accurate because it helps us better prepare you for the volunteer experience abroad, and helps ensure all proper preparations will be made for your project and host accommodations.
Don’t forget to submit your $350 deposit! This deposit is used to prepare the project for your arrival, helping cover transportation costs, accommodations, and project supplies.
Step 3: A Program Manager will confirm all details with you, including your project, plans, and dates.
After receiving your application and deposit, the in-country program coordinator will organize your project placement and host accommodations. Then, we will contact you to confirm all details.
At this point, we’ll also begin your orientation process. We’ll educate you on what to expect and prepare for, physically and emotionally, so that you can best transition from your life at home when the time comes to begin volunteering.
Step 4: Prepare for departure! Passport. Visa. Flights. Final Payment. Background Check. Travel Insurance. Vaccinations.
Once your dates and locations are confirmed, you’ll need to apply for your visa if required by your destination country. First, make sure your passport is valid and compatible with the visa requirements of your destination country and then, apply for your visa if you need to. We’ll help you navigate this process by answering any questions we can.
After reviewing visa requirements and applying if necessary, it’s time to purchase your flights.
At least 60 days before your start date, submit your program fee to Utopia Volunteers.
You’ll also need to obtain a national criminal background check — send a copy to us at least four weeks before your scheduled departure.
Utopia Volunteers requires each traveler to have comprehensive international travel insurance. Purchase this and send a confirmation to us.
And finally, make sure you have all appropriate vaccinations for your chosen destination. The Center for Disease Control provides lists of recommended vaccinations per country for American travelers.
Let the fun begin!
Step 5: Meet your project coordinator
At least one week before your flight, you’ll meet the in-country coordinator for your project (via Skype) and will have the opportunity to ask any remaining questions before you leave.
Step 6: In-country orientation and project setup
After being greeted by a Utopia Volunteers staff member at the airport, the project coordinator will conduct an onsite orientation. You’ll learn all the details of your program including scheduling, rules, safety precautions, and recommendations for what to do and not do. You’ll also hear again about the culture including religion, beliefs, and political system of the area in which you’ll be working.
Step 7: Work begins
It’s time! You’ll now give your heart and hands to a project that will empower the community to create positive change and achieve long-term, sustainable success.
While volunteering, be sure to remain genuine to who you are while being open and accepting of the culture around you. Know that you have the support and encouragement of the Utopia Volunteers team, and that together, we can and will make this world a better place for all.
If you’d like to support Utopia Volunteers but are unable to volunteer on-the-ground with some of our international projects, consider donating to a specific project.
If you’d like to support Utopia Volunteers in another way, talk with us!