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The volunteer journey

This video walks you through what you can expect as a volunteer.


Step 1 – Submit Your Application

After reviewing our current volunteer placements, you can apply for a position online. We will assess your application and contact you with a response within three to four weeks.

Step 2 – Participate in a Preliminary Interview

If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to a Preliminary Interview. This enables us to further assess the fit between your experience and motivations and the needs of our organization. It also gives you the opportunity to discuss your application and to raise any questions.

Step 3 – Participate in a Panel Interview

If you are shortlisted you will be invited to participate in a panel interview. The interview is designed to assess if you have the interpersonal skills that are essential for successful placements, such as self-assurance, flexibility and adaptability, sensitivity to the needs of others, ability to work in a team, the desire to learn and help others learn, and a positive and realistic commitment to volunteering.

Step 4 – Approval from Partner Organization

The final decision regarding your suitability for a placement will be determined by the country program office and partner organization. We will confirm this decision with you as soon as we receive it.

Step 5 – Pre-departure Training and Preparation

Once your acceptance has been confirmed, you will need to complete necessary pre-departure procedures including medical and police clearances, travel booking and visa processes. You will also be required to attend a five-day in-house training course.

Step 6 – Fundraising and Outreach

Like all our volunteers, you will be expected to raise $2,000 or more before your departure. Asking your network for financial support is a great way to include them in your effort to make a difference. The average cost of placing a volunteer overseas is $29,000. The money you raise will go towards that cost so that we can continue our important work. An online training session and support from the resource development team will help ensure your fundraising efforts are successful.

Step 7 – Depart for Placement

While overseas, the country program office will organize an in-country orientation, help you settle into your new setting and help with any major personal, medical or security problems that may arise during your placement. However, your primary contact will be your employer — Cuso International’s local partner organization.

Step 8 – Re-integration and ongoing engagement

Cuso International will support you while you prepare to return home. All returned volunteers are invited to attend a reintegration workshop at Cuso International’s training centre in Ottawa, usually scheduled 3–12 months after your return.


Cuso International covers the majority of the $29,000 cost of being an overseas volunteer, including

  • Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and in-country training orientation
  • Return airfare and visa/permit costs
  • The cost of required vaccinations, anti-malarials and health insurance
  • Access to Employee Assistance program while overseas and upon return
  • Accommodation while overseas
  • Modest living allowance while overseas
  • Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer
  • Travel and accommodation for reintegration debriefing weekend

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