5. The organisation
- Why does the organisation exist? How long has it been around?
- Is it a partnership, private company, public company, registered charity, sole trader or other? Where is it registered?
- Examples of successful programmes and a chat to past participants can shed a lot of light very quickly and easily on whether you feel the programme is right for you.
- What if there is an emergency? Does the organisation have sufficient funds to cope with emergencies?
- What are the organisation's policies on Equal Opportunities?
6. Before you go
- Who is responsible for travel arrangements? This includes travel visas and work permits!
- Who provides insurance and what is included in the cover? Health, possessions, cancellation and repatriation?
- What about inoculations and health precautions? Help and advice please!
- How about training and pre-departure briefing - do I get any of that?
7. During your placement
- Who is the person responsible for me at the programme location?
- Where is the nearest representative of the organisation?
- What if there is a major emergency - can somebody deal with this and get me home?
- If I have a problem with my placement, can I chat to somebody?
- What is included in the living arrangements? Who selects and checks out the accommodation?
- If staying with host families, are they paid or are they volunteers?
8. After your return
- Will the organisation have any contact with me when I return?
- Can my experience be of any use to future participants?
- Will I get a reference or certificate, indeed anything to prove that I was actually there and completed the programme?
Not every question below is relevant to all activities. Responses will vary from organisation to organisation. There are no "right" or "wrong" answers but their website should contain all the answers and be easy to find.
Year Out Group is a partner with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Know Before You Go campaign.† The†FCO has produced a travel checklist that is worth reading before every trip.