The in-country volunteering journey

From applying to arriving on assignment. Learn about the steps to get you in country and home again.

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Before you start your assignment

Everything you need to do to prepare for your assignment

Onboarding activities

There are several time-sensitive activities and compliance checks to complete before you start your assignment. Please note that preparing to go on assignment can take up to 12 weeks and is often reliant upon medical clearance and obtaining visas. Your volunteer portal will guide you through the process.

Update personal detail
  • Enter details of your nearest airport. This will be used to book flights for the pre-departure briefing and for your assignment.
  • Enter your bank account details. This will be used to pay allowances and reimburse any eligible expenses.
  • Ensure that all personal information is correct, especially if you have volunteered before.

Obtain medical clearance

  • Obtain your medical clearance as soon as possible. A medical clearance is often required to submit your visa application.
  • Requirements and time frames to complete this stage will depend on your circumstances.
  • Your Onboarding Coordinator will guide you through the required steps.

Obtain entry visa

Take time to learn about specific visa requirements. Our Onboarding Coordinator will support you through the process of obtaining your visa. Visa processing times will vary depending on the country of application and can change at any time.

  • Gather appropriate supporting documentation and work with your Onboarding Coordinator on the application process promptly to avoid delay.
  • The program covers the cost of appropriate visas for volunteers and Approved Accompanying Dependants.

Learn more about the support available

There are many ways Australian volunteers are supported throughout their volunteer journey. Find out how we support volunteers before, during and after.

Complete pre-departure learning

We are committed to the learning and development of our volunteers. Before departing, the program provides an interactive online learning course and a pre-departure briefing to prepare you for your time in-country. A range of online resources are also available and accessible throughout your assignment.

  • The online learning must be completed within a four-week period before attending the pre-departure briefing. Completion of this foundation course is a requirement for participation in the pre-departure briefing, where concepts will be further explored and applied to interactive scenarios.
  • A three-day pre-departure briefing is delivered in Melbourne. The program supports travel arrangements for participants who reside within Australia. Learn more. A shorter version of the pre-departure briefing may be available to volunteers whose assignment is less than six weeks in-country.
  • Completion of all learning (online courses and briefing) is mandatory.

Confirmation letter and travel to assignment

  • The last step is to download your Assignment Confirmation Letter and accept the assignment via the volunteer portal.
  • The program covers the cost of return flights from Australia for volunteers and Approved Accompanying Dependants. Please note flights cannot be booked until all the above steps have been completed.

Other things to consider at this stage

  • Consider the obligations you need to take care of before you leave, such as packing up your house, identifying who will take care of pets, where you will store your belongings, and ensuring your financial obligations can be met while you are away.
  • Think about what to pack for the assignment. More details on the baggage policies will be available to volunteers in their online portal.
  • Start to plan how you will take care of yourself while on assignment. This includes how you will manage your health, safety, and risk profile.
  • Most importantly, please be patient and flexible because this stage can take some time.

Stay up to date on the latest volunteer assignments.

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