Things to know

Safety and Security

  • Before departure we will brief volunteers on specific aspects of the projects and their locations as well as host expectations.
  • There will be an English speaking contact on site responsible for volunteers and available for families to contact in case of emergencies.
  • We are in close contact with all the projects and are in a position to speak to volunteers’ families at any time before or during the trip.
  • All volunteers should ensure that they obtain the latest contact information for the person in charge at their project before departure for the assignment.
  • NO volunteer should leave the UK without insurance. All volunteers are strongly advised to contact MIND THE GAP YEAR which specializes in insurance for this type of travel. If you buy Mind the Gap Year insurance by clicking on this link you will receive a 5% discount on normal rates.
  • ALL volunteers must check with their own GP as soon as their plans are firm to obtain the most up to date information on relevant inoculations.
  • ALL volunteers are advised to register their presence with their own Embassy/Consulate/High Commission on or just before arrival in their volunteering location.


The most suitable volunteers for this type of adventure are those who:

  • Have a wish for adventure
  • Are independent and able to cope without the immediate physical support of family, friends or school etc.
  • Are able to get on with others, including those from very different backgrounds.
  • Are self disciplined, because these projects are doing serious work for the children and young people they are helping.  They need their volunteers to provide support and not to need too much of it!
  • Are flexible and interested in seeing how other cultures operate (and able to be flexible about things like food!)
  • Are REALLY interested in helping others
  • Willing to try and communicate even when there is a language barrier
  • Volunteers will be asked to undergo vetting for suitability in their country of origin before departure (by Criminal Records Bureau or equivalent).

The Next Steps

  • The first step is to decide which project is most interesting to you.
    – Look on the websites – click here
    – Talk to us
  • If you wish to volunteer with a friend we are usually very happy to consider this, however, each volunteer is interviewed and accepted based on their own merits
  • We are very happy to talk to prospective volunteers at any stage about any aspect which concerns them; in particular, background of projects, potential costs and the selection/decision process
  • After you decide where you want to go we will interview you and if you appear suitable you will then be interviewed directly by the project concerned
  • If the project then wishes to invite you to join them we will then outline for you their expectations and requirements
  • If you are happy with arrangements then you will need to check what injections you may require, apply for your visa and look into booking your ticket
    – Where an invitation from the organization is needed for you to get your visa this will be provided.
  • Before departure insurance must be arranged. NO volunteer should consider leaving the UK or their home country without insurance and Mind The Gap Year provides a specialized service of insurance for young travelers overseas. We recommend that you explore their policies. Anyone applying for their insurance from this website will receive a 5% discount. And as they sponsor our website we request you to use them where possible!
  • You must also speak to your GP to get the latest guidance on appropriate vaccinations for your destination.
  • The cost of this trip will include air fare, visa costs, insurance costs, food – in some cases, local pocket money and, in some cases, accommodation. (See specifics on each project.)
  • Please also consider making a donation to the organization where you volunteered.
  • Many volunteers come home from their volunteering experience and then raise money for the project.


Monthly costs at projects are approximately as follows.

  • Beijing: NO charge for accommodation or food, no commuting cost. Suggested minimum pocket money per month £150 (project not in downtown Beijing so local transport cost for outings into Beijing is the major component).
  • Guangzhou: Small charge for cost of hotel where summer camp is held. Subsidized food during working day. No commuting cost. Suggested pocket money about £200 per month.
  • Hong Kong: NO charge for accommodation, small allowance provided for food, no commuting cost. Suggested minimum pocket money per month £200
  • Malaysia: NO charge for accommodation and free food provided.  Suggested monthly pocket money £200.
  • Mongolia (summer camp): Accommodation and food about US$20 per day. Limited opportunities to spend pocket money. For one year assignments a local salary is paid.

In addition volunteers need to pay airfare, insurance premium and, in some cases, visa costs. (Please contact us for further details.)