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FAQ

FAQPage

Are your programmes accessible to people with disabilities?

Everyone is different; if you have a disability, please get in touch with us so we can better understand your needs.  Although we will always endeavour to make sure that your requirements are met and that our volunteers are comfortable, please bear in mind that the Caribbean is a developing region and that some facilities may not be available and it may not be as accessible as in your home country.

Can I combine programs?

Yes, just drop us an email and we will organise everything.

Can I travel after/before my program?

You are more than welcome to explore the country before or after your programme.

Can I volunteer with a friend?

Of course, the more the merrier!  Just email us before you book so we can try and put you all together.

Do I need to speak the local language?

The main language in both Jamaica and Tobago is English, alongside dialects such as Tobagonian creole and Jamaican Patois.  Anyone with a good command of English will have no problem communicating with the locals.

How do you choose host families?

We put our host families through a strict vetting procedure to make sure that they are suitable and that their homes are safe, comfortable and to our standards. We have met face-to-face with all of our host families and we know that they are trustworthy and can provide our volunteers with a good experience.  Part of what sets us apart is our connection with local people – by staying with a host family you will not only be helping them economically, but you will have a unique opportunity to learn about the island’s culture from the people who know it best.

How long are the placements with V2?

Our volunteering experiences are 2, 4 and 8 weeks long.  However, if this is not convenient for you, we can be flexible for our programme durations; just send us an email!

How will volunteering or doing an internship in the Caribbean relate to my degree?

Volunteering overseas in an excellent way to boost your CV, UCAS or college application form.  Regardless of your specialisation, it demonstrates to potential employers and colleges that you are prepared to take risks and immerse yourself in new experiences and cultures.  Doing an internship is also a fantastic way to learn first-hand about how organisations operate and will help you stand out in the crowd.   The Caribbean is often overlooked by volunteers, yet, though it’s small, it is a fast developing region.

I’ve never heard of Tobago before, what’s it like?

Tobago is part of Trinidad and Tobago, an island nation just off the northern coast of Venezuela.  Tobago is a hidden gem within the Caribbean, with tourists attracted to its unspoilt beaches and lush, protected rainforests.  Tobago is also highly regarded as an eco-tourism destination with a focus on social improvement projects, so if you’re looking to get in touch with nature, give it a go!

Is Jamaica safe?

Yes! There is, of course, crime in Jamaica, however it is normally concentrated in certain urban areas. V2 operates on the northern coast of Jamaica in small communities where locals know the value of tourists to their economy and, as such, tourists are not targeted. There is the risk of some petty theft but generally, violent crime is not a concern in these areas. We work with the local police and the local communities leaders; during your orientation we provide you with a detailed breakdown on how to stay safe, using this relationship with the local police and information from big tourist organisations, along with the U.S. tourist board. We provide all of our volunteers with mobile phones so that they can be connected easily. In return, we ask that our volunteers exercise a basic level of precaution that they would anywhere in the world; V2 cannot be held liable for any incidents. We ask that all our volunteers purchase travel insurance through an approved provider.

Is there a dress code for programs?

Some placements do have dress codes, but none of them are particularly strict.  We will let you know well in advance of your trip so that you can pack accordingly.

Is v2 just for students?

No! V2 welcomes volunteers at all stages in their life.  Everyone has something they can contribute and everyone can gain from our programmes.

What about programmes for the mature volunteer?

We welcome adults of all ages! In fact, the over 55 group is the fastest expanding volunteering group.   Your skill set and your experience will be greatly appreciated by our partners, and your vacation part can be as relaxing or as adventurous as you choose.

What are the differences between volunteering and an internship?

Generally, an internship is a professional work-experience placement affords you the opportunity to see how organisations are run in a particular field.  A volunteer-program is more service -based and tends to be shorter in duration.

What happens if there is an emergency?

If there is an emergency on the ground, V2 has a procedure in place.  Our agents on the ground will liaise with your travel insurance company and contact your next of kin on your behalf.  If there is an emergency at home, we will provide you with a number that your family can connect with you on.

What should I do if I become ill or have an accident whilst overseas?

A V2 staff member will always be on call to assist. Though there are medical facilities located in our operating areas, we insist that our volunteers purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical care, as treatment can be extremely expensive for travellers.

What transportation do you provide?

We provide airport transfers, transportation on our excursions and to and from your accommodation and volunteer placement.  We have vetted all of our drivers personally and we work with trusted local companies to ensure your comfort and safety.

What types of programs are available?

In Jamaica, we can offer places on our teaching, community development, animal care, and marine conservation projects.  In Tobago, we run programmes on animal care, equine therapy, veterinary medicine and teaching.  Please check here for more information on our projects in Jamaica and Tobago.

What will I eat and drink in Jamaica?

Discovering the food is an essential part of immersing yourself in a country’s culture, so we will provide you with delicious traditional cuisine, made using fresh local ingredients.  We can cater for all dietary needs, including allergies and religious requirements; just let us know by email.  Our hosts can often cook Western food if our volunteers are missing home!

What’s included/not included in the programme cost?

The price of the volunteer experiences includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner, in-country transportation, leisure activities and excursions.  It does not cover flights, travel insurance, visas, lunch, souvenirs, tips, phone credit, or any extra activities not arranged by V2.  Please check our page for further information: located here.

When should I book? When can I start?

We advise you to book as soon as you are ready!  Ideally you would book your place 8 weeks in advance; please check our terms and conditions or email us for more information.

Where can I learn more about past volunteer experiences?

You can find testimonials from V2 alumni on our dedicated Volunteers Stories page.

Where will I stay whilst volunteering?

In Jamaica, our programmes operate in the parishes of St. Mary and St. Ann, just a short drive away from Ocho Rios on the island’s northern coast.  In Tobago, our interns and volunteers stay in Buccoo, a beautiful bay town with a world famous coral reef and just a short drive away from the oldest protected rain forest in the Western Hemisphere.  All V2 travellers stay in guesthouses or with specially vetted host families.

Which vaccines will I need before travelling to the Caribbean?

It is best to check with your doctor, but general information for Trinidad and Tobago can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/trinidad-and-tobago/health and information for Jamaica here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/jamaica/health.

Whilst you are not obligated to get any specific vaccinations in order to enter the country, it is generally recommended that travellers are up-to-date with the standard vaccines, especially tetanus, diphtheria, and hepatitis.

Please be aware that the ‘Chikungunya’ virus (pronounced chicken-goon-ya) has been spreading throughout the Caribbean; more information on the virus can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/index.html

Will I need a visa?

Volunteers from the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada do not need a visa to visit Jamaica or Tobago, and most E.U countries do not need a visa to visit Tobago.  However as there are exceptions, please check before you travel.  Though V2 cannot arrange your visa for you, we can provide you with a letter to support your application.

For more information for visa requirements for Tobago: http://www.immigration.gov.tt/Services/Visas.aspx

For more information for visa requirements for Jamaica: http://www.pica.gov.jm/?page_id=2326