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FCO Know Before You Go
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Before You Go FAQ's

1. Which Airport should I arrive at?

2. When should I arrive for my project?

3. What happens when I arrive?

4. How much money should I take with me?

5. What date should I depart after my project?

6. Can you recommend any accommodation?

7. Do I need a sleeping bag?

8. Do I need to take malaria prophylaxis?

9. Which vaccinations do I need?

10. What visa should I apply for/do I need a visa?

11. Will I be able to keep in touch with my friends and family when I am on my project?

11. Other FAQ's

Which Airport should I arrive at?

Please check the 'What to Expect' tab of your project to get the latest information.

When should I arrive for my project?

Some projects need you to arrive before a certain time, otherwise as convenient a time as possible!

What happens when I arrive?

Your project start date and details of how you get to your project location are included in the project information on the website and, where appropriate, will be supplemented in the Field Brief provided 4 weeks before you arrive. If you are at all unsure please do call us to confirm.

Please inform your family and friends of any onward travel arrangements you are planning. Unfortunately we can't be responsible for you after the end of your project.

How much money should I take with me?

Most projects include accommodation and two or three meals a day, but may not include ground transfers. Please check the project details if you are not sure what yours includes. You might want to bring some additional spending money for snacks, adventure activities, and gifts for friends and families.

How much depends entirely on you, but we find that for a 4 week project where meals, accommodation, and ground transfers are included £150 is usually sufficient. If your project contribution does not cover meals, accommodation, and/or ground transfers you will want to bring more.

The easiest currency to change worldwide is generally US Dollars, although we recommend that you do some research into the country you are visiting to choose the best currency to use. You can get an idea of what the exchange rate is by using an online currency converter like xe.com.

Please check the FCO website for the latest information about currency in your destination country.

We generally recommend taking a mix of the following:

  • Cash in US Dollars
  • Travellers cheques in US Dollars
  • Credit and/or debit card
  • Please note that travellers cheques, though more secure than cash, are not widely accepted in many countries. It may be difficult to exchange them. Also, for security reasons you must present your original receipt when changing travellers cheques.

    Most major cities have ATM machines where cash from a credit or debit card can be withdrawn. However, bank charges may apply. As a last resort cash can be transferred by Western Union. This is a secure and quick means of transferring funds but it can be expensive. For information about how to collect and send money visit the Western Union website.

    What date should I depart after my project?

    Check the information on the website for or check with your Volunteer Co-ordinator if you are unsure.

    Can you recommend any accommodation?

    Check your Field Brief, ask your Volunteer Co-ordinator or search online.

    Do I need a sleeping bag?

    This will depend on the time of the year and personal preferences. Please refer to your kit list or speak to your Volunteer Co-ordinator if you are unsure.

    Do I need to take malaria prophylaxis?

    You can download our Medical guidelines from the 'Medial & Insurance' tab but you must take the final advice from your doctor.

    Which vaccinations do I need?

    You can download our Medical guidelines from the 'Medial & Insurance' tab but you must take the final advice from your doctor.

    What visa should I apply for/do I need a visa?

    For most projects you can usually enter as a tourist but please do check with your Volunteer Co-ordinator for requirements, then with the relevant embassy for the most up to date guidelines and regulations.

    Will I be able to keep in touch with my friends and family when I am on my project?

    Please be aware that during your project access to communication may be limited or non-existent. For normal communication you might be able to write and receive letters but these can take a long time to arrive. In addition, you can usually email from the airport or a main town before and after your project.

    Although access to communication for personal use is limited, on group projects we have a systematic communications network within the field for emergency and logistics use which includes radio or satellite / mobile phone links. From each country, the London HQ receives a weekly situation report detailing any work development and any health and safety issues. However, we can make contact outside these systems in an emergency and we will provide you with phone numbers and email addresses for our field camps and London HQ, so that at any point you can be contacted in an emergency.

    Other FAQs