FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions below. If you have a question that isn’t on this list, feel free to send us an email at trips@studentsofferingsupport.ca 

 

THE APPLICATION PROCESS

How do I apply for a trip?


There are two ways! Click on Outreach Trips on the menu above, and then click either “Upcoming Trips” to see a page listing ALL upcoming Outreach Trips or click “Trips” and then select a campus to see which Outreach Trip is being run in conjunction with that SOS Chapter.


Once you’ve read all the information about the Trip, you’ll hit the Apply button. In order to apply for a trip, you have to create a quick account with your name and email. If you’re a SOS volunteer or have purchased an Exam Aid Product, you’ve already got one!


If you’re a new account user, once you’ve created your account you will hit Trips and Apply once again, and then be taken to the Application!

What is the application process?

To start, you fill out our online application associated with a specific trip. The initial application form should only take about 15-20 mins to complete. Once you submit that, you’ll get an email from our on-campus Outreach team within 48 hours. They’ll set up an interview with you to chat and make sure you understand the Outreach Trip logistics and what to expect. After that, you will get an email shortly after to let you know if you’ve been accepted.

Is there a deadline?


March 1st for May Trips
May 15th for August Trips
We suggest that you get your application in as soon as possible so that you don’t miss out – if an Outreach Trip is full before the deadline, we can’t accept any more applications. Another bonus for applying right away is that you’ll have more time to fundraise and get to know your fellow volunteers.

Can I still apply for an Outreach Trip with a specific university if I do not attend that university?

Yes! Although each Outreach Trip is headed by a particular SOS Chapter at a university, participation is open to anyone.

What happens after I am accepted?

The first thing you’ll need to do once you’ve received your acceptance email is submit your deposit. Once we’ve got that, you’ll be sent login info to an SOS Portal account. This is where you’ll find all your trip resources to help prepare you for your Outreach Trip.

Why do I have to pay a deposit?

The deposit holds your space on the Outreach Trip, so we know that you’re serious about joining us. Once your deposit is received, we notify our partnering organization in Latin America that you’ve joined the team.
Your deposit covers all the support you receive from SOS from the first time you visited our website, to once you’ve completed your Outreach Trip and join our Alumni Network! This fees covers everything from digital marketing, 24/7 on call support, pre-departure training, program development, monitoring and evaluation of projects, and much more.
Deposits are non refundable.

I haven't heard back about my application and It's been over 48 hours, what do I do?

Outreach teams on campus are students just like you, so from time to time they get pretty busy and you may not hear from them immediately (especially if it’s around mid-term or finals). If this is the case, shoot us a quick email trips@studentsofferingsupport.ca so we can check in with them and see what’s going on.

THE OUTREACH TRIP

How big are the volunteer groups?

Volunteer groups are a minimum of 4 volunteers and a maximum of 15.

Will we be able to contact our parents during the trip? If so, how often?

Since volunteers stay in rural communities, access to internet is extremely limited. Our partners in country will have a cell phone for use in emergencies, but not for day-to-day contact with home. If you wish to contact your loved ones or connect to the internet, you’ll have to set up coverage with your cell phone provider.
In order to gain the most out of the experience, we discourage constant contact with home, as it is a barrier to full immersion in the local community and culture.

Do I need to speak Spanish?

Our partnering communities predominantly speaking local languages, although many are Spanish speaking. While it is encouraged, Spanish is not a requirement for the trip. Each group is provided with a bilingual (or trilingual!) guide who will work to translate between the community members and volunteers. However, the ability to communicate in Spanish, even at a basic level, will allow you to have more meaningful interactions with the community.

How will I know if I need a visa or vaccinations?

Canadian passport holders do not need any visas for our partnering communities. If you are travelling on another passport, you can contact Flight Centre to check if visas are necessary.
All SOS volunteers must consult a travel doctor to get information on vaccines. Canadian passport holders do not need any vaccinations for legal entry into our host countries.

I have allergies/dietary restrictions, is that an issue?

Not at all! Once you sign up and before you head out, we’ll ask you to fill out a form so that we’re aware of any allergies and dietary restrictions. We’ll share this information with our partnering organization so that they can make arrangements and be sure that you’ve got plenty food to eat.

Where do we stay?

Outreach Trip volunteer groups stay in community structures/buildings (schools, community centre, churches) right in the community where you’re working. Conditions are basic so you will need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow and sleeping mat, but this allows for a closer connection to the community where you’re working.

Will there be access to electricity to charge cameras, phones etc.?

Yes, but it varies between partnering communities. Please ask your SOS Trip Leader for more information.

How much will we interact with the host community?

It is important to SOS that we promote integration and collaboration between international volunteers and local communities. The level of interaction varies from community to community. In some cases, local children and adults are present throughout the day and interact with volunteers while construction is taking place. In others, community members are not present until later in the evening.

What kind of work are we going to do? Do I need construction experience?

Groups work on the construction of various infrastructure projects, such as schoolrooms, teacher houses, sustainable garden, and dining centers. Each work site will have an experienced foreman to direct the project and community members helping with the work. Participants only perform the tasks that they feel comfortable with and do not need any specific construction skills; you just need to be willing to lend a hand!

What do we do on our rest days?

Generally rest day activities are things like a day at the beach, a hike, visiting a larger city or nearby tourist attraction.

How do I apply to become a Trip Leader?

Every Outreach Trip has one student SOS Trip Leader who helps prepare volunteers and ensure everything goes smoothly on the ground. If you have proven leadership skills, are highly organized, and longing to lead a group of your peers, please apply here: http://sosvolunteertrips.org/trip-leader-application/

If you still have questions or concerns about anything at all, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at head office. email us at trips@studentsofferingsupport.ca or call us at +1 289-210-1855 and we would be happy to chat.

 

 

SOS is proud to work with Flight Centre for provision of all travel-related services!

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