To participate in voluntary service in North Carolina an application in the form of a cover letter will be required. If you are interested, we will send you the appropriate NATUCATE form. In addition, all applicants must have a good knowledge of English. Work on the projects can be exceedingly demanding physically. Some of the project locations are only accessible after long treks and weather extremes can vary. In the summer months it is very hot and depending on the area, heavy snowfall may occur in the winter. This is why a doctor’s certificate, confirming your state of health and physical fitness, is required to complete your application.
Depending on when you start your voluntary service in the North Carolina nature reserves, you will either be collected from the airport in Charlotte by a member of staff from our partner organisation in North America or you will make your way to Asheville on your own. We will be pleased to help you in arranging your transfer. The individual projects last from four to nine days, though some more remote projects may last several weeks. During this time you will be working up to ten hours per day. The projects involve different tasks: e.g. erosion control, erecting dry walls or new fences, maintaining footpaths or removing non-native plant species (neophytes).
Naturally these projects may be physically strenuous and you may need to adapt to extreme weather conditions, but this is more than compensated for by working together in an international team in one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. Sometimes you will spend the night during the projects on camp sites with sanitary facilities, sometimes in the wild. Meals are always prepared by the group. At the end of your project you will return to Asheville and will have three to six days off, depending on the duration of the preceding project. You can work as a volunteer between six and twelve weeks in the USA on a tourist visa. If you would like to work longer than twelve weeks you will need a B1/B2 visa.
Generally speaking, Asheville will be your base between projects. You will be accommodated in one of the volunteer houses in a shared room. This means that you can spend your free time with international volunteers from all over the world and get to know Asheville and the surroundings together. On the days between projects the participants are responsible for feeding themselves and there is a kitchen for this in each house.
Everybody interested in volunteering abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.
The U.S. state North Carolina lies in the central eastern coast of the United States. The state can be broadly divided into three distinct geographic areas: the Coastal Plain in the East, the Piedmont in the center, and the Appalachian Mountains in the West. Particularly the Appalachians are rich in flora and fauna. Due to more than 8 million visitors per year the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in the United States and is considered as the flagship point of interest in North Carolina. In 1983 it was added to the World Heritage list. Therefore the protection of its sensitive nature and local value as an unspoiled recreation area comes first.