Volunteer Abroad FAQ Volunteering North Carolina

Preserving Unique Natural Regions in the USA

Prior to Arrival

Do I need specific requirements or abilities to apply for this project?

In order to apply for this project, you need to be over 18 and have sufficient English skills to follow the course contents. Since this project requires you to be physically active we need a doctor’s certificate confirming your state of health and physical fitness. Furthermore, you might need a visa for your volunteering work. Depending on the duration of your stay and your destination the requirements might vary. You might check out the foreign department’s website for the visa standards or ask the NATUCATE team directly.

Which services are included?

Prior to your departure we will help you organize and plan your whole stay. We will help you find a good flight and arrange your visa application. In California, you will be picked up and brought to the project site. Furthermore, your accommodations and food will be provided. Also, you will be provided with working gear and equipment. Flights are not included.

Do I need certain medical precautions or requirements?

It is very important to conclude a travel health insurance before your departure, as it is not allowed to be working as a volunteer with a health insurance and the work at the project can be very physically demanding. Which is also why our partners ask for a health certificate from your doctor, to make sure that the work at the project is no risk for your health. If you have reservations regarding some allergies or health problems you can talk to us and we will talk with you about the details. In general, the USA is safe travel destination. Still you should talk to your doctor about vaccinations. For current information and warnings regarding your destination you should check out the homepage of the foreign department.

What kind of equipment should I take with me?

Working equipment will be provided by our partners. Just your personal equipment needs to be well prepared. You should bring a sturdy pair of boots and long-sleeved shirts, as well as a pair of long pants and rainproof clothing. You also need warm clothes, a sleeping mat, and a sleeping bag. Helpful are also insect repellant, a water bottle, and a sun hat.

Arrival

How do I arrive at my destination, do I have to organize it myself?

We are happy to assist you with organizing your flight. After your arrival at the airport in Charlotte you will be picked up by our local staff. You can also plan your trip to Asheville by yourself. The transfer back to the airport is not included in the project fee. Depending on your arrival time and date it may not be possible for our local staff to pick you up at the airport. You can contact us to plan the details of your trip, we will be pleased to assist you planning your travels.

During the project

How is the project structured?

Your work at the project is flexible and diverse, because the volunteers are sent to different project sites according to requirements. This will be decided according to the current weather situation and need for helping hands at the different project sites. If you have a personal preference you can always talk to our local staff, but we cannot guarantee you that you will be placed at your favorite project site. In general, you will be working for 10 hours a day and have 3 to 6 days off after each project.

What is my main function? Can I choose my tasks and will I be working independently?

This volunteer project includes different tasks. You will deal with erosion control, construction of walls and fences, maintenance of hiking trails or the elimination of alien plants (Neophytes). The volunteer project might be physically exhausting from time to time and you must expect all kinds of weather conditions – but the work with an international team surround by amazing nature will reward you for your hard work.

How big is the group?

The group consists of about 10 volunteers.

Life on site

What is the accommodation like?

During your working days, you will sleep in a tent. When you have free time, you will stay at a so-called volunteer house close to the city center of Asheville. You share your room with at least three other volunteers and sleep in bunk beds. Kitchen, bathroom, and common room are shared with all the others at the house. During your free time, you have the chance to get to know all the other international volunteers, explore the area and enjoy the beautiful landscape.

Is it possible to get placed with a partner or friend?

In the project it is not that easy to place travel partners together because your work is determined by the latest need, which makes it difficult to arrange the working days and your free time parallel to a friend. So, you might not end up in the same volunteer house.

How is the food provided?

Volunteers will take turns in preparing lunch and dinner together.

Is it possible to receive vegetarian meals?

A vegetarian diet is possible, but our partners cannot care for a vegan diet.

How are working time and free time divided?

The duration of the conservation projects might vary. Usually you work between four and nine days. In some cases, you might be involved in a bigger project that will stretch over some weeks. Generally, you will be working up to 10 hours a day. After a project, you will get some free days off. Your free days vary between three and six days.

How can I spend my free time?

You can use your free time to discover the landscape and surrounding national parks and team up with some other volunteers to go on road trips. You might also just relax at the volunteer house.

Do I have a contact person on site?

Yes, you will find a contact person at the local office. Additionally, you will be looked after by a supervisor.

What expenses do I have to expect during the project? Can I withdraw cash on site and do I have to pay in local currency?

In general, you will be taken care of during your working hours and have no additional costs. During your free time, you need to cover your expanses for yourself. You might also need money for free time activities, external transfers, washing your laundry at the close by washing saloon or additional snacks you want to purchase. At the ATMs you can withdraw money, but you should talk to your bank if there are any costs involved for you.

How can I contact family and friends at home?

During your free time, you can use WiFi in the volunteer house. You can also use a computer with internet access. Most cafés in the city also offer WiFi. For international or local calls, you can inform yourself about local prepaid offers or phone cards.

What’s the weather/climate like?

North Carolina is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east. On the coast you have moderate climate, which cools down toward the west. North Carolina is divided into three climate and geographic zones: The moderate coastal region, the continental embossed Piedmont-Plateau with hot summers and cold winters and the Appalachian Mountains which are influenced by the mountain climate.

Is there a prohibition regarding alcohol?

The drinking age in the USA is 21. It is also not allowed to drink alcohol in public. We ask you to follow these rules and respect the conditions.

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