Supporting you

We work closely with our partner organisations around the world to make sure we recruit the right person for each placement.

We'll help you prepare before you go on your placement. We'll also support you while you're there and when you return.

Preparing for your placement

We use a variety of training methods to help prepare you for your time on placement, including self briefing, online training and face-to-face training.

You'll gain knowledge and an understanding of international development issues, as well as those specific to the country where you will be volunteering. This is so you can start your placement feeling confident about the challenges you may have to face.

During your placement

Once in-country you will go through an orientation period while you acclimatise. This includes things such as language lessons and ethics specific to the area you are in.

Once you are in-country, although your primary relationship will be with your employer, our country office is always there to help with major personal, medical or security problems.

In terms of financial support, VSO will typically cover the following costs:

  • Criminal record check
  • Medical insurance and required immunisations and anti-malarials
  • Your training, including accommodation and food whilst on residential training weekends
  • One return flight to get you to, and home from, your placement
  • Accommodation while in your placement
  • An allowance to cover your basic living expenses while overseas. This allowance is calculated based on the cost of living of your country of placement. VSO insures that all volunteers get an allowance is good enough for a healthy lifestyle but not enough to save and send back home.
  • A home country funded allowance. This is paid monthly during the time overseas with VSO. Volunteers are supported by allowance received monthly in their home country. The home country funded allowance is paid at the rate of £4.00 per day for the duration of the time the volunteer is overseas.

VSO volunteer allowance chart

What you'll typically need to cover:

  • Medical examination with your GP and a dental check up
  • Personal effects insurance
  • Any professional memberships and registrations.

Coming home

Shortly before you come home, we'll provide you with:

  • a leaver's guide to assist you with all the things you need to complete
  • resettlement information through our Learning Hub – our intranet for volunteers and staff with dedicated returning volunteers section
  • an invitation to a 'returned volunteer weekend' where you may share your experiences and provide feedback
  • the chance to stay involved with VSO, through talks, training for new volunteers, fundraising and other opportunities.

Next steps

Search and apply

There are some things you'll need to know first.

Get started

Not ready to search and apply?

Complete our short registration form.

Register your interest

Search and apply

There are some things you'll need to know first

Get started


Can I apply for more than one placement?

Yes, however at the point that you accept an offer of a placement you will be withdrawn from any other applications.