FAQ VCP

Candidates can apply online. If you experience any technical problems or have any questions, please contact our volunteer team.

All applicants must be 19 years old to apply. There is no age limit for most of our programs, and people of all ages and professions are welcome to participate. Whether you are just starting your career, are established, or have retired, you may be the right match for one of our projects.

Crossroads will provide a round-trip ticket and a modest living-allowance based on the cost of living in the community where you volunteer. You are encouraged to live according to the same standards as your hosts as this will help you integrate more easily into your placement community.

In Canada, Crossroads will cover the costs of some medical expenses and vaccines that are necessary to complete the program or required by the country of mandate and not covered by the volunteer’s personal or provincial insurance plan.

Crossroads provides overseas health and life insurance to its volunteers. Volunteers who have private insurance can maintain their coverage at their own expense while overseas should they wish to supplement the Crossroads plan. However, all volunteers must subscribe to Crossroads’ insurance plan, whether or not they are insured elsewhere.

Placements are typically 9 to 12 months but can be shorter or longer depending on the project. The length of each placement is indicated on the description of each mandate. Check out our volunteer opportunities.

Crossroads International recruits volunteers who are Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada based on their expertise and the needs identified by partner organizations overseas. Interviews are conducted with candidates to determine their suitability for the project. Crossroads only interviews applicants who meet the selection criteria. Once interviews are complete and references have been checked, the candidate summary is sent to the partner organizations who will make the final selection. As part of the Pre-departure Process, selected volunteers must submit a Criminal Record Check, be approved by the medical consultants of Crossroads International and obtain a visa for their host country (if required).

Crossroads placements are unaccompanied. You can take your family with you, but you must assume responsibility for all costs and logistics associated with family accompaniment.

For mandates in countries in Africa, you do not need to speak the local language(s) of the host country where you want to volunteer; English or French is enough depending on the country of placement. Once on the ground, however, you are encouraged to learn the local language in the area where you are volunteering. To volunteer in Bolivia, having an advanced level of Spanish to carry out your mandate is important.

Crossroads provides a comprehensive Pre-departure Training session, as well as an In-Country Orientation to all volunteers. We also organize a debriefing session upon your return to Canada. We will help you determine how to continue being involved in your community and meet your public engagement commitments.

When you arrive overseas, Crossroads will arrange for temporary accommodation. This transition period will allow you to find adequate living arrangements with the support of Crossroads personnel. The cost of accommodation is included in the modest living allowance based on the cost of living in the community where you volunteer.

Volunteers are supported by Crossroads personnel in Canada as well as in the placement country. Volunteers can also get advice from colleagues at their host organization and from other volunteers.

Crossroads will provide you with a list of reputable clinics and pharmacists for your placement country/community. All volunteers are also provided with overseas health insurance in the event of needing to see a doctor, obtain prescription medication or access hospital services.

Crossroads’ volunteers are entitled to 1.67 days off per month worked. You must negotiate vacation dates with your direct supervisor in your placement organization and inform Crossroads personnel, whether you intend to travel out of the country of your placement. In addition, volunteers follow the holiday schedule (national and religious holidays) of the partner organization where you undertake your mandate.

Depending on the projects and the needs of the partner organizations, more than one Crossroader may be working at the same organization or country during your placement.

Volunteers are responsible for obtaining visas. Crossroads will provide volunteers with information and other necessary documents for the host country as well as reimburse volunteers for any associated costs for visas, transit visas, work-permits and visa extensions required before and during the placement.

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. Crossroads covers the cost of required vaccines that are not covered by the volunteer’s personal or provincial insurance plan.

Crossroaders are expected to fundraise to support our overseas programs and partners. Crossroads will assist you in creating a fundraising strategy and will provide tips and tools to support you. Each Crossroader is expected to fundraise a minimum of $500.

Crossroads will provide you with a modest living allowance. Since the cost of living varies between countries, so does the living allowance provided by Crossroads. Your living allowance is calculated based on common daily expenses, some of which are listed below. Please note that these expenses are suggested items. Individual spending will vary according to your own needs and habits as they relate to the following:

  • Accommodation in the host country
  • Transportation to and from work
  • Food
  • Social activities
  • Communication (internet, postage and calls)
  • Toiletries

Crossroads provides a moderate sum for initial settling-in costs. For any other expenses, you must use your own money. You will receive a portion of your living allowance before departure.