At Frontier we know it's not just a matter of spending your hard-earned cash; it's also about knowing where it goes. With us, you can see where your money is going and what you're getting for it, every step of the way. Whichever project you decide to go on, your contribution will be going towards both overseas and UK expenses. But it's not enough just to know that! So we've given you a quick breakdown of what you'll be getting for your money.
From beginning to end, we ensure that you're getting the best out of your project and your money is having the greatest impact. Every project is assessed thoroughly, to make sure you are getting exactly what you sign up for. For more information about project security, read Why pay to volunteer? We spend the time to make sure all our projects are just right, and continuously check that our projects are giving consistent results, and quality experiences.
When you pay your project costs, there is only a percentage that you'll see in physical terms. As a not for profit organisation, Frontier can pass on the remainder of that fee to the project – to see how this benefits them, see Where does my money go?
For some projects you choose, you'll be met from the airport by an in-country Frontier representative. They'll escort you to your accommodation, and in some cases return you to the airport once you've finished your project. So no need to worry! However, this isn't for all of our projects, so make sure you check what's included before signing up.
If you've decided on a project that has several locations, you still don't need to worry! The majority of these projects include internal transfers as well – you'll be transported to your various destinations as long as they're on the project itinerary (self-arranged travel either side of your project will need alternative arrangement); whether you're trekking through Nepal, India and Tibet on an ethical trail, or orientating yourself in the country's capital before going on to the village in which you'll be volunteering, you'll usually be provided with transport! Once again, don't forget to double check that this is included for your project.
Sometimes, you might need to stop off for the night as part of your project. Your local Frontier staff or partner organisation representative will arrange a hostel for you overnight, and collect you the following day, giving you the chance to sit back, relax and soak up the atmosphere without the anxiety. Again, check the project details t be absolutely sure what in-transit accommodation is covered.
While you're on the project, you'll be provided with accommodation. This will have the standard amenities such as shelter, water and latrines, but it can sometimes be quite simple and occasionally very basic. This doesn't mean it's uncomfortable by any means – staying in a tent on the African savannah has its bonuses! The type of accommodation varies, from tent to hostel to homestay. But please bear in mind it's not a good idea to choose tented accommodation if you hate camping.
On the majority of our projects, you'll be provided with food, although some are self-catered. This varies according to what you're doing and where you are. Meals will be provided by the homestay family or hostel you're staying in. This is usually local produce and specialities, so be prepared for some new and exciting dishes!
Whatever you're doing and wherever you're going, Frontier staff make it their mission to provide you with as much information as possible. We try to keep all our information as up-to-date as possible, and your volunteer co-ordinator works hard to keep you up to speed with events and changes!
If you've chosen a teaching project, you have the chance to come along to one of our TEFL training days, absolutely free of charge! Not only are these training days jam-packed with essential information and advice but they are also a great way to meet other volunteers and swap tips.
When you've arrived at your project, you'll usually be given orientation to help you get on your feet! This could include a short history of the area, a cooking lesson using the local delicacies and a quick brush up on basic language skills, all to make you feel at home.
We have representatives in all the countries our projects are based in who are contactable at any time during your project and whose details you will be given prior to departure.
There is also international HQ back-up at all times, so you have contacts in the UK too! These contacts go both ways, so you can be assured that you'll always be notified of any changes. It also means there is an emergency point of contact for any nervous parent.
Many of our projects also offer you some brilliant qualifications at no extra cost!
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training usually puts you out of pocket by around £200, but with many of our teaching and community development projects, you can get it for free. Alternatively, for £260 you can sign up for our new and exclusive, internationally recognised, BTEC Advanced Certificate in Teaching English as Foreign Language, a level 3 qualification which is accredited by the examining board Edexcel.
You can also get your Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE) whilst you're volunteering, worth an extra 70 UCAS points, for just £50.
Frontier is not for profit, which means that all profits must be feed back to maintain existing projects and introduce new ones. To be able to do this, some of the fees must go towards covering our staff and operational costs in the field and in our small London HQ, including the costs of maintaining the website, giving presentations to schools and universities and our other marketing activities. Without this, many of these worthwhile causes would not get the international support they deserve. To see a breakdown of these costs, visit Where does my money go?
Our priority is to make sure that the volunteer is getting the best deal, without a detrimental effect to the project.