Yes, QSF participants must be between the ages of 18 and 35 (18 years old by the departure date and 35 years old at the time of application). Volunteers must also be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, as well as have residence in the province of Quebec at the time of application.
Crossroads will provide you with a round-trip ticket, health insurance and living expenses (food, accommodation and transportation) while in the country of mandate, as well as all costs associated with pre-departure training.
QSF volunteer placements last 75 days and usually occur between mid-May and mid-August. However, the QSF program requires a one-year commitment from the moment of selection to after the return to Canada; participants must also take part in all pre-departure training, must fundraise $2,000 prior to departure and participate in a public-engagement project upon returning.
QSF mandates are posted online during the summer of the year prior to departure (for example, mandates for departures in summer 2019 are put online in the summer of 2018). Applications must be submitted online, and selection usually takes place in the fall around September-October. Selected candidates are invited to a group interview (QSF selection day) and an individual interview upon which we will select the best candidates for each QSF group. Candidates are selected based on their commitment to Crossroads and QSF values, open-mindedness to different cultures and personality. As QSF is an initiation to international development program, no experience working or travelling abroad is needed.
No, language lessons are usually provided by Crossroads or the partner organization once in the field.
The QSF program provides five mandatory pre-departure training sessions that cover a broad array of topics ranging from introduction to international development, communication and public engagement, fundraising, gender, health, building and strengthening group bonds, as well as conflict resolution and risk-management. We also provide a re-orientation training upon your return to Canada.
Volunteers live with host families (usually one or two volunteers per family) in the host community.
In the country of placement, the first source of support is the QSF team leader who will be travelling and living in the host community with the QSF group. At Crossroads, the QSF program assistant (adjoint(e) à la programmation) is the main source of support. Volunteers can also get advice from colleagues at their host organization, other Crossroads staff and other volunteers.
The QSF team leader has been trained to deal with emergency situations including those related to health and safety, which may occur in the host country. The team leader and the partner organization are available to support and assist QSF participants in the case of sickness or injury. The team leader is also provided with a first-aid kit and an emergency fund to cover healthcare-related costs while overseas. In addition, all QSF volunteers are covered by travel health insurance.
QSF participants do not get vacation time while working on the project. However, a mid-mandate retreat is scheduled, allowing the group to leave the community for a short retreat. The partner organization and the team leader organize the retreat, which usually lasts 3-5 days.
Yes, it is possible to have more than one QSF group in the same country, but groups are placed in different communities.
Crossroads takes care of visa applications for all QSF participants.
Yes. You need to make sure that your vaccines are up-to-date and discuss with your family doctor or visit a Travel Clinic to obtain information about the vaccinations required for your placement country. Note that some vaccines, such as yellow fever, are mandatory towards obtaining an entry visa to certain countries unless an exemption is indicated by a healthcare professional. Volunteers are responsible for the cost of required vaccines.
No, participants cannot travel on their own during the mandate and must stay in the community for the duration of the mandate.
No, QSF groups are required to travel together to and from the host country and therefore must return to Canada together.
Yes, QSF participants are required to fundraise to support our overseas programs. Crossroads will assist you in creating a fundraising strategy and will provide tips and tools to support you. Each participant is expected to fundraise $2,000 before the departure date.
The FSP is a project developped by QSF groups upon their return to Canada. Groups are given a budget of $1,500 to share their experiences and talk about Crossroads and QSF. Crossroads provides support and training to help participants achieve their project goals.
Team leaders are usually former QSF participants, although this previous experience is not mandatory. Team leaders must be at least 21 years old, have good leadership skills and experience in managing groups. They are responsible for ensuring the safety, security and well-being of QSF participants and are provided with additional training and support to help them fulfill their role. Team leader recruitment usually takes place prior to participant recruitment (in late August or early September), and one team leader per QSF group is selected.