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Why do I need to pay for an internship? Open or Close

Most organizations offering trips that include volunteer work are engaged in working at the grassroots level with the aim of giving back to local communities. This requires a set up and involves expenses. The cost of your trip includes volunteer fees that helps cover these expenses and also helps maintain the standard of services rendered. Meals, transport, upkeep of accommodation, maintaining safety standards, the ability to provide emergency medical support, salaries for expert staff, their training etc. all costs money.

Who are the trips managed by overseas? Open or Close

We work with the most reputed on ground partners and the trips are crafted by Active Holiday Company with organisations that are known for volunteer and Internship travel. In Africa our trips are managed in partnership with African Impact - a multi award winning organisation known for their work in conservation and they have welcomed over 12000 young volunteers on their programs over the past 10 years. Amongst other things their awards and credentials include membership with the International Eco-tourism Society, an approved member of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Top Volunteer Organisation Abroad (2016). Global Youth Travel Award (2014) for Outstanding Volunteer Project, Imvelo Award for Responsible Tourism and they have been nominated by World Travel Awards for seven years in a row for their work in Conservation in Africa.

How safe are these trips? Open or Close

The safety of our participants is paramount and is above everything else. Upon arrival, the first thing they will go through is a safety briefing that lists out the dos and don'ts and also information on how to get the best from their days on the trip. All participants are under the guidance of our expert team at all times. Our on ground experts come with experience and are trained to handle any situation that the participants can encounter during the Internship.

How do you handle medical emergencies? Open or Close

Our on-ground partners for our internship & volunteer trips are carefully and stringently scrutinized for their processes and experience. The internship programs are managed by teams who are trained and equipped to deal with all situations and the projects are tied up with emergency operators such as medical air rescue services and competent medical practitioners. Though rare, the Internship Coordinator ensures that participant receives immediate attention. It is very important that all participants have adequate insurance to cover for unforeseen medical expenses in the unlikely event of a serious illness or accident. Active Holiday Company can assist with the same.

Is working with animals in the wild dangerous? Open or Close

Not only is working with wild animals dangerous but the very nature of outdoor travel comes with some risks. However with our skilled teams and safety protocols these are minimized. Our safety briefing to participants includes a comprehensive orientation on the work they’ll be doing as well as its significance. It is imperative for everyone to understand the importance of respecting all wildlife. It is imperative that they follow & obey the rules at all times, pay attention and apply common sense.

How safe are the countries you visit on these internships? Open or Close

Every country has some safety challenges and this includes developed & western nations.  Our internships are generally in developing or under-developed countries and certainly the news on them sometimes can raise concerns. However, at every internship program we run, the safety of our participants is above everything else and should an extreme situation arise while they are interning, our protocol requires that the participants are removed from that country or region immediately.

Are there any extra costs we need to consider? How much extra money should my child carry? Open or Close

The trip price includes all essential services once the participant reaches the country. Accommodation, transport, all meals, pick up and drops to the airport etc.  Cost of telephone, internet, wi-fi and personal expenses such as snacks, chocolates, souvenirs are the only things they are likely to spend on.  They also need to factor in expenses while travelling – such as meals at the airport. The exact amount recommended depends on the country and the trip duration, we can offer you an estimate after you sign up. While we do not recommend that they carry too much money on them (they are responsible for their belongings on the trip), parents are welcome to hand over emergency funds to the Internship Coordinator on returnable basis. This must be given in cash.

Is there a group escort travelling from India? How does the airport pick up work? Open or Close

Yes, the Internship Coordinator is a designated representative of Active Holiday Company. Typically, all our trips are airport to airport (at the destination of the trip). The Internship Coordinator may or may not be on the suggested flights, however they will definitely be at the airport to receive the participants. Prior to the trip, we will contact you and give precise airport pick up instructions. We encourage all participants to book the same flights so they can start forging friendships. We also have representatives of our experienced local partners meet participants upon arrival before we safely transfer them to the camp / lodge.

What if a participant takes ill / gets injured? Open or Close

It is unlikely but not impossible that a participant may get ill or injured during the trip. The Internship Coordinator of the trip will work with our local partners to ensure that the child receives immediate medical assistance. Should the situation turn serious, we will repatriate the participant by using the insurance policy. The parents will always have the latest updates from us on the child under these circumstances.
 

What if my child is not able to cope with the trip? Open or Close

It is likely that your child is travelling away from you / on an overseas trip for the first time. It is also understandable for parents to be anxious about how a child will cope with a trip. On trips that make physical demands (such as treks etc.) there is always someone with the ‘back of the pack’. The trips are designed to help the children achieve & learn as per their age. And since the participants are of a similar age range they make friends quite easily. The days are packed and full of exciting adventures rarely giving them the time to feel homesick. On the odd day that they might miss home our team is there to empathise with the child and help them integrate back into the group activities.

How do I know where my child is? Open or Close

Each participant will receive detailed travel documents, which will include full details of their destination and Internship project. This also includes the address and contact telephone numbers of their accommodation and the Internship Coordinator. This is typically given 2 to 3 weeks before departure.
 

What is the standard of the accommodation during the internship program? Open or Close

Typical accommodations included range from home-stays to backpackers lodge and camps. Room configurations range from 2 to 6 people in a room. We do our best to offer accommodation with attached toilets but when we are camping this is not possible. Accommodation for boys and girls is separate. In South Africa the lodge has access to a swimming pool as well as a resource room used for planning their work.

How can I contact my child? Open or Close

Most places do not offer the same connectivity that you may be accustomed to in your city.Therefore, it can be difficult to reach even the Internship Coordinator once they are in the project area. Whenever possible the Internship Coordinator will update the parents of the participants well-being however we discourage that the children keep their phones with them so they can be deeply engaged in their environment. In case there is a need parents can call the Internship Coordinator, if there is connectivity. You may see an occasional email as evidence that they are having so much fun that they haven’t had the time to think of you! Local SIM cards are usually available for mobile phones at most destinations for the times that the children do have their phones with them.

What sort of meals can we expect during the internship? Is vegetarian food available? Open or Close

Simple & healthy breakfast, lunches and dinners are included everyday. The children are encouraged to help out with the meals when camping. Safe drinking water is available and bottled water is also available at most places. Vegetarian food is possible at almost all places. Breakfast is usually are continental style with cereal, toast, jam, butter and sometimes eggs. Lunch is picnic style & dinners are hot meals. Children can get their own snacks or are welcome to buy them along the way as these are often available.

Can my child know / meet the other participants on this trip? Open or Close

A few weeks before departure we arrange a meet up in Mumbai and In Bangalore to give the participants the chance to meet each other and also meet the Internship Coordinator.  For most participants this is a new experience and it is a good thing for everyone to get to know each other a little bit before the trip. However, even if you have not had the chance to meet the other participants it’s not something you should be worried about. Our Internship trips are a great places to make new friends.

Will the children be joining another larger group? Will there be other volunteers at the lodge? Open or Close

The internship is done with larger projects and it is possible that the projects also have some volunteers from other parts of the world, some who come for weeks and months. However, while there can be other interns at the same place at the time we are interning, our Internship programs are operated exclusively for us and they are not part of larger groups.

Do I need to protect myself against yellow fever and Malaria? Open or Close

Travel to certain parts of Africa requires vaccinations and /or anti-malarial medication and a yellow fever certificate. This is easily available in most large cities. It is imperative that everyone takes every necessary precaution to ensure that they don’t get sick while they are travelling. We encourage everyone to use hand-sanitizers, apply mosquito-repellents frequently and watch what they eat and drink. Your Internship Coordinator will carry a first aid kit and you should be aware of any allergies you have. A self-declaration that participants are fit to travel may also be required.

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