1. How do I know that Connecting Worlds is a legitimate international exchange organisation?
CW Abroad is operated and managed by the cultural exchange organization Connecting Worlds Argentina which was founded back in 2.011 and has become a member of the Argentinean-Swiss chamber of commerce in 2.014.
We are also registered and certified by the renowned cultural programs portal, Go Abroad. This means that our official documentation and contact details in Argentina have been solicited, checked and verified. Testimonials from people who have already participated in our programs have also been verified.
We can provide evidence of hundreds of testimonials from people who have taken part in our programs in the past. These testimonials provide detailed information about the individual experiences of each participant. Our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages also contribute to the validation of our identity. If anyone wishes to speak directly to a member of staff at Connecting Worlds, we will be happy to oblige.
2. Why are Connecting Worlds’ prices lower than other cultural exchange organizations? Will I still receive a quality experience?
We provide our international exchange programs from our base in Argentina. We work directly with a range of partners in Latin America and Asia. This means that thanks to our rigorous selection process, we make sure that we only work with organizations, schools, businesses and agencies with years and years of experience in their respective countries and fields. We know that our contacts are trustworthy, price competitive and that they provide high quality services.
By avoiding the need to deal with intermediaries, we are able to keep the costs of our programs down to a minimum, which makes our services more financially accessible than those offered by other organisations. We believe in offering programs that are “fairly priced,” with references to costs incurred by the participants, our partners who work on the ground in each destination, and anyone else involved in the projects.
What’s more, we’re always offering some kind of promotion or discount for those who sign up to one of our programs at specific times of the year or as a group.
3. Can anyone, from anywhere in the world, sign up to a Connecting Worlds’ program?
Even though our organisation is based in Argentina, we work with agencies in Australia, Germany, Japan, Spain and the UK. We receive participants from the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, France, Italy; Ireland, China and Mexico. Connecting Worlds is an international organisation and we are open to receiving people of all nationalities.
4. What must I do to sign up to a program that interests me?
Step 1: Choose a country and the type of program that you’re interested in, as well as your preferred travel dates. Complete the online form and send it to us via our website. Be sure to include all the information mentioned above.
Step 2: Within 48 hours, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Connecting Worlds. The email will contain more information about the program you selected and details on how to pay the registration fee, which is required in order to reserve a place on any of our programs. If you don’t receive this email within 48 hours, please contact us again.
Step 3: Once we have received payment for the registration fee, one of Connecting Worlds’ coordinators will send you detailed information about the program, introduce you to the members of staff who work in your chosen destination, help you to organise a transfer from the airport, and guide you through the final payment process (which normally must have taken place at least 30 days before you travel). Advice and support will be made available to you 24/7 via telephone and email too. If you have any doubts, you will be able to contact us directly.
5. When do I have to pay the registration fee?
The registration fee must be paid as soon as we have received the required documents which relate to the program selected. Once we have these documents, we will write to you to confirm that we have all required documents and that we now require payment for the registration fee. This payment can be made via Paypal, credit card, or bank transfer.
6. Why pay for volunteering?
Connecting Worlds is a cultural exchange organization. We don’t receive government subsidies or financial funding of any kind. We work hard to provide high quality programs across Asia and Latin America and we know that our programs are both interesting and useful to both local communities and foreign volunteers. For that reason all our programs include a fixed price Registration Fee of US$249 and a Program Fee that varies according to the duration of the program and the services included.
The Registration Fee covers the costs of all that Connecting Worlds has to do in order to organise the experience in an efficient manner and offer each participant a quality program. These costs include marketing, staff salaries, travel costs of staff who visit and inspect each of the programs on offer and Connecting Worlds’ solidarity fund among others.
The Program Fee is the total cost of everything related to the services that the volunteer will be able to take advantage of upon arrival to the destination of their choice. For example, accommodation, meals, transfers, the donation made to the volunteer project, welcome orientation and constant 24/7 support. The payment for this fee goes directly to the country in which the volunteer will be stationed, directly benefiting the local community.
7. Why sign up to a volunteer program with Connecting Worlds?
•Make a difference: Wherever you go, you will generate a positive impact.
•Gain experience and knowledge: Learn something new, prepare for a career change, build towards a better future.
•Grow and develop: On average, we work for about 40 years of our lives. Volunteering will give you the chance to take a break from it all, having the chance to get a better perspective on things and to reflect a little about what you want from life.
•Learn a language: With Connecting Worlds, you’ll be signing up to a program that will give you the chance to improve or learn Spanish and/or Portuguese.
•Immerse yourself: When traveling around, it’s hard to really get to know the local culture. Spending six months in one place will give you a real insight into Latin American and Asian life and its communities.
•Make friends: Meet people from all over the world and keep in touch long after the program ends.
8. What help will I have during my stay in Latin America?
From the moment you arrive, you won’t ever be on your own. We have coordinators and representatives based in all our destinations who can assist you with any problem you might have at any time. This service is included in the price, regardless of how long you stay.
9. Do I have to take our travel insurance against sickness, accident and 3rd party liability?
Yes. You cannot sign up to any of our programs without this particular kind of travel insurance. We will require proof of the same.
10. Is there an emergency number that I can call 24/7?
Yes. Each program comes with 24/7 volunteer support. You will be given an emergency number to use as part of your pre-trip information pack.
11. Do I need to be able to speak the local language?
This really depends on the destination you choose and the type of program you wish to sign up for. We can give you more information about this once you let us know what kind of program you’re interested in. Having said that, if you’re interested in a program, but you lack the language skills to apply, we can help you by organising a course in either Spanish or Portuguese and we can normally offer you a discount on the official cost of the course too.
12. Do I need vaccinations?
This all depends on the country you visit. We advise your to read our sections on “Explore Our Destinations” in order to get a better idea of the issues that you need to take into account depending on where you decide to travel.
13. What are the accommodations and meals like?
Many of our programs include accommodation and three meals a day. However, the comforts of each accommodation on offer varies depending on what kind of accommodation is available in each destination. Some communities are poorer than others and this affects the kind of living situation that you would need to adapt to. When we know where you wish to travel to, we can give you more information on this subject.
14. Do I need a VISA to take part in any of your programs?
This all depends on your nationality and the country which you intend to travel to. You might only need a tourist visa, you might need a more official kind of visa, or you might not need anything at all. We advise you to consult the appropriate embassy to find out what the current situation is.
15.Do I get paid when I sign up to one of your “Working Holiday” programs?
Unfortunately, we have to abide by strict regulations set up by the various Latin American governments which apply to foreigners working in local companies. For this reason, all the Working Holiday programs that we offer are unpaid. What’s more, the main objective of the working holiday is not to earn a salary, but instead to learn about local customs and traditions. It’s a chance for you to immerse yourself in daily local life. There are many things you will gain from these programs that money cannot buy, including international experience for you CV, improved foreign language skills, a profound understanding of a foreign culture, and a sense of accomplishment having lived through a tough and challenging experience.
16. What is the difference between an internship and a Working Holiday program?
A professional internship is focused on the practical application of theoretical knowledge. It’s a chance to gain international work experience in a particular line of work. Many universities require that their students complete internships abroad in order to graduate.
Working Holiday programs, on the contrary, are not solely focused on professional development. They provide you with the chance to immerse yourself in local foreign cultures and to take a break from your career in order to try something new.
17. Does Connecting Worlds organise programs for groups of people?
Yes. We can organise personalised programs according to the needs and requirements of the group. We work with university groups, schools, businesses, families and groups of friends.