BaseCamp Volunteer Centers
BaseCamp Volunteer Abroad Centers are uniquely conceived to provide a cultural training center that smooths the transition to living and working abroad in a truly immersed environment.
Early in our program's history, we were completely reliant on homestay accommodation for international volunteering.. However, we quickly learned that the vast majority of volunteers found this immediate transfer to a homestay to be a very uncomfortable experience. It proved to be too much of a culture shock for a new volunteer to be immediately transferred into a home where the volunteer does not speak the local language, does not know how to get around on their own and has only a very limited understanding of the culture and customs of the host country. By first participating in an extensive volunteer abroad 7-day cultural orientation that includes basic language training, volunteers find the transition to homestay living a far more comfortable and rewarding experience.
During this orientation, volunteers spend their first week in country living in a BaseCamp Volunteer Center. These volunteer abroad centers provide a local meal plan and are staffed by our team who understand that our goal is to help our volunteers gain a comfortable understanding of the cultural and social norms. Our cooks explain each meal, outline where in the country the meal is popular and with which ethnic groups. They also help our volunteers understand meal table etiquette for eating each meal.
During the day, volunteers participate in language classes and various orientation sessions. These are held in the volunteer abroad center and often involve excursions into the community to practice skills they have learned in their sessions such as bargaining in the market and taking local transportation.
Each volunteer abroad center provides basic dormitory accommodation and access to wireless internet. There are common areas where volunteers meet and get to know each other before venturing out to start at their international volunteering placement. The centers are situated close to local transportation hubs from which volunteers can explore the country. We have also found that the BaseCamp Centers make a great gathering place for volunteers to meet on the weekends, relax and spend time with other foreigners who are sharing similar international volunteering experiences.