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Volunteer overseas on worthwhile and sustainable programmesVolunteer Overseas

What are Alternative Schoolies

Alternative Schoolies are short-term overseas volunteering projects that are specifically designed for teenagers. Alternative Schoolies are structured differently from other types of Projects Abroad programmes, taking into consideration the requirements of younger and typically less-travelled volunteers. We also make some changes to help channel youthful energy and optimism into worthwhile projects!

A group of Bushveld Conservation volunteers at the Wild at Tuli game reserve in Botswana

Safety, staff support and supervision for Alternative Schoolies volunteers

We understand that young volunteers travelling overseas need structure, a safe environment, and support from qualified staff. With this in mind, we have tailored our High School Projects to provide a fully-structured timetable of events to keep the volunteers busy.

While on the project, volunteers spend every day with our full-time professional staff. During the working week, volunteers roll up their sleeves and work side-by-side with our staff. In the evenings, our staff organise and supervise a programme of cultural activities and entertainment.

We even organise weekend activities for our Alternative Schoolies volunteers to see local tourist attractions. These trips are chaperoned by our staff and are a great way for our volunteers to see more of their chosen country.

Alternative Schoolies volunteers are never alone. They will always be with other volunteers, supervisors, or their host families. After their busy daily schedule is completed, volunteers return home to their host family in groups of two or more volunteers per family. In a few cases, volunteers stay all together in a hotel or dorm-style building that we manage, with their supervisors on-site. In most cases, volunteers have at least one roommate of the same sex and appropriate age.

This is a fantastic programme for volunteers to receive structured support. For volunteers wanting more independence to explore by themselves in the evenings or over the weekends, we recommend taking part in one of our other programmes.

Working as a group with other teenagers

Alternative Schoolies volunteers come from all around the world to join the group. Start dates are fixed so that everyone arrives and departs on the same day, staying on the project for at least two weeks. In most cases, it is also possible for volunteers to extend their trip for an extra week.

Having spent their first two weeks gaining a solid foundation, volunteers then spend the extra week along with our longer term volunteers at one of our projects offered throughout the year. Volunteers have more freedom and independence during this extra week; however, the staff are always on-hand should any additional support be required.

Working together overseas is an incredible experience for any group. After just two weeks abroad, most volunteers return home with life-long friends and knowledge of cultures and countries far beyond their project location.

Air travel to and from the project

Most Alternative Schoolies volunteers travel independently to their chosen destination to start the project. Our trained in-country staff meet the volunteers at the airport and bring them back to our office for introductions and training.

The cost of air travel is not included in the project price. However, we do have an in-house Travel Team that will contact you with a personalised flight itinerary if you would like Projects Abroad to organise flights for you. Our travel team can also try to book you onto a flight with another volunteer if you indicate that you would prefer this. Of course, volunteers are always welcome to book their own flights instead.

What is included in the price?

Alternative Schoolies volunteers get all the great features included in a regular project, along with a few extras.

All Projects Abroad volunteers receive food and accommodation, medical & travel insurance, a personalised pre-departure support website called 'MyProjectsAbroad', 24-hour support from our full-time staff and (of course) a worthwhile job to do.

However, we also throw in extra staff support, a fully-structured itinerary, social events and incredible weekend activities.

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