High School Specials: How Do I Get There?
Most volunteers on High School Specials travel independently to their designated airport. Our trained in-country staff members meet them on any flight and bring them back to our office for introductions and training.
In all cases, the cost of air travel is not included in the program fee for High School Specials. However, our Travel Team contacts volunteers after they are accepted to offer them a proposed flight itinerary. Volunteers can purchase the flights through us, or they can book whatever flights they prefer on their own. Any volunteers booking flights not through our Travel Team will be asked for flight details so we know when to pick them up at the arrival airport.
High School Special volunteers should plan to arrive in their destination country on the first Sunday of their progam and depart again on the final Saturday.
Can I Fly with Another Volunteer?
There is a chance that you will fly on the same itinerary as another volunteer. Although it is uncommon that two volunteers have exactly the same itinerary all the way from start to finish, it is not unusual to find several High School Specials volunteers on at least a section of the itinerary. Our Travel Team constantly monitors flight arrangements and will inform you if this applies to you.
If you would like to coordinate purchasing flights with other volunteers on your project, let us know a few months before the project begins and we will help you get in touch with them.
What Happens When I Get There?
Our full-time professional staff will meet you at the airport. They will be carrying a Projects Abroad sign and personal identification, and they will welcome you with your full name. They will carry some form of identification that you can validate. We'll make sure you have a chance to call home to tell your family that you've arrived safely, and then, depending on the time of day, we will take you to our office to meet the rest of the volunteers.
Or, if you arrive later in the day, we might take you straight to your host family's house for a good night's rest before starting the induction the next morning. If you arrive too late to go to the host family's house that day, we will arrange for you to stay in a budget hotel near our office at our own expense. Of course, our staff members will make sure you feel comfortable with the arrangements at the hotel before leaving you to get some rest for the night.
The first step of any volunteer project is the induction. Inductions will include some region and project specific information, as well as the following standard items:
- A Welcome Pack with the contact details of our local office, maps, and other useful information
- An agenda for the work that will be done while on the project, social events and the weekend excursion
- A tour of the area including a stop at the bank to change money into local currency (or use the ATM) and a stop at the cell phone store to purchase a pay-as-you-go cell phone (optional)
- Advise on local customs and what to expect while you are away
- A review of safety procedures and the details of the health insurance that is provided standard to all Projects Abroad volunteers