How much does it cost?
You will be required to pay an application fee of $50 USD. This fee covers the cost of processing applications and conducting our 2-step interview process. All applicants are guaranteed an interview.
Lattitude Placement Fee:
Our “Country Immersion” placements have a Lattitude placement fee of $1900 USD. This covers all of your preparation and support from the moment you apply right through to your eventual return home, and beyond!
- In-depth matching process to align your skills and interests with a placement that really suits you
- Assigned Volunteer Coordinator to help with all your pre-departure advice and guidance
- Links with returned volunteers
- Advice on obtaining a Visa
- Pre-departure briefing and information session
- Airport pickup on arrival
- Accommodation for the duration of your stay
- Food provided by host (may not be included during school holidays)*
- Pocket money provided in most developed countries**
- If available in-person, in-country orientation as part of our country programme network of international Lattitude volunteers
- Day to day support from your placement host and a member of staff as your mentor
- 24/7 support from Lattitude, including in-country support from local reps and the Lattitude Country Manager
- Focus on your personal volunteer learning and development
- Returned volunteer follow-up and debrief
- Opportunity to join the Lattitude Alumni Association
- Certificate of completion and references (on request)
*Food and accommodation are provided by your host in conjunction with Lattitude agreement.
**Pocket money is provided by host in conjunction with Lattitude agreement in most developed countries and does vary from placement to placement.
This fee is broken into three payments:
Once you have been interviewed and accepted into the programme, you will be required to pay a $500 USD deposit to secure your position. The deposit covers our costs for identifying, assessing and matching you to a suitable placement.
Under normal circumstances, this is a non-refundable deposit. However, due to the uncertain timeframe of COVID-19 travel restrictions etc, we have adopted a more flexible approach to ensure there is no financial risk to our volunteers proceeding with their Lattitude travel plans.
Your deposit will be refundable if: You have paid your deposit after 11 March 2020 (the date WHO declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic) and if nearing your scheduled departure, as a result of COVID 19, you are still unable to travel, or if, following government advice, your destination is deemed unsafe to do so.
If you are still unable to travel to your first-choice destination, we can work with you to look at alternative destinations at short notice. In the unprecedented scenario of no appropriate departures being available, we will look to reschedule, offer you the opportunity of deferring, or refunds will be made available.
You will be required to pay an interim payment of $700 USD no more than 6 months before departure. This payment covers Lattitude costs involved in the pre-departure stage of your placement.
The remainder of the Lattitude fee of $700 USD will be due 60 days prior to your scheduled departure.
Our “Action Projects” are shorter-term and have a varying range of prices. Please review the price for each Action Project by visiting their respective country pages.
What are my chances of being offered a placement?
Nearly all our applicants are successful. We have an in-depth application process which starts with an interview to discover more about your interests, skills and strengths. This is followed by a thorough matching process that finds the best available placement that meets your needs, fully utilises your skills and will challenge, engage and inspire you. We want to ensure that each volunteer is placed where their skills, interests and strengths fit with what one of our hosts is looking for. If this is done correctly, you will find yourself being very busy helping out in ways in which you enjoy. A busy volunteer means a happy host and a great experience for you!
Do I get a say in which placement I am offered?
Yes. You’ll be asked to list up to three placement preferences on your application, and can modify these after your interview. Lattitude takes your preferences seriously, but also looks at where your individual skills and experience might be best utilised. We offer a wide variety of experiences but some are particularly popular. We may be unable to offer you your first choice if it is already full. If your interviewer feels there is a more suitable option, we will discuss some alternatives with you. The important thing to note upon sending in your application form is that it is not set in stone. You have plenty of opportunity to discuss with us the type of experience you are after and we will do our very best to ensure that this is what you receive.
Where will I stay?
As part of the agreement with our placement hosts, your accommodation is included with your placement. Most often this will be on-site at your placement, for example you might have your own room in a school boarding house or a cabin at an outdoor activities camp. In some cases you may share an apartment with other volunteers near your placement. In some countries you will have the opportunity to live with a host family and to truly immerse yourself in the local culture. The quality of accommodation varies from country to country and placement to placement. In developing countries, accommodation can be quite basic. Our volunteers tell us that this helps them to really feel part of a local community and makes for some fantastic memories.
Is my food included?
Your food is also included as part of the agreement with our placement hosts. The way in which your food is provided will vary according to your placement country and host. For example you may have access to an on-site cafeteria, or receive an allowance to purchase or prepare your own food if in a self-contained apartment. Alternatively, your meals may be supplied by your host family. If you are working in a particularly rural or poor community you may find that you need to supplement the basic diet.
Can I go with a friend?
There are times when friends are placed together though we support volunteers in embracing their Gap Year as an individual experience. Please respect that sometimes being placed with a friend may not be appropriate or possible. This may be due to restrictions at our host institutions or that the accommodation only accepts one volunteer, which may be the case with a host family. Please bear in mind that although we would really love to provide everything as you wish, it is not always possible to have one aspect without sacrificing another. For example if you really want to go with a friend but are actually very different to them, you may have to choose between staying with them or choosing a placement that suits you better! With this in mind applications are assessed separately because volunteers have better experiences when they’re matched to a placement that suits their individual skills and attributes and where they are able to step outside their comfort zone without the established social supports of home. However, when friends apply together we are very happy to send them to nearby placements so that they can meet at evenings and weekends. We will always keep you updated and let you know well in advance so you are fully aware of the situation and feel able to make fully informed decisions. Please enquire for more information as sometimes it can be quite country / placement specific too!
Will I be the only volunteer at my placement?
This depends on the needs of your host. In most cases you will be placed with another volunteer or possibly with a team of volunteers; however some hosts need only one volunteer. Whatever happens, you will live and work alongside other young people. We try to cluster our placements so that volunteers have the opportunity to meet up regularly. Our goal is for you to have a brilliant, life-changing experience and recognise that sharing your experiences is part of the fun!
What if I get sick?
To ensure you are covered if you happen to get sick, you will need to have comprehensive travel insurance. Our hosts, in-country Managers and Local Representatives are always on hand as well and have a great deal of experience in supporting young volunteers. In the instance of an emergency, you can call the emergency number, which is answered 24/7 and staff will be able to assist you and help you to make any arrangements you may require. Don’t forget, you should always keep a copy of your insurance documents on hand. As part of your preparation all questions such as these will discussed at the pre-departure briefing session and as part of your orientation, if available in-person, to ensure you are fully prepared for your volunteer experience. You will always have the full backing of the Lattitude network which is the real advantage of going with a charity like Lattitude, rather than going it alone.
Will the country I’m going to be safe?
The safety and security of our volunteers is paramount and Lattitude will never send volunteers to a country or placement that is deemed unsafe. While there is some risk involved in any overseas travel, through our pre-departure briefing sessions and orientations we seek to educate our volunteers and alert them to potential hazards. Lattitude takes advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and other organisations about any major situations that may arise and monitors them accordingly. We also maintain regular contact with our hosts and in-country Local Representatives about the suitability of our placement locations.
Will I receive any pocket money?
A small amount of pocket money may be supplied by our hosts for placements in developed countries. The amount will vary from placement to placement but, where paid, will generally be enough to cover daily living expenses. In developing countries, especially in resource poor placements, you are unlikely to receive pocket money; however your own savings will go a lot further.
How will I deal with any problems?
There is a large support network of staff and representatives in all our placement countries. These people are there to help you, to provide friendly and timely support whenever you need it. They will visit you at your placement to check that all is well. We have the following five levels of support available to every volunteer: Host Mentor – member of staff employed by the placement who is your first point of contact. Local Representative – part-time or volunteer member of Lattitude staff allocated to a placement as a local point of contact. Lattitude Country Manager – volunteer or paid Lattitude staff member with overall responsibility for you and your placement. This is your next point of contact if your Local Rep is unavailable. Volunteer Coordinator – paid member of Lattitude staff who is responsible for supporting the Country Manager, assisting you pre-departure and during your placement if required. This person is also the key contact for parents. CEO – paid Lattitude staff member who will deal with serious issues or formal complaints.
My son or daughter is going to volunteer with Lattitude, do you have any information for me?
Yes, we have developed a Parents’ Guide which aims to summarise in one place all you need to know about Lattitude and answer many of the common questions or areas of concern raised by parents and guardians. This is sent to each volunteer once they have paid their deposit.
Can you help with fundraising?
Yes we can. Our team can provide you with ideas and information and help to publicise your efforts. We are constantly amazed by the ideas our volunteers have for raising money, which range from holding fashion shows to running marathons or packing bags in supermarkets. We appreciate that raising the funds to pay for your placement can seem daunting. However it’s reassuring to know that many young people have been in the same situation in the past and successfully raised the money they required. It can be hard work but it certainly is achievable, and the process of fundraising is an experience in itself! So where do you start?
- Work out your budget – how much will you need?
- Plan ahead – the sooner you start fundraising the more options you can try, and therefore the more you will raise.
- Approach prospective sponsors – think about why you are so passionate about volunteering overseas, what you hope to achieve, and write a letter to them.
- Stay positive – not everyone you approach will be able to support you. There are many causes in the world vying for people’s attention.
- Persevere and you will have success!