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FAQ

 

Here are some common questions asked and answered. If you would like more information, or clarification, contact our staff.
 
  • What is the difference between Volunteer Abroad, Intern Abroad, and Workshops?
    • While volunteer programs focus on giving back to communities, targeting their expressed needs and desires, internship programs are geared toward meeting the learning objectives of participants.

      Internships are an excellent option for students with a particular learning objective who wish to gain skills and build upon knowledge in a particular area, often receiving university credit. If done for college credit, an internship may require a final report or portfolio.

      Workshops take place during a set period of time in the summer and winter and focus on a particular learning objective. Workshops are more structured with a detailed itinerary, and you travel with a group of participants like yourself.

  • What are the responsibilities of volunteers and interns?
    • Your individual responsibilities will differ based on your organization. Volunteers and interns generally work between 5-8 hours a day. It is your responsibility to work with your organization to develop a work schedule for the course of your stay, perform the tasks that you are given to the best of your ability and follow the rules and regulations established by your organization.

  • What is your age policy?
    • The minimum age requirement to participate independently in most Abroad Impact programs is 18 years old. Occasionally, we offer summer immersion programs for teens 15-17. Please contact us to find out about upcoming programs.

  • What types of projects are available?
    • A variety of project are available in areas including, but not limited to, teaching, environmental conservation, community development and building, medicine and healthcare, media and journalism, law and human rights and textiles. If you are interested in any areas not listed, please contact our staff and we can discuss if such opportunities are available.

  • Are there any skills in particular needed to volunteer abroad?
    • No. We accommodate all levels of skills and experience. We appreciate the learning opportunities our participants create for Ghanaians and we are also passionate about participants themselves learning about the local culture.

  • Will there be time to travel and explore when I'm abroad?
    • Volunteers and Interns have ample free time throughout the course of their stay to travel, especially during weekends. Although workshop itineraries are generally packed with activities, there is free time built in for participants to work on projects and explore. Our local staff can give you suggestions for places to visit, or you can create your own agenda.

  • Can I travel with friends, colleagues, or relatives?
    • Yes. You can travel in groups. Please contact us to discuss your options.

  • Will there be other foreign volunteers/interns at my placement?
    • No. We accept people all over the world to participate.

  • Are there any language requirements?
    • The only requirement is to be able to speak and write English.

  • How far in advance do I need to enroll?
    • We encourage you to enroll at least 60 days before the start date of the program; however, we do accept applications on a rolling basis. Enrolling early ensures that you have ample time to prepare for your trip, book your international flight and obtain necessary immunizations and visas.

  • Do I need any immunizations?
    • Yes. The yellow fever vaccination is required. We urge participants to consult with a travel doctor at least two months before going to Ghana for advice on staying healthy while traveling. We also suggest that you visit the Centers for Disease Control website for traveler's health information.

  • Do I need a visa?
    • Yes. All foreign travelers to Ghana need a visa in order to enter the country. Visas can be obtained through Ghana Embassy and Consulate offices. We will provide guidance and support in applying for a visa in order to make the process as smooth as possible.

  • Is Ghana safe?
    • We understand that being in a new environment can be overwhelming, especially to young students who are traveling outside the country for the first time. We want this experience to be educational and meaningful, but also safe and comfortable. Ensuring the safety of participants and their possessions is of the utmost importance to Abroad Impact and we take necessary actions to manage risks.

      Ghana is a very safe, stable country with relatively low crime levels compared to other West African countries. In fact, Ghana is ranked above the UK on the Global Peace Index. Most visits to Ghana are trouble-free and without incident, provided participants act responsibly, as they would anywhere.

  • What’s the best way to communicate with people back home and How can I communicate with friends and family once I arrive in Ghana?
    • All of our placements have access to internet cafes, though if you are placed in a rural area you may have to wait until you go into town to use one. Generally, you should only use your host family's phone in emergencies except to receive calls, so the internet is the best way to contact people at home. There are also public phones or communications centers near almost all of our placements - these are perfect for local calls to other volunteers, general questions to our local staff, or the occasional and more expensive call home.

      Cell phones and internet are the best options to communicate. If you bring your laptop, you may be able to access the internet, but accessibility will vary depending on where you are located. Internet cafes are available in most towns.

      The telephone system is relatively reliable, but most people use mobile phones. You will be able to use GSM compatible phones in Ghana. There are several GSM cell phone operations across Ghana that have roaming agreements with most international networks but it is generally more cost effective to purchase a Ghana SIM card for use. If you do not have a GSM phone you can buy or rent a telephone upon arrival in Ghana. Note that participants are responsible for Internet costs and cell phone costs.

  • Where are projects located?
    • Most volunteer projects take place in the capital Accra, or in smaller towns including Cape Coast, Kumasi and Agogo.

  • Where do I stay? Who do I stay with?
    • Most volunteers and interns live with local families in accommodations which are good by local standards. Your host family will serve as your primary support system and provide you with insight into the local culture. At least one member of the family will be able to speak basic English. Most of the time you will be assigned a private room, however a private room is NOT guaranteed and you may share a room with another participant.

      Workshop participants generally stay in guest houses throughout Ghana. Most rooms are double occupancy.

  • What organizations do volunteers work with?
    • Volunteers are primarily placed with international and local nonprofits, schools, orphanages and community groups. When volunteering with a nonprofit and community organization, you may work on ongoing projects, building upon previous volunteers, or lay the foundation for new projects. Many of these projects are determined by the communities since they are in the best position to identify their needs. Some organizations focus on particular areas, such as health and women’s issues, while others focus on building, environmental conservation or vocational training. Your specific tasks and assignments will depend on the needs of the organization, and your skills and motivation.

  • What's included with my program fee?
    • The program fee generally covers housing, meals, travel medical insurance, airport pick up and drop off and placement for volunteers and interns. Workshop fees additionally cover in country transportation for program activities, entrance fees and course and lecture material. See our Program Fees for details on specific programs.

  • Why does Abroad Impact charge a fee?
    • The process of preparing, training, transporting, housing, feeding, and supervising participants is costly. Like any other organization, there are costs of operation- office equipment, monthly expenses, transportation costs, marketing, salaries for staff, and workshop equipment and fees.

  • Will I be OK traveling alone?
    • You may have reservations about traveling to a foreign country on their own, and you are not alone. Most participants travel alone but are never lonely. With the structure of our culture immersion program, you are surrounded by a supportive host family and resourceful program staff that will ensure you are never lost or alone. And don’t forget, there are also many other similarly situated volunteers in Ghana just like you and plenty of opportunities to share stories, experiences, and plan excursions together.

      If you prefer a more structured program where you travel with other foreigners, then our Workshop programs may be the best fit for you.

  • Will I be OK traveling to a foreign country?
    • Traveling abroad is not for everybody. The experience can be stressful and challenging even for the most seasoned travelers- psychologically, physically, and financially. Abroad Impact is here to provide support to alleviate your concerns, provide reliable information, and help you make a smooth transition towards a rewarding experience. The most successful volunteers are people who are self-starters, resourceful, and enthusiastic.

  • Can I receive academic credit for participating in an Abroad Impact Program?
    • Yes. It is possible to receive academic credit. However, students are responsible for obtaining approval through an advisor or the appropriate department of their college or university as credit will depend on the policy of the institution. Abroad Impact will work with you and your institution to structure your program and provide necessary information.

  • What is weather like in Ghana?
    • Ghana is very close to the equator, and so the weather is quite warm and tropical. There are two rainy seasons, one from April to June, and the other from September to October.

  • Can you accommodate special diets?
    • Your host family can provide both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. Occasionally, in the event that you require a special diet, you are responsible for your own meals. Participants must inform Abroad Impact of any special dietary need prior to arrival so that your host family can be informed.

  • How many volunteers are onsite at the same time?
    • This depends on how many people volunteer at any one time. Usually we have between four and ten volunteers arriving in Ghana each month. You will usually be placed with at least one other volunteer, depending on how many volunteers we have at the same time and location as you.
  • Is there training for Teaching or other volunteer programs?
    • There is no training to prepare you for this program, however, staff at the location will be available to assist you. Depending on your comfort level and experience, you may assist other teachers or lead your own lessons. You are expected to bring your own ideas and encouraged to bring resources to use.