volunteering that puts the world in perspective



How do I get to the Project?
Once you have been accepted for a workcamp it is your responsibility to organiseyour travel arrangements in good time. For train travel in Europe we recommendInter-Rail and for flights North South Travel is friendly and reliable. They also invest their profits is development projects! Campus Travel, STA and Flag Travel are also good. Coach travel is often the cheapest, though not the most convenient or comfortable. Try Eurolines, booked via National Express. We aim to send out final details of the project well in advance of your departure. We advise you take out travel insurance, as we cannot be responsible for any costs incurred if the project dates are altered or cancelled.

Who are the other volunteers?
This is not known until you arrive, except by our partner organisation which co-ordinates the placement of volunteers. Each project has a mixture of participants from many countries. The average age is usually (but not always) between 18 and 25. On certain projects many of the volunteers are nationals of the host country. On most projects there are also 'leaders', 'co-ordinators' or 'animateurs' who are often nationals of the country who have participated in training by our partner organisations. They live and work with the volunteers and in most counties are volunteers themselves.

Do I need Qualifications?

No, just a great deal of enthusiasm! However, there may be language and experience requirements, which we highlight in the project details. The minimum age is generally 18, though projects in some countries allow 14 to 17 year olds to participate. These are highlighted in the project description. On most projects there are also 'leaders', 'co-ordinators' or 'animateurs' who are often nationals of the country who have participated in training by our partner organisations.

What will I eat and where will I sleep?

Food and accommodation will be provided free of charge for the duration of the project (unless it states otherwise). As a group, volunteers are usually self-catering and sufficient money will be provided for you to buy food and cook together. Accommodation will vary from project to project, ranging from the basic tent to very comfortable hotels. This is not always known in advance until you receive further details from the host organisation. However, it is essential that you take a sleeping bag with you. Sometimes there may not be a bed or mattress in which case you will be asked to bring a carry-mat with you.

Can I go on more than one project?
Yes you can. As long as the timing is right you can apply for as many as you wish. Please note that a placement fee is payable to UNA Exchange for each project you attend.

What do I need to take with me?

We would advise you not to take personal valuables but do recommend that you have good footwear, hard-wearing old clothes and a waterproof coat. You may also like to take some smart clothes for cultural activities during the project. A sleeping bag is also a must. Other suggestions are guidebooks, recipes, musical instruments and maybe small gifts of photos of your family and friends. If you know any traditional songs and/or games, these can be of interest to other volunteers. Open-mindedness, good sense of humour are also useful!

Do I need a passport or visa?
It is you responsibility to have a valid passport and any appropriate visa. If you plan to travel in a country after the project, ensure that your passport/visa is valid for the duration of your stay and at least for a further six months after the anticipated date of return home. Passing through a country may require a 'transit visa' and possibly 'multiple-entryvisas'. We suggest you contact the Embassy or Consulate of your chosen country/ies for information regarding these requirements.

Do I need to speak a language?
The official language for most projects is English, however to speak another language is always useful as volunteers are drawn to projects from throughout the world. Any language requirements are stated and underlined in the project description. We recommend you speak some basic vocabulary, at least to explain you don't speak the language!

Will I need insurance?
UNA Exchange stipulates that all volunteers must have their own travel and health insurance. If you are attending a project within the EU you will need to obtain form E111 from your local Post Office - this is useful if you need medical treatment. Make sure your tetanus vaccination is up to date for all destinations. UNA Exchange cannot be liable for any problems arising from accidents, illness, theft, loss or personal items or cancellation/delay of travel.

What will I need to prepare?
UNA Exchange members are offered a wide range of preparation and orientation events covering many of the projects. Attendance at orientation events is in some cases left to individual choice, though generally recommended and in other cases compulsory. Volunteers who are involved in projects in Turkey, Palestine, Mahgreb, Central/Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union countries are specifically invited and recommended to attend a Preparation day in Cardiff or an alternative course in London and Edinburgh (if this always applies). North South Orientation Weekends are also organised for volunteers attending projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

How much will it all cost?
You will be responsible for your travel arrangements and costs, which is likely to be your largest expenditure. You will need to pay UNA Exchange a placement fee on application which covers our administrative overheads and any agreed fee payable to our partner organisation. Your fee enables us to continue running our annual programme of 30+ projects. The table below shows the lowest and highest costs.
The majority of volunteers will need between 200-400 to participate.

UNA Exchange Membership fee
(Unwaged) 10.00
(Waged) 15.00
Placement fee
Additional Fees
Passport(if required)
Visas (if required)
Spending money

What opportunities are there for disabled people?
UNA Exchange is committed to providing opportunities for all. We encourage everyone to apply for projects, though of course conditions are different on each project and we would prefer to deal with each application individually to meet your needs. Please let us know how we can help to address your needs.

If you have any general queries about the work of UNA Exchange then please do not hesitate and contact us by Email or Telephone (go to the contact page using the link below)

UNA Exchange is a
registered charity/
Elusen Gofrestredig: 700760