International Volunteering & Careers

Application Process to Volunteer Abroad

1. Questionnaire & resume

Please send BRIEFLY answered Questionnaire & resume to

2. Intake: I will call you so we discuss which volunteer abroad opportunities fit best for you

On the Questionnaire, I ask you to tell me chunks of time when you can take a call. Please be as available as you can to talk. Watch for call coming from 1-206-219-5562. If you miss my call, please pop me an email when you are available, rather than call back because I will likely be on the next call, 3 minutes later.  Just pop me an email that says, “I can take a call from 6 – 8pm tonight. I will be here.”  I try to call you in the windows that you give, but sometimes this is not possible due to other calls or Career Coaching.
I use a Vonage phone to call over the world, which is easier than Skype.  I don’t do WhatsApp.
The Intake, which should take ~1/2 hour, is free of charge.

3 . Pop me an email to say "Yes, I want to go!"

Talk to your family & get their blessing.  Think about the volunteer options we have discussed in the Intake and get back to me, ideally within two weeks; but whenever you have made your decision. Then just pop me an email that says “Yes, I want to go ahead with Kenya democracy building program with the Uganda human rights program as my second choice.”  Almost always you can get your first choice.

4. 1st $300 payment via Paypal

Then 2 minutes after you have sent me your “yes”,  you go make 1st $300 payment via Paypal button on Apply page.

I work closely with the in-country directors, so I know what they are looking for. If there are any questions whether you will be accepted, then I check with in-country director, before you pay 1st $300 because this is non-refundable.

When I get that receipt for 1st $300, (please forward me your receipt because there have been 3 times, I did not get receipt):
~ I send your Questionnaire & resume to in-country director for their formal acceptance

~ I send you simple, sometimes generic (because there may be so many roles at this particular organization) packet of information. And often the 1st packet has vital “context” info – e.g. history of Lebanon – so you know what Lebanese have been through not just the current situation with the Syrians or e.g. Therapeutic approaches to Domestic Violence in preparation for working in our Costa Rica program,

~ I send you legal form/ Disclaimer.

Please sign & scan back Disclaimer and send signed original to:

Ann McLaughlin
PO Box 2034
Vashon, Washington
USA 98070

(Note: that is Washington state, not Washington, DC.)

To avoid the problem outlined at bottom of page, please pop me an email that says “Got it!” when you get first packet & Disclaimer

5. It can take awhile to hear back

Sometimes it takes forever to hear back from the  in-country director. This is especially true for Lebanon & Jordan because they have  staffs of 600 so lots of other work they are doing. i.e. That is, they are taking care of the needs of their people rather than sitting all day at the computer. Usually it takes me getting up at 2am to call them & nudge the process along. Sometimes our Africa directors are out in the remote, rural villages outside internet contact. So apply as far ahead as you can and then be patient.

8. Yes! you have been accepted!

I get acceptance from in-country director or volunteer coordinator. I send you email that says, “Yes, you have been accepted.!”

Please send me another “Got it!” email

9. You pay the 2nd $300

I send you the 2nd/ Contact packet & several attachments called Travel Smarts. Read Travel Smarts 2 from end to end because it has things there that we do not say anywhere else.

Please send me another “Got it!” email that you got 2nd packet & Travel Smarts.

Now you can be in direct touch with the in-country director to ASK them if the dates that you are aiming to come in, work for them.

10. Travel Consult for those going to Africa

Right after you have gotten your 2nd packet, we set up 2 hour Travel Consult so you know what you will need to do to stay healthy and safe. We schedule this as soon as possible so that you can take care of preparation steps amidst a busy schedule.

Travel Consult is 2 hours @ $50/ hour. You pay this at the time we set appointment. You pay via Paypal button on Payments page.

What several people have said about Travel Consult: “I have learned more in the 2 hours with you than I did in 2 months orientation and 2 years in the Peace Corps!”

11. Hosting Fee & Home Stay Fee

When you are somewhere private with the director on your first day – like at the office, not at the airport – you pay them the “hosting fee”: for the work that they do to make this all possible. And then you pay for room and food. Ideally you pay at the front end of the week for a week at a time – so that your host & hostess have money to buy food to feed you! There is a great deal of variance on hosting fee and home stay fee so it is better that we discuss.

Please watch your emails and have your voice mail enabled as this is how we communicate with you.

Please do not call back to a missed call, but instead pop us an email that says you can take a call now.
Why? We are usually on the phone to the next call!

 After we do the Intake call with you, and you have decided to move forward and you have paid the 1st $300, we will notify you by email that you have been accepted. Watch your emails. Sometimes emails from NGOabroad end up in Bulk or Spam mail because I load up the subject line. There was the very unfortunate situation of us doing a “rush order” for woman that wanted to do micro-finance program in Costa Rica over her winter break. She was accepted to the program. I notified her of acceptance by email. No response to the email. She didn’t send Disclaimer back. And to this day I can not reach her by phone. She wrote a scathing review. So we ask that you do these things at your end to avoid this problem: forward us your receipts. Watch your emails…check Spam & Junk mails. Pop us an email when you get 1st & 2nd packets confirming that you got them.  And please answer your phone…have your voice mail operating and not full…so that we may take care of any such problems that arise.  And if you have not gotten an email about your acceptance within a week (though it does take FOREVER in the Middle East!), then please contact us. We very likely were trying to contact you, like in the above situation.
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