Travel Q & A
We have a range of programs from education, medical clinics, non-medical eye exams, food distribution and much more. We make recommendations based on your interests and experience, and where you can best contribute your skills. For our first-time volunteers, we always recommend our well supported and popular programs in the Dominican Republic where you can meet many other volunteers. It’s best to talk to us if you are unsure of what destination or program is most appropriate for you.
The social aspect of any program is always important. We get volunteers on all our programs; however, some are more popular than others. If you are looking to be with other volunteers, it’s always good to ask us how many will be joining on your start dates. We also have programs that are more independent; given that the projects are fairly busy, you won’t need fellow volunteers in these instances.
We get all age groups from 17 years upwards. Our oldest volunteer has been 68 years old! Age is no bar when it comes to volunteering and we welcome everyone on our programs. On average you can expect volunteers between 21 to 25 years old.
We do not require you to have any specific skills unless you are joining our medical or healthcare programs. We expect that you have an interest in the project to which you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying to teach children, we would hope that you enjoy being around children! On arrival we give you training and necessary resources that you may need for your program. Our local staff are also around for you to give you support at all times.
- Pre-departure Preparation: You will receive your country relevant pre departure guide that covers all the basics on what to bring, culture and project related information. This will also have the pertinent information for your local contact in town.
- On arrival and during the trip You will get an area orientation and program specific training. A health and safety briefing is also included when necessary.
- Staff Support: All our programs will have a local Country Manager who will be your main point of contact along with other staff members who will be supporting you on the projects at all times. Although you will work independently, we will support for if you are feeling nervous and until you feel comfortable and prepared for your project.
You will be picked up from the place of your residence and dropped at project site. At the end of the day you will be picked up from the project site and taken back to place of residence at the set timing. Logistics are managed by our ground staff. We also use local transport such as buses or local taxis. In some locations motor scooters are provided.
Cost & other info
You will have to pay for your airfare, medical and travel insurance, vaccinations and your passport fees. You will also need some extra money for your personal expenses and excursions in country.
A lot of volunteers want to combine multiple destinations. If you are thinking of more than one location you can get in touch with us or pick the appropriate countries and program on the application form we send you.
Short answer: no. A lot of preparations go on behind each program and before your arrival. To ensure that our efforts are not going to waste and so we don’t give your spot to someone else a full payment is required before you arrive. We require the full Program Fee to be paid at least two weeks prior to arrival. You cannot pay in cash in country. All payments must be submitted as per the invoice stated. Please read the Terms and Conditions before you sign up!
Most volunteers use personal savings to fund the program fee. You can also try fundraising for your trip. Ask us about the proper fundraising techniques before you start.
Health & Safety
For all 4North travels, it is required that you get a COVID Rapid test performed 48 hours before your departure date and for the Dominican Republic, it is recommended that you receive the Hepatitis A, Malaria and Tetanus vaccines.
We strongly encourage you to take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover the event that you fall ill. This coverage should certainly include all medical-related expenses, and emergency air lifts where required. All program locations have several good private hospitals, nursing homes and health clinics available. We will give you information to the nearest doctors and our staff will be there to help you in case you keep feeling unwell. We keep a basic medical kit you can access at home and when you are on site. We will give you the numbers of local doctors, hospitals and our local staff who you can contact 24/7 in case of any medical emergency.
- Travel advisories are monitored
- Copies of all passports, medical and travel insurance, emergency contact information, dietary and medical requirements are collected
- Staff have up-to-date first-aid training and carry a comprehensive first-aid kit at all times
- Local hospitals and local doctors are able to handle any minor or major medical situations
- All travel occurs during the day and under the guidance of facilitators
- Full training given to participants for any health and safety hazards
- Access to filtered or bottled water is available at all times.
Overall most countries we work in are peaceful and local people are very friendly and supportive. We ensure all possible measures regarding safety and security of our guests. We will give you health and safety training, culture orientation as well as emergency contact numbers of local staff, medical centres and police. However, no trip can be guaranteed to be one hundred percent safe, and each guest must recognize that travel to developing countries is, in general, less safe than travel to developed countries.
We highly recommend you carry your laptops or smart devices so you can connect with family and friends at home and also stay connected. Most locations are safe but we do not guarantee safety. All electronic devices must be kept locked when you are not at home.
*Working in the COVID-19 Era
COVID has impacted our organization deeply. We are taking all measures to ensure your safety and security while traveling throughout the Dominican Republic.
If you secured a deposit or paid in full for our Create Change 2020 Program, you have automatically received credit, in full, for a future 4North trip or a customized trip pf your choice. If you have any questions, please contact us. Your credit is valid until September 30, 2022.